The Christmas Doctor
For those that think this will be a work of utter fiction, you all can go take a flying leap off the Fred G Redmon bridge outside Selah, Washington. This happened to myself, my son, and my fiancee. If you have any question of this… well you’re welcome. You are all still here.
It was December 24th and we had just come from seeing Santa with Toddy at the Yakima Mall. He was so happy and asked Sandy to walk him up to Santa since it was something that his mother used to do every year. We had not gone to Santa for a while because Toddy did not feel right doing it without his mother there. Sandy looked to me when he asked and began to tear up a little. I just let them go and stayed back watching my little boy and my then girlfriend walk up to Santa.
She came back with a smile and a happy Toddy. I had never felt so proud of my son. He was beaming and laughing and it was, for a moment, the best time of my life.
“ Come on Sann- tta!” someone shouted behind us. Followed by a, “ Come on old man! Tell me what I want for Christmas!” I had heard that some kids had harassed the Santa last year and was happy kinda when Toddy didn’t want to see him ( until I found out why). Now I watched as a group of boys rushed the Santa and started to tear apart the little area that was made up to look like Santa’s workshop and seat. Toddy looked on heartbroken as the kids started in on the kids dressed as elves and one boy tore the beard off Santa.
Security rushed in and started to chase the kids. I saw one rushing towards us and caught him up and held him tight. He started to kick and scream as one of the Mall security officers made her way up to me. As she took him from my custody something dropped from his hand, Santa’s beard and hat.
Toddy picked them slowly up and stared at them then back at the Santa that was being helped to his feet. His face no longer jolly, the false belly falling away showing us that the kind jolly old elf was in reality young man in a fat suit and makeup. Toddy didn’t cry he just looked back and forth from the beard and hat to the man trying to recover all of his makeup and suit.
He didn’t say anything when we walked out to the car. Nor did he say anything as we drove home. He didn’t want anything to eat. He didn’t want to watch any tv or play any games. He didn’t even want to have a story read to him. He just wanted to go to his room.
We stayed in the living room for a bit, unsure what to do. Then I began to hear the yelling and screaming… followed by a crash. I rushed to his room and threw open the door. Inside Toddy was tearing up a Santa doll that his Mother had got for him when she was alive.
“ IT”S ALL A LIE!” he cried out as he tore it to shreds. “ IT’S ALL A LIE! THAT MAN WASN’T SANTA! IS THERE A SANTA?” With the question he looked at me. “ Is Santa Claus real, Dad?”
I looked down at the doll. The doll that was now torn beyond anything repairable. I then looked up at my son. “ Yes.” I said and tried with all my soul to make that real. To make all that happened in the day to be wiped away. To make my son believe once more.
Toddy dropped the torn Santa doll and walked up to me. He is only four foot tall but he seemed larger as he made his way to me. He looked me straight in the eyes and whispered, “ Liar.”
Toddy went to bed crying. I went to the living room, sat down, and felt my the tears begin to fall. Sandy stayed with me and after a couple hours Toddy’s cries were replaced by gentle snoring.
Sandy was the first to speak. “ Trades… It was bound to happen. I mean he is eight. I found out about Santa around ten.”
I nodded. “ I was told when I was fifteen. Granted I figured it out around twelve. But that is not what is the issue here.” I turned to Toddy’s bedroom door and sighed. “ Santa being real isn’t important. It is what Santa means to him. Toddy’s mom, Jedda, would take him out to see Santa every year since he was born.”
“ Every year. Never missed it. When he turned two he asked Santa about his dad. Every year the same question, “ Will my dad make it for Christmas?”
Sandy held me tight and I held her back, smiling. “ Every Christmas. The last Christmas before I saw him he had asked Santa one more question. But Jedda never got to hear that question.” I kissed her forehead and sighed. “ I wish I would of known all this back when she was alive. But instead all my son’s life before the middle of his fifth year of life I knew nothing other than I had a son and was not allowed to be with him. I just feel lucky to get the info from her photo albums and her diary.”
Sandy looked up to me, “ Her diary? Why do you have it?”
“ She gave it to me in her will. She wanted to make sure that if something happened to her that I would be able to know more about the time before I finally got to meet my son.” I sighed again, “ It has helped but still…”
Nothing else was said that night. We slept on the couch together. A day started in joy and the future….. that ended in sorrow and the past.
And that would have been it… if not for what happened next.
I had gotten up around 3 am to get something to drink. I made my way to the kitchen in a sleepy haze, grabbed my drink, then walked back into the living room. Only then did I notice two things.
1) The Christmas tree was lit and all the presents that Sandy and I had gotten for everyone was under it. Even though we had not gotten the presents out… and had not turned on the tree before we fell asleep.
2) A man in a brown coat and bow tie was sitting on my easy chair eating some fish sticks and dipping them in some pudding like stuff.
“ Hello there. I stopped by and well saw that nothing was laid out for our jolly fellow so I decided to help out and turned stuff on and put things out. Don’t worry didn’t peek but I am glad you had some fish fingers… but no custard. Luckily the store down the way had some and was so generous to give me some after I fixed their card machine. I mean it charged him for every time someone paid with plastic. That is weird isn’t it?”
I stared at him and then slowly made my way to Sandy. “ Hun… I think we have a guest.”
The man in the bow tie saw my face and set down the food. “ Don’t worry good Cat man… or cat person… or what do you like to be called?”
“ My name is Trades.”
“ Trades?” His face screwed up a bit, confused. “ Didn’t that get a bit weird when someone would try to exchange baseball cards with you.”
Sandy finally opened her eyes, “ What is it?” she asked still asleep. She looked over to the man and screamed.
“ Why do people scream like that?” He asked, “ I mean really all it does is tire out the lungs and, “ He brought his finger up to his lips and went Shhhh.
Sandy stopped screaming and looked at me perplexed at why she had ever stopped screaming.
“ See much better to stay quiet. I mean come on if Old Father Christmas had come in here and was eating your fish fingers then you would of not raised such a ruckus now would you. Now you would probably be asking why that instead of cookies but I looked around and found that none were out so maybe he would of just liked to eat what he could find but hey I am not the old gentleman so I cannot speak for him.” He stopped for a moment and looked at us. “ I am rambling a bit am I not?”
“ A bit.” Sandy responded then turned back to me, “ Trades… who is this?”
“ I don’t know.”
He smiled big. “ Oh this is the part I really like.” He cleared his throat and began. “ Hello I’m the Doctor.”
“ Doctor Who?” I asked and he just smiled bigger.
From Toddy’s room I could hear my little boy getting up. I went to his door to make sure he didn’t get taken by the madman. Toddy opened his door and walked sleepily into me. “ Dad?” he asked then wiped is eyes. “ Dad it is alright I gotta pee.”
“ A KITTEN!” The Doctor leapt over to the two of us and kneeled down to my sleepy son, “ Hello there little guy. You know I met a guy that had little ones but his looked a bit different then your’s.” He didn’t wait for me to speak he just turned to Toddy and smiled, “ So what is your name little guy?”
Toddy just yawned, “ Toddy. Toddy Marcus. Who are you?”
“ I’m The Doctor Toddy and I have a little thing that I would like you all to do with me tonight… in fact I know I need all three of you to come with me. I didn’t want to wake you and didn’t want to mess with Father Christmas’ little run but I didn’t detect him. But I did detect something of him here so I made my way in here… and I am glad that none of you have guns because I have heard that you Americans are very good at shooting people that come into your homes.”
Toddy just looked at him with an eyebrow raised. “ Huh? Can I use the bathroom now?”
After Toddy came out of the bathroom The Doctor led us back to Toddy’s bedroom and took out a device around 6 inches long that glowed. It made a weird skreeing noise then he flicked it and it expanded another 4 inches. “ Yes.” The Doctor was quiet for a bit then reached down and picked up the torn apart Santa doll. “ Yes, Good Job old Christy. Everyone.” He showed us the doll. “ See this… Old Father Christmas must of knew what was gonna happen.” He turned to Toddy and smiled, “ Little Toddy, when did you get this?”
Toddy looked at the remnants of the doll. “ My mommy told me that Santa gave it me when I was a baby.”
The Doctor turned to Sandy to ask a question. Then looked down to Toddy and how he was looking at the remnants of the doll. Sandy nodded to The Doctor and glanced to Trades. “ His mother died a couple of years back.”
Toddy nodded. “ But I got to come live with my daddy. And I met Uncle Hours. Grandma Marcus and Grandpa Marcus. Uncle Carl, Aunt Katrice… Alice… and “ He looked up at Sandy, “ And Sandy.” He turned back to the doll. “ I wish I hadn’t torn that up. Mommy got that for me… and I destroyed it.”
The Doctor looked at the doll. “ Hmm… well it is good that you did that because if you hadn’t done it then I would not have detected the singularity.” He kneeled down and patted Toddy’s head. “ Come on. I need your help.”
Toddy took my hand then slowly took Sandy’s hand. Together we all walked after the Doctor. He walked into my bedroom which inside held a big blue box with a light on the top. He opened up the box and walked inside.
“ Why is that in here?” Sandy asked me. I just shrugged. I had not put it in there and the box was way to big to get in through the door or windows. Toddy just kept going and pulled us into the box.
To say I was surprised would be an understatement.
“ It’s bigger on the inside.” Sandy gasped. She just slowly looked around the room. It was huge and in the middle was what looks like a control console. The Doctor stood against it and was pulling a few levers.
“ Now then we take this.” He took the torn doll and placed it into a drawer on the console. “ And we take the calculations and then spin this knob and then yes!” Around us the room began to shake and a noise like something scraping against something else blasted around us. After about a couple minutes the room stopped shaking and The Doctor rushed to the door. “ YES!”
Toddy raced after him, I followed in turn. Once through the doors I noticed we were outside and looked like we were in Portland, Oregon. People were walking by like nothing had happened and the Doctor was rushing down the street with Toddy following.
We chased The Doctor for nearly ten blocks (little Toddy became tired and I placed him on my shoulders) and we ended up at a mall. The Doctor slowed hid behind a trash bin.
“ Doctor why did we run here? How did we get to Portland? What is-” He shushed me and I was quiet. How did he do that?
“ Well the long and short of it is that we are in the past and up ahead is Santa… Not a mall Santa but the big guy himself. He likes to come to malls during the end of the year. It’s like Elvis… you know pretending to be himself on stage.” The Doctor pointed to the group waiting in line. “ And that young woman there is the one we are looking for.”
At the end of the finger was a young woman I had not seen in nearly three years. Someone that for a time I thought I would spend the rest of my life with her. “ Jedda?” The name had barely left my lips that I looked down to see if he had seen her too.
Toddy had seen her too and ran.
I tried to go after him but the Doctor pulled me back. “ That is the boy’s mother right? I do not see a child so I guess she will not know him… but she will know you so don’t go.” He started to walk out to Toddy but Sandy had beat him to it and was rushing after him.
Toddy went up to Jedda, his mother, who looked down at the crying child. “ Hello there.” She smiled down to him and Toddy couldn’t help himself.
“ Mommy… I’ve missed you so much.” He threw his arms around Jedda and continued to cry out loud. “ I missed you so much.” Jedda staggered back a bit.
“ Hey now little guy you need to watch out.” She smiled to him and tried to kneel down as best as she could. Her body unable to move as it once did… thanks to the very pregnant belly slowing her down. “ My little boy may get upset and wake up.”
Sandy walked up to Toddy and smiled. “ Toddy come here hunny.” She held out her arms. “ This nice lady waited in line for Santa and I think she is next. Would you like to see him too? Then we have to wait in line.”
Toddy shrunk a little towards Jedda and burried his head in her chest. “ No.” He then began to scream out loud. “ NO I WANT MY MOMMA!!!” Sandy looked away and a few tears began to form at the corner of her eyes.
Jedda was about to cry as well and pulled Toddy tight against her and began to stroke his hair. “ Little one. O’ Little one. You are lost and need your mom.” She began to sing softly to Toddy. “ She may be gone but not she is not far from your heart. Never fear and never cry for your mother love will hold you tight and keep you warm.” Toddy slowly began to stop crying and just held Jedda. She smiled and kissed his forehead and continued to humm until Toddy’s little eyes closed and he seemed to have fallen asleep.
Sandy picked Toddy up and held him close. Jedda slowly got back to her feet and smiled at Sandy. “ Sorry… how long has it been?” Her eyes were wet and tired. “ Toddy there. He thought I was his mom. How long has she been gone?”
“ Three years.” Sandy replied, trying not to betray anything or give anything away. “ She died in a car wreck. This is the first Christmas he wanted to do anything with me… I mean I am not his mom but I want to be.”
Jedda smiled and gave Sandy and the sleeping Toddy a hug. “ You’re doing good. I just hope I do well. The singing thing just was something that I remember my mother would sing to me when she was away for business.” She wiped her eyes and looked at the line. “ Want to come with me? No sense for just me seeing the big guy.”
I smiled and rested against the wall behind the garbage bin.
The Doctor kept watching. “ Okay… when they get up there and get their picture we need to keep an eye out for a cactus that goes for the camera.”
“ Huh?” I asked him. “ A cactus?” As I asked I noticed an person in an elf’s costume vaulting over the second floor guardrail and landing near a group of frightened schoolgirls. It’s hat fell from it’s head which was weird because I thought the spikes coming from around it’s head would of kept it on better.
“ CACTUS!” The Doctor screamed and ran towards the spiky elf, leaving me dumbfounded. “ Stop there you are so not going to steal Santa this time!” He took out the little stick thing and held it out in front of him like a sword… and it glowed.
Sandy, Jedda, and Toddy were next in line and watched as the Doctor made a leap for the elf and missed… falling into a small corral of balloon animals. “ TRADES GET HIM!” I snapped my head to Sandy and Toddy. Jedda was looking around for me while Sandy was helping a slowly waking Toddy from falling from from her arms as he tried to get to his mother.
I didn’t know what to do so I went after the Cactus man. He was just about to jump into the enclosure and I was not going to let that happen. I had noticed a big plastic candy cane near him and decided to use it as a club… picking it up, swinging it around like I practiced with my boken at home. It found home with his face and sent him sprawled into a pile of fake snow and cotton.
The Doctor rushed over and knelt down to the Cactus man and checked him. “ Good. He is still kicking… still pricking… still… sticky…” He then stood back up and looked around. “ Right… no need for a big show. But This is what happens when we try for one of those flash Mobs and everyone gets the date wrong… right there big guy.” He patted me on the shoulder. “ Yes that is a thing now right… the flash Mob? Or are they a group of angry photographers?” He turned to Jedda, Sandy, and Toddy… and of course Santa. “ Oh yes. Very nice.” He pulled out some glasses and put them on quickly and used his stick again. “ Oh very very nice, Santa man.”
Toddy now fully away grabbed tightly back onto Jedda. She made a “ ooh” noise at the sudden pressure on her midsection and then just stroked his hair. Santa got up and walked to the edge of the enclosure where the Doctor and I stood. He raised a hand and suddenly the room stopped. I do mean stopped because everyone except for Santa, The Doctor, Sandy, Toddy and myself were all frozen. He smiled to us and then turned to Toddy. “ Now then little Toddy. Shouldn’t you let that nice woman go?”
Toddy shook his head and held on to Jedda. Sandy looked as if she was going to cry. What do you say to a child that had just been allowed to see his dead mother again. What do you say to a child that wants nothing more than to be with his mother on Christmas?
Santa walked over to Toddy and gently stroked his head. “ Son. You need to let her go. She is your mother yes. And she loves you with all her heart. But you need to let her go.”
“ How did he do this?” asked Sandy as she walked over to us to let Santa and Toddy talk. “ Is he an alien?”
The Doctor laughed. “ No. He is Father Christmas. Older than I am. Better at this whole knowing everything and such… never could stop time like this granted if I did things like stop time I need my box but even though stopping time is only good when you really want to enjoy that bit of a Jammie Dodger and you can’t get any more.”
“ What’s a Jammie Dodger?” Sandy asked.
The Doctor made a face. “ You know Nixon said the same thing. Terrible really.”
Sandy was going to say something else but Santa finally had gotten Toddy to let go of Jedda. The two walked over to us, Santa had in his hand a cookie which he took a few bites of. Toddy had a couple cookies and was eating them quickly for he knew I didn’t like him eating too late at night. Granted since time had kinda stopped and we had traveled through time… maybe I would allow it this time.
“ Doctor.” Santa nodded to the Doctor. “ Mr. Marcus. Ms. Bee.” He then turned to the Catcus Man. “ Oh and Doctor please when he wakes up take Mr. Ghostilafhilatisus with you. He was going to take me back to his planet this year… like he tries every year.” He began to laugh a deep jolly rolling laugh, “ He thinks that if I go to his planet then I will stay there. Which my home is here and I could never leave the children.”
It took me a few moments when I looked down at the Cactus man and then to the Doctor. “ Wait is this what this was all about? Stop a green man from taking the Real Santa Claus from earth? Is that what this was all about?”
The Doctor was about to speak when Toddy spoke up, “ No Daddy. I don’t think so.” He looked up to Santa. “ You saw what happened didn’t you?” Santa simply nodded, “ You saw me tear up what my mother gave me and knew it was something that shouldn’t of happened… you knew that I regretted it as soon as I did it.”
Santa smiled. “ Yes. I saw it. And I made my way here. You wonder how I can get to all the houses in one night?”
“ Yes I always wondered that Santa.” The Doctor chimed in. Then looked to all of us. “ What I always did wonder. I tried to do it once but ended up doing nothing more then scare the reindeer that I was using.”
Santa laughed again. As he laughed I felt better. Like his laughter and presence was enough to make me feel better… radiating happiness. “ Magic. Love and Magic.”
Toddy smiled, “ I thought that it was that.” The Doctor shook his head and just walked out of the mall.
“ Gonna go get my box. Can’t do it with love… runs on other things.” he called back.
Santa laughed. “ Time Lords. Magic is real… they know it. He knows it. But he doesn’t like the idea of it.” He turned to the rest of us and laughed. “ Now then.” He kneeled down to Toddy. “ You acted bad before but you are not going to do that anymore, right?”
Toddy nodded. “ Yes. I just wish I had the doll back though. Mommy gave it to me and we took it with us every year to see you.”
Santa nodded, “ I will see what I can do little man.” He turned to me. “ And you are doing well. Don’t let anyone tell you different.” Then to Sandy. “ Young lady don’t worry soon you will get your wish and Toddy will get his other Christmas wish.”
Sandy looked confused and then to me. I stood stone still.
“ Ugh… Candy Cane to the melon.” The Cactus man groaned. “ Come one Santa please come with me.” He tried to get up but his spikes were getting stuck in the cotton. “ Please I will make sure we have cookies and malk for you.”
“ Cookies and Milk.” Santa corrected him. “ And no. I cannot go with you. But you have been at this for a very long time. You know more about Christmas then anyone. You know you could be the Santa Claus of your planet. You have it in you.”
The Cactus man was finally able to sit up. “ But… I cannot get fat. I want to get big like you Santa and be able to be jolly. I want to deliver presents to our little ones.. But I cannot grow a furry face.”
The jolly old elf just laughed, “ Look. Look at this.” He pointed to Trades. “ This man here is like me… he wants to fill the life of his child and his family with love and happiness. He doesn’t have our abilities to bend time and space but he had a big heart. You, Mr. Ghostilafhilatisus, have a big heart. You have everything you need to be like me.” He smiled and reached out to help the Cactus man up, as he did a wave of light passed between them. “ And now you have my knowledge on making toys for the children.”
The Catcus man smiled, “ Yes. Thank you. I understand.” He turned to us and nodded, “ Looks like I need to go. Christmas is almost upon us on my planet. I have a lot of work to do.” He began to laugh, “ Granted it’s not called Christmas… but it is like it. Just a week long… lots of presents to give.” He hugged Santa and rushed off.
Santa just laughed as he watched the man run off. “ Every year the same thing. Only this year I needed some one to kindly “ knock” the sense into him.” He motioned to the Candy Cane on the ground. “ Thank you Trades.”
As we stood there I heard the sound of the blue box. It faded into view and Santa just started back to his chair. Toddy went with him. “ Santa. Can I ask for something for Christmas. Something a little selfish?”
Santa nodded, “ Not too selfish though right?”
Toddy smiled, “ Actually I was wondering if my Mommy can have what she wants for Christmas.”
Santa laughed and patted Toddy on his head. “ She gets it. Without my help she gets it. Don’t worry little guy.”
Sandy walked back into the blue box and didn’t hear Toddy. “ No… my new Mommy. She is a good mommy and she needs something good for Christmas.”
Santa ruffled Toddy’s hair. “ I know.” He then reached into his sack and pulled out three blankets… the same color as the blue box. “ Take these. You may need them.”
Toddy did as he was asked and took the blankets. Then turned and walked up to me. “ I’m ready to go home Daddy.” He beamed up at me and walked into the blue box.
I turned to walk into the blue box but stopped and walked up to Santa. He smiled to me as I walked up to him and patted his knee. I sat down and did something I hadn’t done since I was fifteen… making a show of it for mom and showing Katrice that Santa wasn’t scary. I told Santa what I wanted for Christmas.
Santa listened very carefully and when I was done he nodded. “ Okay. I can do that. Just make sure to keep your heart open and ready for everything Toddy needs. He is a good boy and has gone through a lot.” He turned to Jedda. A look of confusion frozen on her face. “ You all have. Now.” He reached into the bag and took out a small gift. “ That is for Ms. Bee. It is something that she has been wanting for a while. Give it to her. She has been waiting long enough.” He handed me the small gift and stood up. Thanked Santa and walked into the blue box.
“ - and that is why when you eat cookies it tastes good.” The Doctor rambled on to Toddy who had found a few more cookies that apparently Santa had given him. “ The baker who makes the cookies usually is happy… when you eat bad cookies you know the person that made them was very sad… or wasn’t paying attention to the recipe. Nuts and bolts cookies not even a cyber man would eat those.”
Toddy ran up to me and told me that we were going to take a trip around the world with the Doctor and that once we got into place we would go for a ride. I will have to admit I did not understand what my son was talking about but once we were underway I got the idea. The Doctor had found a Christmas Tree in one of the rooms on the Blue box (which after me calling it the Blue box a few times the Doctor corrected me and told me it was called the Tardis) and once we landed near a group of strangely familiar college age students we were off again.
Only this time we sat on top of the Tardis watching the stars above and the Earth below us. For a split second I thought we were going to fall but the Doctor kept telling us that we were safe and if we started to get light headed to just let him know so he could extend the air envelope a bit more.
Toddy got out the blankets and we all just enjoyed the ride. Sandy leaned close and whispered softly to me something but I was starting to get light headed and felt my eyes close.
I woke up in my bedroom. Sandy was curled up beside me and purring softly. I slipped from the bed and walked around the apartment. The tree was aglow and little Toddy was laying under it, a little doll clutched in his arms. I sat down beside him and gently stroked his hair.
“ Now then don’t go all thinking this was all a dream or something.” a voice called out. I turned and found the TV set was on. On the screen was the Doctor smiling away. “ I mean that would be way to cliché to be a dream. I mean come on next your gonna say that three ghosts met up with you or something. That doesn’t happen. Ghosts do not exist.”
“ Oh really?” A familiar voice chimed in, “ Wanna Bet?” On the screen Sarah, our resident spirit girl, floated beside the Doctor.
“ Oh hmm… well I have been wrong before.” He looked her over and then smiled, “ This would make the whole dangerous things with companions kinda obsolete. Tell me what do you think of Fez hats?”
Sarah just tilted her head to the side as the TV shut itself off.
And that was that. Toddy woke up and told us about the dream he had. He opened his presents. The Santa doll was found in his room unharmed and he had no idea on why that was strange to us. His faith in Santa stronger than ever.
The blankets we kept in my room… as a reminder.
The small present for Sandy however…. I showed to her that night after Toddy went to bed. She said yes. We are planning for an October wedding.