Playing the Part

Snowy whiskers, held in place by a snug elastic band make Gordon Bender’s chin itch.  But he doesn’t mind.  What matters is that he is ready when the children arrive.  To disappoint them would be, well he’d never forgive himself.

As he dons the familiar red velvet suit, Gordon’s mind wanders back to his own childhood, triggered memories now playing inside his brain as he buckles the black patent leather belt over his pillow-stuffed belly. He is sitting on Santa’s lap, his winter chapped cheek pressed snug against Santa’s beard. Scratchy, but six year old Gordon doesn’t notice, because Santa is whispering kind words into Gordon’s ear.

Now, my boy!  I hear you’ve been very good this year.  Is there a special toy you would like for Christmas?

Young Gordon appears to be deep in thought, taking an eternity before whispering back.   In truth, he is stalling, desperate to linger on Santa’s lap as long as possible.  Kind words for Gordon are scarce in 1932.  The worst year, so far, of the Great Depression.  Gordon’s father, raising a motherless brood simply has nothing left to give.  But Santa does, and despite the growing impatience of dozens of other eager little faces lined up and waiting, Gordon is permitted to bask at length in Santa’s affection.   A gift worth more to him than the charity truck and coat he receives.

Gordon Bender’s chin is still itching.  The velvet suit uncomfortably tight this season as well-his belly padding more Gordon than pillow.  Small inconveniences, considering.  Ten minutes per child, he’s been instructed.  He won’t rush though.  He’ll spend as much time as it takes, to melt each tiny heart.

http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/12/trifecta-week-107.html

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21 thoughts on “Playing the Part

  1. Beautiful, Valerie.. giving back.. perfect story, beautifully written for this time of year when shopping seems to eclipse everything else. Just yesterday I was in our tiny mall and watched twin boys sitting on Santa’s lap. One was happy about it, one was not. But it was Santa that shined. Exceptionally patient and caring, I could see he was just like Gordon.

  2. Aww Val,this melted my heart-such a beautiful piece with layers of emotions-each rich and tender!”In truth, he is stalling, desperate to linger on Santa’s lap as long as possible.” and ,” Gordon is permitted to bask at length in Santa’s affection. A gift worth more to him than the charity truck and coat he receives.”Wow!Loved the touch of humour in”his belly padding more Gordon than pillow.”;-)Awesome,my friend!

  3. This is such beautiful writing, Valerie, and I am always amazed at how seamless you slip in the historical bits in ways that enrich and enliven the story, adding depth to an already poignant and touching narrative. Excellent work, as usual my dear.

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