AN: Soooo it' Christmas and I had a writing bug because like all five year olds (on the inside) I can't sleep on Christmas :P So for all you lovely readers out there on FictionPress, you get to read my Christmas drabble. And yes I know it's entirely implausible, but it's Christmas dammit! Christmas is magic! (*end rant*)
Jack sat on the couch, facing backwards with his face pressed against the glass window watching the snow fall on the street. He could see the little boy next door in his lawn running around with his big sister. Jack watched as her pink coat slapped behind her when she chased him and they collapsed into a pile in the white powder. A truck pulled into their driveway and after a few minutes he saw their father get out. Both kids ran to him and nearly knocked him down with their hugs. Laughing, the family went inside.
Jack sank down into the cushions and sighed. He could practically feel the stare from the picture over the mantel and magnetically he turned to look at it. His father, dressed stiffly in his black formal coat and white hat, looked back from the photo. Unable to look at the image anymore, he hurried off the couch and followed the smell of gingerbread to the kitchen, where he found his mom singing along to the Christmas station on the radio, and pulling out a tray of cookies from the oven.
LeighAnn smiled when she noticed Jack hiding in the doorway. "Want a cookie?" She asked holding up one shaped like a star.
After a moment hesitation, he nodded and ventured further into the kitchen. LeighAnn lifted him up onto one of the high stools that sat at the counter and turned back to her cookie tray. As she pried one off, Jack caught sight of the fridge over her shoulder.
That picture again. The brown eyes that were echoed in his own seemed to pierce him and he had to get away. LeighAnn turned just in time to see her son jump down and sprint toward the stairs.
The upper level of the house was dim, as the sun was setting and none of the lights were on, but Jack could have found his room with his eyes closed, and wished he had. On nearly every flat surface of the hall were pictures.
His parent's at their wedding, LeighAnn in a white dress that glittered like a princess, and Steve looking bewildered as though he couldn't believe that it was really happening. A little farther on was a picture someone had snapped of the two of them the day he was first deployed. LeighAnn had her head buried in Steve's shoulder, and Jack couldn't tell if she was smiling or crying. His own face jumped out at him as he wandered down the hall, as a year old baby, he was standing in the living room with a huge smile plastered to his face. In the top corner of the picture was a hand supporting him as he stood, and Jack knew it wasn't his mother's hand, but his fathers that held him up.
The last picture he saw was the whole family last fourth of July at the parade. He was seated on his father's shoulders waving a tiny American flag.
Jack ran to his room and slammed the door, throwing himself into his pillows. He pinched his arm as he felt the hot sting of tears coming on, only babies cried and first graders were not babies.
It wasn't fair! How come all the other kids got to have their whole families home for Christmas?
Faint strains of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" drifted up from the kitchen, and Jack listened to the song intently.
Santa! Of course, why hadn't he thought of this before?
Eagerly he grabbed his notebook and a pencil from his backpack. Sitting down at his desk, Jack began to write in his neatest hand writing.
Dear Mr. Santa Claus,
My name is Jack Donner and I'm six years old. I try really hard to be good all year, like helping my mom clean the house and saying my prayers every night. My mom is a really good mom, she's nice, and funny, and loves me a lot. She also really loves my daddy. Daddy is a soldier in the war and he's been gone since before my birthday, so if you see him on Christmas, can you tell him I'm six now, not five? I wanted to tell you what I want for Christmas, for Mommy I want a robot that cooks and cleans the house all by itself so she can come home from work and relax, because Mommy works all day and has to do more work when she get's home. For my best friend Will, I want a new safari Jeep, because his old one got broken when we left it out in the rain too long. For Auntie Mel, I want you to find my uncle Ryan in heaven and tell him that she loves him and misses him, because even though I never met him, Mom tells me he was awesome! Last, for me, I want my daddy to come home, because I miss him. I know I told you I wanted a bike, and a computer and stuff at the mall before, but this is really all I want for Christmas, I can wait till my birthday for that other stuff.
Thank you Santa,
Jack S. Donner.
After reading it over, he smiled and went off to find an envelope so he could drop it off on the way to the bus stop the next day.
A few days later while Jack was at school, LeighAnn got home early and grabbed the pile of mail on her way into the house.
Bill, bill, Christmas card, Christmas card, bill, and something else. In Jack's shaky 6 year old hand writing was printed Mr. Sana Claus, North pole. Stamped where the postage should go was a message "Invalid destination. Return to sender."
Curious, she opened the envelope and read the letter, slowly sinking onto the first stair. By the end she had to bite her cheek to keep from crying. She glanced at her watch, and quickly calculated the time difference, wondering if she could get her weekly phone call to Steve early.
A week and a half later Jack said goodbye to Will as he got off the bus for the last time before Christmas break. It was snowing again and he kept his face down to avoid getting snow in his eyes. It was a while before he noticed there was an extra car in his drive way, one he hadn't seen before.
Curious as he opened the door, he called out "Mom, I'm home!"
"In the kitchen," LeighAnn called back. "Make sure you hang up your coat, it's wet from the snow."
Rolling his eyes, Jack took off his boots and unbuttoned his coat, and turned to hang it on the same peg as always, except there was already a coat on it. Confused, he hung it on top of his raincoat on the one next to it.
Walking into the kitchen he asked "Mom, is someone-"
Jack trailed off mid sentence as he rounded to corner to see LeighAnn standing on one side of the counter and his dad sitting on one of the stools on the other side.
"Daddy?" Jack felt his mouth go dry.
"Hey bud. Merry Christmas." Steve put down his coffee and rounded the counter to scoop Jack up in his arms. Normally he would have protested, saying he was too big to get picked up, but he was too busy crying and hugging his dad.
AN: Merry Christmas everyone! (and if you're not Christian….happy December 25th…..enjoy the cute story anyway!)