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“Spaceship, you broke it!”

“Don’t worry about it. I will fix it–”

“But, what about Santa?”

“We weren’t bad. It was a mistake. Besides I said I would fix it…tonight… before he even lifts off from the North-”

“Someone is coming!”

Spaceship quickly climbs the attic steps, while Bubby runs down the hall.

Spaceship goes to the far wall of the attic and inspects the gray cinder blocks.

“How on Earth, is he gonna get my bike through these blocks?” he wonders as he traces the cool lines between the block squares looking for hidden, holiday magic.

Hearing his mother’s voice downstairs yelling for help with the groceries stops his investigation…for now.

**********

Spaceship takes the glue out of his pajama pocket and spreads it all over the lock hoping it will catch again. He vaguely wonders if Santa will be locked in the attic if the glue holds. He gets nervous.

Then, he hears the laughter of his younger brothers and sisters. Spaceship abandons his project and follows their giggles. He finds them all on their hands and knees peering into the vent that led into the living room. Being the oldest, Spaceship pushes the younger ones aside and looks through the vent. A bunch of the neighbors are downstairs drinking and playing cards and dominoes.

Suddenly, the front door bursts open, and there is his father and his Uncle Vernon. They are carrying armfuls of wrapped gifts and bike sets. They keep leaving and coming back with more presents. All the party guests gather round to start with the assembling of the bicycles and baby cribs and wagons.

“Where is Santa?” he pushes through his brothers and sisters with eyes blurring with tears.

He runs to the bathroom and sits in the bathtub. The cold against his back and the whiteness of the tiles no longer glide his thoughts to the North Pole and winter wonderlands. Instead, it chills his spine and provides a blank canvas to see his father growing larger as Santa eventually fades away. He doesn’t forgive his father for that particular largeness for a very, very long time.

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