The window fogged up slowly, the haze growing with each breathe as Sansa stared out into the yard. She shifted her weight onto her right arm, lifting her left sleeve up to the window, giving it a vigorous rub. The snow had stopped falling early in the morning, but the tree branches and bushes still had a dusting of snow covering their tops. Sansa swore that this year would be different; she would stay awake all night if the need arose.
She stared out the window, anxiously awaiting any sign of movement. A small rabbit turned its head toward the window, its eyes reflecting the glow of the small solar lights lining the pathway. Sansa’s heart skipped a beat as she pressed her nose against the glass, trying to look closer. “Stupid rabbit,” she sighed and sunk back onto her pillow.
Ellen rolled over in bed and looked at her little sister. “Go to bed Sansa!” Her eyes wore the exhaustion of a night with her extended family, and her little sister’s squirming was making it hard to stay asleep; she had always been a light sleeper.
“I don’t want to miss Santa this year! Last year he ate all of my cookies without a sound, so I made an extra large batch this year to slow him down.” Ellen smiled sleepily at her sister’s quick wit. “I won’t miss him again.”
“You tell him I said hello then,” said Ellen as she rolled back towards the wall, pulling the blankets up over her head. It took only a few moments before her slow breaths whistled softly as the air passed through her nose. Sansa hadn’t noticed, her attention focused back on the cold night outside her bedroom window. Her eyes began to droop, with each blink taking slightly longer than the last.
When Ellen would snort, Sansa would snap awake for a moment, the window completely fogged up in her view. A few flakes of snow blew off of the roof and fell gently down to the ground. Sansa was mesmerized, and it took only a few more minutes before the winter wonderland conquered her willpower, sending Sansa into dream land. The bedroom door closed quietly, the head peeking in disappearing from view.
The sun had barely crested over the horizon when the light landed on Sansa’s eyes, stirring her awake. “Oh no,” she exclaimed loudly, “I fell asleep!” She launched out of bed, her feet fumbling to find their way into the fuzzy slippers. Ellen simply rolled in her bed, groaning, as Sansa dashed out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Her eyes focused on the empty plate of cookies sitting on the table at the base of the stairs. “He came!” She turned the corner and slid onto her knees and into the pile of presents stacked below the tree. The sounds of presents shaking brought her parents down the stairs.
Dad was first down the stairs, groaning with each step. Mom looked at him queerly before realizing, “You didn’t eat them all, did you?” He didn’t need to respond, his wincing giving her the answer she needed. She smiled and caught up to him at the bottom of the stairs, pushing her head under his arm and pulling his weight over her shoulder before standing upright again. Sansa’s eyes glowed as she watched them creep slowly toward her.
Mom smiled at her patient little girl and spoke through a smile, “Go ahead.”
This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.