With the leaves falling, Christmas would come soon, and that meant one thing to Tyler Shepperd—asking Santa for a bicycle, not a tricycle, a real two-wheeled dirt bike like his big brother Shawn rode. Tyler had already asked and been turned down by Mom, then Dad, and Grampa, although he might be able to wear down Gramma if he could tolerate sitting in her lap a few more times. All the others said six was too young, he wasn’t ready, maybe for his seventh birthday next summer, which was too late for Tyler. The one person he was sure wouldn’t turn him down was Santa.
But just in case Mom or Dad got to Santa first before Tyler could hand him his letter, when he saw him at the mall in December, he had a plan. Before it got too cold, he would ride the old trike he hated more than his younger sister Emma until the wheels dropped off or the frame bent worse than Dad could repair, even with Grampa’s help and magic tools.
Every day after school, rain or shine, Tyler took to the leafy sidewalks, skidding out and slamming the tricycle into tree trunks. After weeks and many bruises, a shadowy figure jumped across his path. Frightened, Tyler collided with a loud thud into an old oak that set one of his rear wheels wobbling. He picked himself up, watched the shadow man return to a high branch, and the faint jiggle of a sleigh bell made Tyler smile.
Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.
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