And here continues the Christmas Saga of 2020. Like the days of yore when newspapers published anxiously anticipated serialized stories, here is my annual version, Hidden within the words is a secret message. Find the secret and send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, MAGIC. First five to discover the secret wins a copy of every book I publish this year.
This story is as old as the legend of St. Nicholas, handed down over years and years. Told to Christmas Elves as they rested from their work, there is magic within if you’ve the heart and eyes to see it.
But don’t look for it, feel it in your heart. Speak the words to learn the secret
The first town we came to looked oddly familiar, then I realized we had just flown over Elf town, the main Elf village.
Window and door adorned with bright colored banners proclaiming the soon to arrive Christmas Eve sendoff, the biggest celebration of the year, passed below.
I glanced over at Jedidiah, lost in thought.
“Flew and Feathers,” he mumbled, “this sled is so slow. Like to take us a week to get anywhere.”
A moment later, I looked down at the dash, spotted a red button that read ‘Increase Speed,’ and pushed it.
Flash of light blinded us, and the wind became a jet stream as the sled leapt to high-speed. Tore from my hands, my hat flew off into the wind.
“Open the air brake, open the air brake,” Jedidiah yelled.
The air brake panel was right below my foot, I reached for the handle and pulled up.
“Shutters and deer droppings,” Jedidiah yelled. And our speed slowed.
“Threw me with that maneuver, genius,” Jedidiah said, catching his breath. “Up here, we live by the rule the pilot, that’s me, is the only one to touch the controls. The red buttons in particular.”
“Sash,” Jedidiah continued, calling me by an old nickname. “The air’s getting warmer. Moon is making it easier to follow the ridge. On the next opportunity, if we see a town, I want to get something to eat.”
The terrain was leveling out, and food was welcome. Breast of chicken would make my day, although Jedidiah would want his usual pancakes and maple syrup with a double scoop of vanilla ice cream and sugarplums.
Of that I was certain. The mountain gave way to valleys as Jedidiah brought us closer to the ground.
“New-fallen snow ahead is not as deep. Snow this shallow this time of the year means we are getting closer to where you came from.”
Gave me an idea to ask about why they used to call me Sash. The name didn’t bother me, I just never knew where it came from.
“Lustre of Snowtown, the head scout for finding any new kids in the world gave it to you,” Jedidiah said. “Of course, there was more to the story,” he smiled, but said no more.
Mid-day found us south of Montreal just before the border to the United States. To someone who had no memory of anywhere but Christmas Town, this was a wonderfully exciting moment.
Objects I didn’t recognize came zipping by us, Jedidiah said they were called airplanes. Below us, towns turned into cities, crowded with people.
When we found a place to land, Jedidiah left the sled in invisible mode so no one would find it.
What would we do now? To my surprise, Jedidiah had transformed himself into a person. My heart skipped a beat when he said my name and I had no idea who it was standing next to me.
“Wondering how I did that?” he said.
Eyes always give away my feelings, he could see the shock on my face. Should I ever need to hide my feelings, I was in trouble.
“Appear to be like everyone else and hide in plain sight,” Jedidiah said, leading me down a path and out to a road.
“But why here?” I asked. “There doesn’t seem to be much around here like the cities we flew over.”
“A brilliant question, my friend,” Jedidiah said. “Miniature brains produce miniature thoughts. Sleigh is on the ground. And we are looking for where you came from. Eight hours we’ve flown and now we are here to find the answers to all your questions.”
Part V Tomorrow!