Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.
“I am Santa Claus.”
Joe looked over at the man sitting across from him.
White beard, check.
Chubby belly, check.
Rosy cheeks, check,
But surely this man could not be Santa because Santa did not exist. Besides, this guy was not wearing a red suit. Santa always wore a red suit. Still it was summer and a little hot. No, it could not be Santa. If it wasn’t then…“Wait, is this some sort of prank?” Joe looked around expecting his friends to show up at any moment. “My friends are always busting on me.”
“I assure you this is no prank and I am the one and only Santa Claus.”
“So if you’re Santa then why are you sitting in a backwoods diner in Beckley.” Joe waved his arm around the diner.
Joe remembered the laugh from his childhood. Still he did not believe
“Why am I here Joe? I'm here for you.”
“Me, why me? Wait, how’d you know my name.?”
“I know all about you Joe, but it is your heart which I’m more interested in.”
“My heart, this is starting to get a little creepy.”
“No, your heart, as in the love there for all. You see Joe, my health is fading and I want you to be Santa.”
“You’re kidding right?”
“No, you’re going to be Santa.”
“My time as Santa is up and back and I have to pick a new Santa. You are my choice.”
“But what if I don’t want to be Santa Claus?”
“You don’t have any choice. Once chosen there is no going back.”
“So, I don’t get a say in this?”
“No, you get a say.”
“You get a say on whether you want Mrs Claus or not. If I was you I’d find one. I had a Misses until she passed away. She was…”
“I don’t mean to cut your story short but...you are for real...Joe looked at the old man. “I’m not on one of those hidden camera prank shows am I...I mean did someone put you up to this?”
“No,Joe I chose you because you’re like me. An orphan who never really developed any close relationships. So when I was chosen I jumped at the idea of helping children’s hearts with joy. It is the same desire I see in you.”
“Wow, this isn’t a joke, you expect me to leave everything and go with you.”
“Yes...just as I did.”
“Well that is it then. I am Santa Claus.”
“There is no arguing Joe. It is what you asked me when you were little.”
“When you were six years old I came to your house to drop off some gifts…”
“You…no, my mom and dad gave me gifts.”
“Think Joe…you caught me as I was placing the gifts under your tree. Your exact words if I remember correctly were, “Way cool! You do exist.” I told you to go back to bed. But before you left you looked at me and said, “One day I want to be Santa.” Well I let out a ho,ho,ho, touched your nose and sent you on your way
Joe sat there for a moment. “Was this for real.” He thought. Then suddenly a memory rushed back to him. “But I was only a little kid. Besides, what little boy doesn’t want to be Santa? I know I have since I lost my parents and went from home to home. All my fosters tried to give me a good Christmas but…”
“I understand Joe and I know it is why you lived your life the way you have. You do not want anyone to forget the true idea of what Santa stands for. The giving without wanting anything in return.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I want to be him…you. You know what I mean.”
“I do. It was the same argument I had when my predecessor found me in Miami. Let me tell you what he told me. If you look into your heart you will find the truth. Look in your heart Joe. Look in your heart, look.”
Joe sat there and sipped on his coffee. His mind a whirl of thoughts.
Santa ate as he watched Joe. Finally after what seemed like hours he looked at Santa.
“I’ll do it.” Joe said. I’ll do it. So what now?”
Santa chuckled. A little girl walked by. She looked at Santa. “Do I know you?”
Santa tapped her on the head. “Be good Susie, be good.”
She looked at Santa and walked away.
Santa looked back at Joe. “To answer your question. We go to Bermuda.”
“Wait, I thought home base was the North Pole.”
“It is Joe but I need a vacation before we go into training y
Back at the North Pole
“What do you mean he is missing?”
An elf named Leroy looked at the elf who had just run in the door.
Claus is lost.”
“Really again. So where have you looked?”
“We’ve searched the whole village. From the top of Tall Hill to the depths of Deep Valley. Oh yeah, we even searched the toy shop. No Claus.”
“Hmm, if I were Claus where would I be?” He looked at Claude. “Oh I got it. The Claus finder.” He pulled a device from his pocket and hit a button. It beeped once.“He’s in Bermuda again.”
“Well don’t just stand there get the retrieval elves to bring him back. You know Christmas is coming.” Head elf shook his head.
Down in Bermuda
“So Joe, your first lesson is in the off-season avoid the elves as much as possible. Let me tell you they will wear you down.”
“Santa,” A small annoyed voice called from behind them. “What are you doing skipping our on us again. You know it is almost time to start the Christmas preparations.
“Darn Santa finder/ I gotta remember to disable that thing the next time.”
“What?” Joe said.
“Nothing,” Santa replied. “Joe meet head elf Beliminda. Belminda this is Joe. He is going to be the new guy you get to annoy. I mean help.”
Joe looked at Belminda. “You're kinda cute.”
“Stuff it bud. I’m old enough to be your great,great, great, great grandmother. Now, I take it you're going to be the new Claus.”
“Yes, I’m the new Claus.
She looked Joe up and down. “Nice bit we got a lot of work to do to whip you in shape
© 2021 Timothy Whitt