Mr Rickton’s project was slowly coming together. He was currently working on a papier-mache globe that would show how Santa traveled around the world in forty-eight hours.
He smiled, knowing the children in his class would find this amazing. He pictured their little faces staring up in awe and the magic of Christmas sparking their imaginations. The children would go home, full of excitement and looking more forward to the special day.
Looking down at his glue and paper covered hands, Mr Rickton started humming Jingle Bells and continued with his task, he still had a long way to go.
It was a week and four days till Christmas, I had taken the kids shopping to buy presents for mummy and we were now driving home. The kids were dozing in the back, full of pizza, their excitement finally worn out. The sun had almost set and darkness had settled in.
‘Daddy, what’s that?’ Darla asked.
‘In the sky. Is it Santa?’
I looked but couldn’t see anything, ‘it’s probably a plane.’
‘Doesn’t look it,’ Adam spoke up.
‘I don’t see it, but it’s too early for Santa.’
‘Maybe, he’s having a practice flight?’ Kim suggested.
I had this weird dream last night. All these drink cans were alive, they had gather together and formed a choir. They were singing Christmas carols in loud, tin voices. People were throwing them money and singing along, like it was totally normal.
I knew it wasn’t real and I tried to tell everyone, but no one would listen! Then I knocked all the cans over in a rage. I got arrest for disturbing the peace and assault. I had to spend Christmas in jail.
When I got out everyone threw cans at me and said I’d ruined Christmas.
The abandoned building was a good place to hide from bullies. I could get inside a half broken window but they couldn’t. In the darkness I felt safe again with only my breathing echoing and my feet scuffing the floor.
I didn’t bother with a light, I knew the way to the little room where I could sit and wait for the bullies to get bored. A few times I’d even slept there!
In winter, I got some supplies in; candles, matches, a torch, a sleeping bag, snacks, comics etc. and it became little my own little house.
The morning battle began, June wasn’t in the mood, she knocked on her teenage son’s bedroom door to get him up for school then opened the door and took in the mess of stuff scattered around in what little light could enter the room, it was a typical young man’s cave and June felt nauseated by a rising smell of sweat.
‘I’m sick, I’m not going into day and you can’t make me, so there!’ he shouted back from underneath the bedding.
‘Fine,’ answered June, ‘stay like a cocooned bug then and only come out when you have grown up.’
The stormy sea was throwing up all kinds of things and the gulls were going crazy for the fish that were being tossed up in the crashing white crested waves.
It was a sign to get off the ocean to return safely to harbour, the fishing was over for another season and all the boats were making their way back, the last catch secured below decks like a glittering treasure.
On the land, twinkling fairy lights and the sweet smell of food welcomed them back, it was almost time for the end of year celebrations, their families had been working hard to prepare for and now with the additional fish the town would survive through the winter months to come.
Everyone has a hobby, for my uncle Earl that was collecting old oil cans. He claimed he had over a thousand and he wasn’t far wrong because we did find something like that when we emptied his house.
My family were for throwing them all in the skip but there was something that made me set them aside to auction off. That turned out to be a wise choice as they raised more money that anyone could have ever thought, thus leaving me a grand inheritance and a well learnt lesson that to the right person it’s not rubbish.
The days and nights had become one long stretch of nothing. It seemed there was only the sea and the sky left, the rest of the world has just gone. Dad and son sat in the tiny dingy, thinking, sleeping, daydreaming, hallucinating, hoping and praying to be saved. The sinking of the fishing boat haunted them but they were far away from that now and everything else. Large waves rocked the boat, the sky grew black, another storm was coming and this time they might not survive.