She started to leave, but stopped at one last case just to, like, be sure she didn't miss anything. That's when she saw it. Leni pressed her face against the glass, her nose squishing, and oohed. It was only fifty dollars too. She got the owner to come over and get it out for her, then he put it into a box and put the box into a bag. She paid, and five minutes later, she stood at the bus stop to the left of the main doors, a giddy smile plastered to her face.
It was gray and cold, and as she waited, her face started to get numb, but she didn't care - she had the perfectest gift for Lori and she was totes proud of herself for finding it. Shortly, the bus showed up and she got on, moving down the narrow aisle to the back.
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She sat, set the bag on the seat next to her, and fisted her hands in her lap. Now that that was done, she could get on with other fun Christmas Eve type stuff, like baking cookies with Mom, drinking eggnog with Luna, and watching A Christmas Story on TBS with Lincoln - that was their favorite Christmas movie ever, and another long standing tradition: They showed it, like, 24 times in a row on TV, and they watched it all. Not, like, watched watched; it was on in the background and they saw bits and pieces here and there - by the end of the marathon, they'd seen the whole thing albeit out of order.
When the bus pulled onto Franklin Avenue, Leni yanked the cord, got up, and went out through the door. Bus Man," she said, "thanks for the ride. Putting her hands up, she walked the two blocks home through a fresh flurry of snow, a light hum on her lips. Five minutes after setting out, she slipped into the living room and closed the door behind her; the warm scent of baking found her nose and she drew a deep, contented breath Before either of them could reply, Leni went up the stairs and down the hall, looking around to make sure Lori wasn't about - Leni, like, didn't' want her to see the giff.
She opened her bedroom door, poked her head in, and scanned the lay of the land. Sliding in, she shut the door behind her, crossed to her vanity, and went to set the bag down, but realized something. Leni frowned. Did I drop it? She glanced at the floor and spun in a slow circle. She didn't see it, maybe -. Tight, choking panic gripped her chest and she started to hyperventilate.
Oh, no; oh, no; oh, no; how could she be so stupid? Didn't she know it wasn't in her hand? Bad, Leni! Dumb Leni! It's gone forever now and it's totes your fault. Smooth move, ex slacks. You're, like, the Grinch because you just ruined Christmas Your awesome big sis who's always been there for you.
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Congrats on, like, a job not well done. She swallowed thickly and fought to calm her racing mind. She took a deep, shuddery breath and let it out evenly. Okay, it's not the end of the world; go back to the bus stop and wait for it to come back.
Maybe the bag is still there. Without another thought, she hurried back into the hallway, down the stairs, and out the door. It was snowing in earnest now, a shower of fat, fluffy flakes falling at an angle from the ashen sky; some landed in her hair and on her shoulders, but she didn't notice. She was, like, way too worried about Lori's gift to care. She reached the stop just in time to see the bus pulling off, thick black smoke belching from its exhaust pipe and forming a big, waving hand.
The bus picked up speed, its taillights glowing red in the mist. Leni flailed her arms and started to yell again, but it turned into a wordless cry of alarm when her feet tangled. She sprawled forward and landed hard in the snow, the air leaving her lungs in a breathless oof. The back of the bus disappeared into the storm, and she hung her head.
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She flashed back to that episode of Spongebob where he's stuck in Rock Bottom and every time he walks away from the bus stop, he misses his bus; uh-uh, that was not happening to her. She was going to stand right here stomps foot until she had Lori's gift back, and nothing was, like, going to dis-wade her. She crossed her arms sullenly over her chest, her forehead pinching and her lips pouting; her face was already numb and snowflakes dotted her hair like glinting crystals. Her teeth started to chatter, and a shiver tore through her shapely frame like a bomb blast.
She hugged herself tighter and bounced slightly, her knees bending She whipped her head up and down the street, but it stood empty save for the falling snow. The late afternoon light grew steadily weaker and lights winked on in windows up along Franklin like stars in the night sky. Leni shivered and bent against the biting wind, her hands furiously rubbing for warmth.
Just when she was about to give up and trudge home in defeat, the bus sailed out of the gathering gloom and came to a rolling stop at the curb.
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Leni waddled to the door, her knees, like, too frozen to flex, and climbed on. The driver, a fat man in a black coat with patches on the arms and a peaked cap, looked her up and down, his brows furrowing in concern. Her budding hope was ruthlessly quashed when he shook his head. He bent over and took something out from under his seat, then handed it to Leni; a flashlight. Taking it, Leni switched it on and went down the aisle, shining it under every seat and in every nook.
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People watched warily and sighed impatiently as she made her way to the back. When she was done, she heaved a watery sigh. The bag was nowhere - Lori's gift was gone forever and she wouldn't have anything. The thought of her big sister - who always loved, helped, and supported her - being disappointed and hurt because she didn't get her anything brought a rush of tears to her eyes.
Leni's hope returned, though dimmer than before. The bus took off, and Leni stared sadly down at her feet. She really hoped someone took Lori's gift to the lost and found - Lori never let her down and she did not want to let her down. Ten minutes later, Leni got off at the station, a big, two story building on the edge of downtown wedged between a rusted network of railroad tracks and an abandoned factory.
Lights blazed in its massive front windows, lending it the appearance of a ship at sea, and people milled around on the platform waiting for their buses. The lobby, a wide, vaulted space with a waiting room on one side and vending machines on the other, was sparsely populated with travellers; an Hispanic family clustered around a line of chairs, and a man in a leather jacket stood at a bank of payphones, talking and animatedly gesturing with his hand. At the desk, Leni waited for a woman in a blazer to look up from her computer. She leaned over the desk and pointed down a short hallway that filtered out into another waiting room.
Nodding her thanks, Leni shuffled hesitantly down the hall, suspense building in her middle - every step brought her closer to finding out Lori's gift was lost but totes not found, and every second she spent walking was one in which she at least had hope. She stared anxiously at the placard and took a deep breath. Well, like On the other side of this door is either Lori's gift, or not Lori's gift. Steeling herself, she turned the knob and went in. She didn't know what to expect - perhaps shelves and bins - but it wasn't the huge, literal mound of stuff reaching the ceiling like Mount Everest.
Her jaw fell open and her eyes widened in shock. For a second, thoughts of Lori's gift were blown completely away because wow, look at this stuff! TV sets, radios, hats, umbrellas, balls, bicycles, purses, gym bags, and a million other things for which she had no name. Then she remembered why she was here, and her stomach turned. There was no way in heck she was going to find Lori's gift in all Taking a determined breath, she rolled her sleeves up, plastered her tongue to her upper lip, and went to work, starting at the very bottom and slowly moving around the parameter, looking first with her eyes, then getting down on her knees to sift through.
She found all sorts of cool stuff She really wanted it, but put it back because it wasn't hers and stealing was wrong; she didn't want someone to take Lori's gift so she wouldn't do it to them.
After a while, her knees and back started to ache, and she broke a nail, which really hurt. She got to her feet and started to climb the pile, but froze when it swayed sickeningly back and forth. Oh no! She jumped back with a wince, praying it didn't upset Leni jumped a foot, let out a scream, and ran, her arms out in front of her. She was almost to the door when it hit her and swept her into the hallway like a crushing tide. Her heart blasted into her throat and she squeezed her eyes closed. This was, like, all she wrote, folks - she was going to get buried under a ton of crap and never see her family again.
The flood ceased, and for a long time, Leni lay on her side curled up in a ball. She creaked one eye tentatively open; light shone through gaps in the rubble, and the sound of excited voices wormed into her brain. Carefully so as not to trigger another avalanche, Leni crawled out of the wreckage and flopped belly first on the floor. She started to get up, but someone grabbed her by the back of her coat and dragged her to her feet. A man in a dinosaur suit with big sunglasses covering his eyes and a bandana wrapped around his forehead grimaced distastefully; he wore a black coat with a gold badge over his heart.
Instead of letting her go and saying it's alright, Miss, the security guard lead her to the door and shoved her into the night. Alone on the windswept platform, Leni hung her head in defeat. It was over. She lost Lori's present, like, fair and square. She drew a heavy sigh and shuffled into the swirling snow, her arms crossing over her chest. By the time she stepped through the front door nearly an hour later, she was wet, cold, tired, and so sad she could cry.
Lynn, Lincoln, Lucy, Luna, Luan, and Lana sat around the living room drinking hot cocoa from mugs and watching A Christmas Story , and the lights shone gayly from the bows of the tree. Leni heavily climbed the stairs, went into her room, and dropped onto the chair in front of her vanity. Published first published October 8th More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 23, Rachel rated it liked it.
This is an enjoyable little story for 7 year olds plus, about remembering that the spirit of Christmas is being thankful for what you have, and family, not what presents and gadgets you get. My only problem with it is that it may lead children to believe that Santa is not real with the beginning of the story, but at 7 years plus, this is explainable. A cute little 2, word story to read with your children this Christmas. The cover is cute and simple, a great little story.
A Real Christmas
A little boy waits up This is an enjoyable little story for 7 year olds plus, about remembering that the spirit of Christmas is being thankful for what you have, and family, not what presents and gadgets you get. A little boy waits up for Santa and eventually fails asleep waiting behind the tree and presents. His parents wake and, finding him gone, panic and search for him.
They eventually find him and the pessimistic dad realises that some presents under the tree are not from them and were not there at bedtime His wife and he soon realise that Santa did come with a message, not for the child, but for them Sheila Crebbs rated it it was amazing May 31, Christina Kempton rated it really liked it Oct 05, Corinthia rated it it was amazing May 25, Clint Johnson rated it it was ok Nov 28, Sancha rated it it was ok Dec 15, Rachel Chapman rated it did not like it Dec 06, Kevin McReynolds rated it liked it Jul 23, Precious Ong marked it as to-read Nov 03,