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!