New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

A CHRISTMAS STORY: Flash Fiction Style

Six-year-old Callie Dunn heard a sound. Not that sounds were unusual on Christmas Eve, but this particular sound had purpose. Meaning. As she fancied herself an investigator of all things unusual, a girl of sound mind and a practical manner who gave up childish thoughts of faeries and dragons way back when she was five—including those that involved a large man in a red suit who delivered Christmas gifts to children out of the kindness of his heart—she decided to investigate.

She hopped from her bed and climbed onto her window seat to search the thick, dark night. Or it would have been thick and dark had her house not been lit up like a beacon for weary travelers. And, no, she did not live in an inn. As her bedroom was at an angle to the main house of her semi-affluent parents, the same parents whose lax attitude toward Internet shopping made them prime targets for identity theft, she could just make out the chimney and part of the rooftop. If she strained hard enough, that is. 

And there he was. The man in the red suit. The one they called Santa Claus, a name she was in the middle of researching due to its inherent religious symbolism and the fact that she found the possible pagan connotations fascinating. She rolled her eyes as she watched him fumble around on the roof. The lengths her father went to. Hopefully, he wouldn’t fall off. Their medical coverage was seriously deficient when compensating for income loss due to a serious medical condition or injury. 

When she turned to go back to bed, she stopped short and looked up. Her father was leaning against her dresser—the one that had been clearly influenced by postmodernism and yet bore the intricate symbolism of Mayan culture in the etchings along the frame—his arms crossed over his chest, a mischievous smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Anything interesting out there?” he asked.

Callie’s jaw dropped to the floor. She picked it up and ran back to the window, her eyes wide as she studied the man in the red suit. He threw a huge bag over his shoulder and strolled along the rooftop until he was out of sight. She looked toward the ceiling and listened as a booming voice ordered his reindeer into action, calling them each by name. Hoof beats sounded across the roof, the scraping of a sleigh taking off, and then silence settled around them.

Her father knelt beside her, a huge grin brightening his face.

Callie blinked and gazed at him, her expression the epitome of astonishment. She glanced back out the window then back to her father. “I think we were just robbed.”