Sitting Seven


A parade of hope is always led by children.

Kris Kringle, Santere and Everett were nominated by the Fellowship of Spirits to be the committee to select the young souls who would be the hands and feet for representing the joy, peace and faith of Christmas. Three children leapt to the forefront for consideration:

Harry Ventner, age eleven.

Shanisse Martinez, ten and a half.

And Golda Linski, nearly twelve.

There were three considerations:

1. Know their hearts

2. Touch their spirits

3. Respect their minds.

Now, as to the matter of mortalation: mortalation is a convergence which occurs nightly in the lives of all humans, mingling the breath of earth life with the confluence of eternal possibility. During a mortalation, God permits the Spirits of the Universe to commune with the inhabitants of Earth during the solitude of slumber. The seeds of ideas are planted, the beauty of innovation is nurtured and the words of life are sprouted.

So this was the plan the committee devised:

They would inhabit the dreams of three children with the promise of Christmas, a vision individualized for each of the young humans..

First there was Harry, who was gentle as a whisper, but with the stamina of an Olympic runner. He ran everywhere. Leaping to his feet, he ran–if only a few feet to grab a book. When given permission to play at the park, he ran and ran until fences stopped him, only to turn and run in the other direction to the next border.

His dream, or vision–would be of a race to the North Pole, to retrieve three hairs from the beard of Santa Claus, to speed home in time to save the reindeer from being retired to pastures in Lapland.

Now, Shanisse absolutely adored board games. She sat for hours enjoying them. Therefore her mortalation was to play the world’s largest game of Monopoly with thousands of other children in a crowded arena decorated with Christmas lights and candy canes. The winner of the day got to have lunch with Santa Claus at the North Pole.

And finally, there was Golda. She loved musicals. The cohesion of singing, acting, costumes and applause vibrated in her little soul. From Annie to Zorba the Greek and every Sound of Musicin between, she knew melodies, lyrics and sang with the gusto of Ethel Merman.

Her dream caused her to envision writing and staring in a Broadway musical entitled, North Pole, with a chorus of elves and reindeer, starring the jolly old man himself–Kris Kringle. She, of course, would be his partner, Marjorie Claus.

Crafting the mortalation for the trio brought Kris, Santere and Everett great delight.

Tonight would be the night.

“Harry, Shanisse and Golda, close your eyes and sleep. The Spirits are awaiting. They will inspire. Then it will be up to you.”

Could three children change the world?

Perhaps. More importantly, how could this triangle of messengers find each other?

Sitting Eight

The Blind Leading the Blind

Shelley despised blind dates. She found them to also be deaf and dumb.

Her last one ended up being with a guy who sold flood insurance and thought dating girls afforded him a fresh market. So that particular evening cost Shelley four hours of boredom perusing thirty-three pictures of flood damage and eighty-eight dollars for purchasing a policy so she could finally leave the restaurant and go home.

So you see, not a fan of set-up romance.

But Timothy Barkins from her committee had a friend that he knew she would just adore–and who was willing to spend an evening with her after seeing her picture.

Shelley was not unattractive–one of those young women who knew what makeup to buy but didn’t stick around for the lesson on how to apply it, so she always used too much and ended up looking like a cross between a clown and a corpse. Most of the time, though, she just went with her own face.

Her hair was the color of brown that they use on dolls from the dollar store–lifeless and dreary. She was neither skinny nor fat, but unfortunately, slender where plumpness is appreciated and overly endowed in the region desired to be slim.

She liked men. She wasn’t picky. She was just never able to turn a date into a mate.

So she had to ask herself why she’d agreed to this situation.

Well, maybe he wasn’t blind. Maybe he will be fascinating. Maybe…he sells renters insurance. She might be interested.

She devised a plan, First, meet for coffee at the Cracked Cup. If all goes well, a movie (nothing with sex or violence.) After the movie, if still interested–dinner. Definitely seafood. Less tummy gas.

The blind date’s name was Christopher Timmons. Shelley didn’t know much about him. She did see his picture. He was perfect–not too handsome but well short of “troll.” He had dishwater blond hair and a mustache. (She did realize that the mustache could be a bad sign. Often men who wore mustaches did so because they couldn’t grow a beard but still wanted some fur on their faces to convey macho.)

Christopher flirted with chunky, with a few pounds in his face which normally meant there was some storage in the basement near the belt. Shelley didn’t care. For after all, by the time they saw each other’s storage space, they were pretty well committed to the move.

As always, Shelley was late. Chris was waiting, wiping the condensation off his glass with a napkin. Seeing her, he rose too quickly to his feet, spilling his water. They participated together in a napkin-sopping of the mess and then sat down.

Two cups of coffee were ordered. Shelley refrained from requesting her usual four Sweet ‘N Lows and three creamers, tempering it to two each. Chris went with one cream.

“So,” she began, “How do you know Timothy?”

Chris explained that they met on a retreat and had become lasting friends.

“I understand you’re his boss,” Chris cited.

“Boss? Well, that’s rather formal. After all, what’s a boss? Sounds bossy, doesn’t it?”

Mercifully, Shelley finally shut herself up. A moment of silence followed. Conversation was creeping along. At length Shelley ventured into typical questions.

“Chris, what do you do?”

“I sell insurance.”

“Oh…” Shelley was frightened.

Chris laughed. “I’m just kidding. Timothy told me about your last blind date. How it was kind of … flooded out?”

Shelley giggled—probably too much. But at least Chris had a sense of humor.

He continued. “Seriously, I am a free-lance writer ten months of the year.”

He sipped some of his coffee.

“Can you make a living at that?” questioned Shelley.

“Heavens, no,” answered Chris. “A little here, a little there.”

“So if you don’t mind me asking, how do you take a little here and end up all there?”

“I don’t. That’s why I do it ten months a year,” he replied.

“I don’t understand.”

“Ten months I write, and then two months, well…I grow my beard and become Santa Claus.” Chris ran his hand across his face, simulating the location of the overgrowth.

Shelley gasped. She tried to pretend it was a sudden cough, but it was pretty obvious she was shocked.

“You don’t like Santa Claus?” Chris probed.

Shelley gulped some coffee. “Santa Claus is fine. I’ve just never been on a date with one.”

“I’m not Santa tonight,” he smiled.

“If you don’t mind me asking, why would a grown man want to play Santa Claus?”

“Why not?” he countered.

“Well, first, there’s the kids,” Shelley stated.

“You don’t like kids?”

“Not so much in bunches,” Shelley explained. “Children are cute. But they do three things I don’t like.”

“Let me guess. Throw up,” said Chris.

“Make that four,” she cringed.

“So, tell me the three.” Chris leaned forward to listen.

“Cry, lie and pout. Sorry the last one didn’t rhyme,” shared Shelley.

Chris just peered at her. He didn’t say anything. It was a bit unnerving.

“Aren’t you going to disagree?” Shelley challenged.

“I mentioned throwing up,” said Chris.

“Yeah, you did. So you don’t disagree?” she questioned.

“Let’s see. Cry. Certainly. Especially the first time they see the Claus. Lie? Anything to stay off the ‘Naughty List.’ Of course, they better not pout…”

“Why is that?” inquired Shelley.

“I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

On the last line, Chris stood and sang—to the amusement of the coffee congregation. Sitting down to a smattering of applause, Chris giggled at Shelley’s alarmed face.

He continued. “Honestly, I’m Santa Claus because I make 30 K in November and December playing the jolly old elf.”

“You’re kidding!” Another gasp from Shelley.

“Nope. It gives me the money to be a poor writer.”

“Are you a poor writer?” asked Shelley.

Chris chuckled. “Definitely in money. Possibly in prose.”

Shelley liked him, and he seemed to be having fun with her.

“Chris, do you want to go to a movie?” Shelley asked quietly.

“Only if it has sexy violence,” said Chris without missing a beat.

Shelley could not hide her dismay—nor Chris his laughter.

“I’m kidding,” he said. “How about a movie with cartoon characters with no knives, guns or sexual parts?”

“Perfect!” agreed Shelley, jumping to her feet.

Chris dropped some cash on the table, grabbed her hand and headed for the door.

Shelly was really happy. So far, this date was not blind, deaf or dumb.

Join us for this fun filled serial novel in the making.





Published by Jonathan Cring