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Kess

United States

Just a girl with a passion for books, movies, writing, and all things Marvel or Harry Potter!

Message to Readers

This is a pretty rough draft, and I’m drawing a blank when it comes to editing. I welcome any comments, criticism, and feedback. Please be honest!

A Gift for Zoe

July 24, 2018

FREE WRITING

5
    One could say that George Barker was a man of many hats. He was a husband, a father, an intrepid businessman, and much more. However, it was clear to all who knew him that George was not an animal lover. So when his daughter approached him two weeks before Christmas, announcing that she needed a pony, he was at a loss for words. George took a deep breath, rubbed both hands over his face in a motion that had become all to familiar since becoming a father, and tried to meet the pleading eyes of his pride and joy. George couldn't help but recall the many times he'd claimed he would do anything for his baby girl, but this was where he drew the line. There would be no pony under the tree if George Douglas Barker III had anything to do with it.
    Folding his newspaper, he desperately scanned the room for his wife; Caroline always knew what to say in these situations. However, his savior was nowhere in sight. He would have to deal with this on his own. He was a businessman, dammit! A professional salesman! Telling a six year old "no" shouldn't be that hard! Exhaling in preparation, George put on his most winning smile, the same grin that had helped land him in the position of CEO.
    "Why don't you write a letter to Santa, Zoe?" The little girl's face lit up, and she launched herself into George's arms.
    "Good idea, daddy! I'll go write it now," she squealed. Planting a kiss on her father's cheek, Zoe sprinted toward the stairs.
    "Do you need any help, sweetie?" George called after her, making sure none of his coffee had been spilled.
    "Nope! I can do it by myself."
                                                                                    ************
    "Don't forget your paperwork, George," Caroline called. George spun on his heel and smiled as his wife handed him the final report he'd been working on over the weekend. Careful not to wrinkle it, Caroline pulled an envelope out of her pocket and tucked it into his blazer. 
    "What's that?" he inquired. Caroline gave him "the look" and crossed her arms.
    "It's Zoe's letter to Santa. What are we going to tell her when there isn't a pony waiting for her on Christmas morning, George? We can't keep something like that in the yard; I don't even want to think about all the complaints we would here at the January meeting!" George sighed and pressed a kiss to Caroline's lips.
    "We'll figure something out, honey," he soothed. "She'll get other presents. Maybe this will be a good opportunity to teach her about responsibility. When she's older we'll look into getting her a fish or something." Caroline nodded and straightened the collar of his jacket.
    "Okay. We'll talk about it more when you get home. Oh, and Zoe wanted me to make sure to ask you if the Big Guy would mind if there were a few spelling mistakes in her letter. " George chuckled and shook his head.
    "I'm sure he won't mind." With a final parting kiss, George slipped out into the cold December air.
                                                                                    ************ 
    "MOMMY! DADDY! WAKE! UP!" Each word was punctuated by Zoe's weight crashing onto the bed. George groaned sat up as a foot connected with his stomach.
    "We're up, sweetie. Merry Christmas!" he announced, rubbing his tender ribs. Zoe giggled as Caroline leaned over and kissed his cheek.
    "I'll take Zoe downstairs while you shave. Merry Christmas, George." George smiled, watching his two favorite girls exit the room. Putting on his favorite burgundy robe and slippers, he stumbled into the bathroom. George was halfway through shaving when the phone rang from its place on the bedroom nightstand.
    "Who on earth is calling at this hour on Christmas morning?" he grumbled. Hastily toweling off the remains of shaving cream on his jaw, George picked up the phone. "Hello?"
    "Baker! What in bloody blue blazes is in your yard?" The thick British accent could only belong to the neighborhood snoop.
    "It’s Barker. Mr. Hudson, I have no clue what you are talking about. If Zoe left one of her toys in the yard we'll make sure to pick it up later."
    "That thing is not a toy!" the old man spluttered. George could almost see the crimson hue of his cheeks from two houses over. "Good God, Barker there's a bloody demon in your backyard!" George sighed and tugged at his hair, marveling at the fact that it wasn't gray yet. As he hung up the phone, George could hear the occasional "the devil's steed" or "just like back in the war". Not bothering to finish shaving, George meandered down the stairs and into a living room lit by the glowing bulbs on the Christmas tree. The delicious smell of bacon wafted in from the kitchen where Caroline was visibly busying herself over a frying pan. Zoe was pressed against the frosted glass of the patio door, emerald eyes wide.
    "Daddy, look! He got my letter!" she whispered in awe. George froze, left slipper hovering over the hardwood floor as if he had suddenly turned to stone. It wasn't possible. Ignoring his lack of winter apparel, George dashed past his daughter and into the freezing outside world. For a moment, he could've sworn he was hallucinating; the stallion before him was unlike anything he'd ever seen before.
    Easily towering over him, its gleaming obsidian coat sparkled like polished silverware, and its long black mane had been groomed to perfection. Steam rose from the frozen ground under its hooves in opaque tendrils as it munched on what appeared to be a bicycle tire. The only thing George could get out was a high pitched squeak of alarm. The stallion simply gazed at him with eyes that seemed to be lit from behind by flames. To top it all of, a garish red bow the size of a small child had been tied around its muscular neck. Lying on the ground before him was a slim cream envelope. Never taking his eyes off the beast before him, George snatched it up and pulled out the letter inside. The neat, looping cursive reminded him of a computer font even though the words unmistakably came from a fountain pen.

Dear Zoe Barker,
    It has been brought to my attention that you desire what you humans call a "pony" for Christmas. I do not celebrate said holiday due to my current position, and I must say that your letter was a surprise to my associates and I. However, your request was taken into account with pleasure. There is a noticeable lack of small equine mammals in my dwelling, and this is the closest thing I could find. The stallion before you is one of my own loyal steeds, and I trust that you will care for him as needed. Enclosed are detailed instructions on feeding, grooming, exercise, and socialization. Enjoy your new companion, Miss Barker. I look forward to future exchanges. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sincerely, Satan

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  • July 24, 2018 - 11:35am (Now Viewing)

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5 Comments
  • AbigailSauble

    Oh oh! How clever!! This is so great! You can't imagine how much I appreciate this. ;)
    Superb!


    7 months ago
  • Kess

    Thank you!


    12 months ago
  • JadeAndSerpentine

    I love the ending! It's so clever and funny.


    about 1 year ago
  • Kess

    Pay attention to the abnormality of the horse and the "spelling mistakes" mentioned earlier.


    about 1 year ago
  • Maya!

    should it be "Sincerely, Santa," or am I missing something? Other than that this is so cute!!!


    about 1 year ago