Adam felt a chill go up his spine. He shivered as he stood listening to the Salvation Army band. A crowd had gathered now to listen. Adam shuffled his feet, he felt that chill again, even though it was a mild December evening.
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” came a booming voice behind him. He turned around to see a big man in a red jumper and red trousers. He was bald, with a white fringe of straggly hair, and a full grey beard. The man’s smiling eyes looked straight into Adam’s.
“Come on, lad, sing along with the band. Singing is the window to the soul!”
Adam started singing with the man with the booming voice. His enthusiasm was infectious. It was fun harmonizing with him. All eyes in the crowd were on Adam, he was in the lime light!
The band stopped for a break. The bearded singer turned to Adam and said,
“We sounded good together. You have a fine voice, lad.”
“I don’t think so,” Adam stammered timidly, thinking back to earlier in the day…
“Hey Adam, we’re going caroling tomorrow night, we need an extra voice, can we count on you?”
“No, I don’t think so, I can’t sing good enough,” whispered Adam, kicking himself mentally for saying that, because he enjoyed singing. He sang a lot by himself around the house. But Adam was afraid, he had become withdrawn since his mother died and he was living alone now.
“Well, if you change your mind, we’re meeting at the square at 7:30,” said George, one of his workmates.
“What’s your name, lad? Mine’s Nick.” The booming voice brought Adam back to the present.
“Not sir, Adam, call me Nick.”
“Okay, Nick,” whispered Adam.
“You should sing because you have a very good voice,” bellowed Nick.
“Well Nick, I just had an invite to go caroling tomorrow, but I didn’t think I was good enough!”
“Nonsense son, I’ll help you, we’ll sing together to get you started.”
Nick said he would meet Adam the next night at the square. Adam said he would be there, but he didn’t know why he had agreed!
The band started playing again and Adam turned to watch. When he turned around again, Nick was gone!
The next night, Adam arrived at the square on time. The other carolers were there too, but no Nick. Adam felt his old timidity coming back again.
“Come on, Adam, line up with us. We’ll start with “Silent Night”,” ordered George.
Adam started singing, “Silent night, holy night…” All of a sudden the booming voice was singing with him again. Adam turned around and there was Nick, smiling and singing at the top of his voice.
Adam smiled and he sang more enthusiastically then ever. He felt a surge of confidence which was a foreign feeling to him. The rest of the night went off wonderfully. All the carols seemed to be sung with such feeling.
“Who said you couldn’t sing? You have a fine voice. You should try out for the church choir,” said George.
“But George, it was all because of my harmonizing with my friend here, Nick.” Adam turned around to introduce Nick, but he was gone!
“I haven’t seen or heard anyone singing with you, Adam, but the rest of us carolers. Are you alright?”
“Yes George, I’m okay,” said Adam, looking around for Nick.
“Well then, I want to see you at the church for an audition Saturday night,” said George, disappearing down the street.
Walking home, Adam wondered what happened to Nick, or was he just a figment of his imagination. The night was getting chilly again, thought Adam, pulling his coat tighter around him.
“Well son, your singing was mighty good tonight. You’ll make the choir easy.” Adam turned around and there was Nick, his face beaming with accomplishment.
“Where did you go? I wanted to introduce you to the fellas.”
“I couldn’t stick around, Adam, I had some other work to do,” smiled Nick.
“Nick, I’m nervous about the choir audition, will you come with me?”
“My boy, I’ll be there in spirit.” Nick started laughing and he slowly disappeared in front of Adam’s eyes. Was it all a dream? But now he was determined to go to the audition.
Saturday night came and was a success for Adam. He was made a member of the choir and he felt on top of the world!
Walking out of the church hall, he noticed a picture among the many pictures of past members. It was Nick!
The caption read: Nicholas Klaus, Choirmaster and Choir Member Recruitment Officer, from 1950 to 1980. Died Christmas Day, 1980.
So Nicholas Klaus was Adam’s singing ghost. Well, he was certainly Adam’s Saint Nick!