Thanks Again

The Search for Santa Paws

Standard fanfic disclaimer that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law: these aren't my characters, I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. That's it, typing practice. I'll return them to their actual owners (relatively) undamaged. This is an amateur work of fiction; no profit beyond pleasure was derived from the writing. It is making its debut as 'netfic, and has not been previously published in any fanzine.

Thanks Again

The Search for Santa Paws

by Susan M. M.

Jimmy sat up in bed. Normally, he yawned himself awake, and clung stubbornly to sleep, remaining in bed as long as he possible, trying to grasp fading dreams with all his ten year old might before they faded away altogether. Not today. Today he sat bolt upright, all the way awake at once.

"It's Christmas!"

Jimmy climbed out of bed. He pulled on his bathrobe and shoved his feet into his slippers. He tried to tie the belt as he ran, but found it impossible to manage. So he rushed into his parents' bedroom, his bathrobe open, with the belt hanging down.

"Wake up, it's Christmas! Mom, Dad, it's Christmas morning. Get up!"

Jimmy ran out again without waiting to confirm that his parents were up and awake.

"Why can't he be like this on school days?" Jimmy's mother muttered.

"Why can't Christmas start at a decent hour, like nine o'clock?" Jimmy's father asked. He yawned, rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep.

"Oh, no, you don't. Get up and get the camera," his wife urged.

"It's too early."

"If we don't, he'll open all the presents without us... whether or not they're for him. C'mon, it's only once a year."

Jimmy's parents trudged into the living room, still wiping the sleep from their eyes. They stopped just inside the doorway. Their eyes opened wide.

"How much money do you think I make?" Jimmy's father whispered. "I told you we couldn't afford that bike."

"I didn't buy him a bike," Jimmy's mother whispered back.

"Then where did it come from?"

Jimmy was running his hands over the ten-speed bike. It was bright red, except for the tires (which were black, naturally) and the seat, handlebar grips (which had six inches of fringe dangling down), and the snowflake on the frame (all of which were white). A large wire basket was in the front. Jimmy removed a piece of paper from it, rolled up like a scoll, and unrolled it.

Dear Jimmy,

Comet and Eli told me how much you did to help me when I was hurt and lost my memory. I wanted to give you something a little more special than usual this year to say thank you. You're a fine young man, and as Eli said, now one of my helpers. Being an ambassador for the Santa Cause is a joyful responsibility. I know you will do me proud. Thanks again.

Your friend, Santa Claus