Santa`s Shopping Centre Surprise

Santa`s Shopping Centre Surprise

Christmas Eve Day and there were still a lot of people doing their Christmas shopping or picking up thing that they had forgotten. The shopping centre was busy just as it was on normal day, except that is for one one small corner were a Santa`s Grotto was situated. The girls dressed as elves and a rather large man dressed as Santa Claus. The queues were long and noisy and the parents were in line with their youngsters after paying whatever the amount was to see Santa.

Standing partly obscured by the nearby well decorated Christmas Tree was a lone child of about 7 or years of age, the child`s clothing left a lot to be desired, clean but not in very good condition, on the child`s feet were sandals and no socks the feet had a blueish tinge from the cold. Boy or Girl it was hard to tell, the hair was long and features fine, thew clothing was nondescript for the most part but both girls and boys items could be plainly seen covering the small body.

It was still about Ten minutes until the Grotto Elves started feeding the children through to see and talk and talk to Santa,so last minute details were taken care off.

Nine o`clock and the first child was sat on Santa`s knee telling him what they would like for Christmas getting their photograph taken and leaving with a small gift and a happy smile on their face. All morning this went on with a short break around midmorning,Santa had seen the child and wondered why the parents weren`t their, an unaccompanied child was a matter of concern these days what with rapes, child abductions and Paedophiles, he told the girls working with him to eye on her in case she got into trouble.

Just before they closed for lunch Santa noticed the child was still there, smiling away seemingly without a care in the world and he was getting worried for the childs safety, surely her parents knew she wasn`t with them but he hadn`t heard a missing child report on the tannoy system. He told one of Eves to fetch the child over but to go round the back in case the child made a bolt for it, they didn`t want to scare the little thing away.

Sarah ducked out the back of the Grotto into one of nearby shops and through the back corridors and out of another shop behind the child, carefully she moved forward untuil she was in reach.

"Hello my names Sarah one of Santa`s Elf helpers " she said

The child looked round and saw Sarah and although surprised didn`t run, Sarah saw the state of child, the matted hair, the unwashed face and the child shivering with the cold. Looking at the child Sarah couldn`t tell if it was boy or girl but she somehow knew that this child was alone and living on the streets.

"Santa would like to talk to you" said Sarah

"Why? " asked the small voice

"Why don`t we go and see ?" said Sarah and taking the childs hand led her to the Grotto, just before they closed for lunch

"Santa, I`ve brought a special person to see you" said Sarah

Some of the parents looking at the unkempt, unwashed child and started to complain about being kept waiting, others never uttered a word except for one elderly woman.

"Leave the child alone to see Santa, can`t you see past yourselves for once in your lives" turning to the child she continued "You go and talk to Santa little one never mind these people"

Santa lifted the child onto his knee and asked " What is your name ?"

"Sammy" said the child

"How old are you? " asked Santa

"Seven or eight I think, I`m not sure" answered the child

Slowly Santa asked question after question and the listening Adults were appalled by the childs story, and the other children were sad and some crying, Sammy was seven or eight years old, had no family and had run away from the foster home because of the beatings, to survive food was scavenged from litterbins late at night after the pubs had emptied,the child had stayed hidden during the way but wouldn`t say where. The only reason the child was in the shopping center was heat, the temperature during the night had dropped below freezing.

Santa and the Elves took the Sammy into the cafe where they were going to eat and made the child eat something hot, probably the first hot meal in weeks, Santa had excused himself for a few minutes and had got hold of the senior security manager who after hearing the sad plight of the child contacted the police, at the same time some of the stores hearing about Sammy and his story donated good winter clothes, boots, coat hat and scarf. Everyone had to admit that sammy did look a lot better after a good clean up and proper clothing, they still hadn`t discoivered whether Sammy was boy or girl as the child wouldn`t undress while someone was in the same room.

Eventually the police showed up with a member of Social Services who started immediately berated Sammy for running away, the woman was very annoyed saying that the child had caused a lot work for a lot of people. The elderly woman who had remained nearby stopped the woman in her tirade and calmly asked "wouldn`t it be better if you asked why Sammy ran away in the first place" the woman from Social Services told her to mind her own business as it had nothing to do with her.

This caused the now angry crowd to verbally attack the woman saying that Social Services were just trying to protect their jobs and weren`t interested in the well being of the child. Several mothers offered to take the Sammy home with them but the Police had to step in on the side of Social Services, although they didn`t like what was happening unfortunately the obnoxious woman had the Law on her side, though they had seen a couple of reporters in the crowd and knew it wasn`t going to be easy for Social Services to brush this problem under the carpet as they usually did, it wasn`t uncommon for children to be abused or even killed in of the homes that Social Service had placed children at before now.

A photo flash when off and a voice said " Lady you had better be very careful with the handling of this case and this child, the story will be in the Evening Chronicle and on the Streets by three pm, we`ve all heard the child`s story and as a plus we all know how pathetic and inept Social services are and the before tomorrow I can assure you the whole country will be interested in this child and will be watching the outcome." said one of the reporters.

Santa stood up "Enough of this bickering, the point is what are we do with this poor child?" he said

"Sammy will be taken back to the foster home" stated the Social worker

"I`ll run away again" shouted Sammy

"Enough " said Santa and with that time stopped, he looked at Sammy , the only person other than the Elves that were now outside time," I think you had better come with me" he continued

Taking Sammy by the hand he whistled and his sleigh and reindeer appeared, another Santa with elves appeared like everyone else under the spell they were frozen in time.The elves got into the back of sleigh and Santa passed Sammy to them, mounted the sleigh and as they disappeared skywards time returned, not much was said on the trip to Santa`s home and Sammy was more than content to look around in wonder as they flew among the clouds.

Sammy fell asleep before they reach Santa`s home and santa explained everything to his wife before he left on his once a year business, when Sammy awoke the child was surprised to be lying in a very comfortable and warm bed.Mrs santa heard sammy stirring and said breakfast was waiting. Sammy went donw the staircase and joined the Claus`s for breakfast, that was when Santa asked if sammy was boy or a Girl, well sammy explained that he was girl but had the body of boy.

"Are you sure?" asked Santa in his quite assuring manner

"How do you mean?" Asked Sammy

"Well have you checked your body is that of a boy lately?" asked mrs Claus

Sammy finished his excellent breakfast and went back to his room, he looked into the full length mirror and saw a girl in a pretty nightdress looking back at him, slowly he raised the hem of the nightdress and was surprised, He wasn`t a boy anymore but a girl with all the right bits, looking in the wardrobe he found several pretty dresses the drawers in the dressing table held girls underwear. Sammy dressed in one of the pretty dresses and matching shoes and joined Santa and his wife downstairs again.

When they saw Sammy enter Santa told her to sit down,

"Let me explain "He began

"I know how good or bad all children are and what they need most off, now you have had a very hard life, your parents died and you were placed in an orphanage till they found a foster home for you. Unfortunately at the foster home you were badly abused and ran away, when i saw you in the shopping centre I knew that you wished you were a girl and wanted to help you. Now I could see that old biddy from Social services was going to send you back to the same foster home and that I wouldn`t allow so I brought you here and gave you what your heart desired.Now you have a decision to make you can go back and live with another family or you can stay here and be our little girl, the choice is yours and you don`t have to rush to decide, just think about it for a while. Of course you`ll have to live among normal people and go to school as usual, usually we live here all year round but if you decide to be our daughter we live amongst normal people in a normal town living a nearly normal life. At the moment the human world doesn`t remember you existed" he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Sammy didn`t need to think about it too long and said "I would like to ................"

Note: well readers what will Sammy decide, I`ll let you decide for yourself

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