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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: None of it is mine; I just play with the characters and props because it's more fun that real life.
For Prompt #44 over on da_halloween :
Someone sees / catches Normal working at a homeless shelter at Christmas Eve.

Title: Your17;re a Good Man Charlie Brown
Author: Shay (untold_story, jracklesfan77)
Genre: General
Ficlet, complete
Sketchy, Normal
Word Count: 720
Disclaimer: None of it is mine; I just play with the characters and props J
For Prompt #44 over on da_halloween @ LJ :
Someone sees / catches Normal working at a homeless shelter at Christmas Eve.
Summary: r30;Every person has a spark of goodness within them and people will often surprise you.


Your17;re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

r0;You're a good man, Charlie Brown
your17;re the kind of reminder we need
you have humility, nobility and a sense of honor
that is very rare indeed.r1;


It was late; the darkening skies, turn your collar to the wind and driving snow, close to missing an important dinner kind of late. And it was the one time of year that a person didnr17;t want to be late.


But Sketchy was late.


Cursing his ill-timed side trip to the old playground, even if it was nice to spend some time with Herbal, kicking some ball and smoking away their troubles and contemplating life, Sketchy knew that even taking a short cut wasnr17;t going to get him home in time for Carols and eggnog. No, her17;d be lucky if his pretty girlfriend and her parents didnr17;t send him packing right back the way he came r11; especially considering they had demanded his attendance at their family get together and he had pledged on his honor as a gentleman to be there.


Sometimes he cursed his tongue for its runaway tendencies; today was one of those times.


He turned a corner, narrowly avoiding the people lining the street and beginning to spill out over the curb. He'd forgotten what it was like at this time of year; people clamoring for food, clothing, a roof over their heads, employment, benefits... It was always crowded and rowdy. He really needed to be more careful.


Trying not to pay attention to the large numbers of people loitering as they waited their turns, Sketchy cruised past shops full of paying customers laden with brightly wrapped packages adorned with bows and ribbons, or those carrying last minute purchases of wreathes and trees and ornaments. Toy stores teemed with last minute shoppers, packed to the brim and rushing to get that final gift. He caught the longing looks from bedraggled children standing on the sidewalks opposite, the sad parents whose regret at being unable to provide for their own families was abundantly apparent.


As much as he loved this time of year, Sketchy also hated it. Other people's suffering was never an easy thing to observe, he reckoned, pedaling further down the street and weaving in and out of traffic that had slowed to a snail's pace at this late hour.  


Glancing through the window at the lines of people queuing up for a free hot meal on this special night, he was surprised to see, through partially papered windows,  a familiar face standing behind a counter and dishing out steaming food. 


Of all the people and in this of all places, Sketchy had never expected to find his boss serving dinner at a homeless shelter on Christmas Eve.


The man was smiling. Sketchy couldn't remember a single time he had seen Normal smile genuinely or for more than a split second. But here, tonight, serving strangers who couldn't afford to care for themselves, or had no-one and nowhere to go, he dished out smiles along with a hot meal to warm the bodies and souls of untold numbers.


Who would have thought?


Who would have thought that Normal would be so selfless and giving, that he would donate of his personal time to help those in need?


Sketchy wasn't trying to think ill of his boss, but it was hard to see Normal as anything but his annoying employer, the man whor17;d browbeat them all, called them names and ordered them around like so much riffraff. It was strange to see Normal in this light.


But then Sketchy remembered something his mother had taught him many years ago, before she had passed on to a better place. She'd told him that every person had a spark of goodness within them and that people will often surprise you.


Well, it appeared that she was right; he was definitely surprised! Nodding his approval and silently saluting his boss for his kindness and goodwill, Sketchy slowly picked up speed and continued on his way.




"Hey, Normal," he called, bounding into Jampony with a spring in his step and a smile on his face. "You never mentioned that you worked at the homeless shelter. You did a good thing there, man," Sketchy stated with wonder, "Never thought I'd -,"


Normal covered up his surprise with a well practiced glare, looking down upon his gormless employee with warning flashing in his eyes and growled quietly, "Breathe a word of this to anyone and I'll have one less reprobate on my payroll."


Sketchy recognized the threat for the bluff it was and smirked knowingly at his boss. Clapping Normal on the shoulder, he replied good-naturedly, "Don't worry, Normal. No one will ever know that Reagan Ronald is a decent human being. Your secret is safe with me."


"Good," Normal said gruffly. He tossed a package at Sketchy who just barely caught it against his ribs.


"Now, bip!"