Flash Fiction: A Visit from St. Nicholas–and Others by Tom Robson

Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is to use these words in a story or poem: star, pine bough, glass bulb, mistletoe.

A Visit from Saint Nicholas – and Others.

By Tom Robson


(With thanks and apologies to Clement Moore.)


“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the condo,

The only ‘kid’ playing was my dad, on Nintendo.

The star sparkled brightly on the tree down below,

And hung right beside it was our mom’s mistletoe.

Concealed midst the pine boughs, so dense and so green

The white mistletoe berries could only be seen.


My pillowcase lay at the foot of the bunk.

I knew that, by morning, it would be full of ‘junk’.

My brother and sister lay in bed without sleeping,

From down in the kitchen they could hear mother weeping.

Her oven’s too small to fit her huge turkey.

And all she could serve to her kids was beef jerky.


Then out of the basement there came a loud curse.

I said to myself, “Now! What could be worse–

My mother upset or my dad in a rage?”

Then outside the window the sky came ablaze.

I jumped from my bunk to see what was alight,

But I didn’t believe when my eyes saw this sight.

A fire truck was coming. It’s lights were all flashing.

My kid brother and sister said “Cor! This is smashing!

Can we go out and see where the fire is, please?”

I said, “Are you crazy! Your fingers will freeze.

You’d have to dress up from your head to your toe.

Cos the temperature out there is thirty below.”


The fire truck stopped right outside our front door.

Out of the truck leaped brave firemen, four.

Quickly they started to unfurl their hoses.

The reason why suddenly came to our noses.

“Fire!” yelled my sister. “It’s here! This is fun!”

“Get down here, you kids! We’re on fire!” shouted mom.


The room filled with smoke. We dropped flat to the floor.

I reached out my hand but it touched a hot door.

“Too late to go that way! To the window! Let’s go!

Now both of you take a tight grip of my toe.”

Have you ever tried crawling, with two kids holding tight

To your toes, as you creep round a room, black as night?

As we got to the window we heard a loud CRASH!!!

So we finished our crawl in a shower of glass.


Then, through the smashed window, what should appear

But a frightening figure, all dressed in fire gear.

He was clad in thick clothes from his head to his toes

And out of his headpiece emerged a black hose.

His eyes stared out at us through a bulb made of glass

And he carried a fire-axe to clear a safe pass.

A voice! It was distant! He talked like Darth Veda.

It said, “Please don’t be frightened, kids. I’m here to save ya.”


He picked up little Becky, and then tiny Tim.

Passed them out to another masked man looking in.

I said, “Don’t you touch me! I can manage alone!”

But he picked me up like I was just skin and bone.

Put me over his shoulder in a fireman’s hold

And took me to safety out into the cold.


With us each in a blanket, (mom and dad too,)

We watched the flames flicker, red, yellow and blue.

Our house it was burning and naught could be done.

This was just one more game Mario Brothers had won.

Dad said that, when he entered the Castel of Doom,

The TV exploded, igniting the room.

“Oh! What’ll we do? And it’s Christmas as well!!!”

Cried our mom. Just then we heard it, clear as a church bell,

A jingle! And emerging from out of the smoke

Came this sled-like vehicle and this very odd bloke.


Eight reindeer that pulled him had this very odd cough.

My father said, “This is no joke! Now clear off!

Get back to Walmart. This is no place for you,

Unless you’re a volunteer fireman, too.”

The man in the red suit and singed, wispy beard,

(Which made him look more than a little bit weird,)

Said, “I’m not a fireman! Oh, dear me, no.

It’s me, Santa Claus! Cough! Cough! Cough! Ho Ho Ho!


“I’ve brought you this ticket. Your future is fine.

It’s the winner of Saturday’s 6/49.”

As mam and dad thanked him for the life-saving prize,

He fixed us three kids with his red, smoke filled eyes,

“You kids! Look for sacks marked with your three name tags.

An elf put one for you each on that sleigh filled with bags.”


We found them; and as we began to explore

What was in those three bags, we heard this loud roar.

Santa had taken, from out of his pocket,

And attached to his sleigh, a miniature space rocket.

“Emergency measure!” he yelled with elation.

“Save my reindeer who are suffering from smoke inhalation.

And Rudolph, my guide, has a nose black from fire.

That’s it for tonight, I’ll have to retire.”

With a last, ”Ho Ho Ho!” he headed for home,

Leaving all of the firemen, and our family, alone.


Now all the town’s children, including us three,

Did not find any Christmas gifts under the tree

At that Christmas time when our condo burnt down.

All the other children from all across town,

Could not work out (though they tried hard to guess,)

Why that Christmas their gifts came by Courier Express.

-Tom Robson. (Original version written in 1992 for his grade six students. Revised December, 2015)


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: website in progress

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