It's Darrion again.
Well, looks about time for the next chapter of the Christmas Edition, doesn't it! Well, you get one! I hope you enjoy this. I liked writing it. This chapter is based off of the song Christmas Shoes (which you may have already guessed).
Anyway, time to read!
You probably don't want to listen and read at the same time, since this one has words in it.
Mason stared at his two choices with disgust, and quickly rechecked the list. The handwriting was shaky, in all capitals, and written on a pad of Disney Princess themed paper. It had two options underlined wobbly: the newest Brats doll or the Princess Rapunzel doll. Mason uncomfortably shifted, not knowing which one to choose. He knew that Mrs. Harrison had said not to get her any of the bigger dolls, since she already had two of them.
But the Brats doll was just too stupid in his opinion to bare paying for. Big eyes with dark lashes, sparkly pink eyeliner, and itty-bitty shorts was not the example he wanted for his little cousin.Peaking around the corner, he hissed for his wing-man. "Con?"
Mason just sighed in response, dropping the question as Conner's phone buzzed. It was a shipping report, telling him that one of his packages would arrive the next day. Peering over his best friend's shoulder, he saw the idem: a pretty green scarf. Must be for his sister, Mason assumed.
"What about art supplies? Does she like that?" Conner suggested, slipping his phone back into his pocket.
"Oh, yeah, I'll go see if they have anything good."
Checking his watch, Mason tapped his foot impatiently for the line to shorten. Since he and Conner had taken Ava, Abbie, and Tessa out to go see Santa (no comment on how that trip had turned out) so that Mr. and Mrs. Harrison could do some shopping, they had let the boys go get some presents at the store. It was nearing Christmas day, and all of the stores were busy, even in the early morning, as they found out. The line to the cash-register was a long one.
Not to mention the squirmy little boy standing in front of him. Where were his parents, anyway?
Pulling his hoodie farther over his face, Mason glanced up at the security cameras. He had to be mindful of everything, and always on alert. One never knew when a Hydra agent or contact was watching.
Time crawled, but eventually he was second in line. The kid in front of him plopped a woman's shoebox on the counter. He looked about seven or eight, and had wide gaps where his two front teeth should have been. His own shoes were worn well, but the box on the table obviously wasn't for him.
He cleared his throat and looked up at the weighty cashier. "Sir, can I get these shoes, please?"
"If you got the money, kid," the man grumbled as he scanned the item.
He emptied the contents of his pockets and counted out a few dollars, but mostly loose change. "Six dollars 25 cents, six dollars 65..."
Mason let out a heavy sigh. This is going to take years.
"Um, twelve dollars and fifty cents," he stated the finale tally proudly.
The man looked over the small stash of quarters and stray dollar bills. "Kid, these shoes are fourteen ninety-nine. You don't have enough here. Plus tax."
The boys eyes got big, and he frantically searched his pockets. "B-but-"
"Sorry kid," the cashier shrugged, then looked up. "I can help the next in line!"
"But sir, these shoes are for my mama!" He tried to explain, panicked. "She's been sick for a while, and I know these shoes will make her smile, and I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight!" His sad blue eyes filled with tears. "Daddy says there's not much time. Mama made Christmas good at our house, most years she didn't get anything for herself. Tell me sir, what am I gonna do? I gotta buy her these Christmas shoes!"
Mason's heart went out to the kid. The whole situation made him think of his own mom, who he hadn't seen since he was fourteen. She was gone, and he was left on his own. A huge hole left in his heart, a sickening feeling in his stomach. And this boy, he was going to lose his mom, too. But he wanted to give her one last gift, a pair of shoes. Mason had never had the opportunity to say goodbye, or give her one last Christmas gift. But he wanted to give that boy the chance, a chance he never had.
Without saying a word, Mason reached into his pocket, emptied his wallet of a ten dollar bill, then slapped it onto the counter. The cashier cocked an eyebrow and took the money, counting out the change for the kid.
The boy himself looked up at Mason, his sad blue eyes brightening. "Thank you, mister!" Grabbing the shoebox, he would never forget the look on that boy's face as he rushed off toward the front doors shouting, "Mama's gonna look so great!"
"You ready?" Conner trotted up to him, that pleasant look he nearly always had on his face. Noting how Mason was simply standing, bag in hand, Conner questioned, "Is something wrong?"
"Uh, no, not at all..." he trailed, still thinking about the little boy. Quickly, he gave Conner the short version of the story.
He smiled and said, "I think God sent that little boy."
"To remind us that Christmas is all about." Conner turned around, back to the front doors and facing the cashiers and merchandise. "Look around you. Look at all of those people. Just going through the process, buying what they think will make them happy. Do they even know what Christmas is about?"
Shifting, he answered, "I'm not sure I follow."
"Christmas is so material these days," Conner explained plainly. "They think it's all about having fun, staying with family, and getting gifts. And yes, those are all good things, but the reason for Christmas, the true meaning of Christmas, is the birth of Jesus. Sure, we're not sure what exact day it was when He was born, but this is our time to celebrate it anyway. That God sent His Son into the world to be born in a stable, then to go on and die on a cross, for our sins. It's... beautiful. And I think that little boy knows it."
Mason nodded, watching as the people pushed through the line. He had never noticed it before, but they did have those blank, dead expressions. Like there was no meaning to what they were doing. No soul. Focusing on the reflection in the glass doors, Mason found that he too had that look. He didn't look sad, or angry, but inside, he knew the truth. He was. Oh, he was so lost. It made him shudder.
"Well, better be heading back before traffic gets too rough," Conner reasoned, taking one of Mason's plastic bags for him. After another long look in the glass, he quickly followed Conner outside.
The sun wasn't shining, thanks to the heavy clouds looming down on them. A puff of condensation appeared when he let out a breath, and Mason quickly buttoned up his heavy coat to fight off the biting cold.
Suddenly, the same little boy who had bought the Christmas shoes was standing on the curb, crying out for help. Immediately, both Conner and Mason up to him. "What's wrong?""He stole it!" The boy insisted, pointing out into the parking lot as a character in a dark coat and blue hat raced through it. "He stole my mama's shoes!"
Okay, that's everything for today! Next chapter? You guys asked for it. A chase scene! But I'm getting ahead of myself :)
Thanks for reading, and tell me what you think! I hope you guys have a fantastic week! :)