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Island Santa: A Short Story

Length: 67 pages1 hour


The Nelson family is spending Christmas in Hawaii, a dubious proposition for Peter and his ten-year old sister, Katie.

Katie still believes in Santa Clause. Embarrassing, but true. Having finally come to grips with the tragic “extinction” of unicorns and the senseless exile of the Tooth Fairy, little Katie now clings to Santa with a tenacity so grim and so combative that her older brother and her parents can only exchange worried looks across the dinner table. Someone should talk to her about the real world. But no one quite seems to have the courage.

Needless to say, the idea of running off to Hawaii just as Santa is loading up his sleigh is met with more than just a little resistance. After all, how is it reasonable to expect that the red-suited fat man will know to look for them in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? What will he think when he parks his reindeer atop their dark and empty home?

Peter, fourteen, has his own concerns, less about Santa than the sacrifice of holiday tradition. What about the snow and stringing the house with Christmas lights? What about the first-person-shooter zombie video games at the neighbors’ Christmas Eve party? More importantly, how can a Christmas away from home not have a devastating impact on the volume of Christmas-morning loot?

Not that the Nelson kids have any real say in the matter. The tickets have been purchased and the bags packed. Peter will have to console himself with the belief that his friend Cody is right: that the Islands are teeming with topless women. Katie, meanwhile, will just have to trust that Santa is capable of adapting to rapidly changing circumstances.

Neither of them is prepared to understand why their father seems to have forgotten his true age, or why their mother is calling him a sex pony, or even why he pushed for the trip to Hawaii in the first place.

In the end, everyone is going to believe what he or she wants to believe about the world.

It’s going to be an interesting Christmas.

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