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~White Christmas~ {HOL2014}

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posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 02:54 AM

The snow began like a winter scene from some old romantic movie. Like Mother Nature herself framed the tiny town and created a picturesque postcard.
Feeling as if she had been immersed into a winter wonderland at last, Annie busied herself decorating the large tree in the lobby window, quietly humming "White Christmas" to herself. Her husband Fred, sighed as he walked in, a bit of a grinchy expression on his face.
" I dunno why you fuss over that so much Annie. Nobody but us here to enjoy it."
" Anyone driving past can enjoy it!" She protested.
They spoke of their small establishment, a small motel sitting somewhere between the middle of here and there. The " Closed For The Season" sign hung on the front door window, and to anyone passing by it might have been mistaken for " Closed for the Holidays." But to Fred and Annie closed for the season was October 1 to May 24. When the tourists are gone, so is any reason to stay open. Luckily bills were low enough that off season was more for relaxing than scrambling to stay afloat.
Annie reached into the box of decorations and pulled out an extremely ornate silver star. Hand crafted in such a way as to appear prismatic among the twinkling lights adorning the tree. She handed it to Fred.
"Please will you do the honors?" She smiled and batted her eyelashes in just the way she used to in younger years,and always had when she wanted him to do something. It never failed.
He fetched the step ladder from the maintenance closet and carefully placed the star atop the tree, just as he had for 40 years now. This is how Christmas Eve had been every year. Up with the birds was his Annie, decorating and baking and full of holiday spirit. Though many begin much earlier in the season,usually by Christmas Eve they are exhausted.Annie, slow to start, was bursting with cheer exactly when it was required, and for that Fred could not complain.
"What's that smell Annie?" He sniffed the air as he replaced the step ladder.
"Oh the cookies!" Annie gasped and bolted for the kitchen of their small house attached to the motel.Fred just smiled and shuffled behind her. The thought of fresh warm cookies with his morning coffee drifting through his mind.
"Darren have you got the car packed yet?"
Lynn ran out of the bathroom, toothbrush in hand, tripping over a stray shoe that had haphazardly left there while filling her overnight bag.
"Yes, dear."He quipped." Just waiting on you. Do we really have to do this? I mean, the weather report isn't looking so good.Maybe we should just stay home?"
Lynn peaked her head out of the bedroom and glared at him.
"Nice try, but my parents are expecting us. Now go make sure all the gifts are in the trunk."
Darren shrugged. "Ok, but you drive."
Annie brushed the remaining cookie crumbs off the table as Fred rose to retrieve the morning paper.Stopping him mid-stride , she smiled and flicked more crumbs out of his beard, then kissed his nose as he resumed his quest for the news of the day.
The opening of the front door brought an unexpected arctic blast that thrust the handle from his hand.He steadied himself and grabbed the paper,quickly closing the door and locking it again.
" Annie, did you order a case of North Pole today?" He yelled through the lobby with a half chuckle.
" Sure is Christmassy, isn't it?" Her voice echoed back to him as he heard the oven door close, and a new batch of cookies was on the way.
Karl playfully punched Jimmy as he pushed past him, out of the garage and into the growing storm outside.
" Gonna be an all nighter buddy!" Jimmy smiled.
"Snow on the ground, is money in my pocket!" Karl replied as his voice carried through the door in a windswept flurry of white flakes.
He kicked the snow off his boots , and climbed into the drivers seat of his plow. To some the snowflakes were pretty. To others a horrible reason for a shovel.To him each teeny tiny flake was a dollar sign. Took long enough to get going this year,and his savings was dwindling.It was time to fire this baby up and make some money.
Turning the key, she started right up without hesitation, as if she was just as excited to hit the road as he was.
Pulling out of the garage parking lot, the snow began to fall heavier, in large clusters of flakes, and the wind drifted the growing banks across the road in front of him.
"Oh, yeah!" he yelled to whatever sky god was listening. " Show me the MONEY!"
"Mommy,are you sure Santa can find me at Daddy's house?" Maddy was looking up at her mother as she rushed around the little girl's room packing her suitcase for the week long stay with her father. Her first holiday separated from her baby girl since she first came into this world 5 years ago.
Tears welled up im Michelle's eyes, but she quickly composed herself.
" Of course baby, Santa will find you! I'm sure Daddy will leave him a note with milk and cookies to be sure he doesn't forget.Besides you told him specifically in the letter you wrote didn't you?"
" Yes Mommy, I did!"Maddy giggled as she jumped up and down on her bed, causing her neatly packed suitcase to bounce onto the floor.
"Maddison!" Michelle frowned, then sighed. Oh to be a kid again and feel that excitement about Christmas, and not the stress.
Picking up and re-packing everything, Michelle zipped up the small pink case, and carried it to the front door. She had already secretly packed the girl's gifts safely in the trunk and out of sight. Maddy trailed behind her, carrying her favorite rag doll.
"Ready to go baby?" Michelle whispered as she crouched down to tie the girls boots. Maddy just nodded and hugged her doll.
Fred arranged the few gifts he had purchased for Annie under the tree, next to the ones she had already placed there for him. He snickered to himself as he compared his wrapping skills to hers. You would think after 40 years of marriage that his neatness would improve just a little. Nope.While hers looked like she hired a high end professional to do,his, no matter the gift inside, all looked like well presented tin foil balls, with an abundance of tape. "Ah, well" he thought."Who cares about pretty paper anyways?"
He could hear her humming Christmas carols from the kitchen, so busy cooking and enjoying herself.This was the one time of year she loved to bake, and to be sure by mid-January he will have gained 10 pounds, or so.But it made her so happy, and he delighted to see her that way.

edit on 20-12-2014 by AccessDenied because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 02:54 AM
Eric zipped up his coat to his neck and pulled the hood over his head.Tiny snow tornadoes swirled around his feet as he brushed half an inch of snow off his windshield. A nagging negative feeling floated around in his gut like bad sushi that perhaps driving to his parent's place today on a whim for a surprise Christmas visit, perhaps wasn't the best idea.But seeing as how he had nothing better to do,and it had been a few years since he had been home for the holidays,he talked his gut into being quiet. His parents weren't getting any younger, and maybe this was the year they would stop grilling him over not being married yet to anything but his career. "Gotta build the castle before I can share it with a queen." He would repeat over and over to their inquisitions.
He did a double take of the traffic from his view in the parking lot of the apartment building,and the steady flow on the main road gave him a sense of security that the roads were still good enough to drive the trip and that hopefully the storm would pass as quickly as it came.The three hour drive to his parents would be sketchy, but worth it to see the look on their faces.
Annie brought a lunch tray out from the kitchen into the lobby where Fred was sitting on a sofa beside the Christmas tree, staring out the window at the heavily falling snow.He smiled at her, snatching half a grilled cheese sandwich and dipping it into a steaming cup of tomato soup.
"Good thing we have nowhere to go today." He said as took another big bite of the sandwich, and a trickle of soup dribbled down his beard.
"I'm sure it will pass soon." Annie spoke in between spoonfuls of her own soup. " But it sure makes it a festive holiday."She smiled at him with flushed cheeks, either from the warmth of the soup,or the flurry of activity all day. Why she almost resembled Mrs. Claus fresh in from the cold, he thought.
She winked at him as she caught him looking at her. No matter what his thoughts were, he was smiling, and that was all she needed to know.
Lynn's foot slipped as soon as her high heels hit the front step,sending her landing on her backside and her hand full of purse,keys,and coffee to go flying into the shrubbery.
"Damn it DARREN! Didn't you salt the walkway?"
Darren glanced back at her brushing the snow off her coat from his position beside the passenger door." Yes dear, I did. But it's snowing too hard and covered the salt up." He tried so hard not to smile at the spectacle of her, knowing it would be worse for him if he did.
All she did was roll her eyes at him, and tip toe slowly towards the car, after grabbing her keys and purse,and abandoning the cup of coffee left splattered on the snow.They both climbed in the car and spoke not a word as Lynn backed out of the driveway and their journey began.Within minutes, the tire tracks disappeared under a new blanket of white.
Karl took a long sip of hot coffee from his travel mug. The radio blasted and he sang loudly. Nothing could spoil his good mood today. " Merry Christmas Karl!" He said out loud to himself,and laughed maniacally.
His route consisted mostly of continuously going over the main roads,with a few side streets at the end of town.There was still enough people hustling and bustling around,that it took very little effort for him to clear the road. A few drivers waved a thank you to him,and that was always a bonus.Every now and again some noodle head with a lead foot and a rocket up his muffler would tailgate him,and from his rear view mirror he could see the driver banging on the steering wheel.You would think they would be more grateful for having the road cleared directly in front of them. Didn't fizz on Karl though. He'd smile and yell as if the driver behind him could hear, " HONK IF YOU'RE STUCK BEHIND A SNOWPLOW!" That never failed to make him laugh.
Maddy squirmed and wiggled in her seat.
" Mommy I have to pee!"
Serenity now, Michelle thought. "OK, just around this corner is a gas station and we can stop there."
"Sally needs to go too." Maddy spoke of her rag doll.
"OK baby, almost there." Michelle pulled into the gas station and quickly rushed Maddy inside.
Safely back inside the car,Michelle started to feel uneasy. While inside with Maddy, the snowfall had doubled, as had the wind.She was half way to her destination,and it would be the same driving distance whether she continued on, or turned back. Knowing she was expected,she decided to press on, but slowly. Surely this was the worst of it, and she could still drive, albeit carefully.
Maddy sang in the back seat, " Jingles Bells, Jingles Bells", over and over to Sally , her audience, as she made the cloth doll hands clap for her.
After waiting patiently in the line up of vehicles, Eric finally pulled up to the speaker of the drive thru coffee shop.
" Hello , my name is Amanda, Merry Christmas, how can I help you?"
" Yeah, can I get a large double, double please." Eric was suddenly self conscious that his teeth might be chattering as the wind blew through his open window.
" Sure. Will that be everything?" Amanda asked in what he was positive was a phony enthusiastic voice.
Glancing behind him at the sole car that had been inching it's way up the line almost as long as him,and the senior couple it held warm inside, Eric turned again to the speaker.
" Actually , no that's not everything. Please be sure whatever the car behind me orders, that you charge me for it as well. Thank you."
"Will do sir! Please drive up to the first window."
Amanda smiled at him, as she handed him his coffee and change. Perhaps she wasn't being phony after all. Or perhaps his small gesture brought out genuine happiness in her. Either way, both made him feel warmer inside than the fresh hot coffee.
The smell of Annie's baked ham wafted throughout the small house,and Fred found it increasingly difficult to occupy himself away from her. Back and forth he paced between the lobby and the whirlwind of activity outside,and the whirl of activity in his own kitchen. Dozens of cookies that were once cooling on racks, now rested neatly in decorated tins. Annie was finishing up their dinner of ham,scalloped potatoes,green bean casserole,and her best home made dinner rolls. She always made a lot of food,and leftovers were frozen for those days in winter when they wanted a hot meal, but the energy to cook it was absent.
Fred snuck up behind her as she was rolling out the dough. He tapped his finger on the bread board, coating the tip with flour, and giggling as he swiped her nose with it.
" Oh, you!" Annie squealed, and chastised him,with a light slap on the arm. Then she kissed him, leaving half the flour from her nose, now smeared on his own face. Then they both laughed at the sight of each other, and Annie continued to make the rolls while Fred wandered back to the window, frowning suddenly as he realized he could no longer see the road, nor across it, through the steady falling wall of white.

edit on 20-12-2014 by AccessDenied because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 02:56 AM
"Lynn,please, let me drive." Darren begged."It's getting worse."
"For Pete's sake Darren,do you think me incompetent? I can handle this. It's just snow. I've been driving longer than you have,so what makes you think you can do any better?" As she spoke, Lynn shrieked when the back end of the car fish tailed and she over corrected by veering into another lane.
Darren glanced at her, hard this time. But he didn't speak.Likely he couldn't have even if he wanted to. The copper taste of blood in his mouth from biting his tongue prevented any words from forming at that moment. Instead, he stared straight ahead at the snow falling horizontal at the windshield,and allowed the feeling of falling through it to overwhelm much so, that he briefly forgot where he was, or who he was with.
Karl was no longer singing. No longer laughing. Half a cup of cold coffee sat in the holder untouched. What had started out as a great night to make money, had quickly taken a turn for the worst. He had already passed a half dozen accidents, and on his second pass of main street, it looked like he had never gone over it, merely an hour ago. The snow was thick, wet and heavy, and it was clogging up his blade. He still had the side roads to do at the north end of town after this run, and then start all over. Two police cars went passed him in the opposite direction,sirens and lights full throttle.Another accident besides the ones he'd seen. Heading for the north end of town, there were fewer street lights, and it was starting to get dark.The wind gusted,and Karl's visibility dropped to almost zero.He slowed down even more. "To hell with horn honkers, in this mess." he thought. " This is getting deadly now."
"Yep" he said to himself. " Long night."
He drove carefully, scanning the edge of the road for his turn off.But it was snowing so hard that he couldn't see. The street signs were covered over with fresh wet powder, and remained invisible as he past where he was supposed to be.The town lights disappeared behind him as he drove on,plowing his own route instead.
Driving at 30mph, her wipers full speed,Michelle could barely see the tail lights of the car in front of her.The drive had already taken much longer than she anticipated and there was still 60 miles to go. At this rate it would take two more hours. Maddy was growing restless, and hungry. Michelle had not thought to bring any food, expecting to arrive at her ex husbands house in time for dinner. Now that time had passed, and even her own stomach growled in complaint. She surveyed the road side for any sign of an open restaurant. They could at least eat dinner and hope the weather improved as they ate. But she realized she was in a more residential area of a completely unfamiliar small town, and by the looks of the now growing space between houses,headed out of town. She thought of turning back, but wasn't sure if anything was even open Christmas Eve. Likely not. Better to try to make it through, than be stranded, she thought.
The car in front of her, turned off, and at that moment Michelle began to panic. She hadn't really acknowledged that she was counting on the driver ahead of her to lead the way. Now alone on the road she became very unsure of her decision to keep going. The road was completely snow covered and it was all she could do to maintain control. She thought about finding somewhere to pull over, but the soft shoulder of the road was heavily drifted with blown snow and she would be stuck, not to mention a hazard to any other drivers.
Then she spotted it. A blue flashing light a midst the storm. A snow plow! " Oh thank heaven! I'll follow him!"
She inched her way up towards the plow, and settled herself comfortably driving behind it. Her nerves, now somewhat calmer, she turned to Maddy and said, " Not long now baby."
Two police cars sat together blocking the road ahead, lights flashing. Lynn drove up to the police officer who stood in the center of the road, stopping each car as it approached. she rolled down her window, her face immediately pummeled by snowflakes wind blown so hard they burned and stung like icy hot needles.
" Ma'am,you'll have to turn back. there is an accident blocking the road ahead. You can detour back through the past exit."
" But," Lynn protested " my parents house is just off this exit! I never drive the other way. Can't you just escort me through it?"
Darren commiserated with the stunned look on the officer's face.
" No, ma'am. there is a serious FATAL accident on the road ahead. I cannot escort you anywhere. Please go back to the previous exit." And with that said he walked away to a vehicle behind her, whose driver immediately obliged.
Lynn looked disgusted and cursed. She maneuvered the car around and headed back to past exit. As she did so, the snow miraculously came down harder, and the wind blew it in all directions, swirling around the car. Lynn slowed her speed to a crawl, searching for the exit sign.
" There it is!" Were the first words Darren had spoken in over an hour.
Leaving behind the security of street lights, and with other traffic following behind her, Lynn turned onto the unfamiliar road and mentally tried to get her bearings to where she needed to be. There were two cars ahead of her, and now one behind. Soon after, as she drove,the others disappeared. Hopefully into the safety of their own homes, or those of loved ones and friends.
She rounded a corner and before her were flashing blue lights, and another car following slowly behind.
" Oh great", she snipped, " It's the slow motion parade." Darren sighed and slunk down in his seat.
Eric sat parked in an empty parking lot, chastising himself for being so stupid as to try to make it home for Christmas. " Why didn't I read the weather reports before leaving? Why didn't I listen to my gut? Why did I drink another coffee because now I have to pee and it's snowing and blowing outside!?"
Reaching behind the seat he fished out an empty soda bottle. " Desperate times, call for desperate measures."
Annie plugged in the tree, casting the entire lobby in red and white lights. Fred plopped down on the sofa, and she snuggled in beside him. Both were basking in the glory and warmth of the tree, and full stomachs.The lights twinkled creating an effect of stars on fire on the walls. It was so magical. For a long time they sat there, just watching the illuminated ballet on the wall, until it was suddenly interrupted by a blue light. Both of them looked at each other, then the tree trying to find the source.
It was then that a ," THUD, THUD, THUD" on the front door jerked them back into reality. Both of them jumped off the sofa and ran for the door.

posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 02:57 AM
When Fred unlocked it, the front door half swung open, and half blew open.
" Any room at the Inn?" bellowed Karl with a smile on his face, as he brushed the snow off his shoulders." Not fit out here, for man or beast."

Fred was going to protest that they were closed for the season, but Annie spoke up and rushed the plow driver inside." Don't you worry now, we'll make a room for you."
"I lost my sense of direction in the storm", Karl began." Seeing your tree shining in the window there was the most welcome thing I've seen for miles."
Annie smiled and winked at Fred. Just then, another knock at the door.
"Oh yeah," Karl remembered, " There were two more cars pulled in behind me."
Annie was simply glowing. Fred watched her from the doorway of the lobby, after returning from tidying up the empty rooms for their unexpected guests. She practically floated from one to the other, offering cookies, more tea or cocoa, and then dashing back to the kitchen with promises of a hot ham dinner for all.
Fred also studied the new comers.The mother with the young daughter, frantic to call the child's father lest he fear the worst. The yuppy couple, he referred to them.The quiet reserved husband, and his obviously annoyed wife who kept looking around the lobby like she wished to be anywhere but here.And of course, the snow plow operator, who led them all here, apologizing over and over for the intrusion, but laughing wholeheartedly at the same time.
" Don't get many visitors here after the fall." Annie stated as she carried a tray of food from the kitchen. Fred jumped into action,and retrieved the remaining tray, placing it on the coffee table in front of the wayward group.
"Wasn't my intention to stop here Missus. " Karl spoke with a fork full of ham hovering in front of his mouth. " But I dare not go any further, especially with these two behind me." He glanced at the others, filling up their plates.
" I'm sorry, but I cannot afford to pay for a room. " Michelle piped up apologetically.
" We really shouldn't stay either. " Lynn tried a feeble attempt at mocking Michelle's disposition, but her own idiosyncrasies shone through.
" Nonsense!" Annie retorted. " It's Christmas and there will be no charge to stay as our guests, especially in this weather! "
Maddy looked up at Michelle with tears in her eyes. She climbed up onto her knees to reach her mother's ear and whispered, " Santa won't find me now."
" Yes he will honey. Santa finds everyone." Michelle tried to reassure her daughter, and distract her with finishing the food on her plate. Meanwhile, she looked inquisitively back and forth between Fred, Annie, and their large Christmas tree. Fred finally caught on, and gave her a wink of understanding. There would be a few extra gifts from Santa under the tree the next morning. Michelle sighed with relief, planning to fetch the presents from her car as soon as Maddy was sound asleep.
Just as Fred was about to usher everyone to their room for the night, the front door rattled again. " THUD, THUD, THUD."
"Oh my!" Annie rushed to the door. " Another lost soul in this storm."
Opening the door, there stood a young man, snow covered yet smiling.
" MOM!" he beamed and hugged Annie tightly.
" ERIC!" Annie was practically bouncing.
" Dad." Eric brushed off the last of the snow from his coat and shook his father's hand before giving him a hug.
" I didn't realize you were having a dinner party," Eric quipped as he suddenly noticed the others sitting in the lobby.
" These nice folks of yours were kind enough to let us in." Karl spoke up.
" Eric, why didn't you tell us you were coming?" Annie hugged her boy again.
" I just wanted to surprise you because I thought you might want some company." Eric smiled as he removed his coat. " But I see you have lots. What a night!"
" Definitely a white Christmas, " Fred chuckled. And with that he escorted the guests to their rooms, while Annie put her arm around her son and guided him into the kitchen for some dinner and fresh baked cookies.


posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 06:57 AM
a reply to: AccessDenied

Oh the relief!
Great story, I loved your characters. It was just tense enough, in all the right places. You're a really great writer.
Merry Christmas, Access Denied!

B x

posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 10:33 AM

originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: AccessDenied

Oh the relief!
Great story, I loved your characters. It was just tense enough, in all the right places. You're a really great writer.
Merry Christmas, Access Denied!

B x

Thank you! This was my first attempt EVER at writing a story that didn't contain any elements of scary or gory or anything mysterious. Makes me all warm and fuzzy to know I accomplished something usually foreign to me.

posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 10:18 PM
Oh that was wonderful!!!! Merry Christmas Access!!!!!

posted on Dec, 21 2014 @ 04:10 AM
a reply to: Night Star

Thank you hun! Merry Christmas to you and yours, and I love the winter scene!

posted on Dec, 21 2014 @ 08:19 AM
a reply to: AccessDenied

This is a very Nice Christmas Story!!
Very well written!!!
Thanx for the Breath of Fresh Winter Air!!!

posted on Dec, 21 2014 @ 11:47 AM
a reply to: SyxPak

Thank you Syx.
Merry Christmas to you!

posted on Dec, 21 2014 @ 03:27 PM
a reply to: AccessDenied

Merry Christmas and a Positive New Year for You and Yours!!!

posted on Dec, 26 2014 @ 06:35 PM
a reply to: AccessDenied

What a delightful story, AD! I truly enjoyed it and all it's twists and turns! (S&F a few days ago.)

Happy Holidays!

posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:43 AM
a reply to: ladyinwaiting
Thank you,I'm glad you enjoyed it!

posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:47 AM
a reply to: AccessDenied
that was really good

posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 01:36 PM
a reply to: HelenConway

Thank you! Happy new year!

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