It had been six months since Bea went to live with Papa’s sister. Now it was Christmas time and her cousins were writing their letters to Santa.
In her mind’s ear Bea heard Papa’s laugh and felt his hand on her brown curls.
“Be careful who you write to, my love. Santa is no more than a fairytale, but Satan is alive and real.”
She thought it worth a try and wrote carefully, kissing the screw of paper before throwing it into the hottest part of the fire.
Her aunt sighed, but said nothing, knowing how hard this must be for one lonely little girl.
Christmas morning, while it was still dark, Bea felt icy fingers at her brow. She opened her eyes to see a narrow, cold sort of a gentleman sitting on the side of her bed.
“You wrote to me.”
“I did, sir. Can you make my wish come true?”
“Do you know what you are asking for?”
Bea nodded and reached for Papa’s hand across the divide.
Later that same morning, her aunt found her quite cold in her bed but with a smile that lit her plain little face and made her beautiful in death.