Rick (Hoomi) Higgenson is hosting Friday Fiction this week, and he put out a call for Christmas stories. I knew I had plenty of those to pick from, and I rediscovered this diamond in the rough I started for the "Christmas" quarter at FaithWriters.com in 2008. I worked on it off and on then forgot about it. I like it so far, but I'm clueless on title. :)
Merry Christmas one and all!! Don't forget to visit Hoomi at Pod Tales and Ponderings for more Christmas fiction!
John peeked around the doorjamb and spied his young wife, Marcy, still asleep, and tiptoed across the rough plank floor to her bedside, the package hidden carefully behind his back.
His tender gaze caressed her face, and his eyes misted as love clenched his heart. A tiny noise escaped his throat.
Marcy stirred and squinted against the intrusion of the light streaming through the window. “What a fine sight I behold as I open my eyes to the world this morn. Good morrow, my love.” Marcy turned her face up for a kiss.
“And a good morrow to you, my wife.” John bent down to oblige her, and Marcy’s arms struggled out of the bedclothes and wrapped around him. Her hands found the package John secreted behind his back
“Well, now, what’s this?” Marcy sat up in bed, and tried to see what John was hiding.
John straightened, and brought forth a rather large object wrapped crudely in brown paper and tied with string. “For you,” he said, and placed it in her lap.
Marcy touched the package, and gazed up at him in wide-eyed wonder. ”Why?”
“Open it first.” John hoped he had gotten it right. She had described it on numerous occasions, and he had done his best to recreate her memories. He dearly wanted their first Christmas together, and their first away from their families, to be perfect for his bride. John knew that she grew lonely being isolated from the nearest neighbor by more than a mile and from the nearest town by five.
Marcy tucked a wayward tress behind her ear, and set to work undoing the wrappings. “Oh, John! It’s just like Mama’s.” Tears glistened in her eyes as they feasted on the boughs of pine, twisted and tied into a circle, then fastened to a large wooden plate. When she looked up to her husband, a few tears broke loose and wet her cheeks .
“It’s like having a piece of home.”
“You’ll have to show me how to use it – the rituals and whatnot.”
“Not just rituals, John. Worship. But alas, we need special candles for that.” Disappointment crept into her voice. “Oh, never mind, our plain candles will be fine.”
“Special? Like these?” He lifted the wreath, leaving the wrapping paper in Marcy’s lap, and revealed another, smaller package that had been hidden inside the first.
Marcy tore open the paper and squealed. “Yes, they’re perfect! How did you…when…”
John laughed and tucked the wayward curl behind his bride ear. “Mrs. Bowen at the store told me what I’d need, and ordered them for me.” He watched her pick up a candle and run her hands over the smooth purple surface. “So, can we light them now?”
“No, not till supper time. And not until the fourth Sunday before Christmas.”
“That would be today, wife. And you should rise from your bed or twill be suppertime before we have breakfast.”