He ran with all his might. Snow had turned to slush and footing was treacherous. Several times his feet skewed wildly, sending him crashing. Soft light from streetlight globes, yellow with age, illuminate the misty winter night. Mrs. Liebenstein barely missed being turned upside down by this seven-year-old, legs churning furiously.
"Watch wher' yer' goin'!" she raged.
She wasn't heard. Cold soaked through wet soles numbing toes. His body thudded once again into the slush. He blinked his eyes to two big black rubber boots standing inches from his nose.
"Well, what have we here?" It was officer Morganthal Maroney. "Now what's the big rush, young Tommie!"
"Oh, mister Morgy," Tommie wheezed, "don't stop me now . . . the train!" Everyone called him that. The kids usually adding the "Mr."
"Yep. It's comin'! It's comin' right now!"
"And what of it?"
"Gerry Stevens sez' Santa's on it this year," leaving the policeman in the snowflakes.
Morganthal smiled after him. "Gerry Stevens, eh? What's that rascal up to this time? 'Be careful, son,'" muttering to himself.
It was Christmas Eve.
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