Title: Home Alone: Lost In Trenton - chapter 7
Author: TammyC
December 2006
Rating: PG - these are kids, but oh, what kids!
Spoilers: Possible up to Twelve Sharp
Disclaimer: I own nothing, just borrowing characters and having fun. Not making any money. Characters belong to JE.
A/N: This follows the basics of Home Alone, with a few other Christmas movie treats thrown in, as well as parts of my diary/blog (as usual)

Home Alone
Lost In Trenton

Chapter 7

Santa and Joe seated themselves in the sleigh.

"I didn't get a letter from you this year, Joe," Santa said.

Joe lowered his head a little. "Well..." Joe began. "After last Christmas, I didn't know if I should write anymore. I thought I was either on the naughty list, or you were not real."

"Oh, I am real," Santa said. "Either that, or I'm having one heck of a dream. Why do you think you were on the naughty list? Were you bad?"

Joe shook his head. "Oh, no. Just the usual. But I asked for little cars last year, and I got coal in my stocking."

Santa blew out a sigh. "Some of the toys had, um, problems last year," Santa said.

"Yea, I heard. Some of them sounded really cool," Joe said. "Was there something wrong with the cars?"

"Most of the cars ended up in the chocolate cookie batter and baked into cookies," Santa said. "We hoped kids would eat the cookies and find the cars inside. I guess they did look kind of like coal."

Joe's face brightened. "So I'm not on the naughty list?"

Santa looked serious. "This year, you would have been. You've been very creative in ways to get into trouble lately."

Joe wrung his hands in his lap. Just what did Santa know about? He hoped it wasn't really bad.

"But, you were very good today when you helped look out after Stephanie," Santa said. "So, what would you like for Christmas this year?"

Joe's eyes lit up. "I want a Red Rider BB gun with carbine action, two-hundred shot range, with a compass in the stock and a clock that tells time," he said all in one breath.

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid," Santa said.

Joe's heart sunk in his chest. His mother and his teacher had gotten to Santa first. Maybe he could convince Santa. Bargain, maybe.

"How about if I sign up for a gun safety course?" Joe asked.

"Deal," Santa said.

Joe climbed out of the sleigh and headed towards his friends.

"Oh, and Joe..." Santa called.

Joe turned around to face Santa.

"No more playing choo choo in the garage," Santa warned. "Not unless you have a real train."

"Look, it's them," Stephanie said, pointing towards the escalators. "The Chocolate Bandits."

The Bandits were handcuffed and yelling and arguing. Dragging them along were six elves dressed in black suits, boots, and black berets. One taller elf was wearing dangling earrings. The shorter bandit kicked the elf as he was handed off to one of four police officers. The elf in earrings kicked the back of the bandit's knee and sent him to the floor.

"What's your name, elf?" the bandit asked. "I'm going to find you. The next time we break out of the joint, you're toast. And your legs need a shave."

The elf stood over him and glared. "The name is Sally," the elf said in a boy's voice.

The bandit's eyes grew wide. "You're a guy?"

Hauled to his feet by a policeman, the bandit and his accomplice were dragged away.

Carlos was next to sit in Santa's sleigh.

"Merry Christmas, Carlos," Santa said. "Are you having a good holiday?"

Carlos filled Santa in about the day's events. The Chocolate Bandits, the car-jacking, his family's disappearance, the time at the mall. When he was finished, he sat with his hands on his backpack on his lap.

Santa pulled a red cell phone from his pocket. Flipping it open, he hit "2" on speed dial.

"Hey, Frosty, Merry Christmas. How is it going?" Santa said. "Uh-huh. Hmmmm. Well, don't go into that building. It's too warm and you will melt. And hang on to your hat, it is supposed to get windy."

Carlos looked up at Santa. Was he really talking to a snowman? Was Frosty real? He wondered about Jack Frost and the Tooth Fairy.

"Oh, and Frosty, I need a favor," Santa said. "Look up the family of Ricardo Carlos Manoso. Yes, from Newark. That's the one. He got lost in Trenton. Let his folks know that he has been found. He might not be home until late, but he has a ride home." He flipped his cell phone shut.

His breath caught in his chest. A ride home? With Santa, maybe? Oh, how he hoped he could ride in the sleigh. Maybe Santa would let him drive the team of reindeer.

"What would you like for Christmas, Carlos?" Santa asked.

"I'd like a talking Batman doll," Carlos said with a smile.

"Isn't that what you asked for last year? Didn't you get one then?" Santa asked.

"Yes," Carlos began slowly. "But he had a girl's voice. And he said 'Come on Ken let's get married'."

Santa smacked his forehead with his hand. "Darn that Dougie, anyway," he said. "I should have left him on that doorstep. Anything else?"

Carlos shifted in his seat. "That pretty girl who was just here, the one with the magical lasso of truth. What did she want for Christmas?" Carlos asked.

"She really wants a Wonder Woman doll," Santa said.

"Is she going to get one?" Carlos asked.

"I'm not really sure," Santa said. "I'll do my best. But there is a real shortage on those this year. The first few batches were defective. When you pulled the string, she didn't say what she was supposed to say. We had to recall them."

Carlos had an idea. He un-zipped the top of his backpack. Pulling out a Wonder Woman doll, he handed it to Santa.

"Can you make sure Stephanie gets this one?" Carlos asked. "I bought it for my grandma at the mini-mart. But I have something else that I can give her instead."

Santa patted Carlos on the head. He took the doll and put it into his toy bag.

"That's very nice of you, Carlos," Santa said. "I'll make sure she gets it tonight. And I'll do my best to get you your Christmas wish, too" Santa whispered. "You know, the one that you haven't told anyone about."

Carlos' heart skipped a beat. His eyes widened and he stared at Santa in awe. How could he know? And more important, could he pull it off?

To Be Continued...