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Lori's Silent Night
2002 Christmas Short Story by RL Williams



“Hello out there to all you Cool Blue FM rockin’ radio fans. This is the Cool Blue DJ himself coming at ya spinnin’ the tunes to get your night a rollin’. Got a request? Give me a call.”

“It’s Christmas Eve and it seems all the other stations are fillin’ the waves with the old Christmas stuff. Ya know, Jingle Bells, Frosty, and my illusionary favorite Joy to the old World.”

“Don’t despair because we’re gonna give ya something else to listen to and absorb between the ears. The best rockin’ and rollin’ songs, a hoppin’ and a boppin’ …”

The phone rings and interrupts Cool Blue’s accented speech.

“We have a caller,” he announces as he pushes a button on the phone control panel.

“Hello, this is Cool Blue and you’re on the air. Who have I got talkin’ at me?”

“My name is Lori,” the soft whispering voice of a little girl answered.

“Hi Lori. How old are you?”

“Eight-and-a-half.”

“Well, Lori, shouldn’t you be in bed waiting for that mythical being known as Santa Claus to come down your chimney?” Cool Blue asked with an air of skepticism.

“Anyway my little dear, what can old Cool Blue play for you?”

“Can you play Silent Night?” Lori asked hopefully. “It’s my favorite.”

“The Cool Blue can’t play that tonight, Sweetie,” he mused. “Catch that tune on another station, honey.”

“Don’t you like Christmas, Mr. Blue?” she asked with an inquisitive tone.

“Sorry, babe. Can’t get into all that Santa and reindeer stuff.”

“You don’t like Christmas, do you?” she responded sadly.

He thought a moment. “Well, let Cool Blue ask you, why do you like Christmas?”

“Christmas makes me happy,” she said in an uplifting voice.

“You mean the toys?” he laughed.

“No … I mean it makes me feel happy to see other people care more and love more. It makes me happy when I see other people happy.”

“Betch ya get a lot of toys, and hey, you get out of school. That would be enough to make me happy,” he chuckled.

“You don’t understand,” she followed, “just being alive and happy is an important thing.”

He thought a moment and replied, “maybe when you grow up you’ll understand. Problems, problems, we all got problems. It’s hard to find something to be happy about these days. What with crime, drugs, homeless people, and so on … out here in the real world Sweetie, there is no Santa Claus. One day you’re gonna learn this.”

After a moment of silence, he paused and took a deep breath.

“We’re gonna play a few really jammin’ tracks now, so if you want to stay on the line I’ll be back in a few minutes … heeeerrrre we go,” he roared as the loud music started.

Minutes passed as music rocked and rolled the airwaves.

“We’re back, Cool Blue fans. No Christmas music here. Happy? What makes me happy? It’s playin’ and listenin’ to these jammin’ power hits I’m a spinnin’.”

“But let’s take a minute and talk again to my little Christmas make-believer Lori. Youth, oh to be young again and carefree without all those problems we adults have.”

He punched the phone button of the line Lori was on.

“Hey, Lori, welcome back to the Cool Blue Review.”

An unfamiliar voice answered, “hello, this is Lori’s mom. Lori had to go to bed.”

“Well, ma’am, little Lori and myself were talking about Christmas on the air. Can she come back to the phone for a minute or two?”

“No, I don’t think she should talk right now,” mom replied.

“So, Lori is all tucked-in and waiting for jolly old Saint Nick, huh?” Cool Blue retorted.

“Mr. Blue, I guess you don’t know about Lori do you?” she asked.

“Know what my dear?” he asked.

“Lori is not well. She is very sick and her doctors say she may not live much longer,” she relayed in an exhausted voice.

“No,” he sighed, “I didn’t know that.”

“Lori wanted me to stay on the phone line so you wouldn’t think she hung up on you,” her mom offered.

A long silence followed as Cool Blue thought about what he could say at a moment like this.

“Mom, dear, do me a favor. Go turn on her radio to this program, Cool Blue FM. OK?” he asked.

“Sure,” she replied and hung up.

He moved closer to his microphone.

“Cool Blue rocker fans out there, just a moment please. Don’t go away …”

A silence blanketed the airwaves for almost a minute.

“I’m back,” Cool Blue said, somewhat subdued.

He paused and took a deep breath.

“In this world, we all have problems, but no matter how bad we may think things are, there is also a lot to be thankful for. We should appreciate life. I guess what we need more of in this world is caring … and loving … and an understanding of what’s really important.”

Cool Blue let out a sigh.

“This next tune is dedicated to someone very special, someone who has taught old Cool Blue a very important lesson. Hey out there in radio land … Lori, thanks for the Christmas present,” he said as he pushed a button on his console.

Cool Blue sat back in his creaky chair and spoke into the microphone, “this one’s for you …”

Seconds later Silent Night began to play.


***

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

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