Monday, December 22, 2014


My brother Herbie watched Dad flip an invisible coin up in the air and then heard it clunk into the brown paper bag Dad held open in his hand.
“How’d ya do that?” Herbie asked, completely taken up with Dad’s magic.
Dad smiled and this time flipped up three coins in quick succession and Herbie’s blue eyes lit up as the three invisible coins fell from the ceiling, plunk plunk plunk, into the paper bag. I could hear my little brother’s sighs heaving from his red and green-sweatered chest.
It didn’t make sense to Herbie. Dad said Santa was too poor to bring Christmas presents this year. Why couldn’t Dad stand there in the middle of the kitchen and flip coins into the air, maybe pitch paper ten-dollar bills like planes soaring upwards and nose-diving down into a big brown shopping bag?
“You could be Santa this year, Dad.”
PublicDomain.ChristmasTreeI watched Dad’s eyes go misty on him. With the back of his hand he brushed away whatever tears would come and betray a father’s strength, a father’s knack for making magic.
“I can only bring down pennies from heaven,” Dad explained. “Let’s just wait and see. Maybe Santa will think of something. Maybe deliver whatever he can so we can find at least a few small gifts under the tree Christmas Day.”
Herbie looked so sad I put my big-brother arm around his shoulder and said, “Maybe Dad can do a little magic and stuff Santa’s pockets with something for you.” But Herbie was not consoled. Santa was poor. Dad could make money drop loudly into an empty brown bag. To Herbie it made no sense. No sense at all.

This story was first published on MorgEn Bailey'sWriting Blog. Thank you Morgen!

Sal Buttaci is the author of two flash-fiction collections Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, both published by and available at All Things That Matter Press 
His book A Family of Sicilians… which critics called “the best book written about Sicilians” is available at

Sal lives in West Virginia with Sharon the love of his life. He can also be found at:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Siggy, for republishing my Christmas flash "Magic." God bless you, my friend, and Merry Christmas!