The log had been the gift of a complete stranger. The boy had discovered it in the snow, at his little brother’s feet, upon waking up from their cold-induced nap.
“‘must be from Santa!” his brother had said. But Thomas knew it wasn’t. He had stopped believing in Father Christmas the year his parents died, leaving him and his little brother behind, in the urban jungle of wintery London. He had lost faith in God and humanity, until that very day when a log the size of his brother had been deposited next to their pan where five miserable pennies were freezing.
The night was falling as steadily as the snow. The boys retreated to their shelter in the back alley of the toy store. From there, they could see the ornate Christmas tree, wrapped presents and a multitude of toys through the store’s window, giving them the illusion of owning them all. Thomas dragged the heavy log to their corner and hoisted it into the wire burn barrel he had found in the dumpster a day before. He covered it with trashed newspapers and pamphlets, which he lit with his lighter – the only heritance he received from his father. His little brother and he watched the yellow flame devour the paper, consuming it with red and blue hues.
Thomas tucked his brother in, under the stained and ripped blankets that was making their bed. He slid next to him and held him close, hoping the log was big enough to last 5 hours- time after which they were guaranteed a place in the orphanage for both of them.
He fell asleep, his heart filled with hope that they would make it to the next day alive. Christmas was the season of giving and that log had been all he had hoped for.
Christmas Log/Bûche de Noël: chocolate cake filled with chocolate-orange blossom mousse, covered with with white chocolate swiss meringue icing.