Some of you-the perceptive ones- might be realizing that we didn't have a voting period. Well, there's an explanation to that, you see, we only got one entry this time. However, it was utterly brilliant! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it's such a wonderful story for Christmas time!
I present to you.... RAVEN'S STORY!
Layla lay in her bed, listening very intently to see if she could hear
Santa yet. So intently was she listening, that she hadn’t noticed her
dog push the door open and come inside until he had jumped up on her
bed, scaring her.
“Jeez, Milo,” She said with a laugh as she leaned forward to scratch
him on his ear in that way that he loved. “Let me guess: nothing
He let out a quiet little bark in response, making Layla laugh again as
she lay back on her pillow.
There was a soft knock on the door and Layla’s mother walked in. “Hi
sweetie, are you alright?” She asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Layla said, sitting up again. “Milo just scared me,
Her mother sat on the edge of the bed and tucked the comforter in
tighter around Layla. “Are you all ready for bed?”
Layla nodded and her mom turned to Milo.
“How about you?” She asked with a smile and Milo let out a bark and
crawled closer to Layla and laid on her lap, tail wagging.
“OK you two,” she said, getting up and walking towards the door. “Best
go to sleep now, because Santa isn’t going to come if you’re still
Layla nodded. “Night mom,” She said, pushing Milo off of her lap and
turning over. Milo went to the other side of the mattress and lay down
at her back.
Her mom smiled at them. They had been inseparable since they had gotten
Milo at the rescue center for Layla’s birthday. She turned the light
out and closed the door behind her, leaving it open just a crack.
She went downstairs where her husband was trying to put together a doll
house for Layla, and appeared to be failing. He was frowning over the
instructions, occasionally muttering a disagreement with it.
She rolled her eyes at him as she walked over to the large chair in the
corner and picked up her coffee mug.
“How’s it coming?” She asked with the tiniest hint of a smirk. He
looked up at her.
“They don’t have it right,” He said, moving towards her to show her the
directions and started pointing at pictures. “See? That doesn’t fit
there, it should go over here, but they have it over there, it just
doesn’t make any sense, it would confuse any other person attempting to
put this thing together,” He said with a sense of pride in his voice
that he had caught onto their little game to frustrate father’s
His wife decided not to tell him he was holding the instructions upside
down in order to spare his ego.
“Well, Layla is finally asleep,” She said, taking a sip of her coffee.
“Good, so that means that I have a little more time to put this thing
together,” Her husband said, setting the directions aside and picking
up two pieces of the doll house and tried to get them to fit together.
“Well, I’m going to bed,” She said, getting up. “But first,”
She walked into the kitchen and picked up a plate of cookies and took
the wrap off and walked back into the living room and set it on the
table next to a bottle of soda.
Her husband saw what she was doing and rolled his eyes and went back to
She started off towards the stairs. “Don’t stay up too late, hon,” She
threw back over her shoulder.
“I won’t,” He answered as he finally got one side of the house set up
and went to work on another.
An hour and a half later, he finally finished. He set it underneath the
tree, in front of the other gifts and put the purple bow on it.
He went into the closest and got a couple more gifts out from their
hiding places and set them beneath the tree.
Satisfied, he finally climbed the stairs to his bed.
Layla sat in her bed, trying to sleep but finding herself unable; she
Milo had jumped down not too long ago and was lying on the floor by her
dresser. She got up out of bed and went downstairs to the kitchen to
get a glass of water, followed by Milo.
She quietly descended the stairs, being careful not to wake her
parents. As she was walking into the kitchen, she saw that her mother
had set out the cookies, and was disappointed that they hadn’t been
She went into the kitchen and got a glass from the cupboard and turned
the faucet on, filling the glass halfway. She walked over to the cookie
jar and took out a chocolate chip one and munched on it as she walked
back into the living room to go back to her room.
She was watching Milo as she walked back into the living by force of
habit. He always found the stairs without bumping into anything, so she
found herself relying on him in the dark, even though the tree was lit.
She had just reached the wall that separated the living room and
kitchen when Milo stopped dead in his tracks, hackles raised and a low
growl escaping his throat. Layla, confused peered around the corner and
nearly dropped her glass at what she saw.
There was a man standing in her living room!
She panicked. Her parents’ room was up the stairs and she had to go
past him in order to get to them, and she had no idea what she should
do. She tried to stay perfectly still.
From what she could make out in the dim light from the Christmas tree,
he was a large man.
He was bending over something near the tree.
Layla slowly and quietly moved backwards and set her cup on the table
and then, with the same care, walked forward again.
Milo hadn’t moved, hackles still raised, though the growl had died. She
patted his back, and his tale wagged briefly before going still again.
His eyes never left the large man.
The man stood up and moved to the table and, Layla’s eyes finally
adjusting to the dark and the Christmas lights seeming brighter, Layla
could make out more of the man.
He was an elderly man, making her wonder why he had broken into her
house at this time of night when everyone should be sleeping.
Layla’s jaw dropped as it finally hit her who she was seeing: Santa
Claus; The Santa Claus.
Santa moved over to the table with the cookies and took a bite, sighing
in contentment before going back to, what Layla now realized, setting
presents beneath her tree.
She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She wondered if she should
say something, who else could say they talked to Santa Claus? And not a
mall Santa, the real Santa; then another thought struck her: What would
She was suddenly tongue tied; it was an interesting experience, since
Layla had never been tongue tied before. She jarred herself back to
reality and took a deep breath and started forward bravely, prepared to
walk right up to him and say hi, and promptly walked right into the
side of the wall, which bounced her into the dog, who let loose a small
squeal of fright.
Santa looked up at the noise, and Layla suddenly found herself wishing
she was able to curse.
He looked confused for a moment, not sure what he had heard, but then
saw her and the dog, the former peering from behind the wall rather
sheepishly. He smiled at her and went back to work, filling the
He then picked up the bag and moved towards the fireplace and, just
before disappearing up, turned to her and gave her another smile, and
winked at her.
She was reminded of the end of “Twas the Night before Christmas.”
She was grinning from ear to ear when she finally went back upstairs to
bed, until she finally fell asleep.
Her mother opened the door quietly and walked over to Layla’s bed,
sitting down and gently shaking her shoulder to get her to wake up.
Layla groaned and turned over.
“Don’t you want to see what Santa brought you?” Her mother said, and
that brought back the memories of the previous night. She sat bolt
upright in bed, startling her mother.
“I’ll be down in a minute,” she said, smiling. Her mother smiled back
and got up and walked out the door.
Layla sat there. So it did happen, she thought. She had seen Santa
She finally threw back the blanket and climbed out of bed and went
When she got halfway down, she stopped dead in her tracks in shock.
The presents were all the way from the back of the Christmas tree, to
the chair where her mother currently sat, drinking her morning coffee
and watching Layla’s father as he tried to set up the recorder.
Needless to say, he wasn’t the best person to go to if you wanted
something built or set up.
Layla grinned widely and jumped the last of the steps.
Milo raised his head from where he had been lying by Layla’s mothers’
“Merry Christmas, Layla!” Her mother said.
“Merry Christmas!” She replied, still smiling, looking at all the
“I think it’s a little much for one little girl, but I’m not going to
complain, you’ve been a very good girl this year,” Her father said,
looking at all the presents with a slightly dumbfounded look on his
“Merry Christmas, Dad!” Layla said.
“Merry Christmas, sweetie,” He replied.
Layla then walked forward and sat at the beginning of the presents as
her father began sorting them.
Outside, the snow began to fly, covering up the sleigh and reindeer
tracks on the roof.