A Story for Christmas by Ceejay Writer
Illustrated by Winona Wiefel
The sled was loaded to capacity, as its creaking boards could testify. Santa knelt down to shake the hands of his elves. “Thank you, another year’s work well done!” The elves beamed proudly, gazing at the mound of gifts wrapped in glittering paper. “Good journey Santa! Merry Christmas!”
Santa eased his bulky frame into the driver’s seat and picked up the reins. The annual voyage round the grid was about to commence.
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!”
Dasher and Company did not “on.” What Dasher did, instead, was to look back at the jolly man and sigh. “Can’t we teleport? Or better yet, transfer inventory to all the good boys and girls? It’s 2011, Santa. Use the technology.”
Santa laughed, indeed a jolly one, his belly doing that bowl-of-jelly thing. “Of course not! You know everyone expects us to be seen in the skies, tonight of all nights!”
It’s a little-known fact that Santa has a bad memory. That’s one reason he makes those lists. It also means that he doesn’t recall a lot from his yearly trip around the grid… or the terror of the sim crossings. On one hand, this is a good thing—surely he wouldn’t attempt this every year if he did remember! But the reindeer do. Oh, yes, they remember.
Santa frowned. “Now Dasher!” he called out again, hopefully.
Dasher sighed, and looked at his teammates. “We might as well get this over with, he’s going to keep ‘Now-ing’ us until we do.” They sighed back collectively and began trotting forward, digging their hooves first into the snow, and then into the chill night air, climbing higher and higher, lifting Santa and his massive sleigh up above the rooftops.
The magical sight of that fully laden sleigh, with eight proud reindeer gracefully galloping through the mists of low clouds, silhouetted against the full moon—well, it was nothing short of a breathtaking miracle. Thirty meters they traveled, a spectacle to behold.
And then they hit the sim crossing.
Part 2 will appear on the blog tomorrow – or you can read the full story – and a lot more – in the Christmas issue of Prim Perfect!