A series of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons vignettes for Christmas 2003
by Tiger Jackson
Remembering the Children: 10 December
“Hmmm. Those might be nice.” Captain Blue bookmarked the website just as his door chime sounded. “Come in! It’s open!”
“I thought you were buying me a cup of coffee after my shift?”
Blue whirled around. “Karen! Oh no . . .” He looked at his watch. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. I was on the Internet and lost track of the time.” He kissed her.
“Well . . .” Symphony Angel pretended to pout then broke into a wide smile. “I guess I’ll forgive you this time. Just don’t let it happen again! Now what were you looking at that was more fascinating than me?”
“For my kids. I have seven of them. Three girls, four boys.”
Symphony was shocked. She reeled backward and sat down hard on the bed. “Seven kids? You never told me you had children!” To her surprise, Captain Blue laughed. She certainly didn’t see anything funny about his revelation.
“I’m not their father, sweetheart! I mean my angel children, the ones my mother sent up to me. Haven’t I ever told you about them?”
The Svensons had been one of Boston’s leading families since time immemorial. But the family was noted more for its wealth than its philanthropy, and Adam Svenson’s father was not an exception to the pattern. Oh, he made some calculated charitable donations for tax reasons and managed to enjoy magnificent feasts and balls and concerts “fundraisers” but he never so much as dropped a dollar into a charity box.
Adam’s mother, though, was different. At Christmastime, she would take young Adam shopping. They always stopped at the charity tree, an enormous evergreen covered with paper ornaments marked with the names and wishes of children who didn’t have homes or whose families couldn’t afford to get them anything for Christmas. The first time, they each picked one name. Together, Adam and his mother made up stories about the children they had chosen, called them by name, imagined what they liked to eat, and shopped to find the perfect presents to fulfill their Christmas wishes.
Each year thereafter, they picked more children.; one year, he had five. Their wishes were so modest compared to his. And they were allowed to ask for only two gifts, whereas he was showered with presents from his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles — he had begun to feel ashamed. Many of the children asked for relatively simple things — a magic kit, a basketball, shoes, music.
“I still remember two little girls, sisters, I think, who asked for nothing except gloves and winter coats. No toys or anything else. Just warm winter clothes.” Captain Blue’s face reflected his feelings. “I never knew anyone who asked for clothes for Christmas. Especially not something you just expected to have already, like a coat.”
Symphony had never seen this side of her beloved before. It touched her heart deeply. “Did you get them what they asked for?”
Blue nodded. “We added scarves and hats, too. And wristwatches and jewelry kits and a pair of teddy bears. Stuff I hope little girls like. I’m pretty sure of what boys like, but girls are more of a mystery.”
Symphony smiled at Blue’s sheepish admission.
“Since I can’t be home for Christmas this year, I asked my mother to choose some angel children for me. She sent them up just a few days ago. I’ve only begun my shopping.”
“Could you use some help? I was a girl once myself, you know. I might be able to find some things the girls would really like,” Symphony offered.
Blue grinned hugely. “You wouldn’t mind? I mean, I promised we’d spend some time together today, just you and me —”
Symphony put her fingers against his lips. She smiled. “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be with than you and the children.”
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