Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Visitor, A Short Story

written by @coombstw

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse......but Timmy was wide awake, laying on his bed with his huge eyes looking up at the moving clouds outside his skylight, shining with the moon's glow.  It was Christmas Eve and Timmy was way too excited to sleep, he loved Christmas, as any child should.

Timmy knew he should really go to sleep soon or he would be so tired tomorrow when he was allowed to go downstairs.  He was thinking of rolling over when the downstairs clock bonged, it was midnight, the clock started to play a little tune. One the tune was done Timmy knew the 12 bongs would begin, and as if on cue they began, bong, bong, bong.  Then something shot Pas the skylight, a figure. Timmy sucked in a breath in shock and surprise, sitting up then finding himself stood on his bed peering out the window to try and see what he saw in the dark. He could hear movement, then a slight jingle of bells. Now he was awake and very excited, he knew who it was.

Timmy shot from his bed and lightly opened his bedroom door, he heard a sound and froze when halfway down the landing, he listened as the recognisable short and puff came from his parents room, Dad was snoring again, Timmy thought. He carried on and crept down the stairs and into the living room.

As Timmy entered a shining, glimmering white smoke was coming in the room from the fireplace and building up just by the tree. He held his mouth before he made a noise and scared the smoke away, then from the bottom the smoke began to take form. First two feet, with long pointy red shoes, with a bell at the ankle, red trouser legs came next, then the body, slender with white trim then the head. Timmy could make out the long red hat with the white ball on the end, then some large pointed ears, what?, Timmy thought, then the clean shaven face and a nose ring.

"You're not Father Christmas" Timmy blurted out, any fear and excitement gone or put to the side for that brief moment, he then clamped his mouth again.

"What the heck!" The stranger startled, "who? What?" Said turning to look at Timmy.
Timmy removed his hands from his mouth and clearly repeated, "you're not Father Christmas", finishing by folding his arms on his chest.
"Of course not, I'm a Christmas Imp and before you say it, I'm not an elf, they just make toys, anyway, who are you and why are you up?" The Imp said, leaning in to get closer look at Timmy.

"I'm Timmy, you're in my house, now why are you here?" Timmy said, in his most commanding voice, usually kept for being a superhero only.

"So you are Timmy Smith, aged 6 and currently on the good list" the Imp replied pulling out a sheet of paper from no where.

"Err...yes" Timmy responded looking up at the elf.

"Well Timmy, I'm Steve, I am here to just check on the list, but as you are up I have to put you on the naughty list, have a nice day" Steve the Christmas Imp stated and moved towards the fireplace.
"Wait! What? Naughty list? But I have been good" Timmy suddenly said.

"Automatic if you are up trying to meet the man himself, as I'm sure you are supposed to be in bed, am I right?" Not waiting for a reply. "So you have now been naughty, therefore the naughty list" Steve stopped and the paper vanished.

"But it is Christmas!" Timmy shouted tears appearing in his eyes. Steve looked upon this sad seen and sat down on a foot stall by the fire.

"Come here kid" he began "you'll still get the presents from our mum and dad" Steve continued.
"Normally I get a jumper or some new school trousers when my mum and can afford it, my dad's out work at the moment." Timmy said, dropping his head. "But I do get some chocolate in a stocking as a treat. I make it last for weeks, it is a good time."

"School trousers, boring, well you'll get Christmas dinner, the pigs in blanket, turkey! Yum yum." Steve said, trying to console young Timmy.

"Last year mum managed to get a turkey steak from the bank, she said I should have it, my parents had sandwiches, we all sat round and ate together before she went to work" Timmy said, smiling with the memory.

"Turkey steak, bank? You by money from a bank Timmy." Steve said looking confused.
"My mum sends my dad to the bank when she is at work to get food, but can only get what is there in the package" Timmy said.

"So are your parents sleeping? You should go back to bed, wouldn't want to wake them" Steve said, he wasn't good with kids.

"My mum is at work, she works a lot, she says to my dad to keep us warm and dry. Dad is asleep and nothing wakes him up once he takes his pills. They help him be happy mummy said, since he lost his job" Timmy said, cheerily.

"Oh, so you are alone then basically?" Steve aided. "No, as I said Daddy is sleeping and Mummy will be home before 4 am, she cleans hospitals, makes the sick people better with her magic mop" Timmy said looking over to the tree. Steve looked at the tree also, it was a fake tree, some mismatched ornaments, and nothing underneath it. He pulled his piece of paper out and looked across the notes, Timmy's dad had lost his job, his mum was a cleaner at the hospital and worked nights to make a little extra. He looked up Food Bank and couldn't believe it.

"Timmy, I am sorry, I can't change the list, but maybe......"Steve began then sneezed and vanished before his eyes, the sparkly cloud appeared and vanished with a puff.

Bong! Bong!
The clock went off right behind him, then stopped it was midnight, time had not moved from when he got out of bed. Timmy was happy he nearly met Santa, but was sad he was now on a naughty list, but at least he might get some chocolate from his parents tomorrow and get them both together. He climbed back up the stairs, settled into his bed and slept.

Timmy walked down stairs in the morning to find his mum and dad in the kitchen, his mum was crying but smiling which was weird and his dad was on the phone.
"That's amazing Keith, thanks for the call, you have made my Christmas, thanks" Timmy's dad was saying then hung up. "In start work on the 2nd of January, full time and only down the road, and he said he would give me an advance on my wages tomorrow as a welcome." Timmy's dad said grabbing his mother whom was crying, with joy.  The doorbell rang but neither of his parents heard so Timmy went and opened the front door.

"You must be Timmy, in hear lads" the man said and two others came in the house, "in here is it?" One of them said and went in he kitchen, he heard his parents stark but they were put at ease when the guy just said, "merry Xmas special food delivery, all the trimmings to Xmas dinner, cheers" they two men put three crates down nodded at Timmy who was still at the door and left, the final guy winked at Timmy then turned and headed off adjusting a woolly hat as he went. Timmy caught sight of two very pointy ears. He was shocked, the Imp.

All three of them unpacked the food, a huge Turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing mix, vegetables, pudding, custard, cheese, biscuits the works. His mum and dad looked shocked my very happy. Timmy's mum then went into the living room and screamed, Timmy's dad and Timmy ran into the living room there were three big boxes with each of their names on, and an envelope at on top, address to Timmy. It also said for his eyes only. His dad passed it to Timmy, "this seems to be for you kid".

Timmy was great at reading but he opened it up and understood every word;
____________________________________________________________________
Dear Timmy,

Merry Christmas Timmy. I hope you enjoy the food and presents, and the chocolate filling the gifts for you all.

Even though I couldn't move you to the good list, I could make a request to add you to the Christmas Miracle list, and the big man agreed you were a good kid and you deserve a Christmas to remember and I hope with your dad no working it may get a little easier for you.

Don't ever try and see Father Christmas again mind you and sure you'll do fine.

Merry Times,
Steve

Ps.
Timmy, enjoy yourself today, your mother has also been given a couple of days off, plus three tickets to see the new Star Wars film will come through the letter box. All my merry best, Nicholas Klaus x
______________________________________________________________

Timmy just stared at the letter for a minute then went back to enjoy family his Christmas with his family.

The End.

Sadly miracles don't happen like this and so many good families are struggling, especially this time of year and children go without. I have donated to the local food bank and also give to charities this time of year who help others at Christmas, whether be to give meals or shelter. It is my way of helping where I can. Hope you enjoyed Timmy's Xmas.