by | Dec 22, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 5 comments

By Laura McHale Holland

Ready for bed, Little Toby looks out his window and sees glowing snowflakes of red, green, gold and white falling through the dark sky. He wants to tell his mom and dad about the colors in the snow, but they are arguing in the next room, and they always get angry with him if he walks into the room when one or the other of them is pacing or throwing dishes or pounding the wall or threatening divorce. So he tiptoes through the house, past the Christmas tree in the living room and to the hallway where he puts on his boots and slips out the front door.

Toby prances around the yard, his face up and arms out to welcome the twinkling flakes as they land on his skin and pajamas. His parents’ voices fade into the background. He begins to spin like a dervish and hum Joy to the World. He spins across the yard, across the sidewalk and into the street just as a Toyota rounds the corner.

The driver sees the boy, brakes, swerves and comes to a halt in the driveway of Toby’s home. The driver, who is a neighbor dressed in a Santa suit after a shift posing for pictures with tots at Macy’s, gets out of the car and runs into the street to pick up Toby, who is still spinning and entranced by the snowflakes.

“Santa, where’s your sleigh?” Toby asks as Santa carries him to his front door.

“In the shop getting serviced for the big journey tomorrow.” Santa puts him down.

“Did you bring me the colored snow?”

Santa studies the snow and sees that it is, indeed, multicolored. “Well, I’ll be. It is in full color, isn’t it.”

Toby opens the door and steps inside. His parents are still arguing.

“Can you do something about them?” Toby asks.

“I’m afraid I’m better with toys, you know.”

“Thanks for the snow then,” Toby says.

“Sure, kid.” Santa waves and walks back to his car.

Toby takes off his boots and returns to his his room as Santa backs his Toyota out of the driveway. Toby’s parents are now quiet and the falling snow is white. He pulls out Where The Wild Things Are from under his bed, gets under the covers and waits for one of them to tuck him in.

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  1. Jerry Kohut

    so Santa drive a Toyota, the first part of that name is TOY after all. It’s not any fun growing up where the parents are fighting, I know. I’m sure Toby can escape in his winter wonderland waiting for the Christmas Joy of Santa coming

  2. admin

    Thanks once again, Jerry. I thought of saying the model, not just the Toyota brand name, but I stuck with Toyota, not even realizing consciously that the name begins with “Toy.” That must have been the unconscious at work. … Yes, Toby doesn’t have to live only within his parents’ unhappiness. I hope the story implies that he will be okay because he has internal resources, as well as people outside his family who can add something positive to his life. … I so appreciate your consistent comments. This is the 52nd story I’ve posted in the weekly flash fiction project, and you’ve commented on almost all of the stories!

  3. Mary Ruth Gross

    I like this!

  4. Robin Leigh Morgan

    Sorry for the delay been on GRAND JURY, and wanted to get the first 100 pages of my
    YA paranormal / first kiss to my editor [been busy tightened it up as much as possible.

    I find it interesting you’ve connected your flash and Toby with Where The Wild Things Are and Max. Both characters have a fantasy world of their own, Max because of his mother’s ignoring him because she’s more interested in her boyfriend, and Toby because this parents are consumed more with fighting each than caring for him.
    I feel as if Toby’s fantasy world of things happening like colored snownflakes and Santa rescuing him after getting his Toyota had been greatly influenced by Max’s story. Waking from his own fantasy Toby would now like for the characters of Max’s story to come and be with for a while.

  5. admin

    Sounds like you’ve been busy, indeed, Robin Leigh. I felt that when Where The Wild Things Are came to mind in the writing proces it was a very good fit for the story. I’m glad you find that element noteworthy. Thanks for your comment!

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