She heard a thump downstairs, then another.

Lolly slipped from her bed and down the steps toward the glow of the Christmas tree. Her heart bounced. She was going to see Santa Claus!

“Daddy?” Her father quickly turned from the tree where he crouched.

“Shhh. Santa just left,” he whispered, pointing at the cardboard fireplace where five Christmas stockings hung fat and overflowing.

That’s when she saw the brightly wrapped presents scattered haphazardly across Mommy’s braided rug.

Daddy smiled. “I’m arranging the presents to look good for pictures in the morning,” he whispered as he picked her up and carried her back to her bed. “Now go back to sleep.” He kissed her forehead.

But Lolly didn’t sleep. She lay awake thinking. She was six. Old enough to realize things didn’t add up. Like how could Santa come down a cardboard chimney?

Yup, she was sure of it now. Her Daddy waits up to let Santa Claus in.

Linda Chandanais lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with her husband and two dogs. Her love of storytelling began with ‘stories from her head’ told to younger siblings. After a decades-long hiatus called adulthood, Linda has renewed her passion for storytelling. Her works have been published in The Drabble, CafeLitMagazine, Entropy Squared-A Story in 100 words, and SpillWords.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and joy of the season to all!

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Every Day Fiction