Resistance is Futile

This is probably too many vegetables for one person to carry unaided. If I lose my grip on these handles I’ll be chasing cauliflowers and apples down the street and looking like a prize idiot. Good exercise, though, I guess. Ugh.

Why does there have to be a bakery three shops down from the greengrocers? Why do they have to leave their door wide open so that the street is filled with the scent of freshly baked pastries and melting chocolate? Why, why, why? Continue reading “Resistance is Futile”

The Last Goodbye

Empty promises were sealed with a gentle kiss on the lips and followed by a final embrace. The hug was long and heartfelt, and when the women pulled away, they squeezed at each other’s hands and gave sad smiles. Continue reading “The Last Goodbye”

Boxing Day

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the town,

There were emotions aplenty, some up and some down.

Many nursed hangovers, while others nursed wounds,

A few mopped their tears, and more still hit the booze.

Continue reading “Boxing Day”

24. Bloody Murder

Siobhan lay naked in Rich’s arms on the rug before the fire, her throw strewn over the two of them. She listened to the steady thud of his heartbeat in his chest and felt completely at one with him and at peace with herself.

She didn’t know what it meant. She didn’t know if they were back on. They hadn’t said a single word to one another, other than “I love you,” whispered raggedly in the height of lust. But she felt that that was enough. They’d work things out, one way or another.

A heavy thud jolted her from her thoughts.

“What the fuck?!”

Siobhan pulled away from Rich in response to his panic and followed his gaze to the fireplace. Then she screamed. Continue reading “24. Bloody Murder”

23. Worry

Mrs. Claus woke up her phone for the third time in less than two minutes. She checked that the ringer was turned on, and turned the volume up high. It was already at maximum, but she couldn’t help herself.

She then looked to the analogue clocks. There was a whole wall of them, each displaying a different time zone throughout the world. She had studied those clocks for over an hour. She had checked and double checked each of them for being slow or having stopped ticking altogether. Each one was working as it should. Continue reading “23. Worry”

22. An Opportunity

The ring of blue light in the sky was mesmerising. Georgie couldn’t take her eyes of it, no matter how much her mother knocked on the kitchen window and told her to come inside.

She’d spotted it half an hour ago, when her parents allowed her 10 minutes to prance around in the snow in the back garden. She’d planned to build a miniature snowman and perhaps pelt a few snowballs at the fence, but as soon as she’d stepped out into the fresh, freezing night, something forced her to look up. And she’d been looking up at the blue ring ever since. Continue reading “22. An Opportunity”

21. Breaking Point

“Are you doing your teeth, Alfie?” Sarah had to exert maximum control to ensure her shout up the stairs had a bright, encouraging tone, rather than descending into the growl that she felt like giving.

Alfie had been sent upstairs to brush his teeth 30 minutes ago. During that time, he had chased the cat around every bedroom, squeezed toothpaste over everything other than his toothbrush, made his sister cry, and crawled inside his mother’s duvet cover and buttoned himself in in an attempt to hide from her. Continue reading “21. Breaking Point”

20. The Naughty List

“234 elephants, 235 elephants, 236 elephants –”

“Can we just go now?”

“No. I need to count to 1200.”

“But that’s really far. You can’t even count that far.”

“Can too! I’m two years older than you, remember, which means I’m two years cleverer.” Billy was actually 21 months older than his 7-year-old brother, but those 21 months provided him both additional smarts and additional sass. Continue reading “20. The Naughty List”

19. Twenty Fingers

John and Frank both peered intently at their hands of cards, without a word passing between them. They’d lived together their entire lives, and had run out of things to talk about many years ago. They tended to pass the time with games of cards and multiple glasses of ale, and Christmas eve was no exception. This time, it was Rummy that they played, and they were betting for cocktail sticks. Whoever came out on top by the time midnight came around was destined to buy Boxing Day drinks down the pub.

The men were twins, but nobody would guess it from their appearances. Both were tall, but John was skinny and wiry, while Frank was broad and built like a brick shithouse. Their personalities, however, were identical, as were their voices. Continue reading “19. Twenty Fingers”