You Ain't Santa Claus
By E Walk
Copyrighted by the Author
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 1 - Who Do You Think Your Fooling?
I guess I need to start at the beginning, or this story isn't going to make any sense. It may never make any sense. Any way, my name is Kirk Richter. I'm 32 years old and I am an Associate Professor of Child Psychology at the state university. We started our fall break two weeks ago and I was going out of my gourd trying to find things to do. I can only do research and write so many hours a day.
You need to know that my partner is a Doctor in charge of the Emergency Room at one of the local hospitals. We've been partners for three years. Dan works long hours, but he has been offered a position on staff starting after the first of the year. They have practically confined him to the ER over the holiday period because he is so good. Yeah, he's 34 years old.
Anyway this is not a story about Dan and me. It's about what happened over the break between semesters that changed our lives. I was so bored one afternoon that I was reading the help wanted ads in the newspaper. I found an ad that caught my attention. Substitute Santa to fill in at a local mall several hours a day. Please apply at the personnel office at the Oak Tree Mall.
I applied and was offered a position as the fill-in Santa from10 a.m. until 2:00 each day so that full time Santa could work from 2:00 until closing at 10:00. I found the work interesting because I could evaluate the children as they sat on my lap. It soon became easy to tell which of them were spoiled brats and which of them really believed that Santa would bring them something special.
Anyway, I remember the day well. It was December 22, and it was about 2:00 when a young boy approached me. I judged that he was about eight. I went to put him onto my knee. He looked at me and challenged, "That's okay, Mister, I know that you ain't really Santa. There ain't no such person as Santa."
The young boy was standing between my legs and he smelled as if he hadn't had a bath in some time. "I'm sorry you feel that way. Why did you come to see me if you think I'm not Santa Claus?"
The little guy looked at me, "Mister, me and my brother don't have anyone. I just came to see what it would like be like to pretend that there was a Santa."
The elf had closed the line saying that Santa was going to be taking a ten minute break. That meant my replacement was going to be coming to take over. I grabbed the young man's wrist and took him to the security office so I could change my clothes. I looked at the guard on duty who was watching the monitors in the mall, "Please take care of this kid while I change into my regular clothes; I don't trust him. You might need to tie him to a chair."
The guard looked at me, "Mr. Richter, I don't think that would be a good idea. He would probably go to the bathroom in his pants. I ain't going to clean the mess. Why don't you take him in the changing area and lock him in the bathroom?"
I pulled the young man with me and pulled him into the room where I was going to be changing my clothes. I stood so that my back was to the door and he couldn't escape.
He watched as I took off the Santa suit and I could almost see him plotting to get away. I looked at him and challenged, "Don't even think about getting away, or I'll have my reindeer chasing you down."
The young boy looked at me, "Mister, please don't try to be funny. I need to go take care of my brother."
I was getting upset, "How are you going to take care of him?"
The lad looked at me, "I'll go stand on the street and hold my hat and hopefully people will feel sorry for me and put some money in it and we can get something to eat."
This kid was eating my heart out. I looked at him, "Do you suppose you could tell me your name and what is you brother's name and how old is he?"
I could see the young man's mind working, "My name is Nathan and my brother's name is Ryan. He's six years old but he has a problem. He can't talk."
That caught my attention, "What do mean he can't talk?"
"We were in a bad car accident when our parents were killed. Ryan hasn't talked since the accident. We were put into a home for children who don't have any parents. We both hated it, so we ran away. We have been living in an old abandoned building, but now that it is getting cold, we need to find somewhere else to live."
This kid was tearing me apart. He looked so pathetic. When I was dressed and I grabbed him by the arm and practically dragged him out the door, "What kind of food would you and Ryan like to eat?"
Nathan looked at me, "Santa Richter, we're so hungry that we would eat anything."
I wanted to scream, but I maintained my composure, "Well let's go see what we can find that is edible."
I took Nathan to the food court and made sure that I was holding his arm so he couldn't get away. I had the feeling that he was going to leave if I permitted him to do so. "Okay, Mr. Nathan, what would you and your brother like to eat?"
Nathan looked at me, "Sir, everything looks so good, why don't you order for us?"
I stooped down so I was looking directly into Nathan's face. "I will, if you promise that you won't try to run away."
I went to the Pizza Parlor booth and ordered two pieces of cheese pizza to go and then to the Hamburger Palace and ordered two large cheeseburgers. The final stop was the Orange Julius stall where I ordered two large orange Julius drinks. I had handed the food to Nathan to carry and I carried the drinks to my car. I noticed that Nathan was wearing only a light jacket and it didn't appear to be very warm.
I put him in the back seat and he was holding the food as if it were gold. I looked at him, "Nathan, where is Ryan now?"
Nathan gave me directions as to where to go, and when I pulled up in front of an abandoned warehouse, I saw all sorts of unsavory characters standing around. I turned to Nathan, "Give me the food and go get your brother, now. I'm taking you out of here. You aren't safe in this place."
Nathan was gone approximately five minutes and when he returned he was practically dragging a younger boy. I opened the door and handed the boys the food after they were strapped in. "Now eat and don't make a mess in the car. I locked the doors so they couldn't get away. I looked at Ryan, So Ryan, how old are you?"
Nathan answered, "Santa Richter, Ryan is six years old. I already told you that he hasn't talked since our Dad and Mother died in the car accident."
"Well how does he talk to you then?"
Nathan was so innocent, "He talks to me with his eyes."
When I pulled into the condo garage, I unlocked the car doors, "Okay, men, bring your trash and put it into the trash barrel. Then we're going to get you a bath. You smell like you need one."
I led the guys to the trash barrel and then took them to the bathroom and started their bath water and put some bubble bath in, so it was starting to foam. I turned to the two boys, "Get those filthy clothes off, I'm going to throw them away. There is no way that we can get the dirt out of them."
Nathan started to protest, "But Santa Richter, those are the only clothes we have."
"Well I guess you will have to go naked then, now get in the bathtub so I can shampoo your heads. Your hair is so greasy and dirty that I am sure you have cooties running all over your heads."
I shampooed the boys' heads and admonished, "Make sure that you get the rest of your bodies clean while I see if I can find you something to wear."
I went and found two sports team tee shirts that I had. Dan and I sure didn't have anything else that would fit the boys but their clothes smelled to high heaven and back.
I took the tee shirts into the bathroom and announced, "I think it is time that you get out of the tub. I need to start fixing dinner; Dr. Dan is going to be home soon. He gets really mean when he's hungry. Here, make sure your bodies are dry and put the shirts on for now. This is the best I can do for now. We'll take care of the problem tonight. Now move it."
Ryan spoke for the first time, "Whatever you say Santa?"
Nathan was standing there looking at his brother in amazement, "Ryan, how come you started to talk again? It's been a long time since you said anything."
Ryan looked confused, "Nate, I'm sorry. I don't know what happened. It was like Santa Richter opened a bottle and the words started to come out."
Both Nate and I had tears streaming down our faces. I took a deep breath, "Come on, guys, we need to go fix dinner for Doctor Dan. He gets cranky if dinner isn't ready when he gets home."
Nate looked at me, "Who is this Doctor Dan that gets cranky?"
"Oh he is some bum that comes to eat here almost every night and then he goes to bed and sleeps and goes to sweep the streets each day."
Ryan looked at me "Santa Richter, why aren't you telling us the truth. I think that you are trying to make us feel good. Are we going to be able to live here with you or are you going to take us back to that awful place we ran away from?"
I evaded the question, "We need to go start dinner. What would you guys like? How about we have some chicken and rice and a nice fruit salad? Maybe we can have some apple turnovers with ice cream for dessert."
We went to the kitchen and I turned on the electric skillet and started to fry the chicken and when I added the other ingredients the boys mouths were practically dripping saliva. I showed them how to set the table and I was thinking, `What is Dan going to think when he comes home and sees the two boys?'
Dinner was about ready when Dan came in and hugged me. "I missed you Kirkie."
He hadn't seen the two boys sitting there. I directed his attention to the two boys, "Danny, we have some guests for dinner so you had better wash your hands. They're rather hungry."
Dan turned around and saw the two boys sitting in the tee shirts, "Wait a minute; we don't eat in tee shirts."
Ryan and Nate started to scrunch down in the chairs they were sitting on. Dan realized that he had made a mistake. "You men need to tell me who you are. You weren't here this morning when I left. I don't like surprises. What are your names?
Nate answered and I was afraid that Ryan was going to retreat back into his shell. "Our names are Ryan and Nate Holloway. I'm eight years old and Ryan is six. Why are you being so mean? Santa Richter wasn't as mean as you?"
Dan grabbed both boys and carried them toward the stairs. I could hear them giggling so I realized that everything was going to be all right for the time being. When the three guys came down the stairs, Dan was complaining, "Geez, Santa Richter can't even have dinner ready on time. I guess we need to help him. Men, you get some milk for you to drink, while I make sure he is cooking the food correctly."
Dan leaned against me and whispered, "Kirk, you owe me a big explanation as to why we have these two half naked young boys in our house. They could land us in a ton of trouble,"
I turned and whispered, "I'll tell you why they are here later tonight after we get them into bed. Let's eat and then one of us needs to go get them some clothes. The clothes they were wearing were beyond saving. The only thing I saved was their shoes."
Dan watched as the two guys were eating, "Ryan and Nate, you need to slow down or you are going to get sick. There's plenty to eat and we do have cereal for the morning, and if you are really good boys, Santa Richter will fix us some eggs before he has to go play Santa at the mall."
Nate looked at Dan, "Doctor Dan, Santa Richter ain't playing Santa. He is Santa. Why else would we be here? This is the first time in a long time that me and Ryan are comfortable and not hungry. Are you going to throw us out tomorrow?"
I stood, "Nate and Ryan, you need to make sure that Dr. Dan gets the dishes clean and help him put them in the dishwasher. I need to run an errand. Don't let him get into any trouble while I'm gone. If he's good, I'll fix him some dessert when I get back."
I went to Target store which was only five blocks from our condo. Of course it was jammed since everyone was finishing their last minute Christmas shopping. I grabbed a cart and went to the young boys clothing area. Boy, was I out of my element there. Dan and I always sent gift certificates as presents for our nieces and nephews so they could get what they wanted.
Anyway, I grabbed two packages of briefs and tee shirts. I decided to get only one set of clothes since I really had no idea what size the boys would need. I found two heavy coats that looked like they would fit. I finally got through the checkout stand and started to drive back to the condo. As I was pulling into the garage, I had a panicky feeling. `What are we going to do with the boys tomorrow while I'm at the mall working as Santa? We can't leave them alone in the condo.'
When I walked into the living room, I was really thrilled at what I saw. Dan was sitting on the sofa and the boys on either side of him leaning against him. They were watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
I decided not to disturb them and went into the kitchen and cut the tags off of the clothes. I started the wash machine with the light clothes except a pair of briefs and the pajamas for each of the boys. I heard them walking toward the kitchen so I started the oven. I heard Ryan ask, "Doctor Dan, you aren't going to let anyone steal Christmas are you?"
I was waiting to hear Dan's answer, "Nope, but I'm not sure about Santa Kirk."
Ryan looked concerned, "Santa, you aren't going to let anyone steal Christmas are you?"
I looked at Dan and he had a big grin on his face, I knelt down, "Guys I'll try not to let anyone steal Christmas. We'll have to remember to lock the doors."
I handed the boys each a pair of briefs and the pajamas I had bought thinking they would go change somewhere. Not so; they started to take the tee shirts off and were standing naked as they pulled the briefs on. Dan was helping Ryan put his pajamas on since he was having problems.
I had put the turnovers in the oven while the boys were putting their pajamas on. "Nate, get two glasses of milk for you boys. The turnovers are just about finished."
The boys were sitting at the table and I put the turnovers in front of them and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ryan looked at me, "Aren't you and Doctor Dan going to have any?"
Dan answered, "Nope, we don't want to get fat like some boys I know."
Nate looked at Dan, "You are as mean as Santa Richter said."
The boys finished their dessert and I looked at Dan, "Doctor Thornton, take the boys and get them into bed while I finish the laundry. There should be some new tooth brushes in the cabinet in the guest bathroom."
I had finished putting the last load of clothes in the dryer when Dan returned, "Kirk, the boys want to know if you aren't going to say goodnight to them. I suggest you do and then we need to talk."
I went to the guest bedroom and the boys were in the same bed. I was going to say something but decided that was probably what they wanted. When Ryan saw me, he sat up. I leaned down and hugged him and he kissed me on the cheek, "Goodnight Santa Dad."
I hugged him tighter and kissed him on the head, "Goodnight, little one."
Nate hugged me and kissed me, "Goodnight Santa Dad. We love you."
I held Nate tight and kissed him on the head "Goodnight my special ones."
Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might wish to go towww.storylover.us.
Editor's Notes: Now I think this is interesting. We now have two stories with Santa in the title and another one that started on Christmas Eve.
This is a very nice way to start a story. I have a feeling that we might just have us a new bunch of people to fall in love with. Of course that is no surprise when it comes to stories by E Walk.
Thank you for another wonderful story.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher