A constrained short story I wrote today. Under 300 words
|John Spencer woke to the sound of his alarm going off at midnight. The TV special Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer could be heard playing in his young daughter's open room down the hall. He looked at his sleeping wife. Her face was lit by the moonlight shining from the window. He smiled and leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She stirred and said, “Merry Christmas,” after she kissed him on the lips. “Be safe, dear. Love you,” she said as she turned over and fell back asleep.
Spencer walked to his closet and grabbed his policeman's uniform and went to the bathroom to get dressed. He stepped into his kid’s room to kiss her on her forehead, then headed out the door and locked it tight.
At the station, he exchanged pleasantries with his partner, who talked in too much detail about how much he ate.
Five hours in they received a distress call about a burglary in progress.
Inside was a drunken Santa who had toppled a tree, was now covered in tinsel and passed out on the floor.
They woke the groggy Santa up. Spencer knew him from the soup kitchen downtown. No job. No food. And no place to stay. Spencer began to form a plan.
“We can’t just put him back out on the streets,” Spencer told his partner.
“What should we do?” his partner replied.
“I’ll think of something. First I've got to sober him up.”
That morning his wife and daughter were sipping cocoa and waiting by the tree. Her daughter anxiously awaited his return. She heard the door knob turn and in walked her father.
“I brought someone special,” Spencer told his daughter, when in walked behind a man dressed in red who proclaimed, “Merry Christmas!”
His daughter smiled.