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19/12/2018 / Harry Browne

Crashing Santa – By Katie Keeley

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All was quiet in the small village of Jinglton. Everyone was tucked up in bed all nice and warm, while outside the snow quietly fell. As if it knew to be quiet, covering everything it touched in a white blanket. Now, you might think that this is just an ordinary winter’s night, were nothing unexpected could ever happen. Well, you would be wrong, this night just happens to be Christmas Eve night and everyone in this town is about to get a much unexpected awakening. What none of the sleeping people know is that Santa Claus is somewhere in the distance and he’s in quite a bit of trouble.
“Come on boys” Santa shouts, to his nine reindeer. “You can do it”.
He slapped the reins twice, making the bells jingle. But no matter how much they tried, the sleigh continued on its descent, at a rapid pace. Suddenly, in the distance, Santa could see a small village amidst this entire empty, snow covered land.
“Look boys, a little bit of hope, head for that town over there” he told his struggling reindeer. With their last bit of strength, Santa’s reindeer were able to carry the falling sleigh towards the sleeping village. Finally, it crash landed right in the middle of the town square.
In a house nearby, a little girl woke abruptly, at the sound of the loud crash. She knelt up on her bed and pulling the curtains back, looked out over the snow – covered town. It just so happened that this little girl’s bedroom was at the front of the house. It also just so happened that her house faced the town square. The scene she saw before her was nothing like she could ever have possibly imagined.
“Wow” she said. Standing in the middle of the town square, was Santa Clause, looking a bit dazed and confused. He was standing in front of his sleigh and there was smoke rising from underneath it. It looked to the girl, like they had to make an emergency landing. Without thinking, she pulled on her slippers and her dressing gown and ran into her parents’ room.
“Mam! Dad!” she said excitedly. They hadn’t heard Santa’s sleigh crash.
“Santy’s outside, right in the middle of town square” she said, as her mother and father unwillingly woke up.
“Now Eimear, you know Santy won’t come until you’re fast asleep” her mother yawned.
“But I was fast asleep. This is what I’m trying to tell you. His sleigh crashed and that’s what woke me up” said Eimear, desperate for them to believe her.
“You were just dreaming, Eimear, go back to bed” said her father, rolling over to go back to sleep.
“I won’t go back to bed, Santy’s outside, and he might be hurt, so I’m going out there to see if he’s all right” said Eimear. She jumped down off the bed and marched out of the room. Hearing the front door close behind her, Eimear parents dragged themselves out of bed and followed her. Eimear slowly made her way over to the middle of the square, where Santa stood, petting one of his reindeer.
When she got close enough, Eimear asked “Are you ok?” Startled, Santa turned to see this little girl standing before him.
“Eimear” he said, surprised. “Did I wake you?” he asked “I’m sorry”
“You know my name” said Eimear, wide eyed.
“Of course, I know your name, I know everybody’s name” said Santa, smiling. Just then, Eimear noticed that Santa had a terrible gash on his forehead.
“You’re bleeding” she said, concerned.
Santa rubbed his fingers over the cut and seeing the blood, he said “Oh, so I am, I wondered why I was feeling a bit dizzy”.
“My mam’s a nurse, she’ll be able to stitch that up” said Eimear, smiling.
“Why thank you that would be much appreciated” said Santa. He took out a handkerchief from inside his red and green coat and dabbed at the cut with it. What Eimear didn’t notice, was that all the other children of the town had also heard the crash and one by one they appeared in the town square, dragging their sleepy parents behind them, to see what was going on. When Eimear turned back towards her house she saw her mother and father standing at the gate with a look of amazement on their faces.
When she sprinted back to them, she said “See, I told you he was here” They just stayed frozen in the same place.
Turning to her mother, Eimear said “Mam, he has a pretty bad cut on his head”.
“What?” she asked realizing that Eimear was talking to her.
“Santy has a bad cut on his head, will you be able to take a look at it?” asked Eimear.
“Yes, bring him inside” said her mother. She turned and went back inside to get the first aid box ready. Eimear rushed back over to Santa, followed closely by her father. Everyone was standing in a big circle around Santa Claus and his sleigh. Some of the children had ventured further then all of the adults. Some were sitting in the sleigh, some were standing by the reindeer and some were speaking to Santa.
“My mam told me to bring you inside so she can clean up that cut” said Eimear.
“Oh, thank you” he said, smiling down at her.
“John, would you mind watching my reindeer, for a few minutes?” he asked, turning to Eimear’s dad.
“Sure” he said, not knowing what else to say.
“And I’m sure these very nice children will help you” said Santa, looking around at all the awe struck children.
“Yay” they all cheered, excitedly. Santa Clause followed Eimear into her house, were they found her mother in the kitchen, rooting through a first aid kit at the kitchen table. He sat down on one of the kitchen chairs and Eimear’s mother proceeded stitch up the gash on Santa’s head. Eimear watched quietly, as she knew not to disturb her mother while she was working.
“Thank you very much Anna” said Santa, standing up, when it was done. A very clean, bright, white plaster covered the spot where the carefully stitched up cut was.
“You’re welcome” said Anna.
“How does he know my name?” she whispered to her daughter.
“He’s Santy, he knows everybody’s name” Eimear whispered back, with a beaming smile on her face. Back out in the square, everyone had come to their senses and were talking excitedly to each other. The children were very happy, helping look after the reindeer and John was walking around the two lines of reindeer, looking in awe at these extraordinary beasts, and how well built the sleigh was.
“What happened?” asked John, when Santa arrived back at the sleigh.
“I don’t know” said Santa, puzzled. “I think something may have given up in the engine” he added.
“Do you want me to take a look? I am a mechanic” said John.
“That would be great” said Santa. He led John around to the back of the sleigh where he slid open a door to reveal the most unusual looking engine. It was full of little lights, contraptions, levers and bits and bobs that John had no clue what they were or what they even did.
“Don’t worry, I’ll help you with it” said Santa, seeing the bewildered look on John’s face.
“Eimear, can you go and get me my tool box, it’s under the stairs” said John, not taking his eyes off the less than normal engine “And be careful……”
“Not to drop it on my feet, I know dad” Eimear said and doing exactly what she was told, she ran back into her house.
“It’s a magical engine, the elves helped me build” said Santa. Moments later Eimear was back, dragging the heavy tool box behind her, leaving it down on the ground beside her father. At this moment Santa turned towards the large clock hanging just above the door of town hall. He held both his hands up in the air, whispered something to himself and the clock suddenly stopped, ten seconds to midnight. Everyone looked in amazement that Santa had just paused time.
“There, that should help” he said, relaxing a bit.
Turning to the children, Santa asked “My reindeer are a bit hungry, I wonder if you’d be able to find something for them to eat?”
“Yes” they all cheered, their faces lighting up. The excited children, as well as some of the adults, left the town square, in search of some carrots. Eimear went inside her house and got the plate of biscuits and a glass of milk that lay waiting in the sitting room. She brought them out and left them on the seat of the sleigh.
“Thank you” said Santa. It wasn’t long before the other children were starting to come back, with carrots in their hands. Eimear walked up to one of the reindeer and started feeding it a carrot. As she did, Eimear noticed the name Donner, written on its harness.
All the reindeer had their names written on their harness. There was; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. What seemed like hours, nobody was sure with time being paused, went by and Santa and John still hadn’t found the problem with the engine. All the onlookers had started amusing themselves, going about the town, tending to things, but never strayed too far away from the square. Some of the children had grown tired and had fallen asleep in their parent’s arms. The reindeer had been let off their harness to roam around the open square and they were loving all the attention they were being given, especially from all the children.
All of a sudden as if lightning had struck, Santa shouted, “Aha, here’s the problem”. Everyone looked up and gathered around. Eimear went to the back of the sleigh, to see what it was.
“The Jingle Juice container has a hole in it. The juice has leaked out of it” said Santy, as if Eimear and John should know what that was. He took out a small empty container, made from glass. It had a small hole in the bottom of it.
“It’s lucky I carry extra Jingle juice with me, but I have no spare container” he said. Santa opened one side of his coat and lining the inside of it were a dozen small round bottles filled with this glittery liquid. What made it even more amazing was that the colour of it changed every few seconds, from red, to green and it glittered as brightly as the stars in the sky.
“I have just the tape strong enough to patch it up” said John. He took the container from Santa and bent down to his tool box to fix it. Santa gave the bottle of juice to Eimear to look at, while he waited. When the container was fixed, Eimear saw Santa empty the juice into the container and push it, until it clicked, into a gap in a pipe.
“This juice is what Christmas magic looks like” said Santa “And it’s a vital part of helping my sleigh to fly”
He closed the engine, turned to John and said, “Thank you John, for all your help”.
“No problem, next time you break down, you know where I am” said John, smiling. The two men shook hands and Santa turned to Anna.
“Thank you, Anna, I don’t know what I would’ve done, if you hadn’t of been here” Santa said to her.
“I was glad to be able to help” said Anna, giving him a hug.
Santa then turned to Eimear and said “As for you Eimear, if you and the other children hadn’t of heard me crash, I would still be out here wondering what could’ve happened” very grateful, as he gave the little girl a hug. Santa stood up onto his sleigh, turned to the clock hanging over town hall, raised his hands towards it and started time again.
“I must leave now” he said, loud enough for everyone on to hear.
“There are a lot of children waiting for my arrival” Santa continued, with a smile. As he settled himself in the seat of the sleigh, the clock started to chime midnight. It was officially Christmas day.
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night” said Santa cheerfully, waving to everybody. The reindeer, with a little run, kicked off from the ground and Santa flew into the distance, away from Jinglton. Everybody cheered, waved and shouted, ‘Merry Christmas’, as Santa Clause flew away. They heard bells jingling and with a whoosh, Santa disappeared, magically leaving presents under every tree in town for everyone to open that morning. Snow began to fall as if on que for Santa’s exit.
“Well, this is a Christmas i won’t forget anytime soon” said Anna, as all the people of Jinglton walked in the direction of their houses, still full of excitement. Everyone eventually went back to sleep and Christmas was made that bit more special, by Santa Claus’s accidental visit. No one ever forgot that Christmas Eve. Santa even made it a tradition to visit Jinglton every Christmas Eve at midnight.

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