Stefan stalked the overheated, overcrowded, department store. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” played on loop over tinny speakers, and a palpable sense of desperation hung in the air.
Furtively glancing about Stefan stepped behind a toy display and began to stuff dolls and Transformers inside his coat. Certain that he could carry no more he turned to see a store detective approaching. Stefan scampered in the opposite direction.
Outside he located the side street in which the sleigh was parked. He climbed in, breathing heavily, and turned to the fat man behind the wheel.
“Nick, I don’t know why we bother.”
[First posted Thu Dec 17, 2009]