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An Endless Summer – the Christmas Advent prequel (1101 words) (All)

Authors note: I had an idea for the advent story which I think I will take forward later in the year.  However, I had a few ideas that I wanted to get out of the system first – and I reckon there’s at least one more prequel story still to go as summer leaves us and winter starts to draw in.  But will it if enough people wish for it???

It was the last morning of the holiday.  Billy took the opportunity for one last walk along the beach whilst his parents packed his suitcase.  Even though they had been on holiday all week, Billy had not managed to learn the art of stone skimming – each pebble just plopped into the water without a single bounce.  But Billy was okay with that – just being able to throw the stones was fun enough for him, especially as he reckoned he was throwing them further than ever before.  A voice behind him made him turn.

“You want to pick flatter stones, Billy.”

It was Chuck, one of the hotel’s entertainment team.  Chuck bent down and picked up a flattish stone.  With a smooth spin, he launched it out to sea and the two of them watched it skip seven times before sinking.

“It’s your last day, isn’t it?” asked Chuck.  Billy nodded – thanks for the reminder, Chuck.

“But have you had a good time?” continued Chuck.

Billy didn’t hesitate. “It’s been brilliant and I wish summer would never end!”

“You wish that summer would never end? Wouldn’t you get bored?”

“No, it would be great!  Yes, that’s what I want – an endless summer!”

Chuck reached into his pocket and pulled out a strange shaped object. As he handed it to Billy, he said

“As a special treat Billy, try throwing this stone – but you must make a wish as you do it.”

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Billy looked at the stone.  It was a goldish colour and star shaped.  It looked too neat to throw, but Chuck was expecting him to throw it, so he did the best he could whilst saying out loud

“I wish for an endless summer”…. The star wobbled then skipped across the sea, bouncing at least ten times before it went out of sight behind a wave.

“You have a safe journey home Billy” said Chuck. “Hopefully we’ll see you again next year.”

Of all the things in the petting zoo, Kylie loved the rabbits and the bunnies.  She wished that she could take one home, but with two cats, a dog and a hamster she didn’t think anyone would give her floor space for another animal.  But this meant that she could enjoy her time with the rabbits all the more – and over the summer she had started to help with the feeding and care of the animals.  Sandra, the keeper, smiled as she saw Kylie pet the rabbits – each one the name of one of the singers in the current boy band (even though two of the bunnies were girls). Sandra approached Kylie.

“Last day here then, Kylie” said Sandra.

“Yes, I need to get all my things ready for school next week.”

“Has it been fun? Have you enjoyed yourself?”

“Yes Sandra, it’s been great; thank you for letting me help out!”

“Well, I have one more treat for you – well, for them actually.  It’s a little something that we do here now – we let our chief supporters feed their favourite animals something special; and because it’s special we think that if the feeder makes a wish it will come true!  Why don’t you try it?”

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Sandra offered Kylie a small star shaped biscuit. Kylie took it and immediately went over to the rabbit enclosure, where she held it out for the rabbits to eat.

“I wish the summer would never end” she said.

Deep in the frozen castle, the Ice Queen awoke. Something wasn’t right – something bad was about to happen… but what?  She went down to her magic room and sat in front of the crystal ball.  The mists swirled around, and then patterns started to appear.  She waved her hands slowly at first, the mists seemed to follow her hands and light patterns danced within the ball.  Then, the Queen saw it and her hands got faster, twirling and swirling as the story revealed itself to her until… the crystal ball went black then cleared and there was nothing.  The Queen sat back.  That time had begun.

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In the fire castle, the Summer King watched as the image of Sandra faded from the mirror.  He let out the loudest, heartiest laugh – with the information that Chuck had given him, he knew that the magic was about to begin, that for once he would hold onto power and not pass it to the Ice Queen for her six-month rule of the seasons.  He knew that a child’s wish was a powerful one – and one that was genuinely made without prompting was pure untapped magic.  That Sandra, Chuck and the others had managed to get thousands of children to make the same wish at roughly the same time meant… well…. Let the summer continue!

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Santa was in the garage, about to pick up the largest spanner he could find.  He’d spent the last week trying to get that motorcycle engine to fit back into his bike – he wanted to go for one last run before it would be garaged and he would once again have to park it behind the sleigh.  Nurgle had offered to get it to fit, but Santa (being the age he was) wanted to fit it “old school” – that is, actually lift, carry, force, kick, push and thwack the motor into the frame.  He heard the phone ring and Mrs Claus politely answer.  He then heard the crash as the mug of tea hit the stone floor. Instantly, Santa let go of the engine and it toppled back onto his foot.  He went to say something, but seeing all the elves watching this demonstration of manual labour prevented him from yelling out loud.  He remembered when he had cried out an expletive last time when he was hanging a picture… the elves with the hammers thought they had to say it every time they used their hammers – and being the industrious little fellow they were it got said A LOT.  He rushed to see Mrs Claus, who was sat on the bottom stair looking very pale.

“What is it?” he asked.  Silently, Mrs Claus passed the phone across.  Santa listened, then sat heavily on the step next to Mrs Claus.  He put the phone back to his ear.

“Is there any way in which we can change that?” he asked.  He nodded as he listened to the plan.  He said his thanks, then put down the phone.

“We need to find two children” he said. “We need to get them to remember and look forward to Christmas.  Just two.  Otherwise….”

“It will be an Endless Summer” said Mrs Claus, “Just as it was foretold….”

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