This story was also posted at my fiction blog: Fiction Fix.
Daniel rolled his eyes and stuck a foot into his sister’s ribs. “You’re not down all the way.”
“Ow!” Shelly hissed and whipped her head around to glare at her brother. “Do that again and I’ll …” she trailed off.
“Right. I’m so scared,” Daniel stage whispered and nodded back toward the door. “Hurry up and look. He’s going to be here any minute!”
Shelly huffed in irritation, but did as her brother commanded. She laid back down on the floor and tried to look through the crack under the doorway. “This stinks!” She flattened her ear more firmly against the floor as she tried again to see into the room.
“Well?” Daniel snapped.
“I still can’t see anything!” she wailed and Daniel shushed her.
“We’re going to get caught and then he won’t come! I swear Shelly, if you scare Santa off, I’m gonna…” he paused. What was he going to do? What could he threaten his sister with that would show her he meant business? His slow smile indicated that something had indeed occurred to him. “If you don’t keep your voice down, I’ll tear the head off your favorite doll.”
Shelly gasped and rolled onto her back, her eyes wide with terror. “You wouldn’t dare!”
“If you scared Santa away? I totally would. Now shut up and take a look or get out of the way.”
The lump in Shelly’s throat could nearly be seen as she swallowed hard. Daniel smirked. His sister was such a sissy. She twisted back around onto her belly and with a wiggle or two, resumed her position.
Daniel impatiently tapped his foot. He mentally counted the seconds along with the grandfather clock located further down the hallway.
One … two … three … four … five … six …
“I still can’t see anything!” Shelly whined and Daniel balled his hands into small fists. He leaned over to get a look at his sister’s face.
“You have to open your eyes, dummy!”
“I still can’t see!”
“Open the other eye!” Daniel fiercely whispered and he grit his teeth in frustration. Girls were so stupid.
He again distracted himself by counting with the soft pings from the grandfather clock.
One … two … three … four … five
He jumped when the clock began to chime out the hour.
Startled, Shelly squealed and scooted herself away from the door.
“It’s midnight!” Daniel croaked out. It was so much of an effort to keep his voice low that he was giving himself a headache. “Get out of the way! Santa will be here any minute!” He used his foot to nudge his sister along the hardwood floor just a little faster.
“I’m moving! Cut it out!”
He barely waited for her to get out of his way before he dropped to his belly and was comfortably positioned before the door leading to the family room. He ignored the pressure on his ear as he concentrated on making himself as flat as his mother’s pancakes.
“I see the tree!” he whispered in excitement.
“Really? Shelly asked, her voice dipping into a pout. “I saw some pretty colors, but I never saw the tree. Are you sure you can see it?” She lowered herself to her hands and knees and leaned over him. “I think you’re lying. I think you can’t see anything.”
“Gross!” he hissed. “You’re breathing on my neck. Get away, you weirdo!” He reached a hand back to swat her away like a pesky fly. He kept his head in the same position and he could indeed see the bottom of the tree.
Unfortunately, there weren’t any presents under it. But he wasn’t worried just yet, it was still early.
“Do you see anything?” Shelly asked, her voice tinged with excitement.
Five seconds later …
“What about now?”
Five seconds later …
“What about now?”
Daniel maintained his position but twisted his head around to look at his sister. She was sitting cross-legged near his legs and bouncing with so much energy he was afraid she was going to bruise her butt cheeks. He’d no doubt be blamed for it.
“I can’t!” she wailed in a strangled, whispered voice.
“Then go to your room and jump on your bed or something. Santa’s smart. If he feels the vibration from your butt, he won’t come!”
“Oh,” Shelly said and abruptly ceased her bouncing. “I didn’t think about that.” She lightly chewed on her lip. “Has he come yet?”
Daniel heaved a heavy sigh and with another roll of his eyes, he directed his gaze back under the door. “No, not yet.”
“He’s not coming!” Shelly cried.
“Oh my God!” Daniel growled and twisted his body around to face her.
“Omm, I’m telling mom. You took God’s name in vain.”
Daniel could feel a slow flush enter his cheeks. He was usually pretty careful about not taking God’s name in vain. He didn’t want God mad at him after all. But his sister got on his nerves so bad sometimes, he just wanted to hit something. Why couldn’t she have been a boy, instead? Girls were so stupid.
“Shelly,” he said, working to keep his voice calm. “It’s only a little after midnight. It’s only been Christmas for technically,” he glanced at the grandfather clock. The light from the moon streamed in and lit up the right side of the face. “Fifteen minutes. He’ll come. But if he knows we’re out here…” he left the rest unsaid for truly, the thought of Santa not coming scared him more than he was willing to let his sister see.
He smiled. He liked impressing her. They were working on telling time at school and even though he wasn’t really sure he got it, he knew more than his sister and for now, that was enough.
“So, you’re gonna have to be patient, Shel,” he said. He felt like a grown up.
“Okay,” she said and to his surprise, she settled down.
Time ticked by slowly. It went even more slowly than school so Daniel felt like he had been waiting and watching for Santa to make an appearance for years when in fact, it had only thirty minutes. His eyes began to droop and he would catch himself nodding off and jerk himself awake.
There was one exciting moment when he thought he caught a shadow in the corner of his eye, but when he blinked the sleepiness away, it was gone.
He yawned. Shelly was already asleep, her head resting on his legs. He could feel his left thigh going numb, but he was afraid that if he moved, he would wake her up.
He had been staring at the snowman tree skirt for so long that he swore he saw the figure moving his hips from side-to-side sometimes.
His vision began to glaze over and he could feel his eyes growing very, very heavy.
“Hurry up, Santa,” he murmured in a sleep-induced daze. He fought to keep his eyes open for several more moments, but at precisely 12:52, they slowly lowered, and then closed.
At precisely 12:54, a pair of black galoshes quietly stepped into view.
This was inspired by:
[Fiction] Friday Challenge for December 4, 2009:
Include this in your story….“I can’t see anything,” sobbed the figure on the floor.