Just in the nick of time
It's Susanna Hill's 10th Annual Holiday Contest!
The idea came to me at the last minute for this Christmas story. The deadline is tonight at 11:59 PM EST (nothing like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing). And with my amazing CPs' support, I'm able to submit this story. Thank you Julie Corriveau Wilson and Meg Auchenbach!
The Contest: Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as age 12 and under) about a Holiday Helper not exceeding 250 words! Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Year’s or whatever you celebrate during the Holiday Season.
Check out all the amazing entries for the contest here. Good luck to all!
Wallace, the King’s top food tax collector,
whistled as he set out.
He loved Christmas time and its bounties.
He wanted to be worker of the month.
He knocked. He collected—
puddings, pies, salads, roasts et al.
Wallace's sack was almost filled to the brim.
He groaned under the weight.
The sack slowed his steps.
What if the gravy spills or the goose lands on the dirt?
The sack weighed heavy on his mind.
He shivered despite the toil.
Almost done, he thought as he came to the last house.
No lights twinkled from within like the others.
And the chimney didn’t smoke either.
A little girl sat there, stooped.
“Hello little girl, what’s your name?”
Her face lit up, “I’m Talia. Are you Santa Claus?”
“No, I’m not.”
A teardrop ran down Talia’s face.
The droplet felt like a needle in Wallace’s heart.
It unlocked memories of his little Elle.
Of times long gone,
when she was still around.
“I want to help spread cheer but I have nothing,” she said.
“I’m not Santa Claus but I’m his helper.” He lied.
The King would be livid, but it didn’t matter.
Wallace and Talia went around the neighborhood.
Lisa got a roast turkey. So did Kate.
Rose, the pudding.
And with each dish shared,
and every smile received.
Wallace felt warmer, lighter and less worried.
Finally, at Talia’s home they had a leftover feast.
Wallace was overjoyed, Talia was happy
and Christmas felt right after a long time.