Fifteen year old Peter Zeidrich was about ready to strangle the five year old bouncing on his bed. “Go ta sleep!” He ordered for what seemed like the millionth time.
“But I’m not tired!” Alexandria Houston whined before pouting. “Come on, Peter!”
“If ya don’t go ta sleep, Santa won’t come.” Peter tried again.
“And exactly how are we supposed to know that Santa is coming? Huh?” Alexandria questioned pointedly. “He just comes before Christmas Morning. Is there a set time?”
The teen had to admit the questions were legitimate. “Gotta be one, sis.”
“How do you know?” Alexandria had the tone of voice she used when questioning her tutors about science.
Sighing, Peter sat up in his bed. “Just do. Not everythin’ has ta be explained.”
“Everything has an explanation.” Alexandria countered as her distinctive Houston Blue-Green Eyes looked up in to Peter’s Zeidrich Blue Eyes.
“He’s got a specific time ‘cause he’s got a schedule ta keep.” Karl Bob Zeidrich’s voice caused Peter and Alexandria to both turn towards the door. “And it just so happens that I know how ta find out where ol’ Santa is.”
“How? Magic phone?” Peter inquired sarcastically.
Smiling, Karl leaned against the door jam. “Nope, nothin’ magical about it. See, ol’ Santa has been tracked for years by NORAD.”
“Huh?” Peter and Alexandria seemed to ask as one.
“Part of the US Air Force,” Karl explained with his arms folded over his chest. “Seems there was a bit of an issue back in the 50s. Kids just could not sleep without knowin’ ol’ Santa was on his way. A colonel at what’s now NORAD figured it out after all these kids called lookin’ for Santa’s sleigh. Well, if NORAD can track other things, why not Santa? So, NORAD now tracks Santa so kids just like you guys can know when ya gotta run ta bed.”
Smiling at the thought of Alexandria finally going to sleep, Peter reached for the phone by his bed. “Got that number, Karl?”
“Ya might wanna write it down, Pete. Might need it a few times tonight.” Karl responded knowingly.
It only took Peter a moment to dial the number. He handed the phone to Alexandria. “NORAD Tracks Santa, this is Emily.” A female voice said cheerfully.
“I was wondering how close Santa is to Texas, please.” Alexandria wasn’t quite sure this would work.
“Santa is currently delivering toys in Iceland. You have a few hours before Santa is out your way.” Emily responded helpfully.
“Exactly how do you know where Santa is?” Alexandria had to admit this sounded fishy.
“NORAD tracks missiles throughout the year. It just so happens that Rudolph’s nose lets of a unique signature we can track the same way. That’s how I can tell you Santa is in Iceland delivering gifts.” Emily explained to Alexandria.
Silent for a moment, Alexandria pondered the information. “That makes sense.” Then she paused. “How far away is Iceland from Texas?”
“Santa delivers gifts really fast, so in Santa time Iceland is only a few hours away.” Emily answered.
“So, I have a few hours before I have to go to bed. Thanks! I’ll call back later! Bye!” Alexandria squealed before handing Peter the phone.
Glaring at his older half-brother, Peter silently wondered if he could get a better model. “A few hours?!”
Karl smirked slightly. “You were just as bad, Kid. Remember muttering somethin’ about payback when ya wouldn’t let me sleep.”
“I’ll get ya, Karl.” Peter muttered angrily.
“Hey! You hafta be good until Santa gets here or you won’t get any gifts! Don’t you know how it works?!” Alexandria piped up as she looked at both brothers.
“He’s just teasin’, Angel. If y’all need me, I’ll be in my apartments.” Karl kissed Alexandria’s hair before heading back to his part of the mansion.
“Try ta go ta sleep.” Peter ordered dramatically as he lay back down.
“Sure, Peter,” Alexandria’s tone said it was going to be a long night.
Eleven fifty. That’s what the clock said. Alexandria was still bubbling on Peter’s bed. “Can we see where Santa is now, Peter?”
“I just want sleep!” Peter snapped as he dialed the phone. “You promise to sleep if Santa’s near, right?” Alexandria just nodded her head. “How close is Santa to Texas? Really? Mind tellin’ my little sister so she’ll go to sleep? Thanks.” Peter handed the phone to Alexandria.
“Hello?” Alexandria said shyly.
“This is Colonel Henderson with the US Air Force. I can assure you Santa’s headed to Texas right now. You should go to sleep so he won’t skip your house.”
“Oh, thanks! I’ll go to sleep right now. Night.” Alexandria said quickly. She handed the phone back to Peter.
“Thanks,” Peter said sleepily before hanging up. “Now, ya promised ta go ta sleep.”
Nodding, Alexandria laid down beside Peter. “No one said in my bed!”
“If I go to my bed it might take too long. I have to go to sleep right now, or Santa won’t come.” Alexandria explained as she slid under the covers.
Rolling his eyes, Peter hoped the girl would keep her word. The room was quiet for a few minutes. Smiling, Peter began to drift off to sleep. “Peter,” Alexandria’s whisper kept Peter from falling asleep.
“If it ain’t an emergency, you’d better go to sleep.” Peter muttered angrily.
“I forgot my dolly in my room.” Alexandria whimpered softly.
Sighing deeply, Peter got out of bed. “I’ll get her, but you close your eyes.” Quiet so he wouldn’t wake the adults, Peter slowly made his way to Alexandria’s room. It took ten minutes before the teen was back in his room. By that time Alexandria was asleep, looking every bit like a cherub. “Wish ya looked like that hours ago.” He muttered under his breath before climbing back in bed. Even in her sleep, Alexandria reached for the doll.
Closing his eyes, Peter smiled when Alexandria snuggled against him. “Sleep, honey. Big brother’s watching over ya.”