Christmas Eve Flight

Kai stared through the telescope and studied the collection of stars called the big dipper. The soft sound of the door opening tickled his ear. He resisted turning and acted as if he was really busy. Light footsteps came up to him and he felt a brush of warm air.

‘Do you see him yet?’ Khloe squeaked.

Kai whipped around to his young sister, ‘no,’ he snapped, ‘now go away!’

‘But, but, but!’

‘I said no, Khloe!’ he growled and stamped his foot.

Khloe stopped bouncing on the spot and clutched her elephant teddy tighter. Her eager face fixed on her brother’s and she couldn’t help the smile on her face, though Kai was clearly anger at her.

He turned away and flipped through the pages of an open book. It was balanced on a pile of others all about space. Kai felt his sister creeping closer and looking over his shoulder. He stopped at a page about the moon and looked at her.

‘Go away.’

‘But, Kai please. I want to know! Have you seen Santa?’ Khloe gushed and began bouncing again.

Growling, he turned away and looked through the telescope. He no longer saw the big dipper, but a cluster of smaller stars next to it.

‘Look! You made the telescope move!’ Kai shouted.

‘I’m sorry, but…’ Khloe began as she pouted.

‘I don’t see anything now. Get out. Go back to bed and leave me alone!’

‘Don’t be so mean, Kai. Mummy said…’

‘I don’t care. This isn’t for babies, it’s for scientists!’

Kai shoved his sister away then put his hands on his hips.

Khloe glanced at the door over his shoulder, ‘I’ll tell!’

‘Tell away! I don’t care!’

‘I will! And Santa will know and you won’t get any presents!’

Kai puffed up, ‘he’s not real, so it doesn’t matter.’

‘What? He so is,’ Khloe cried back.

‘No, he’s not. It’s just mum and dad,’ Kai declared.

‘You’re lying!’

Kai shake his head and crossed his arms.

Khloe’s bottom lip trembled and she clutched the soft elephant tighter.

‘It’s all fake. Like monsters under your bed and fairies,’ Kai added.

‘No,’ Khloe wobbled.

‘It’s all true. Go downstairs and ask them.’

Kai grabbed her and pulled her towards the door. Khloe tried to dig her toes into the carpet, but her older brother was too strong and she tumbled after him. Kai opened the door further, swung her out then closed it in her face.

‘You big meanie!’ Khloe shouted and banged her fist on the door.

Kai lent against it, keeping her from opening it again. He heard the muffled voice of their mum calling up the stairs. He pressed his ear to the door and listen to the patter of footsteps and his sister crying. Sighing, he went back to his telescope and sort out the moon.

He turned the wheels on the telescope till he had a clear view. He looked at the dark craters then spotted something else, a shadow crossing the moon. He zoomed in and made out the shape of a sled and reindeers in front of it.

‘No,’ he whispered.

He played with the telescopes different wheels, hoping it was nothing more than a trick of light. The shadow came into more focus and he clearly saw six reindeer, the large sled the top half of a figure sat up.

‘Mum! Khloe!’ he called, ‘it’s Santa! I’ve seen him!’