The first time I saw her, she was wearing slippers over fishnets and a Beatles t-shirt tucked into a blue velvet skirt. I asked her why? and she says she don't set prices at the thrift store. I didn't know her name yet and I said I'd get her some real shoes that matched. She says, you must not know nothing about clothes 'cause everything matched just perfect and you can spend money on other things like pinstripe suits. So that's how I decided she should be my daughter.

Nobody ever come around looking for her, and I begain to think maybe her parents don't care about her, 'cept she's always talking about her father. Said I, I'm your father now, and she nods and said yep. And I was pretty confused.

It was snowing and we were eating ice cream, her with no chocolate sauce, and walking down the sidewalk. We passed a store with Santa Claus and lots of kids and she don't even say nothing when she kicks off her slippers in the snow and runs in the door. I stood in line with her in hopes she'd say just something. She don't. So I only stares at her fishnet feet and don't hear nothing.

Comes her turn and she walks up to the man in the suit and sticks her hand down under his fake beard and kisses his face. She bent and starts whispering to him like they's both five. Then Santa goes and leaves and she went goin' for her slippers from outside. Not even the cops could find that runaway Santa, just his white beard coiled on a chair. I bought her a white sweater that day and she looked right fine.

And I brang her coffee one morning and there's only fishnets coiled on the bed. Out the window, I looked and there weren't no footprints out there.

(Author's note: here is my Christmas story for you guys! And, just in case, I will disclaimer that all the grammatical issues are very intentional. Thanks for reading! ~Petra)