The sun sparkled on the iceberg as Jessie and Santa landed. At 5 a.m. Santa had packed up the sleigh with soup, Jessie and Doctor Tomlinson. They climbed into the sleigh flying their way to Jack Frost’s home. Ever since his conversation with Mildred the Monarch fairy yesterday, Santa had been mumbling under his breath. He talked with Molly at supper last evening concerned about Jack’s condition and Crystal’s work at the meteorological department of Santa’s village. Crystal had replaced Jack while he was taking some time off and Santa didn’t feel she was ready to take over permanently. If Jack were deathly ill not only would he lose a valued friend but a valued colleague as well. Besides, monitoring the weather, Jack also controlled the summer weather. Now that he was sick it was no wonder why it had been hot during the summer evenings.
Santa landed the sleigh and Jessie jumped off the back. Her feet glided on the ice and she slid into the side of the house with a thump. From inside a weak voice called “Who’s there? Crystal, darn it, I told you I wanted to rest. Come back later and leave that nuisance of an animal of yours at home. No one can sleep when Alba is yapping.” A key in the lock turned securing the door.
“Jack, it’s me Santa. I’ve bought Doctor Tomlinson out to look at you. Mildred the monarch told us you yesterday that you were sick.” Santa shaded his eyes with his mitten. The glare from the ice made it difficult to see the door in front of him.
“Sorry, Santa. I thought it was Crystal and that darned dog of hers. She’s been pestering me for over a month now. Every day it’s the same thing. She makes me check her weather charts before she sends them to you. If I knew this is the vacation I would get I’d have gone to Bora Bora to get away.” Jack turned the key in the lock and opened the door. He leaned on the doorway and motioned for the others to come inside.
“Jessie, hello. It’s nice to see such a well behaved animal.” Jack smiled softly and patted Jessie on the head.
Jessie looked up at the kindly man. She was startled when she looked at him. His blue eyes were clouded, his skin was sallow and the once spiky hair lay in mats around his head. He walked with a stoop as he headed over to a paper covered couch and sat down heavily.
“Doctor Tomlinson, thank-you for coming but all I think I have is a cold. It will go away eventually.” He took a sip of cocoa and then flushed. “Where are my manners. Would anyone like a drink or a cookie?”
Jessie’s ears perked up when she heard Jack had cookies but Santa declined. He cleared his throat. “I’m concerned, Jack. The weather has been getting hotter. You know that when your sick the temperature reflects your condition. Doctor Tomlinson needs to look at you so that we can get you better. Please don’t fight her when she does her examination.”
Jack sighed and leaned back into the cushions. “All right, but I’m fine. I just have a cold and I can’t get enough rest because of Crystal.”
Doctor Tomlinson approached the crusty old man. “Good morning, Mr. Frost. I understand you just celebrated your 506th birthday. How has youe health been in general since your birthday.”
“Fine, I told you I just have a cold.” Jack began to cough. His lungs rasped as rattled and it took sometime before he could stop coughing.
“That doesn’t sound good, Mr. Frost. Please let me listen to your lungs and your heart. Doctor Tomlinson took out a stethoscope and listened. She frowned. She then pulled out a small purple box. She fit some electrodes from the box to Jack’s chest and then turned the dial on the machine. It hummed and a number of numbers and words printed out on a piece of paper that ejected from the side of the machine.
“What is that thing?” asked Jack.
“It’s a new gadget that the elves invented. It allows a doctor to see what is going on someone’s body without needing a lot of machinery. It’s still in the test stage but I’ve found it quite reliable. It just confirmed what I thought, Mr. Frost. I am afraid you have pneumonia. We’ll have to take you to the hospital at the North Pole.“
“Pneumonia, ha! I just have a cold. You’re fancy gadget must be mistaken young woman. Why, I’ve had more colds in my life than the number of years you’ve been alive. It’s a seasonal thing. I always get a summer cold.” Jack crossed his arms and stared at the doctor daring her to touch him again.
“Jack, there is always a first time to be sick and the weather proves it’s more than a cold. You know that the nights while your dreaming have been much warmer than normal. We must leave at once to go to the hospital. It will take us several hours to get back to the Pole and I don’t want to risk you becoming sicker.” Santa’s face softened. “Come for my sake Jack. We’ve been friends for years I can’t imagine you not being around to beat me at cards next winter.”
Jack sighed. “All right, Santa. I’ll come. But I still say it’s a cold. Let’s get to your hospital and prove the young lady wrong. At least at the pole I’ll get some peace from Crystal.
The group shut up Jack’s home and climbed onto the sleigh. They bundled Jack into the centre under Jessie’s warm blankets. Jessie laid her head on Jack’s knee and looked at him with sad eyes. The man was breathing erratically and it wasn’t long before he fell asleep as they travelled under the summer sun.