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       Wonka Presents! The Story of Joe's Christmas - Part Two, p.1
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Wonka Presents! The Story of Joe's Christmas - Part Two
Wonka Presents!

  The Story of Joe’s Christmas

  Part Two

  (Fully illustrated version)

  Copyright 2014 Madeleine Masterson

  The Story of Joe’s Christmas Cont:

  When we left the story in Part One, the Manager of the Returns Dept had just seen the Christmas Wish List and was about to pick it up!

  Neddy was having a dream and in the dream he seemed to become a real horse again with a beautiful black flowing mane and a neigh that was equal to none. He was galloping through the night sky weaving in between dazzling stars and snow clouds that sent hundreds of white flakes falling to the earth below. So fast was Neddy travelling that it took a while before he felt the weight of someone on his back. It was little Joe holding on tight to his mane and with his little pink legs round Neddy’s long neck. Fast asleep too. As they sped on past more wonderful galaxies the light became so bright and keen that Neddy knew they were approaching another world.

  The appearance of a small perfectly decorated Christmas tree confirmed their safe arrival at the Returns Department, and Neddy began to slow as he recognised a familiar landscape before him. Dream or no dream he knew his way from here, and who it was he had come to see.

  Chapter Four

  The Old Administrator screwed up a piece of paper into a tiny ball and dropped it into the overflowing wastepaper basket by the side of his desk. It didn’t stay in the basket which was too full, and rolled off onto the floor. ‘Oh I can’t be bothered to pick it up it can just stay there’ muttered the old man lifting up another piece of paper. ‘It’s only a silly old wish written down - people always wanting things and that Manager passing them over to me. She must think I have all day to read wish after wish. Well I haven’t.’ And with that he threw yet another wish towards the basket.

  It was now four o’clock in the morning and the Returns Department had closed its doors at 10 pm on the dot. All returns had been dealt with, even the pig who wanted to return as a film star and squealed to see the Manager when refused. The old ledger had been closed and locked with a large key attached to a chain hanging from the Old Administrator’s belt.

  Instead of turning in for the night himself though, the old man locked the doors, turned the lights off and returned to his desk. Sitting in his chair he moved the swivel desk lamp until it shone onto a spike full of papers. All wishes were carefully written down by the Manager and placed on the spike in order of priority. Reading them and throwing the most important ones away had become a nasty habit which the Old Administrator found very hard to resist. He had read them all well into the night before deciding which ones to discard. The Manager had made his job easier tonight because she had underlined one wish in red biro and even gone over it in her pink highlighter to ensure its immediate attention - and even worse, she had brought the wish in personally only half an hour ago.

  She had then, much to his discomfort, demanded to have the old ledger opened to check the entry against little Joe; sure enough when she found the right column, right address and a cross-reference of ‘Neddy Rocking Horse’, she checked for ‘Wishes Granted’. And there it was quite clearly: ‘None’.

  In the next column along it told her how many wishes were in the budget. ‘Lovely - there you see!’ Joe has been budgeted for 10 wishes. Let’s see if his mum has any wishes left.’

  The Manager scanned the next entry down the page and found again to her delight that Joe’s mum had 7 more wishes to be granted, having used up 3.

  ‘You really shouldn’t be working this late you know, and I haven’t forgotten your long overdue holiday - was it Scarborough this year?’ The Manager gave the old man one of her intense looks and carried on ‘Now it would be marvellous if you could just organise this wish - I know it’s a list but I’ve checked the rules and it still counts for one wish only - I wouldn’t ask but this wish is so special, it’s mostly for a little boy called Joe. Anyway I’ll say goodnight.’ And after retrieving her reading glasses which had been locked into the ledger by mistake she left the Old Administrator sitting at the desk with this ‘special’ wish in his hand. Minutes later it lay in a screwed up ball on the floor.

  ‘Good!’ said the old man, tired and feeling guilty now. What if someone found out what he was doing? There was a security system in place, and set up by the Manager of course, to ensure honest and careful dealings at all times. But, as it was the Old Administrator’s job to oversee security, really he was quite safe with his guilty secret. After all, only he knew about it. And possibly this was why he put off going to bed these last few months, for the dreams he had always reminded him of the truth. For all dreams bring the truth hidden in their special dream story. The old man leaned his head against his hand and closed his eyes. Maybe he should pick that wish up off the floor, maybe he should have a word with the Manager, maybe.............and he thought he must be dreaming when he sat up with a jolt to see a race horse in front of the desk with a little boy on his back.

 
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