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Charlotte sat at the bus stop wondering whether she would make the naughty or nice list this year. Last year she had rescued a stray kitten and therefore considered herself most definitely “nice”. This year she had broken Daniel’s heart into a million tiny pieces, so “naughty” seemed to be the only answer. There’d be no Santa Claus coming down her chimney anytime soon. – Georgia Beyers
She sighed and wiped the sheen of clammy fog off her forehead with the back of her hand. Of course, the heartbreak hadn’t happened yet, but it was inevitable. There was no way around it. She could already picture her eight year old nephew’s face when she showed up for Christmas Eve dinner tonight empty-handed. If only she had been a little faster, worked a little harder. A fat drop of rain hit her square on the nose and she scowled as she swiped the moisture away. At least the setting was right. It was a nasty day in San Francisco, cold and rainy and damp. The perfect day to ruin someone’s holiday.
A bus came and went, depositing passengers on the sidewalk, picking up others while she wallowed in her own disappointment. For weeks, she had tried every scheme she could think of to get Daniel the Limited Edition Elite Superstrike N-16 Blaster that the superhero whose name she could never remember always carried into battle. She’d trolled the internet, contacted every friend she had in every state, got up at the crack of dawn to go to toy stores miles and miles outside of the city. Not a single one of her bright ideas had panned out. Today,she had spent the day exhausting her last lead, her very last hope of getting him that gun in time for Christmas. She’d heard a rumor that one last shop had a gun for sale and was willing to sell it to the highest bidder. She’d gathered all her cash, grabbed her AmEx, and traversed the city in search of her quarry. But once again she was too late, and the toy had been sold to someone else.
She touched the gift card she’d gotten for Daniel in her jacket pocket. Her lips twisted. So lame. Sure, it was just a toy, and the kid would probably get over it, but she had promised— swore— she would get it for him. It was the thing he wanted most for Christmas, and he didn’t ask his mom or his dad or even Santa Claus for it. He asked her.
And she had failed.
Copyright © Lisa Fox
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