|FREE Pattern @TQPM|
.........That was when I saw the odd light by the Marino’s house.
There was big new green truck in their driveway, and the cab light was on. I stopped to think. Of course, it must be the house guest’s truck. And when he had gone out to fetch his travel things, he must have left the cab light on. My dad had scolded me for doing the same thing. Once I had left the car lamp on, and our car battery had died. I detoured over to the Marino’s house. Maybe the truck door was ajar. Surely I could help shut the light off and save the battery.
Standing on a rock by the side of the drive to look in the cab, I saw that it was filled with presents, suitcases, a vacuum, a blender. Wow! Whatever trip this guy was making on Christmas Day, he had a lot of presents to deliver. Then I saw the blinking red light on the dash that says a car alarm is turned on. No point trying the doors. I would only succeed in setting off the truck alarm and waking the Marinos, or worse, the whole street. I imagined how angry Mrs. Marino would be if the girls were woken on Christmas Eve.
I was glad to get back into our warm house, my new Christmas PJs, and my own bed. I looked out my window one more time at the little pine tree. It seemed to blink brighter now that it sheltered a present same as a real Christmas tree. Would Santa notice? I wondered as I pulled my quilt up to my chin. But when my head touched the pillow, I had a very different thought…
Brian O’Brian was running away from home! There was no empty spot in his truck at all, except for the driver’s seat. His truck wasn’t full of presents, it was full of all his stuff, I was sure of it. And that was why Mr. Marino, sick with a cold, had invited a near stranger to stay at their house on Christmas Eve. The man had no home. I was just as sure that on Christmas morning he would have a dead battery.
And then what? Mr. Marino couldn’t help fix the truck, he was sick. There would be no shops open where they could get new truck parts. Like my Dad always says, “No good deed goes unpunished.” The Marino’s Christmas would be ruined by the stranger’s broken truck. Not to mention, Mr. Brian would be grounded on Christmas Day. Unless I did something.
What could an eight-year-old boy possibly do? I was already in bed, and it was cold out. Plus, I wasn’t even supposed to be outside. Anything I tried to do, would get me into trouble. Santa might not come. What’s the point of helping if it causes more trouble?And then I had another even more worrisome thought............
Final Part III Coming Friday, December 23rd