“Another great year,” Claus bellowed, stretching his legs and cracking his knee joints. “I always wonder, year after year, whether this is the one when I won’t make it…Thank you Dix, I wouldn’t have managed without your miracle dust, you know that right?”
Dixie smiled a sad smile and sighed a high-pitched sigh.
Claus squinted at the tiny fairy sitting on his shoulder, forgetting his bucket-sized mead mug, “Hey, hey, hey…what’s up?”
Dixie shook her head and looked away, “Oh it’s nothing Big Claw.”
She used the old pet name to distract him, but he pressed again, “You know I’m going to bug you till you tell me, so why don’t you just spit it out hey?”
Dixie rolled her eyes playfully, feeling a tad better just seeing the care in his eyes.
“Oh alright…You know how we both love our job for the same reasons; the faint hope in children’s hearts when they hesitatingly post the letters; the wonder in their eyes on Christmas morning, when they can’t figure out how you do it; the excitement in their trembling fingers as they tear open the wrapping; their happiness when you always get it right…”
“But I do this all year round. In Syria, children still laugh and play, despite the fact that their toys are burnt shells and broken tankers. Last Thanksgiving, families gathered and ate dinner together, smiling, despite the wreckage in New York. Families are still making do, finding little joys, despite the lack of income after years of recession. But no one cares, everyone is still looking for the Big Miracle: ‘End poverty in the world’; ‘Stop all Wars’; ‘Make us all rich’ they keep asking. But how can I do all that? I try, but I can only do so much…”
This time, Claus sighed along with Dixie. They sipped at their mead and looked out onto the Pole, the Aurora were on and they watched the spectacle together in glum silence and their usual inevitable awe.
This is my response to this week’s Trifecta challenge: WONDER (noun) This story was 600 words long when I was first done with it, so I hope I still managed to keep the message clear in half the number of words! I hope you all had a good Christmas/ holiday and best of luck for the New Year.