Here it is! #8 of our blog fest countdown to Christmas!
Today the brilliant Tallulah Grace brings you the first part of a Christmas Story, ‘Kelly’s Christmas’. You can read the rest of the story over at Tallulah’s blog.
Hallelujah for Tallulah! 😉
Christmas brings wonderful memories and warm moments for most of us, but some would rather ignore it altogether. Kelly lost everything one Christmas Eve; can an ethereal visitor help her rejoin the living? This short story is the back story of one of the characters in my upcoming novel, as yet untitled.
The lights dangling merrily from every house on the street except hers silently mocked as she drove home. “It’s Christmas, time for family and friends and all-around good cheer,” they screamed with their twinkling colors swaying in the cold winter wind. Like she needed a reminder. It was impossible to turn around in this town without getting some type of in-your-face seasonal message. It was enough to make Rudolph puke.
She used to love Christmas; the decorations, the parties, the baking and the joy in finding just the right gift to make her little girl smile. Before, she couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive. Before, she shopped all year to give everyone on her list something special. Now, she wanted to close her eyes and wake up in mid-January. Or not wake up at all.
As the garage door closed behind her, she grabbed her briefcase and the fast food bag that held her Christmas Eve meal. Doing her best to ignore the holiday wishes stamped all over the paper bag, she made her way into the dark house. Seven years had fled since the night she’d lost everything, but the memories were still fresh, too fresh to celebrate this farce of a holiday ever again.
The high-pitched beep of the alarm broke the silence until she entered the code. After flooding the kitchen with light, she locked all three deadbolts before stepping out of her shoes. “I should have gone away again this year,” she told the African violet perched on the window sill. “Blake could’ve handled the trial.” Even as she spoke, she knew that this one was too important to turn over to anyone else. No way would she risk the pervert walking. His victims could never testify against him, but she would speak for them, with a vengeance. He would rot behind bars, of that she was certain.
“Fine thoughts for a Christmas Eve.” The voice came from out of the blue, causing her to drop the wine glass she had just taken from the cabinet and whirl around frantically. The kitchen was empty.
“Who’s there?” She reached behind her, trying to grab a butcher knife from the counter. “Show yourself!” She commanded.
“I don’t think I can.” The voice came again, this time it was right beside her. “Put down that knife, please, before you hurt yourself.”
“What is this?” Kelly whispered, sliding along the counter’s edge, away from the disembodied voice.
“Don’t be frightened, sweetheart, it’s me, Kyle. Have you forgotten what I sound like?”
Kelly froze, still holding the knife in front of her. This could not be happening. Maybe I’m losing my mind, she thought.
“No, you’re not crazy,” the voice answered her thoughts. “At least not any crazier than normal.”
The low, deep chuckle sent shivers along her spine. It sounded just like Kyle, but it couldn’t be. Kyle died seven years ago, along with Kaylee, their daughter, her parents and Kyle’s parents. It was a stroke of luck that she had not been in the house during the invasion. A stroke of very bad luck. She would much rather have died along with her family than to be left behind to mourn them.
“No, Kelly, you’re still here for a reason. Please stop thinking that way.” The voice became soft, almost pleading.
“Stop that! How can you know what I’m thinking? Where are you?” Kelly moved along the counter until her back touched the corner. “If this is some kind of sick joke, I am not amused.”
“It’s no joke, hon, it’s me. Come sit down and I’ll explain.” One of the chairs around the breakfast table slid out as the voice continued. “You always did believe in ghosts, don’t tell me that you changed your mind.”
Kelly stared at the chair, willing it not to have moved. After several, silent minutes, she spoke. “Kyle?”
“Yes love, I’m here. Please put down the knife and sit. I’m not sure how long I can stay.”
Read the rest of the story at Tallulah’s blog
Thanks once again Tallulah for brightening up SM0D&L!
Tomorrow – the delectably dark, Ruth Barrett!
- 12 days of Christmas – #9 Patrice Fitzgerald (sapphicscribe.wordpress.com)