Many people had reported seeing a pattern of lights in the sky, with an unusually bright red light on one end. Naturally, most of the adults dismissed this as passing aircraft, although a few were suggesting UFO’s. Anyone under ten was convinced it was Santa making test runs. Nine-year-old Amelia had her doubts, but wanted to believe.
The previous night, she had been in her backyard hoping to see the mysterious lights when she heard a sound. She cupped her ears, trying to find the source. It sounded like a faint tinkle of metal. Could it be sleigh bells, ringing from the sky? She heard no more that night but did see the mystical lights for herself.
The next day, Amelia discovered her older brother laughing with a bunch of his friends. When she asked what was so funny, they all tried to look serious.
“It’s Guy Stuff; you wouldn’t understand,” Charlie responded in a lofty tone.
The next evening, she went outside to find Santa. She sat and wrapped herself in a blanket and watched the night sky. She felt a little like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. She giggled at the thought of Snoopy joining her. She shivered and searched the stars.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a red flash. She turned to look and saw not just one red light, but several! Then some green and blue lights joined them, and there was one red light brighter than the rest.
“Rudolph?,” she mouthed almost silently.
She rose walked in the direction of what simply must be Santa’s sleigh, until she heard the jingle off to her right. She looked right and then back again at the lights, confused as to how she might hear the sleigh bells over here and see the lights over there.
She cautiously followed the tinkling, still taking nervous glances back at the lights and then heard some different sounds. She approached the tool shed and timidly looked around the corner.
There she saw a mama cat with a belled collar who was giving birth behind the shed. She tried to get a closer look, but the cat hissed. Then, Amelia saw all of the birthing fluid and blood. She shrieked and backed away. As she tried to make sense of what she saw, she noticed that the colored lights seemed to scatter, then wink out.
She silently prayed that her parents would come help, but suddenly her brother Charlie came out of the darkness with his friends. They were all putting something in their pockets, but she didn’t have time to wonder what. Charlie asked why she screamed and she pointed at the litter of kittens.
Later, she retold the story to her parents as they all sat around the living room admiring the mama cat and her kittens.
“I went out looking for Santa and I found these wonderful presents instead!”
LDSP Comments: The connection between what the boys are doing and the lights is not clear enough. Were they fireworks? I liked the ending. I think with some work, this might be publishable too.