One of my favourite aspects of this entire challenge is that often people pitch challenges to me – in order to have things explained. For example: What do vegetarian zombies eat? What happened to my wallet? And today: “Why does Kate have Santa boots?
I love these explanation stories – not only because they feel more like puzzles – but because I think we tell stories to create meaning out of meaningless.
Santa gave her his boots.
“What are these for?” she asked, her voice distorted by the torrential tears falling from her eyes.
“Let me tell you a story. When I was 16, my name was Alan. I used to dress up as Santa for the other kids in the street. Our neighbourhood was pretty poor so most kids didn’t get presents. I made the suit out of an old towel. One day Santa came and asked if I wanted his job, he said he’d been watching me for some time and I was a natural. I didn’t believe him but then he gave me his boots. When I tried them on, I could feel time slow. That was the day my name changed to Santa. Today I think it’s time to go back to Alan. Santa is a title, anyone can earn it. The boots have been handed down for thousands of years, and give you the power to slow time.”
“But I don’t want to be Santa,” she said, her tears had now slowed to a light drizzle.
“I know,” he said. “But Santa can only slow time for one helper. If you take the title and the boots you could have more time with your sister. The doctor said weeks right? You could stretch that to years and travel all across the world together while the normal world has only lived a day. All you need to do is a find a new Santa when you have had enough time.”
The girl’s face lit up.
“Thank you Alan,” she said, “nice to meet you, my name is Santa.”
And so the sisters lived many years together. When the time came, they found a lovely young woman named Kate to take the job. She had a great laugh that suited the job perfectly.