Rolled Into One
Posted By: lynnannCDC
Date: Sunday, 8 December 2002, at 11:34 p.m.
Write a short story or scene involving one or more of the HL characters during the Holiday Season. The following elements must be a part of the tale:
3) Ice Skating
Rolled Into One
Her red mitten fit snugly in his gloved hand as they waited in the line for Santa. She kept quiet, unsure of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season around her. Carolers nearby singing pretty songs, shoppers with gaily-wrapped packages tied with ribbons of all kinds, lights twinkled in the store decorations. She thought she would like Christmas. It was very pretty.
She didn’t remember her Dutch neighbors being so intent on celebrating the season, Sinterklaus coming several weeks before Christmas. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, lighting the menorah, and games, that’s what she just barely remembered. Even in hiding her parents had managed to celebrate the holy days and special days for the sake of the children. She sighed, remembering her parents, her older sister and younger brother, taken from her without a chance to say goodbye. But then he was there with his Magic, and he rescued her, like the shining knight in the fairy tales Miriam had read to her and little Samuel.
She looked up just as he looked down at her, and when their eyes met, she felt safe once again. Safe and warm. No one could hurt her anymore. Ever. She decided he was better than a shining knight; he was a David and a Joshua and a Moses all together, rolled into one she silently tried the funny phrase he had taught her, and she decided she finally understood it. “Christmas in America,” he had explained as they walked through the snowy city, “takes all the good things of all the countries that celebrate it, and rolls them into one holiday: Christmas carols, and Christmas trees, and hanging stockings for Santa to fill. If I had been thinking, we would have celebrated Hanukkah for you, but you’ll have to forgive me this year. Next year, we’ll celebrate both, okay?” She had nodded and tugged on his hand to ask, “What is rolled into one?”
He had chuckled and scooped up some snow. It wasn’t very much snow, she thought, as he patted it down. “Christmas trees,” he said as he picked up more snow, and added it to the ball of snow. “Christmas carols.” Another handful and the ball grew yet larger as he molded it. “Christmas stockings and Christmas presents.” A final scoop, and he patted it firmly and placed it in her hands. “And Santa Claus and someone to share Christmas morning with me. This will be the best Christmas I’ve had for a very long time.”
She had looked at him, and then at the snowball in her hands. “You want to throw it, don’t you?” he asked her.
“You’ve never had a snow ball fight?”
She shook her head, and he had laughed again. “Later we will go to the park, and have a snowball fight, and make a snow man.” He had taken the snowball from her and launched it into the air, and it came down with a lovely SPLAT! on a taxicab. A man of snow? That would truly be magic!
She remembered his promise as they moved closer to the Santa Claus sitting in the large chair with another child in his lap. There were only two children in front of them, and she still didn’t know what to ask for. Her new papa, her ‘daddy,’ had said she must tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. She wanted her family, but knew even with magic, that wasn’t possible. She thought of all the cold and ice outside, and closed her eyes, remembering the last winter she had with her family just before they went into the hidden rooms for many months. She quivered with excitement. She knew what she would ask for.
The little boy ahead of her was very little, Samuel’s age, and he burst into tears when Santa pulled him onto his lap. She felt sorry for him, and she felt sorry for Santa, too. It was her turn and the tall man let go of her hand. “I’ll be right here when you’re done, Rachel.” She stood in front of the red-suited Santa Claus. He looked very, very big! Bigger than her daddy and almost as big as the baker, Mr. VanderKommen. He reached down and picked her up, sitting her on his lap. “What would you like for Christmas, Rachel?”
He knew who she was! Santa must be very smart, she decided. “My daddy said I mustn’t ask for my family, so I will ask for a memory. I would like ice skates, please. I had fun skating with Papa and Mama and Miri. Sammy was too little, just a baby. I want to remember them when I skate.”
“Ice skates?” Santa repeated. “Are you sure you don’t want a dolly? Most girls want a new dolly.”
“My new daddy has given me many dolls. Could you bring him some ice skates, too? I could teach him how to skate and I could pretend he was my real Papa. You could roll it into one.”
“Ice skates for you and your papa. I will put it on the list. But have you been a good girl?”
“I didn’t cry when he combed my hair and braided it, not once, and Daddy said I was a good girl.”
“Then I’m sure you are a good little girl.” He handed her a peppermint stick, and helped her slide off his lap. She ran past the next child in line to her new papa, standing just nearby, and he picked her up with a hug and a kiss on her cheek.
“Did you tell Santa what you would like for Christmas?”
“Yes, Daddy. Now can we go make a man of snow?”
“Yes, we can.” Rachel wiggled to get down, and she took his hand and together they walked to the park. She helped to push the very large snowball, but her daddy had to lift it on to the first one they had rolled. It didn’t look much like a man, she thought, but it was made of snow. Then her daddy added sticks for arms, and some small rocks for his eyes and nose.
“He looks very cold, Daddy.”
“So he does, my precious.” He removed his neck scarf and wrapped it around the neck of the snowman. “Is that better?”
She giggled. “Now he looks like you!”
“He does? Do I look that funny?”
“Not funny. He looks nice, like you.”
“Just for that, no snowball fight for you. Hot chocolate!”
Two days later, on Christmas morning, her daddy woke her up. “Come see what Santa brought you!” Underneath the Christmas tree were many presents, and she shook her head. “I only asked for one thing. Why did he bring so many?”
“Maybe he thought you would change your mind. And I gave you a few things, too. Open your presents, and then I’ll make breakfast.”
She opened many gifts -- more dolls, a doll house almost as tall as she was, a teddy bear, new clothes and shoes, new pink slippers and a pink robe. A box of chocolates was set aside until after breakfast but they shared an orange she found at the bottom of her stocking. Wrapping paper was everywhere, but there were no ice skates. Santa had forgotten.
“Look, here’s one more present from Santa. But it’s for both of us!” Her daddy looked puzzled as he shook the big box. “What do you suppose it could be?” He shook it harder and she held her breath. Did he remember after all? “Help me, Rachel,” he asked her. She helped him rip away the paper and ribbon, and he pulled open the box and looked inside. He pulled out a long knitted neck scarf and a note. “Read it for me,” he asked, handing her the piece of paper.
“Dear Rachel and Daddy,” she read slowly, sounding out the big block letters carefully. “The snow man said you needed a new scarf. I hope this is the right color.” She looked up at her daddy, who was putting the red scarf around his neck. “It is the same color as mine!”
“Santa always was pretty smart. Keep reading.”
“You will need something to keep you warm. Thank you for the cookies and milk. Santa.”
“Yes, I think we will need something to keep us warm,” he said and he lifted out two pairs of ice skates, one white and one black. “I don’t think these will fit me, do you?” He held up the dainty white skates to the bottom of his feet.
“No,” she trembled.
“They must be for you then.”
She hugged the skates and closed her eyes tightly, remembering. She would always remember.
Connor MacLeod looked at the small girl amidst the wrapping paper and ribbons. He would make certain she remembered her family, not how they died, but how they had lived. Their holidays and holy days would be rolled into one, blending traditions and beliefs. He could do this, he convinced himself. He wondered what she would think of Hogmanay.
“Breakfast, and then skating.”
“Yes please.” And she carried her skates to breakfast, a blissful smile on her face.
thanks for reading