Yes, fellow Daredevil readers, I am very late with my Christmas story this year. My only excuse is that my mother broker her leg and at 86 a broken leg is a very big deal. Still, better late than never and the story is here now. Thank you, Alice, for your speedy work here.
Oh, Mom's Mommy is much better now. Can't keep her down, she has too many grandchildren and great grandchildren to spoil.
Memories from Fogwell's Gym
Foggy Nelson knew what his work day was going to be like by bruises, abrasions and absences. Not his, but his law partner's, Matt Murdock. If Matt arrived early, looking reasonably intact and awake, Foggy knew it was going to be a busy day with the criminal court cases. If Matt arrived with stitches, cracked teeth, an ace bandage or--god forbid-- a cast, Foggy knew it would be a corporate or estate law day. Hopefully Matt would be able to work or sleep in his office. If Matt didn't show up or even call in. Foggy worked. He did something but he couldn't tell you what, because the worry about his partner filled Foggy with such dread it blocked out everything except what was in front of him. He only prayed Matt was at least… alive.
Matt Murdock had a cabinet in his office that was locked with a key on the key chain with the boxing glove fob. About once a week, he would come in with a shopping bag full of odd and ends that would find their way to the cabinet. At the end of November he and Foggy were always busy sorting and packing those odd and ends into packages for the friends of Battlin' Jack Murdock who still lived in Hell's kitchen. Each year the number dwindled by one or two.
"Christmas this year's on the weekend. If you want to get your deliveries made you're going to have to pay double."
"So, I'll pay double. Foggy, I will not mess this up because the twenty-fifth of December falls on a Saturday." Matt Murdock sorted through the boxes in front of him. "Have I put the red socks in this box?"
"Nope, those are yellow. Don't worry about Ricky; he'll love yellow socks too." Foggy dropped a woollen scarf into each box.
"No, Ricky's trunks were red. Big Donny Douglas gets the yellow socks because he had yellow trunks." Matt dipped his hands into another shopping bag, pulling out gloves, mitts, woollen caps and ear muffs. "There's a list somewhere saying who wants what, you see it?"
"Yeah, want me to read it to you?"
"Foggy, it's in Braille."
"After all these years you think I haven't learned enough of this stuff to read a simple list?" Foggy grabbed the thick paper; his eyes scanned it before handing it to Matt, "except all the contractions. Can't you just write things out in full?"
Matt grinned as ran his fingers quickly over the list. "Come on, exercise that massive brain of yours and learn the contractions. We could pass notes in court most of the population could never read."
"Hardy har har; just tell me if Big Donny Douglas wants ear muffs or gloves."
Matt managed to get a panel van on Christmas Eve. It reeked of fish and rattled like a tambourine but held all the packages and got where it had to go and that was all it needed to do.
"I suppose I'm driving this death trap tonight?" Foggy grimaced at the stink coming out of the van. "I want to live to see tomorrow."
Matt grinned. "That's okay, I'll drive. It'll be my Christmas adventure."
"Yeah, I can see it all in tomorrow's Bugle; rattle trap fish truck found in East River, thought to be the cause of nine car pile up on FDR Drive . Just shut up, hand me the keys and we'll get outta here."
Together the friends dropped gifts off to the scarred, the punch drunk; to the mangled men who populated the memories of Matt's youth.
Foggy tried to stifle his yawn but exhaustion forced it out. "That was the last one; are you ready to head home?"
Murdock tipped his head slightly to the right. "Did you hear that?"
"No Matt, don't do it."
"I hear sirens, Foggy, fire trucks."
"Matt, relax for once, its Christmas Eve." But it was too late. Matt was already running into the alley beside the old residential hotel. "Matt, where do I take this rust bucket?"
From high above him Nelson heard, "don't worry; we have it 'til Monday morning."
"Don't worry, he says," Foggy muttered as he jumped in the driver's seat, shoved the key in the ignition and tried to start the van—once, twice, three times the motor choked, sputtered and died. "Thanks, Mattie boy… ho ho ho."
Late night fires in the Alphabet City section of Manhattan left fifty seven students homeless on Christmas Eve.
The New York City Fire Department suspect arson in the blaze that destroyed three boarding houses, a delicatessen and Laundromat.
Witnesses claim to have seen Spiderman and Daredevil assisting the survivors of the late night inferno.
Foggy rolled over and batted off the radio alarm clock before he reached for his phone. After three rings the machine at the other end picked up.
Hello, if you have this number you know I have a second job, leave a message and I'll call back when I can. *beep*
"Where the hell are you, Murdock? Its ten a.m. and all good little boys are home opening their presents."
Foggy pulled on yesterday's jeans and went out to look for his friend. He tried the brownstone, the corner coffee shop, the 24 hour diner and ended up at the law office; Matt wasn't anywhere to be found.
Foggy rummaged through the fridge in the break room, checking to see if any of the holiday goodies were still edible. Soggy tuna sandwiches. I'm supposed to be eating turkey with my family and instead I'm here eating something that would probably give him food poisoning. Murdock, this is the one day I want to be with Candace and her family--"
Family. Foggy knew where he would find Matt Murdock.
"At least you have a trench coat over your long johns," Foggy said as he approached Matt. Cold wind whipped round the grave stones that dotted the expanse of Holy Trinity Cemetery and it chilled everyone here to the bone.
Matt raised his head, his cloudy eyes uncovered and red rimmed looked as if he'd been crying, "Didn't want to scare the crowds here."
"Yeah, there must be at least seven, eight people here." Nelson looked at the stone that marked the last resting place of Jack Murdock. "You bought a bigger tombstone."
"What do you get the guy who needs nothing…except to be remembered?" Matt reached down and ran his fingers over the raised lettering on the marker.
Beloved Father, Dearest Friend
"Donny Douglas isn't going to be around next year. Big Bill Westhoff is gone, Alex Panchek is gone. Third rate fighters nobody cared about are dying way before their time."
"Come on Matt. You care and when I got to know them, I care. You should have seen Ricky's face light up when he pulled out those red socks. You remembered he wore red trunks and so those socks mean the world to him." Foggy reached down and gently picked up the dried flowers that sat by the tombstone. "Some one remembers. This says 'for Jack' on it." He placed the sad bouquet in Matt's hand.
Matt traced the outer edges of the flowers and then put them back on the stone.
"Merry Christmas, Dad," he said and rubbed the black granite marker.
"Hey, it's Christmas day. Come with me to see if Candace has figured out how to mash potatoes without lumps. That would be the Christmas miracle of the century."
Matt put his hand on Foggy's shoulder to be guided to the entrance gate. "Are you sure she wants me? Christmas is for family."
"Come on, Matt, you've been family for years."