Santa Lives in Arizona

desert christmas

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Seventeen-year-old Humberto knew they’d never make it if they stayed with the mob, so hours before dawn, he took his Mama, his pregnant older sister Esmeralda, and his ten-year-old brother Joaquin and slipped into America just a few miles northwest of Nogales.

“We are lost, Niño.” Mama was always worried. If they could make it to Tucson, Uncle Carlos would take them in.

“No, we aren’t. Rio Rico is just a few miles ahead.”

“Humberto, I have to pee.” Joaquin had walked hundreds of miles, but he was still just a kid.

“We’re in a desert. Go anywhere.” Humberto turned to Essie. “How are you doing?”

“I’m only five months along. Stop acting like I’m going to give birth any second.” Mama catered to Humberto, and she resented him acting like Papa.

“Mama! Mama! Look it.” The child was jumping up and down excitedly. “It’s Santa’s house. Look.”

The squat home with the low rock fence was decorated in red and white, but it was the fat old white man with the bushy beard smiling and waving them over that convinced Joaquin.

“You’re welcome to stay here,” he said in spanish. “It’s Christmas and I’d love to celebrate with company.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 23 December 2018. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

Yes, it looks like Arizona, regardless of where the photo was actually taken, so I looked up “Arizona news.” Among other stories, I found one chronicling the arrest of hundreds of migrants that had come into the state across the border near Nogales, so I based my we tale on that event. After that, I tried to “Christmas” it up as much as I could, given the theme.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Advertisements

Beware of Malevolent Snowmen

snow globe

© A Mixed Bag – 2013

“What is it, Noah?”

“A fake Santa guy at the store gave it to me, Rachel. It’s a snow globe.”

“Why?”

“Beats me, Rach. You shake it and this stuff floats around like snow.”

Nine-year-old twins Noah and Rachel Frisch were sitting on the floor in the living room. Mom, Aunt Sarah, and Bubbe were in the kitchen working on dinner plans and Dad went with Uncle Mortie and Zayde to the hardware store to buy a replacement for a rain gutter that had cracked after the last snow.

“It looks so pretty, Noah.”

“Just a stupid Christmas toy. If Mom caught us playing with it, she’d get mad.”

“If Bubbe caught us…”

“Hello.” The snowman in the globe spoke quite clearly for being underwater. His fake coal-lump mouth smiled and his coal eyes glowed red.

“Noah, it’s not a toy.” Rachel stood up terrified.

“Come to think of it, that Santa guy did smell kind of funny, like rotten eggs.”

“Give it to Bubbe.” The kids whirled to see the old woman scowling at them, her hand extended. “I know exactly which orifice on that old Elf to shove this into. How dare he pull this on my grandchildren!”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of December 17, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

I know most people, Christian or secular, consider Christmas in a positive light and it certainly can be for some, but it can also be confusing for Jewish children who see their non-Jewish neighbors and playmates getting lots of presents and otherwise having a terrific time. I suppose it’s why Hanukkah, which is a relatively minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, gets so much attention given its relative proximity to Christmas.

This is my minor attempt to illustrate the dangers of assimilation into the general culture and how it might be a lure to Jewish children (with a slight supernatural spin in this case). Fortunately, Noah and Rachel have a wise Bubbe (Grandma) who will nip this right in the bud.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Old Elf Of Christmas

Warning: This is not a tale of heartwarming enchantment.

Seven-year-old Shelley thought it was a little strange that there was a Department Store Santa seated at the far end of the playground. It was Christmas Eve and so much snow had fallen that Daddy had to spend hours yesterday and today just shoveling it all off of the driveway.

After lunch, she begged Daddy to take her to the playground. She could see it from her backyard and there were other kids playing on the snow-covered swings, slides, and other equipment. Mommy had just put her little brother down for his nap and agreed Daddy should take Shelley out to play. She had a lot of cooking to do to get ready for the rest of the family to come over on Christmas, and wanted them both out of the way.

Daddy took a folding chair with him and sat at the edge of the playground with his cell phone surfing the web.

Shelley took off to play with the other kids, but now they were all gone. Instead, there was Santa sitting on a red chair smiling at her.

Continue reading