This month’s Round Robin is “a gift for readers. Write a short poem, flash fiction, vignette, or other short piece about hope, love, forgiveness, Christmas, or you can use excerpts from a your published work or WIP.” I’ve posted this Christmas story a few times, and it’s even available as a free read at Freya’s Bower. I hope you enjoy this short, but sweet, flash romance fiction.
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The Christmas Wish
(AKA Marci Baun)
Snow settled softly over the countryside, creating a world of sparkling, white magic. With a sigh, Lila blinked away the tears that gathered in her eyes. It reminded her of her grandmother, Maryna. Maryna had raised her and would have wanted her to celebrate the Christmas season, but she found it difficult. Now that Maryna was gone, Lila no longer had any family. And how could anyone celebrate Christmas with no loved ones to share it?
Sunk in her self-pity, Lila nearly missed the single, brilliant star shining high in the sky, piercing the gloom. At the sight, she smiled through her tears. She could almost hear her grandmother’s soft, loving voice admonishing her: “Make your wish quickly, dear, before it disappears. All wishes made on the Christmas star are granted.”
Closing her eyes, heart filled with longing, Lila whispered the words required for the wish to work:
“Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this Christmas wish tonight.”
In her mind’s eye, she pictured a room full of people, laughter and love. For a brief moment, she felt part of the scene, then she opened her eyes to reality. Snorting at her naiveté, Lila shook her head. When was the last time she believed that her Christmas wish would come true? Probably about the same time she woke up and found that her teeth were still crooked and she would have to wear braces. For a twelve year old with zits and minimal curves, braces signaled her decline into ugly duckling-hood with no hope of ever being noticed by cute Todd Branson, the school heartthrob.
She sighed. A trip down depressing memory lane certainly wouldn’t cheer her Christmas. Maybe if she put on some Christmas music, it would lift her spirits. She flipped the switch on the radio and cranked the volume. “Let It Snow” poured cheerfully out of the speakers, breaking the spell of melancholy. Singing along, Lila turned off the lights, kicked off her shoes, and danced in the winking lights of her tree. Her movements changed with each song that played.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I let myself in when you didn’t answer.” A voice shouted over the music.
Startled, Lila whirled to face the intruder. Relief spread through her when she saw that it was only her neighbor Jason.
Handsome and solitary, Jason had always seemed a little beyond Lila’s touch. Although they had spoken a few words in passing, they’d never had a real conversation. Lila turned the music down so she could talk to him, and gather her composure.
When she finally faced him, although she was slightly flushed from dancing and embarrassment, she managed to look into his eyes… Such beautiful, smoky gray eyes. A woman could fall in love with those eyes.
Catching herself before she could appear an even bigger fool, Lila took a deep, calming breath. “Um… how can I help you?”
Jason hesitated. “I was just wondering if you would like to join me, I mean, us, for Christmas dinner.”
“Yes, my brother and his family are here for the holidays, along with some friends. I thought you were gone until I heard the music.”
She gestured somewhat helplessly. “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I just…”
He smiled, his teeth flashing white in the dim light. “No need. I’ve spent Christmas alone more than once and know how tough it can be. So?”
“My sister-in-law made her famous apple pie. If you pass up this chance, you’ll never know what heaven on earth is like.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her.
Laughing, Lila yielded. “Oh, all right. But if this pie isn’t as good as you say…”
“Off with my head.” Jason grinned.
One black eyebrow crooked up. “You don’t believe me?”
He waved his hands as if to defend himself from her and backed up toward the door. “Oh, I believe you, but you’ll have to catch me first.” With that, he stepped into the hall, beckoning her to follow.
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It was the first of many such Christmases for Lila and Jason. And every year that followed, the family would gather around to wish on the Christmas star.
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Be sure to stop by these blogs to find out what they have in store: