Under the Mistletoe!


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • Free e-book for Red Wine & Roses, contemporary romance
  • Swag bag
  • e-book of What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk (The Writerpunk Project Book 4)
  • e-book of Holiday Fling, contemporary romance

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post ( or rather Tuesday as it’s been lately, since my internet connection has been sketchy.) That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

by Amy Winehouse

Under the Mistletoe

by Carol Gyzander

I stamped my feet in the snow and eyeballed the decorations all around me as I waited outside my little sister’s school. Some of them I remembered from when I myself had been a third-grader there, ten years ago—the wreath over the door, red and green lights wrapped around the entrance. Non-denominational snowflakes, the kind you make by folding a piece of paper and cutting bits out of it and then covering it, and everything nearby, with glitter.

But the longer I waited, the more new things I noticed.

A Star of David made of blue lights was mounted on a post in the courtyard. Looking inside I saw a menorah on the front desk in the office. Nice, not just Christmas decorations anymore.

A multi-colored green, yellow and orange banner with another line of candles painted on it hung in the hall. Ah, Kwanzaa. Cool.

No Krampus to punish the bad children the night before Christmas—perhaps that was just as well. How about Festivus? No?

Oh well, being away at college had enlarged my world—enough to likely put me on the naughty list. At least it was good to see the old narrow view of things had expanded a bit back home.

When did they get out? Three o’clock, right? One semester in college had totally thrown my memories of grade school schedules out the window. I could stay up as late as I wanted, now, and frequently did. It was just weird being home for the holiday.

I’d slept in late that morning after helping Mom vacuum the house from last night’s family party. She’d been a bit annoyed that we had to hold it the Sunday night before Christmas because that was the only time that Aunt Marge could make it.

I’d told her I thought it had been fine, and I couldn’t believe Dad had still come in Santa Claus costume. She’d actually giggled. What the hell?

Finally, the bell rang, and I stepped back with all the parents and nannies who were picking up the kids after school as a stream of children came running out the door. No Mary. Where was she?

I waited a few minutes and was about to go and look for her, when I saw her trudging slowly down the hall, holding hands with another little girl whose red eyes showed she had clearly been crying.

“Hey! Mary, over here!” I waved my arm over my head because she wasn’t even looking around to try and find me.

My little sister hugged the other girl, who wiped her eyes and trudged off down the street with her nanny, shoulders down.

“Hey bug, how was your day? What’s with your friend?” I hugged Mary and got little response in return.

“Fine. She’s sad.”

Dang. That didn’t sound like a kid right before Christmas. “Why is she sad?” The two of us started walking down the street toward our house.

“She said her parents are getting divorced. Her mom was doing the S – E – X thing. With somebody that wasn’t her daddy.”

“You…you know about sex?” Holy crap, when did they start sex ed in school? I couldn’t remember.

Mary sniffled. “Yeah, we just had a lesson on it in health class. You’re not supposed to do it except with your partner or spouse. Not with other people.”

Ah, so that’s what they’re telling people now. “Well, I’m sorry for your friend. How was your day?”

We had reached the corner house with the big holiday display that I always loved to see, but Mary didn’t even stop and look. She didn’t answer.

“Hey bug, you seem awfully upset, too. Is something else wrong?”

After a silence, I could barely hear the next words from her. “I saw Mommy.”

Okay…

“You saw Mommy what?”

“I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night, under the mistletoe. After he came to the party and gave out all the presents. Mommy kissed him and Daddy wasn’t there. And that means they’re going to have to get divorced.”

Oh crap crap crap. She still believed in Santa Claus—didn’t she know that was Dad dressed up? What the hell did they tell me when I’d asked if Santa was real? I took a deep breath and spun her around to face me.

“Oh bug, it’s time you learned the truth. You know the whole thing about Santa traveling all around the world in one night, giving toys to all the good kids? That doesn’t make sense, does it? I mean, even with magic, how could he do that, right?”

She sniffed. “I’ve been wondering about that. Even with reindeer.”

“Exactly. See, there’s more to it than you’ve been thinking. Somebody needs to fill you in on the real truth. Do you think you’re ready for it?”

She wiped her nose with the back of her hand and nodded.

“Santa can’t do it all himself. We all have to help—those of us who believe in Christmas, at least. You know how the family gave each other presents last night? It wasn’t Christmas yet. We were just helping out with the spirit of Christmas. The same thing happens on Christmas Eve. All the moms and dads—even the sisters—who believe help Santa by putting the presents out under the tree. It’s like there’s a little bit of Santa in all of us.”

She thought a few minutes. “What does this have to do with them getting divorced?”

“Well, sometimes parents get so excited to help Santa that they even dress up in a Santa suit. And when daddies do that, mommies want to kiss them.”

She turned it over in her mind. I could see the light bulb forming over her head—then she burst out laughing, yelled, “Eeeew!” And ran down the street toward our house, shrieking with laughter the whole way.

I figured I deserved a spot on the nice list after all.

About the author:

Carol Gyzander writes under her own name, even though few can spell or pronounce it (think “GUYS and her”).

She was a prolific reader of the three “A” writers in her early days: Andre Norton, Aasimov, and Agatha Christie.

Since they moved every two years, Carol had lots of reading time on her hands as the perpetual new kid. But she became adept at people-watching in order to fit in at each new school, and followed this up by studying anthropology—the study of people and their culture—and lots and lots of English literature at Bryn Mawr College.

Now that her kids have flown the coop, she has gone back to her early loves and writes cyberpunk and steampunk stories, with a thriller/detective novel and more science fiction in the works.

She lives in New Jersey with the writer’s requisite cats. You can see some of her work at: Carol Gyzander

Be sure to leave her a comment to let her know how you liked her story!

Write on my friends, write on!

Mistletoe


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

 

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • Free e-book for Red Wine & Roses, contemporary romance
  • Swag bag
  • e-book of What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk (The Writerpunk Project Book 4)
  • e-book of Holiday Fling, contemporary romance

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post ( or rather Tuesday as it’s been lately, since my internet connection has been sketchy.) That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

The Christmas Song by the Raveonettes

Mistletoe

by

Tracy Broemmer

Nic Collins hung her head and huffed out another irritated sigh. She hated Christmas lights, and right about now, she hated her house and the gutter and the light clips and the ladder she stood on, and the neighbor who had called a greeting to her—oh yeah, he’d sounded a little amused and a lot smug—and she swallowed down a prickly, niggling little jolt of hatred for Hailey Gerritsen. The very same Hailey Gerritsen that the rest of the world loved.

Okay, maybe not the whole world, but pretty much everyone in Nic’s world, and maybe hatred was a bit strong, but also pretty darn close at the moment. After all, it was Hailey’s fault that she was all but hanging from her gutter, stringing up the damned icicle lights that were at least a few years out of style.

“Nic?”

Damn. And let’s not forget the part about Scott Walton standing at the foot of her ladder. Holding it steady for her. She almost jumped, because that last wave of frustration with Hailey had trumped everything else, and she had forgotten that Scott was here. To help her.

She rolled her eyes and groaned quietly as she lifted her chin.

“Hmm?” She didn’t trust herself to speak.

“You okay up there?”

Why was he here? Well, yeah, he was helping her put up her Christmas stuff. Nic got that much. Hailey had probably sent him over, but Nic had told him she was fine. She didn’t need help. He could go. He hadn’t, though. He hadn’t left, and he was helping, and he’d offered at least seven times now to do this part. To climb the ladder and hang the lights.

“Yep.”

“You sure you don’t want me—?”

Eight.

She dropped her head back to hang between her shoulder blades. Her hands hurt from the cold.

“I’m fine, Scott,” she mumbled.

“Can I make a suggestion?”

Nic flexed her fingers as she turned slowly on the ladder and shot him a look that said I’m all ears. But she bit her tongue when she met his cobalt blue gaze. How could one guy be that cute and nice?

Scott Walton was dreamy; she’d noticed that three years ago when he’d been new on the crew and Hailey had introduced him to Nic and the rest of the gang. He was tall and a little lanky, but not in a bad way. His long legs weren’t awkward, so much as lean and sexy—not that Nic looked. Much. He had wide shoulders and a tapered chest, and Nic had noticed his butt. What female on the planet wouldn’t notice Scott Walton’s butt?

Best of all? He was nice. No false advertising in his friendly smile. He was mild-mannered, handled himself professionally, sure, but he was fun, too. Always had time to help anyone out. Which Nic supposed was why he had shown up here earlier.

She nodded slowly. As the producer on set, Nic was used to doling out orders and taking charge. The crew had been together for five years, and Nic rarely had to flex her bossy muscles. But she could and did now and then.

Not with Scott, though. Nope.

“Sure.” She arched her eyebrows and waited for him to suggest she get down and let him finish the lights for her. She wouldn’t. She’d thank him and go back to wondering why the damn lights weren’t working, and he’d go back to watching her. Either until they were finished or until one of them froze.

Doubtful. It was just cold enough to be miserable, but certainly not freezing.

“C’mere.” He reached for her hand.

Well. This was new. She squeezed her hand into a fist again and then backed down the ladder to the first rung, so she was standing almost eye to eye with him.

“What if…” He took her hand, even though she’d just moved down to look at him. “We…scrapped these lights. And went to get new ones.”

They’d worked together for three years. They were work friends. Period. She blinked at her fingers, encircled in his big warm hand. Warm? How was his hand warm?

“New ones?” She cleared her throat and looked up to find those blue eyes searching her face intently. He nodded, but rather than speak, he stepped toward her. Into the bushes where she’d had to wedge the ladder. His eyes never left her face, so Nic was careful not to look away, though she wondered what he was doing. Why was he getting so close?

“New lights,” he repeated. When he squeezed her fingers, she nodded.

New lights. Of course. Why hadn’t she thought of that?

But he didn’t step back, didn’t look away. Instead, he leaned further into her. Nic caught her breath when she felt him touch her cheek with his free hand. He stroked his thumb over her lower lip and dropped his gaze there when she gasped in surprise again.

He was—what the—oh—he was going to kiss her. Yep. He had that look, that intense look that guys in the movies get just before they kiss the girl. Before Nic could process that, before she could react, Scott brushed his lips—warm and soft—over hers.

Okay, proof that she wasn’t frozen yet, because her heart fluttered in her chest and throat, and a wave of warmth unfurled through her belly and fingertips. Still, in his hand, they throbbed and Nic curled them around his.

He made another pass, this one just as slow and soft, his lips over hers. It had been a damned long time since she’d done this, but she couldn’t recall the feeling of wild horses dancing on her chest before.

Her lips remembered their part, though, and suddenly, Nic realized she was kissing him back. Really kissing him. The lazy stroke of his tongue over hers was delicious and wicked, too, and Nic’s body was warm now.

All too soon, he pulled away from her, but he held her eyes in his gaze.

“What—?” She cleared her throat, but the word still came out like a croak. “What was—?”

His smile was sweet, and the thought of those lips on hers just moments ago made her ache in places she’d thought were long dead. She flicked her gaze up to watch him as he reached to pluck something from her hair.

“You had…” He shrugged, and Nic’s eyes were drawn to his lips again. “Mistletoe…in your hair…”

“Mistletoe?” she whispered, and her heart did a belly flop. She’d fallen for a moment. Believed in the magic of the season. When in reality, Scott had only kissed her because he was supposed to because of the mistletoe.

“Let’s get new lights and start again tomorrow.”

About the author:

Tracy Broemmer

You can find all of Tracy’s books on Amazon: Tracy Broemmer

Leave a comment and let her know what you think of this story.

Write on my friends,  write on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas, Darling!


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have a few author friends who have joined me in this challenge and are contributing to the prize baskets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations Alina K. Field!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • ebook for Red Wine & Roses
  • Swagbag
  • ebook of Protected By His Grace by Grace Augustine

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. The winner can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

I apologize for not getting it posted on Monday, it’s been a rough couple of days.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

Merry Christmas, Darling!

 

Merry Christmas, Darling!

by Grace Augustine

Thanksgiving evening.

Leftover put away…check. Dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher…check. Cup of hot herbal tea…check. Pen in hand with Christmas cards and address book on lap…check. Cheesy Hallmark movies on television…check.

Christmas Eve.

The four of us walked to the church in the gently falling snow. It was only a couple blocks away and, of course, the boys ran ahead of John and me, but waited at the Narthex doors so we could enter as a family.

The Christ candle of the Advent wreath was lit, the ageless message was spoken, and the candles were lit as we sang Silent Night. That song always stabs my heart, this year more so than others.

Things with John haven’t been good for a very long time. The kids have picked up on the tension between us, so they’ve been a handful both at home and at school. It’s difficult pretending nothing’s wrong.

With a smile plastered on my face, I hugged several on the way out of the church.  I greeted Pastor Iverson and his wife and nodded when they suggested we all get together after the holidays. The boys, one on either side of me, grabbed my hands and pulled me toward the door.

John never likes to hang around to visit. He impatiently waited outside. The cold hit me as I opened the door and we walked out to meet him. The short walk to our house was in silence. It was still snowing, and the silence was deafening.

I’d made a crockpot of hot chocolate, so it would be ready when we returned. It was tradition in our home to open presents after church. They boys hurried upstairs and put on their pajamas and giggled their way back to the living room, sitting as close as they could to the tree and the brightly wrapped boxes.

We didn’t have much money. Even though John and I both worked a forty-hour work week, there never seemed to be any extra. I hated that I couldn’t get more things for the boys for Christmas, but two presents each would have to do.

Thankfully, they were happy with the toy selections. John was happy, too, when he opened his new electronic gadgets…and me—well, I got a new pair of socks and a flannel nightgown.

I picked up the wrapping paper and took it to the trash in the kitchen before filling my mug with more hot chocolate. I secretly wished I had something strong to put with it! I walked back into the living room and sat down. The boys were tired. They were whiney and biting at each other. It was close to eleven o’clock… time for bed.

John continued messing with the stereo speaker enhancer. As usual, I was on my own getting the kids calmed down and ready to sleep. I chased them up the stairs to their respective rooms, but they wanted to sleep together tonight, so I figured there was no harm in that.

They both climbed into the double bed and I grabbed ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from the bookshelf. The longer I read, the sleepier they were…three-fourths the way through, both were fast asleep. I kissed each forehead and counted my blessings as I turned on the night light and closed the door.

My mug was lukewarm, but I wasn’t going downstairs to heat it. The last person I wanted to spend Christmas Eve with was John. I grabbed the cordless phone and went into the bedroom. I’m not proud of what happened after that.

You see, with the problems between John and me, and being overwhelmed with work and the kids, I’d reached out to anyone who showed me the least little bit of attention. I was in a chat room online and met several wonderful people. Some of us remain friends today. One person struck my fancy…and I did his. Doug.

Doug was a real estate mogul from Denver, Colorado. He’d been my saving grace more times than I care to count. He listened. He didn’t judge me on my feelings, or lack of, where John was concerned. He seemed to truly understand. He was divorced, and we’d developed quite a thing for one another. We’d talk to each other by phone a couple times a week and send countless email messages. We even met during a lay-over at Denver International Airport.

All I knew was that I needed to be anywhere but where I was tonight. That meant a phone call to Doug. I put my Carpenters Christmas CD in the player and punched his number into the phone. He thanked me for the peanut clusters I’d sent him for Christmas and we talked about church, dinner, his kids, my kids, how we wished we were together walking in the snow, sharing the quiet, magical night.

“Someday. I believe it will happen, someday,” he’d always say.

Tonight. I wanted it to happen tonight. How could it, though, when we were hundreds of miles apart?

“Merry Christmas, Darling. We’re apart, that’s true…but I can dream and in my dreams, I’m Christmasing with you…” The familiar words rang through my heart as I listened to Doug’s voice mixed with the words of the song. In that moment, it became our song. I began singing them as the music played. To my surprise, Doug joined in. There was a long pause in our conversation when the song ended. I didn’t want this moment to end. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I listened to his rich voice.

“Merry Christmas, Darling. Someday. Someday.”

About the author:  Grace Augustine

 

Author Bio:

Editor and award winning novelist, Grace Augustine, grew up in Montana. Her work career has taken her from title and abstracting to administrative assistant church work to co-owning a small town weekly newspaper to her current profession as a floral designer/jewelry designer/writer, and most recently, painter.

Grace thinks of herself as a “Jill” of most trades and is not afraid to learn new things. “If you can’t learn something new each day, there’s something wrong,” she says.

The ideas for her Acorn Hills series stem from her growing up years as well as the issues she has had to overcome along the way. “I’ve developed a new romance category…for the over 50 crowd…I’m calling it the salt and pepper genre. My books deal with real life issues, overcoming adversity, maintaining a positive outlook, and so much more. Just because we are 50 yrs old or older doesn’t mean that life stops. We all still want attention and affection and adventure! We want to experience all life has to offer. We use our age as wisdom to share with those around us. We are sexual, sensual, and sensible,” Grace explains.

Augustine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July of 2003. Her thoughts on that “It may slow me down, but if I can at all do it, I will. Sitting and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t the answer…living your life with an open, joy-filled heart is.”

Romance with a Touch of Grace

OTHER BOOKS BY Grace Augustine can be found on her Amazon author page:

Grace Augustine

Write on my friends, write on! Don’t forget to leave a comment!

 

4 Carat Christmas


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • Free ebook for Red Wine & Roses
  • Swagbag
  • ebook of Protected By His Grace

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

4 Carat by Kelly Clarkson

 

4 Carat Christmas

by Ellie Mack

Simone added the final ornament to her tree, then stepped back to admire her work.  It was perfect!

Staging houses around the holidays were her favorite. Her business was booming and she had a tidy account as well as investments. She was the most in-demand stager in the entire metropolitan area, and as such, she set her rates.

She moved to the kitchen, adjusting the red and gold blown glass bowl on the counter that she had acquired for super cheap at an estate auction. Auctions and estate sales were a great place to get stuff! She had several high-end collectibles and unique pieces in the old warehouse that she bought.

Walking through the newly remodeled home, no one would ever know what a trash heap it was when Cort bought it.  If it had been her, she would have had it razed.

He was due any minute. She hoped that this was the night he would pop the question.

Cort McClain was the top selling real estate agent in the region.  The Homes Channel was considering him for a series to begin in the spring of the following year. One of the executives discussed the idea that a married man would be considered more trustworthy than a single man. Simone took the opportunity to drop the hint for a 4-carat ring and a promising, financially smart match.

He wasn’t her only client by any means. She had contracts with the top four real estate offices in the area, working with over forty agents. She had dated a few of the men over the past three years of building her business when Cort caught her eye. Simone paid close attention to who were the top agents in any given office and used that information to zero in on the best candidate for her future Mister. She had even considered a couple individual homeowners as candidates, but they didn’t cut the muster.

A movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She turned, seeing Cort’s Mercedes in the drive. Warm fuzzies and a huge smile spread.

Wait! Was that?

She watched out the window as Cort leaned across to the passenger side, locking lips with a buxom brunette. “What the hell?”

“Hey, Simone! The place looks great as usual.”

He gave the area a cursory glance. “That rug looks great!”

“Who’s the brunette?” Simone asked as she pursed lips and folded her arms.

“Is that a Chihuly? Where did you get this one? Man, I would love to have this.”

He seemed anxious to leave and ignored her question. He’d seen the bowl before.

“Who’s the brunette, Cort?” She didn’t budge.

He laid the paperwork out on the counter to sign. “She’s an executive from the Homes Channel. We are negotiating a contract for my show.  Pretty much a done deal! Isn’t that great?” He clicked his pen to sign.

“And sleeping with that whore is part of the contract?” Her jaw was stern.

“No. Her name is Adrian and she’s one of the executives. Not the CEO, but pretty far up there.”

“Huh” Simone glanced out the window at Adrian making a duck face in the mirror admiring her ruby red lipstick. “So, . . I guess this means we’re through?”

“Yeah, sorry. I wanted to break it to you gently. Guess I failed at that.”

Simone wasn’t exactly the romantic type, but she sure as hell deserved better than this.

It took every ounce of self-control not to bash him over the head with the Chihuly bowl. She waited as he signed the forms and her check.

She wished she had never agreed to give him the friends and family discount rate. Which was a Cort only rate because she thought this holiday held a 4-carat promise for her, but she was obviously wrong.

As she held the check in her hand, reading it she saw that it should have another zero behind the three that were there.

“Next week I’ll have that house on Spruce ready to show. Think you can fit me in to stage that one?”

That was it. She couldn’t stand it as he babbled on about his career and Adrian. “You like the Chihuly?”

“Yes. Maybe I’ll buy it from you after the open house.  Or maybe, you can give it to me for a present?”  He tried to make a smolder and it just pissed her off.

“Sure! Merry Fucking Christmas!” She raised the heavy bowl and bashed him in the head with it as she spoke.

He crumpled like a ragdoll onto the floor in front of her and lay motionless. She kicked him a couple times for good measure before bending to feel his pulse.  Yeah, he was still alive. She went through the house trashing everything she could. Flinging the tree in the floor, throwing the towels in the floor,  turning the faucets on, and stripped the bed before dumping the vase of lilies. She overturned the furniture in the living room which surprisingly didn’t seem to take a lot of effort

When she had worked out her frustrations, she checked on him again before taking his pen and adding the zero to her check.

“The 4-carat ring would have been less expensive.” Just for good measure, she emptied the trash bin over him. The liquidy residuals from carry out Chinese splattered on his chest. She walked out to the woman in the car.

“Hi!  Cort is going to be a little longer.  He found some issues that need to be tidied up and a small leak in the bathroom. He said for you to just sit tight, he’d be out in about thirty minutes. Merry Christmas !” She forced a smile. “Oh, and make sure he uses protection. He tested positive last month.”

She sped off flipping them the bird.

Write on my friends, write on! Don’t forget to leave a comment!

 

Last Christmas


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Free ebook for Roxy Sings the Blues
  • Swagbag
  • ebooks of The Hallow Brothers Series By Tricia Andersen

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. That person can contact me  on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds easy enough right? Coming in under 1000 is a challenge for me.  Here’s the first offering.

Last Christmas by Wham

 

Not Like Last Christmas

by Ellie Mack

“My ride’s here. Have a good one!” Tony tossed over his shoulder as he hoisted his duffle heading out the door.

“Yeah, you too! See ya next year.” Clint had one more final before he could head home for the holidays. He had his bags packed, all he had to do was a few tidying things before checking out of the dorm. Now he needed to focus on this last final.

Biomedical studies was his most difficult class. The final on toxicology and bacterial pathogens had him stressed to the max. His entire future hinged on this test! Whether he got an A to keep his scholarship.  He desperately needed an A in this class because he already knew he was getting two Bs.

Well, not all of his plans hung in the balance.  He held his head in his hands,  elbows propped on the desk, staring at the book, looking right through it. He had to focus on this final, not Kayla.

Last Christmas played in his head. He gave her an engagement ring but, she gave the ring back the day after Christmas breaking up. It was all for the best, he kept reasoning with himself. He had another year to finish his bachelor’s, then years for his masters, then a doctorate and internship, practicum.

Nope! He didn’t have time for a relationship and she had done him a solid!

He didn’t take the rejection well, ended up crashing his dad’s truck and landing his drunken ass in jail.

He never wanted to be in that place again. It was part of why his future hinged on the scholarship, because his savings went to pay lawyer fees, replace his dad’s truck, and medical bills.

“Focus!”  He took a swig of his Coke. Nervously flipping the pen against the paper.  His eyes blurred.  It was as if his brain refused to absorb any more information.

“Fine!” He closed his book, stuffed it into his backpack and headed out at a brisk pace. ‘Seriously, I have to have this scholarship or else it will take me twenty years to get through medical school. Please help me retain the information and pass this class with an A.”

THUMP

He shook his head, confused about what had just happened. In front of him was a girl in tears, bent down picking up scattered papers. She was mumbling something through tears.

“Excuse me, what?”

“I said, why don’t you watch where you’re going.” She continued with the papers. A gust of wind picked up a few spreading them further out.

Clint took a few steps chasing after them, snatching one of out midair.

“I’m very sorry. Here, let me help you.”  He handed her the pages and helped her up. She came barely to his shoulders. Her hair pulled back in a ponytail, looking like she did it in a hurry. There was a purple and teal streak in her light auburn hair. When she looked up, her beautiful green eyes were sad,  it tugged on his heart.

“Where you headed?”

“Science Hall.”

“Me too. Look, I’m real sorry about running into you.  It’s not like me.  I can help you get your report back in order if you like.”

“It’s fine. Really.  I know it wasn’t on purpose. Just,. . .  emotions, you know? Finals are . . .” her voice trailed off, her lip quivering.

“I’m Clint. I’m not normally this clumsy. Finals are a bitch this year.”  He swiped a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Could I buy you a cup of coffee after this final?”

“You don’t have to. I’m sure you’re anxious to get home.”

Not really. He had no one to share his holidays with and wasn’t looking forward to staying at his parent’s home now that he was twenty-three. “It’s fine.  Nobody is waiting for me. Let me make it up to you with a drink at least.”

She adjusted her notebooks. “Tell you what. I’ll meet you at the UC  in two hours. I have to turn in this paper, drop my books, and check out of the dorm. That OK?”

“Yes. See you there.”

Clint opened the door for her to the Science hall. She went to the stairs to the left, his class was down the main corridor.

The final seemed ridiculously easy, which had him worried that he had totally screwed up. Now for the worst of it,  the waiting. He headed back across campus to the library to turn in his own books before meeting her. He hadn’t even asked her name.

“Way to go Clint. She probably won’t show.”

He wandered over towards the University Center at a slow pace. His head down, he kicked a few rocks on the way as he mentally beat himself up over how stupid he had been.

“Wow! Way to show some enthusiasm.  You know, if it’s that much of a chore, then just forget it.” She sat at the end booth just inside the door, her arms crossed before she harumphed and reached for her bag to leave.

“No! I mean, yes I’m enthused!  Look, I thought you ditched me. Can we start over?”

She eased back into the seat crossing her arms and offered a shrug.

He went to the counter and ordered two large hot chocolates. With a half grin, he sidled up to her. “Hi my name’s Clint. I thought you might like some chocolate as a reward for last day of finals.”

She blushed accepting the cocoa.

Delaney was an interesting girl. They talked for a long time. So long in fact that the coffee shop was closing and it was dark outside.

“OMG! I totally lost track of the time. I have to run. Call me over the holidays, maybe we can get together.” Pushing a small piece of paper across the table as she stood.

She grabbed her bag and dashed out the door turning at the last minute with a huge grin. “Merry Christmas!”

~~~~~

Let me Know your thoughts! Write on my friends, write on!

 

All That Glitters


Sharing a bit of flash that was posted on Storytime Trysts at the first of  the month.  You may have noticed that I’ve been MIA; in all honesty I’ve been swamped with work from two jobs, trying to coordinate Christmas things, and final edits on Kiss of the Dragon.  I haven’t fallen off the earth,  I am still planning the big end of the world bash, and the post llamacolypse resurrection for the 22nd. Trust me – the Mayan throw down will rock!  And the post party will also.  Anyone got any nifty Mayan tunage? 

The chocolate fountain is procured, the tequila is purchased; the chips are in the pantry and the taco bar is planned.  Sewing Mayan costumes for the sacrificail dancing before effigy burning; and trying to find some sort of maks – may end up with headdresses.

So, while I busy myself with pre party planning, finish with my Christmas cards, and  print off the bills for the lucky individuals to receive here’s my flash contribution.

Putting the car in park I called my best friend Stacey.  “Well, I’m here.  I don’t see his car, but this is the place he told me.  I’m so excited. Do you really think he’s going to do it?”

 

“Yes!  It’s so romantic!  I’ve heard it’s the best restaurant in town.  Can you take a picture of it in the bathroom and send me at least?”

 

I turned the ignition off and checked my makeup.  “OK.” We squealed together before I ended the call.  Dmitri and I had dated for a year, tonight marking our one year anniversary.  It was turning out just like one of our conversations when he’d asked me about things I thought were romantic.  The holiday lights twinkled, the  snow lightly falling, and the crisp chill in the air contributed to the romance.  He couldn’t have made it more perfect if he’d had a movie set.  We had talked about a romantic dinner, then a sleigh ride together in the lightly falling snow as he proposed.  I glanced down the street and sure enough a white horse with an elegantly decorated sleigh with a man in top hat and long tails. 

 

I blinked several times to keep from crying.  It was absolutely perfect. I had fallen madly in love with Dmitri after four months. He was charming, kind, and had a great sense of humor.  I took a long slow breath as I walked carefully to the door in the new fallen snow.  Blowing out a steady stream of air, as I entered, I glanced around but didn’t see him.  Tonight he would make it official.

 

The maître de escorted me to a corner booth that had a single red rose in a vase.  I had arrived before Dmitri.  I sat nervously scanning the crowd.  The waiter brought my wine while I waited.  Ten minutes later he arrived with another woman’s hand in his.

 

“Sonya, I’d like you to meet my fiancée’ Claire.”  I stood and nervously extended my hand.  His fiancée’? He scooted into the booth, staying close to Claire, their fingers laced together.  I couldn’t help but stare.  Was this his idea of a joke? Claire was a lovely girl.  Physically the opposite of me in every respect; blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, and a rail thin body. I couldn’t help but evaluate against my own dark hair, brown eyes, olive skin, and curvy figure. 

 

Dmitri bragged to me that he had taken my idea of a perfect romantic evening to propose – to Claire. They had just returned from their carriage ride and he wanted her to meet his work associate that he’d gotten the idea from.

 

I wondered if she knew that the conversation came after a passionate night of lovemaking.  Could you even call it that?  Apparently it was just sex to him.  As she beamed, and he chatted on my mind went back over the past year to the date.  I looked for any signal that I had missed, but didn’t see one.  I was reeling, wanting to scream. At one point Claire had thrown out that they had dated for six months.

 

Claire excused herself to the restroom and Dmitri patted my hand and said. “Don’t worry babe, you’re still my little bit on the side.”

 

I was devastated. After a few seconds I gathered my wits. “No.  I am nobody’s bit on the side.  Thank you for clarifying things for me.  Also, thank you for remembering the date, however poor taste it is to ask me to meet you on our anniversary to find out you’re a two timing snake.  Does Claire have any idea that her ‘darling’,I put extra emphasis on it the way she had, proposed to her the way your “work associate”  using my fingers to quote the phrase, suggested after fucking your brains out?”  I waited just a couple seconds.  “NO?  I didn’t think so.”  I gathered my purse and scooted out of the booth.  I turned around to face him. “Congratulations. Thanks for clearing my schedule for me.  I certainly hope it doesn’t take Claire as long to see you’re a snake.”  I took two steps then turned.  “Oh, and don’t bother showing up Monday.  You’re fired.”

I heard Claire asking him what I meant by what I had said as I walked out into the snowy night. I managed to get to the car before the tears flowed, driving straight to my apartment.  I didn’t see that one coming.