Word Count 830
Thanks Lacy for the beta!
The young boy peered out of the second story window. His breath fogged up the cold glass so he grabbed the end of his nightshirt sleeve and pulling it taut, wiped away the moisture. His light blue eyes looked skyward. It had snowed all day, but the clouds had since drifted away and the stars now sparkled and shined like diamonds.
He searched until his eyes settled on the brightest star in the sky. “The Christmas star,” he whispered. As the grandson of Harlan Garrett, Scott dutifully went to church each Sunday. Each year during Advent, he had heard the story of the celestial light that led the Magi to the Christ child. Although his grandfather would think such thoughts fanciful, Scott knew that the luminary above his window just had to be the same star.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Please, let my father want me. And I know that grownups get married again. Peter’s father did. Maybe I could have a little brother, too? I promise to be the best big brother ever. I’ll look after him and teach him things. You led the Magi, maybe you could lead me to my family in California, too?”
Scott opened his eyes and after looking at the star one last time sighed. He had wished for the same thing last year, too. The privileged society boy would have traded all of his presents underneath the Christmas tree for his wish to come true. This one night a year, he allowed himself hope.
The small dark-haired boy stepped out of his humble abode and looked upward. He smiled as he looked at the millions of stars overhead. They were always bright but somehow, they seemed brighter this Holy Night to the boy. He could hear his mother rustling in the shack. Soon it would be time for the two of them to go to the La Misa Del Gallo. Last year his mother had worked Christmas Eve and had been too busy to go to Midnight Mass. He smiled again to himself. This year the town they had drifted to was so insignificant, everything closed on Christmas Eve, even the saloon. For once, he would have his mother all to himself at Christmas.
His dark blue eyes sought the heavens once more. They widened at one star that seemed brighter and bigger than all the others. “La Estrella la Navidad,” he whispered. Now that he was five, Johnny had participated in the town’s Posada this year. For once, this town didn’t seem to mind that he was a mestizo. He had heard the stories of the Holy Family and he hoped his mother and he would stay here so that he could celebrate Reyes Magos. He wanted to see the parade of the Three Kings.
He wrapped his arms around himself to ward off the chill of the desert night and closed his eyes. “Please, I know my Papi didn’t want me, but could you make him change his mind? Mama has to work so hard. I promise to be good and I won’t get in the way. I know it is too late, but I wish I had a big brother. This town is nice but there is no work. Soon we will have to move. If I had a big brother, he would protect me from the mean boys.”
Johnny opened his eyes and sighed. The small thin boy knew that his wishes rarely came true but he was still young enough to be hopeful this special night.
Murdoch Lancer stepped outside, whiskey glass in hand. It had been a fine Christmas dinner, albeit a lonely one. Unfortunately, he was getting used to being lonely. Oh, he had invited a few friends over, but those friends didn’t fill the empty place in his heart. Christmas was a time for family and his seemed to either be dead or scattered to the far ends of the earth.
He listened to the night sounds of his ranch and smiled. He loved this land. He was working hard to achieve a legacy for his sons. Murdoch’s smile faded as he looked down at his glass. ‘A legacy for his two sons’ he thought again. Cold comfort that when they were so far away. Murdoch lifted his eyes to the heavens. His sons were as far away from him right now as those stars in the sky and about as attainable.
His eyes scanned the brilliant stars that spread across the night sky. One, in particular, stood out. The rancher had never been the type to believe in miracles, he was too practical. And, if he were honest with himself, too disappointed in past prayers that had gone unanswered.
Still….it was Christmas and for some reason, the man found himself drawn to that one special star. His eyes fixed on the sky, he found himself saying a prayer. “Please. Watch over my sons. Someday guide them home where they belong. Then I can show them that I’ve always wanted and loved them.”
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