‘Twas the Night Before: Chapters 16-17: More Santa
I AM SO SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION
Yesterday, I failed to address the why of how Noella got her necklace, despite being the only true believer in Santa.
Here it is, from Santa’s bedside conversation with Tom:
“If you gave Noella the necklace, you visited a home where not everyone believed in you.”
“She was the only one who did. How did I justify? … She was old enough to decide for herself, and she chose to believe. Further, her request was not for herself. That is the criterion.”
So, there we have it. Make a selfless wish, and Santa will break his rule.
Kinda sucks for the poor kids that they are quite likely to make wishes for themselves, isn’t it? Helps when you’re an upper-middle class kid like Noella, who knows she will get everything she wants anyway and can afford to wish for someone else.
To hell with those selfish jerk kids who wish for food and books and shoes without holes. Too bad for them if their parents don’t believe!
Anyway, sorry for accidentally leaving that out yesterday!
(Still, it was interesting to read your various theories on what was really happening. Beats Santa’s lame excuse.)
In Chicago, Noella is all alone in her apartment. She has just learned about the plane crash, and in her own little personal crisis of Santa-faith, has decided to adopt Tom’s “cynicism“:
He had been right. Life was not fair. Things did not always turn out the way they should. Noella would never again be so naive. It was time to grow up.
That seems to me to be two different things. Yeah, being grown up is accepting that things aren’t fair. But that’s not cynicism.
Noella extended her arms and longed to draw them back with Tom in their embrace.
And oh, how she wished that his strong, manly arms would hold her back. She remembered the way his dark, cynical brows arched arrogantly as he moved in to claim her naive, manipulative lips for a kiss.
Yeah, I think Noella will be fine.
Tom is awake again, and has been fitted with a crutch.
It fitted as if ithad been made for him. It had, [Mrs. Claus]. “The helpers measured you in the night.”
The Claus Clan has also given Tom a bag for the personal effects he inexplicably lifted from the bodies of the dead pilot and passengers.
[Tom] found everything in order.
Phew. And here I was afraid the elves might’ve swiped his stuff.
Mrs. Claus feeds him, but hasn’t laced the food this time, so Tom stay awake and hobbles off to Santa’s sweatshop.
The miniature men scurried about, filling wheelbarrows from wagons and pushing them into the workshop through a side entrance.
Yeah, Fairyland is an awesome place. I guess some Fairyland creatures are more equal than others.
“Surprised?” Kris said, wokring in half the uniform Tom assumed he wore Christmas Eve: shiny black boots, red satin pants held up by wide red suspenders, and a white undershirt.
“Even Santa sweats, he said.
THANKS SANTA BUT I DID NOT NEED TO PICTURE THAT.
Tom is surprised, but not because of the Santa Sweat. (Santa Sweat would be a cool name for a band.) He is surprised because there aren’t any toys in the workshop, only the equipment used to make the platinum necklaces like the one Noella owns.
Jenkins describes and describes the making of the necklaces, and it’s fairly boring because I don’t care.
Tom, naturally enough, has more pressing questions:
“You’re making so many. Why don’t more people have them?”
“We make thousands. There are billions of you. And don’t assume you are the only dimension that exists. You know now there are at least two. Trust me, there are more.”
“Not to mentions planets.”
“Rule out nothing.”
Whoa. IS JENKINS ACTUALLY ADMITTING TO THE EXISTENCE OF THE MULTIVERSE
Consider my mind officially blown.
But that’s it for the science-y talk. Time to make some shit!
The necklaces come in one of two ways: either with a tree cut out, like Noella’s, or with a tree embossed. Santa lets Tom make a necklace–or at least, cut one out before Santa writes on it. Then he stamps Tom’s initials, T.D., on the back.
Yanno, if I was a Genuine Really Real Believer in Santa, and got one of these special necklaces for Christmas, I’d feel a bit cheated if I found out it had actually been made by some slob from Chicago.
Tom wonders why some necklaces have the cutout, and some the embossing. Santa calls it “a Fairyland mystery.”
CAN YOU FIGURE IT OUT, LOYAL READERS?
Santa has already spent hours making these. He doesn’t appear to be making anything else.
I guess that’s not surprising, since Santa refuses to visit homes where even one person is a nonbeliever in him. He’s probably had to make maybe two toys in…ever.
Tom wants to ask Santa more questions, but Santa is having none of it:
“You’re not coming back to the house?”
“Sorry,” Kris said. “More work to do. And you need your rest.”
Tom was suddenly so sleepy he could hardly speak.
HE’S BEEN DRUGGED AGAIN
Man, Tom has the worst luck ever when it comes to relationships with manipulative people.
Speaking of whom, more on Noella tomorrow.