He heard his mother calling him. He started towards his hut. He met his mother on the way, she had her old rag around her, stumbling in the little light of the lantern in her hand. She smiled at him and exclaimed, “A Christmas pie is waiting for you dear”. The pie brought twinkle in his eyes but as they started walking he wondered how she managed a pie, it must have cost her something. It made him sad.
After eating his supper he went to his bed. As he lay he looked outside. It had started snowing and the lights of their rich neighbor that flashed between the soft white fall made a good sight. He hobbled to the closed window and sat on the covered hot bricks admiring the sight.
It was completely white and he heard some wolves howling somewhere far. The snow was falling soundlessly as he stood in it buried till his knees. The sound alerted him. A swishing sound was approaching him. He guessed it was some sleigh. He was not carring lamp and panicked that it might now him down but he was too buried in the snow and pulling out his leg itself exhausted him. Fear rose in his heart and his eyes grew wide as he saw the sleigh driven towards him.
He was holding the reins of the sleigh and the reindeer were running speedily up and down the snow hill. He looked down and saw he was wearing a red dress and a black belt was around his waist. From a ragged boy he had turned into a Santa! Ho Ho Ho! he heard himself exclaim. His sledge came to a stop at a small village. He hopped down and went down the frozen lanes. There were socks hanging in the windows. As he passed each window a voice (which he suspected was his own) whispered in his ears, of the wishes of the kid from the house. “I want apples, lots of them” “New clothes” “New shoes” “New lace for my dress” “I want Christmas tree just like Ross” “I want new sledge” he chuckled at the wishes. Boys! he exclaimed soon realizing he was one of them. He put his hand on the sack and pulled out apples. He went on placing gifts on the window sills. As he moved towards his sledge a thought passed his mind, what would I, Ryan ask, what do I want this winter. He saw a small house secluded, and the question repeated itself in his mind. “Boy, what do you want, Santa is asking”. As he stood before the house he realized it was his own home. What do you want, Ryan?
“I want money!”, There was aggression in the voice that surprised him.
“Money? Santa can’t give you money. Ask anything else”
“Everything else means nothing”
“What will you do with the money?”
“I will buy happiness”
“Happiness can not be bought with money, my child”
Through the fog, Ryan appeared with hands forward. There was a pie in his hand half eaten. “This is half a pie, I saved for my mother. She says I should have it tomorrow. We can not afford a Christmas pie. She sold her old overcoat for it and she has nothing but a rag now. What good are your gifts. Can you give my mother happiness?”
“If money is you want, I have no money. I am poor too”
“You are poor too”, tears flowed down Ryan’s eyes. Even if he is Santa, he would remain poor.
“Poor..Poor..Poor!”, he cried.
When he opened his eyes, his mother was shaking him worried. “Poor? What happened son, did you see a nightmare?”
He shook his head and a smile appeared on her face. “Come, let me show you something”. She took him to the kitchen. There was pie, big as a pot. Beside it were two overcoats and gloves. He looked at her puzzled. She took him to the door. “A miracle, son”, she said. He noticed the whelming emotions in her voice. When she opened the door, he saw a sledge tied to the wall.
“A sledge! we can go the market and sell our bread. Isn't it a miracle? Jesus is kind”, she said kneeling before him. There were tears in her eyes and his too.
He looked around and cried, “Thank you…” louder he yelled, “Thank you!!...Merry Christmas” Somewhere far he could hear some wolves howling as if accepting his greetings.
Written for Prompt - 'When I stepped into Santa's shoes' by Wings Of Change.