• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

Neighbor Steals Your Christmas Decorations

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

Your neighbor started hanging her Christmas decorations. You smile, wave and say, “Looks good,” as you pull into your garage. Suddenly, you take pause and  notice that her decorations look very familiar and, are in fact, yours. To confirm you dash to the basement and see that all of you Christmas decorations are missing. You decide to steal back your good in the middle of the night but it doesn’t go as planned. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

You might also like:

  • Print Circulation Form

    Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

218 Responses to Neighbor Steals Your Christmas Decorations

  1. AbigailMolina says:

    Nesskens and Abigail

    Neighbor Steals Your Christmas Decorations

    Your neighbor started hanging her Christmas decorations. You smile, wave and say, “Looks good,” as you pull into your garage. Suddenly, you take pause and notice that her decorations look very familiar and, are in fact, yours. To confirm you dash to the basement and see that all of you Christmas decorations are missing. You decide to steal back your good in the middle of the night but it doesn’t go as planned, because I had my ladder stolen last week ,so I cannot use it to get to the roof. I am limited to use my climbing skills so get there without getting caught;I cannot belive in her behaviour ,because she has been my neighbour for ten years and she has never done something like this before.

    I can feel the cold wind blowing against my back ,and this encourages me to give it a try to get my christmas decoration back tonight.If I were a superman I would reach the top of the house easily . I am a little excited about climbing up Lily´s house, a huge dark blue wooden house of two floors and several rustic and elaborated windows , in addition to the old and frightening athic in the top which makes me thing I am at a witch´s house, having said that Lily is very pretty. If I were not married to Susan, I would have tried to flirt with Lily . Lily!very time I see her, she reminds me the girl I fell in love when I was in highschool, not only because of her blonde and straight hair that looks like a golden curtain,but also because of her wide gray and tender eyes.

    I am wearing a pair of black thick wool gloves, a pair of climbing shoes , and thermal clothing, everything in black of course.It is neccesary that I get my christmas decorations back , so I start throwing a rope that I found at my garage,that garage is very well equipped with camping gear. I recommend that everybody have camping gear. I have it because I was a boy scout when I lived in Toronto ,so thank God I am not afraid of climbing! While I am clinging to the one of the walls I cannot help wondering if Susan notices I am absent from bed, I should have told her what was going on, but sometimes I think she is jealous of her. I wish I were a better husband.

    This is being an unusual holiday- I said to myself- and the night was darker than the devil’s soul. After a few seconds when I had already climbed the first floor,I am about to get my precious christmas balls and stars when I can clearly stare through the window, a very neat window,it was something unbelievable! I saw the man taking off the wig, that precious hair of her was fake then I sight the amaze is too great, my neighbour turns around and stares at me, he is all naked,and has a gun in her right hand.

    How you dare?- she replies. I am caught red handed ,I never meant to sniff around . I try to talk ,but I cannot. The man approaches to the window , I think about escaping from him, yet it is too late I had loose the rope and I fall down. I did not even heard a scream, nor a shout,none tried to help me. I wish I had told Susan! I wish I didn’t care too much about such a nonsense like Christmas decorations.If I had thought about it twice, I would not have done it.

  2. ms727231 says:

    Looking out the window at my neighbors yard I was speechless. My nativity scene twinkled and My lighted reindeer posed as if in midflight!

    “We will see about that!” I muttered.

  3. ms727231 says:

    I stared in shock at the neighbors yard, the feeling came over me again. The feeling of an ice cold blast when my ex-husband walked out on me over the summer. They had stolen my christmas ornaments? With a now very hot burst of rage(for an introvert) I stormed out the door and marched right up. The walk to their front door.With a loud rap my neighbor Janet answered the door.

    “Why hello!” She beamed….she always beamed…
    “Those ornaments have been put to good use don’t you think? You were such a good neighbor when we first moved here over the summer! Giving us house warming gifts! We can’t think ypu enough. So we got you somthing.”

    I found in my hands the prettiest silver box…

    I sputtered…

  4. Hercy says:

    Not just one bark, but the sound is contagious and increases faster than a ladder can fall around your neck. Turning, then run with the ladder, as it clangs and bangs, swiping decorations across each pane . . . then, tripping over your own dog, as his teeth latch on.
    Lights come on (but not the twinkling kind) . . . , these were flashing white and blue.
    “No! She stole mine out of my basement, and I was just . . . ”
    Why are those scratches on your face? Who else was in involved here? Self inflicted and caused by being afraid of loud animals? …Sir have you been drinking?
    Pull that ladder off his head and search his car . . . “it’s not mine, it is my neighbor’s car.” Ok boys, wrap it up . . . Mister, turn around. Suddenly your neighbor’s door opens as she smiles and waves.

  5. Hercy says:

    This is a late post…briefly written…about the approach in the middle of the night.

    Not just one bark, but the sound is contagious and increases faster than a ladder can fall around your neck. Turning, then run with the ladder, as it clangs and bangs, swiping decorations across each pane . . . then,
    tripping over your own dog, as his teeth latch on.
    Lights come on (but not the twinkling kind) . . . , these were flashing white and blue.
    “No! She stole mine out of my basement, and I was just . . . ”
    Why are those scratches on your face? Who else was in involved here? Self inflicted and caused
    by being afraid of loud animals? …Sir have you been drinking?
    Pull that ladder off his head and search his car . . . “it’s not mine, it is my neighbor’s car.” Ok boys,
    wrap it up . . . Mister, turn around. Suddenly your neighbor’s door opens as she smiles and waves.

  6. NoBlock says:

    Daniel’s alarm goes off to wake him at 2 AM, not his usual time to get going in the morning, but this was an unusual situation. He dressed warm due to the ice storm that had settled in the area, and in as dark an outfit as he could rustle together to conceal him as best he could for his pre-dawn mission.

    He stepped out of his front door and surveyed the area for good measure, but he was pretty confident no one in this neighborhood would be up at this hour. He began as quickly but quietly as he could in the front yard snatching up little elf statues and candy canes and running them back into his garage.
    When on a trip back over to her house something catches his eye, up on the roof attached to the chimney was a Santa that was made to look like he was climbing down the chimney.

    Now this was not his decoration, but he was pissed. He decided as pay back he was getting up that roof and taking Mr. Santa.

    He looked around her house and found the ladder lying on its side, set up the ladder and climbed up. When he got up on the roof he slipped from the thin layer of ice that covered everything and made a loud thud.

    This woke his neighbor from her sleep as he fell right above her bedroom. She awoke startled, but listened intensely for any other noise.

    Daniel pulled himself back up took his flashlight in his mouth so he could see how to unattach HIS Santa, bending over the chimney he slipped a little again and when he did the flashlight fell out of his mouth and landed on a small ledge about 3 feet down in the chimney.

    His neighbor heard this also and went to investigate, not surprising to her she watched from her front lawn as Daniel while trying to retrieve his flashlight from within the chimney slipped and fell over the edge and wedged his body tight in the hole. She giggled a little to herself as she watched Daniels legs squirming from atop the chimney.

    The next morning as Caroline and her husband were getting up and preparing breakfast as they did every Saturday, Caroline excused herself to go make a fire. Good idea thought her husband, but as her husband came in to check on her he commented, “Geez honey that is a much bigger fire then we normally make. You sure about that?’

    “As sure as I have ever been.” Caroline said with a crooked smile.

  7. Icabu says:

    I put my cold weather gear on as I had my mad – one layer at a time. Pulling on a homely Holiday sweater I grumbled under my candy cane scented breath. What would make someone steal Christmas decorations, anyway? I zipped up my old gray hoodie with the torn pocket. And then display those stolen decorations in the lawn adjacent to their rightful owner! I pulled on my Carhartt work jacket, admitting only to myself that my stolen decorations were quite artfully displayed. I finished up with matching knitted hat, scarf and mittens, plotting my method of decoration-ectomy from my thieving neighbor’s yard.

    Stepping outside, my breath fogged in the crisp night air. A moonless darkness settled over the cozy neighborhood – with nearly every lawn and house lighted for the holidays, except mine. I imagined my breath as angry steam as I huffed in ire. Stealing Christmas decorations – what blaspheme. I’d trolled through every store in town during their after Christmas sales to collect the best for the least money. All that hard work now glittered and sparkled from my neighbor’s lawn.

    Crouching as if a thief myself, I peeked in my neighbor’s window, careful to stay in the shadows and away from the warm light spilling across the week old crusty snow and highlighting the plastic baby Jesus in manger filled with fake straw. My feet rooted as I saw my neighbor wheel her young daughter over to the window. The child’s face brightened and she clapped, looking out at the decorations in her yard. My decorations. I heard her mother begin singing Silent Night. Although muffled through the window, her voice was strong and clear. The child’s face appeared serene and peaceful, staring unblinkingly out at the pretty decorations. My decorations.

    Soon, the singing stopped. The child slept. My neighbor rested her cheek on the child’s head and wept, her tears clearly coursing down her face into the child’s hair. A lump rose in my throat as I remembered her saying a few months ago that her daughter was ill. I thought cold or flu. This appeared to be much, much more.

    Stepping back as the woman maneuvered the wheelchair away from the window, I noticed a piece of paper stuck in the bush poking my side. Leaning towards the light, I found the note addressed to me. It must have been taped to my door and blown away by the recent storm. This would be the girl’s last Christmas, the note said, and my neighbor wanted to borrow my decorations to make her yard the best in the neighborhood for her daughter. She didn’t want to buy decorations because she wouldn’t be able to put them up again, it would be too sad. She hoped I’d understand.

    I did. In fact, I grabbed a few decorations she’d missed from my basement and added them to the display that very night, humming Silent Night as I worked.

  8. Thomas says:

    “What a nicely decorated home,” Sandy exclaimed to her daughter, as she pulled into her driveway. “It’s much like I would have done it.” She looked again, while removing Chrissy from the child’s seat. “As a matter of fact, those look a lot like my decorations.” With Chrissy on her hip Sandy went into the house and opened the Christmas closet. Her boxes of decorations were gone.

    “Alvie!” she shouted. “Alvieee!”

    “Yes, Miss Sandy?” said the little three foot tall gnome with pointed ears and red Santa hat.

    “Alvie, did you do anything with my decorations?”

    “Uh, did I? No, I didn’t touch them.” He stood with his eyes down.

    “Tell me, Alvie. What do you know about my decorations?”

    “I can’t say. Perhaps, you should ask your new neighbor.”
    “Those decorations are very special to me. My reindeer, Donner was made by Chrissy’s father. I can’t lose that,” she said with a tear in her eye.
    Alvie squirmed, “Don’t cry. Maybe you should go talk to your neighbor.”
    “I’ll do just that, right now,” She took off with a determined stride. Out the door, across the grass and up to the neighbor’s door. There was her Donner on the porch pulling her father’s sleigh. Sandy knocked on the door.

    Now that she was here, what would she say? She would tell them how wrong it was of them to take her things. She’d give them what for. She’d get them back on her own. She could do this.

    Back in the shadows, Alvie covered his mouth to stifle a snicker.

    The door slowly opened.

    “Surprise!” There was Chrissy’s father, Don and her father and mother, Santa and Christina Claus and her friends from the North Pole.

    Her father said, “We all worked hard to get everything ready, early. So we could take an evening off to come down and celebrate an early Christmas with you.”

    HO HO HO

  9. Leanderdias says:

    NEIGHBOR STEALS YOUR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

     
    “That bitch…”

    The empty decoration boxes usually limned by a thick layer of year old dust were strewn indiscriminately across the basement floor. One would assume that the least a burglar could do was keep the containers back in place once they had removed all of the box’s innards. But these remnants of unpremeditated thievery was far from deft. Brenda Cartwright lived right next door; how stupid did she think i was? The sardonic grin she gave me through the windshield of my car when i drove into my garage earlier this morning suddenly had gravid significance. It was almost as if it was a taunt of some sort, a stiletto stab to draw first blood, signaling the commencement of war. A vicious smile mirrored the thoughts of retribution that crept into my mind my mind. No one stole from me and got away with it.

    That night David had called in to say that he was covering the night shift at the airport and wouldn’t be home until morning. It was the third time in the week and i was beginning to get worried. The man was working to hard and hardly spent anytime at home. If i slept in, I wouldn’t see him until noon the next day. I assumed that he was doing so much overtime to elongate the Christmas leave he’d be taking. I understood, but it didn’t feel write.

    David’s absence did open things up though. If i was to tell him about my plan to re-steal the decorations from next door, he would call me childish and urge me to confront the neighbors face to face – but what was the fun in that ? I figured it would be as good a time as any to infiltrate the neighbor’s premises at midnight. The small community usually went to bed almost simultaneously at around 7:30 pm, and midnight seemed to have an ominous and exciting feel to it, so i made preparations. The roofs of the houses were pretty low, so it wouldn’t be hard to take the lights down without a ladder. The ones that beautified the dark veneer and draped the walls of her living room would be somewhat more difficult to retrieve. I’d have to break in.

    When it was finally time for the mission, I wore the darkest sweat suit i had, marked my face ostentatiously with mascara and set out towards the Mould residence. It was chilly outside. The wind blew hard against me as i walked up the lane. I pulled the sleeves over my numb fingers and folded my arms so that my armpits would warm my hands in the cold night air. The lights were all off next door so i confidently, yet surreptitiously, removed all the string lights that contoured the house. I rolled it up and placed it neatly in a neglected weed by the porch and made my way to the front door. I slipped off my shoes so that i would be extra silent on the shag carpet floor within. Brenda loved her furry floor, and would often boast at community picnics that she had ripped it off her ex-husband in the divorce settlement. “The trick is ladies,” she’d say over her steaming mug of sugar with a dash of tea,” Always get some full proof pre nuptials down before tying the knot. You never know when the bastards of this generation feel the urge to find ‘greener pastures’.” I spat with revulsion into the flower pot beside the door. Take that for free.

    I absentmindedly put my hand onto the door knob and turned. To my surprise, it swung open easily as if to welcome the unexpected guest, and for a moment i was bathed in a grainy darkness. When my eyes readjusted and door clicked shut, i noticed faint grunting sounds emanating from upstairs. Curiosity drove me to furtively ascend them in order to have a peak at the unfortunate man Brenda had seduced this time.I tripped over some shoes on the landing and fell soundlessly on a puddle of clothing that signaled the start of a trail that lead to the moaning bed room. Upon cautiously lifting myself off the floor, the scent of the shirt hit my nostrils like an air pocket of strong perfume while walking through Paris Gallery. It took me a few seconds to realize to whom the scent belonged. Incensed and tempestuously murderous, i stormed into the bedroom to make palpable the image that formed in my mind. There they were, Brenda and my husband David, both entwined in a cascade of sweaty white sheets with the frightened expressions of deer caught in the headlights.

    It seemed that Brenda had stolen more than just my Christmas Decorations.

  10. DaveFTW says:

    “Merry Margaret”

    This was vexing. No, that wasn’t quite right. This was infuriating! How dare that sop Mario Avenicci even think of touching Margaret’s favorite Christmas sleigh, let alone steal it and place it in his own yard! He didn’t take anything else, not that it mattered. Rotund bastard probably thought I was too feeble to do anything if I even noticed. Like anyone wouldn’t notice my wife’s name carved into the thing.

    The memory of when I gave it to her is still fresh in my mind, like a picture that has yet to fade. Six months of laboriously cutting and engraving every nook and cranny with these two hands. Painted it red and green and decked it with all the bells and whistles one could ask for. Carved “Merry Margaret” in big, merry letters right onto the side. The way her eyes twinkled when she saw it sitting on our snow piled lawn, lassoed to an actual team of horses rented just for the day, I knew my Margaret was in love.

    Every year since the Merry Margaret has stood prominently in our front yard. It’s even become a favorite photo spot for the locals. Margaret always had a plate of cookies ready by the door in case someone came by to ask for a photograph. I still keep the tradition. It would have made her happy.

    Then last year, that greasy little Mario Avenicci made it onto my blacklist. He asked if he could have the sleigh in his yard instead. I told him no, the Merry Margaret stays where it’s always been. Fool thought he could pay me off, which only succeeded in pissing me off. Margaret always said I was headstrong, and after the third attempt I told him not only could he not have the sleigh, he wasn’t allowed anywhere near it from now on. I should have apologized afterwards, but we hadn’t spoken since.

    The trip to the Avenicci house was a short one, and nearing the house you could see there was a crowd in the street. Confused, I quickened my pace as much as I could, and once I was upon them I saw what was happening. The neighborhood had come out, and they were pulling the sleigh in the direction of my house. One of my next door neighbors, Fred, saw me and rushed over. “Bob! If you’d have waited thirty minutes you wouldn’t have had to come! Did you really think no one was going to do anything if the Merry Margaret was in any lawn but your own?”

    My throat caught, and I could only choke out a shaky thank you; but the way Fred grinned you’d have thought I’d given him a golden goose. More people noticed me, and soon I was bundled up into the sleigh I built all those years ago for the love of my life, and was given a ride home.

  11. DaveFTW says:

    Margaret’s Sleigh

    This was vexing. No, that wasn’t quite right. This was infuriating! How dare that sop Mario Avenicci even think of touching Margaret’s favorite Christmas sleigh, let alone steal it and place it in his own yard! He didn’t take anything else, not that it mattered. Rotund bastard probably thought I was too feeble to do anything if I even noticed. Like anyone wouldn’t notice my wife’s name carved into the thing.

    The memory of when I gave it to her is still fresh in my mind, like a picture that has yet to fade. Six months of laboriously cutting and engraving every nook and cranny with these two hands. Painted it red and green and decked it with all the bells and whistles one could ask for. Carved “Merry Margaret” in big, merry letters right onto the side. The way her eyes twinkled when she saw it sitting on our snow piled lawn, lassoed to an actual team of horses rented just for the day, I knew my Margaret was in love.

    Every year since the Merry Margaret has stood prominently in our front yard. It’s even become a favorite photo spot for the locals. Margaret always had a plate of cookies ready by the door in case someone came by to ask for a photograph. I still keep the tradition. It would have made her happy.

    Then last year, that greasy little Mario Avenicci made it onto my blacklist. He asked if he could have the sleigh in his yard instead. I told him no, the Merry Margaret stays where it’s always been. Fool thought he could pay me off, which only succeeded in pissing me off. Margaret always said I was headstrong, and after the third attempt I told him not only could he not have the sleigh, he wasn’t allowed anywhere near it from now on. I should have apologized afterwards, but we hadn’t spoken since.

    The trip to the Avenicci house was a short one, and nearing the house you could see there was a crowd in the street. Confused, I quickened my pace as much as I could, and once I was upon them I saw what was happening. The neighborhood had come out, and they were pulling the sleigh in the direction of my house. One of my next door neighbors, Fred, saw me and rushed over. “Bob! If you’d have waited thirty minutes you wouldn’t have had to come! Did you really think no one was going to do anything if the Merry Margaret was in any lawn but your own?”

    My throat caught, and I could only choke out a shaky thank you; but the way Fred grinned you’d have thought I’d given him a golden goose. More people noticed me, and soon I was bundled up into the sleigh I built all those years ago for the love of my life, and was given a ride home.

  12. thejim says:

    Okay Back from The Holiday, and before it switches thought I write up a quick response. Sorry for any Grammatical errors.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Uncommon Acquaintances
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Tell it to me again.” said the pimply faced teen.

    “Alright, but this is the last time.” Charlie said tilting his head toward the direction of the boy but never removing his eyes from the large over grown lilac bush that sat majestically in the corner of the yard.

    “When I got home from work that night I eased my car into the garage and it was then I realized Allen had pilferage my Christmas decorations and adorned his house with them. The door shut with a thud behind me as I sat in my car. I thought this was the last time he was ever going to use that spare key to borrow another damn thing!

    A Sothern breeze delivered a relatively warm evening for that time of the year. A perfect night to retrieve what was rightfully mine. At 3am sharp I began to execute my mischievous master plan.

    I cautiously perched the top of my ladder on his roof. I ascended the rungs and stepped out on the slick asphalt. I carefully gained my footing on the roof. As I made my way across the roof there was a sound from below. In front of the garage Allen emerged with a gun and yelled for me to get down from the roof. I moved warily back to the ladder to begin my decent when a shotgun blast echoed through the subdivision. I was startled and my feet shot out from under me. My body quickly made its way down the steep incline. I fell to the pavement below, my head bounced against the asphalt. Skull fragments flew out and splattered across Allen’s driveway. My soft pulsating brain slowly made its way out. Within minutes I was dead. Allen’s eyes widen has he realizes that it was his neighbor who has just died on his driveway. Without thinking he ran over, grabbed my lifeless body, and drug it to the back yard. For the first time Allen was happy he did not finish his landscaping project and then proceeded to bury me next to a new small Lilac bush.

    The teen let out a huge laugh “I never get tired of that dumb story, he did not even shoot you!” he then let out another giant laugh.

    “Well it is better than you taking all of your mom’s pills to get high.”

    “I did not know they would kill me!”

    The evening full moon shone bright but no shadows were cast of the two who were sitting on the back fence that connected the yards.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      Oh boy, a fun ghost story. I wonder if he haunts his old neighbor now and then. A really fun story and a good take on the prompt. I liked your description of the southern breeze at night.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Very clever take, theJim. I wonder how long these two will be haunting the scene of their demises. It sounds like they’ve been there a while already. I’m betting Charlie is hoping somebody – anybody – will come along with a more misadventurous death.

  13. rainiemills says:

    “Looks good Caroline” I said waving at my overzealous neighbor as she hangs her Christmas wreath on the door. Christmas decorating is a big thing in my neighborhood, everyone trying to out decorate the next. Come to think of it I need to start on my yard. I inventory my Christmas stash mentally…the lighted reindeer, Santa’s sleigh, the Christmas countdown sign I made last year…then it hit me. Caroline has MY countdown sign, and my reindeer and my sleigh, what the hell? I rush to the basement to check my treasure trove of Christmas decorations only to find empty bins. Are you kidding me! She stole my decorations.

    I rush outside to glare at her cheerfully putting my decorations up on her house. This means war! Slamming the door behind me I plot my revenge. Tonight, tonight I will reclaim my decorations and as for Caroline, let’s just say she will have quite a surprise when she wakes tomorrow.

    As darkness approached I packed my arsenal in a newly purchased Santa sack. This is going to be epic! Cans of artificial snow and bags of coal peeked out the top of the velveteen bag, the words Merry Christmas sprawled across the front. My sack of goodies slung over my shoulder, ready for action, Operation Decoration Rescue has begun.

    I chuckle as I imagine Caroline’s reaction to the artificial snow all over her impeccably clean windows. I carefully place three bags of coal on her front doorstep. Revenge enacted, now on to retrieving my decorations. Basking in the glory of my brilliant retaliation I didn’t notice the family of squirrels nestled into the sleigh, or the skunk underneath it as I haphazardly grabbed for my prized decoration. The first sensation I felt was sharp teeth sinking into my hand. I pulled back tripping over the cord landing face to face with a skunk. Needless to say his reaction wasn’t much better than mine, I could see the fear in his face as mine was filled with an undesirable odor. This was not at all going as planned. I shuffle towards my house, my Santa sack left laying abandoned, evidence of my failed mission.

    My clothes all rumpled, my hand swollen and bandaged, and the odor of skunk spray followed me around like a toxic cloud. I am a mess. A night at the hospital instead of a night retrieving my property is not what I had planned. “Looks good Caroline” I say as I watch Caroline fervently scrubbing the snow off her windows. A grin spreads over my face as I plot Operation Decoration Rescue Take 2.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This is a clever tale of revenge gone wrong, rainiemills. The thing that kind of scares me about the MC is that, even after the first try, they’re still planning to give it another go…

      Of course, given that skunk spray gets everywhere, it’ll be pretty obvious where the sleigh came from, even after it was moved.

  14. Cin5456 says:

    Painful Downfall

    When the cop car turned the far corner with its flashing lights but no siren, I ignored it. I had two more short strings of lights to remove from this son of a bitch’s eaves, and then I could wrap them up and take them home. The Santa and five elves were already on the ground close to my backyard gate. I was muttering to myself about the nerve of this thief when the cop car pulled up to the curb, and a spot light shined up at me on the roof. Like a deer in headlights I froze on my knees with the hammer still poised to remove another nail and my mouth hanging open.

    “You on the roof, don’t move.” One yelled through a speaker mounted on the car. Damn, he’s going to wake the whole neighborhood. I was already frozen, but I started to sit back. It was a mistake.

    “I said don’t move,” he screamed. I could see the lips of the cop in the passenger seat moving, and he looked furious. His door opened. He stepped out with his gun drawn. Dropping to one knee, and bracing his gun hand with the other, he aimed like you see at gun ranges. You would have thought I was stealing the Mona Lisa the way he shouted, “Drop that hammer over the side – slowly.”

    I couldn’t help the “Damn” that escaped, but I did as he said.

    “Where’s the ladder you used to get up there?” His partner had a bullhorn out, and it screeched as he shouted before he adjusted the volume. I could see lights going on up and down the street. A door slammed; a woman’s voice shouted, “Henry, get out here. You’ve got to see this.”

    Shit, the busybody three houses down across the street must have been watching me already to be Johnny on the spot that soon. My knees started to ache. “Officer, can I sit back? My knees hurt.”

    “Don’t move a muscle. You should have thought of that sooner. Where the fuck is your ladder?” This second cop had his gun out too. He had trouble holding the bullhorn in one hand while trying to aim with the other. If he pulled the trigger, he could shoot someone harmless, like me, or my teenage daughter, who was supposedly standing lookout at our dining room window.

    “I’ll cooperate, officer, but I was only taking back what the thief who lives here stole from me. I live next door, and when I came home today I saw the bastard installing my elves on his roof.”

    “Shut up. I’m coming up there. Todd, cover me. I see the ladder, so I’ll go up and cuff her.” He holstered his gun as he approached the ladder.

    “How am I going to get down wearing cuffs?”

    “Very quickly,” he said with a sarcastic laugh. Oh no, my osteoporosis… Broken hip, here I come.

    • snuzcook says:

      Wonder illustration of the ultimate bad day turned worse. Good story!

    • jhowe says:

      Nice scene about the consequences of stealing back your own stuff. The cops seemed a little over zealous but it made the story more interesting. Good job.

    • Observer Tim says:

      A cute story of a night where the main character is giving and getting payback. I wonder how much the neighbour paid to have actors dressed up like police arrive.

      I say this because any real police who acted like that would have not only themselves but their department sued to bankruptcy, if they were lucky.

      Nice story, Cin.

  15. Writetopian says:

    Christmas Cheer

    Wendell wheeled his spotless ’72 Caddy to a short stop at the foot of his driveway. Across the street at Eggbert and Ethel’s place Santa waved a mechanical arm at him, Christmas lights blinking gaily about the white whiskered face. Hey! That’s my Santa! thought Wendell. And my sleigh!

    Proceeding into his garage, red, blue, green and white light shone in his rear view mirror as he pushed the door closer button on the dash. He stepped out of his classic car to see the boxes that had held his Christmas decorations were off the shelves and scattered on the floor, empty.

    Wendell stormed into the kitchen where his wife Flora was sitting at the small table, a cup of tea steaming in her hand. “She’s gone too far this time with her stealing!” he shouted. “I spent six months putting my Santa and sleigh together. I’m going right over and get them back!”

    “Now, Wendell, have a cup of tea, dear. Calm down,” said Flora, patting the white-laced table top in front of him.

    “Why should I?” Wendell almost snarled and sank into a chair.

    Flora blinked tear-filled eyes at her husband. “Because I helped Ethel take those decorations and put them up this morning.”

    Wendell was double-stunned: “You, Flora?” and “But, it’s July.”

    Flora wiped tears from her lined face. “Well, you know how their Aunt Jilly, who lives with them and loves Christmas so much, the brain cancer is so bad, Eggbert and Ethel want to give her one last time before she goes.”

    “I, . . . I didn’t know she was that far gone,” Wendell said, sitting back from his tea.

    “Yes,” said Flora, “and Jessie, their little darling fox terrier, was such a joy to them at Christmas, that after she drowned last week in the upstairs bath tub, they decided she had to be buried under Santa’s sleigh.”

    Wendell grasped his tea cup with both hands. “Bath tub?” he said.

    “Yes,” said Flora. She took a quick sip of the still hot tea, smacked her lips and plopped an ice cube into her mouth. Cooling, she said, “And you know how much their whole family loves Christmas in their own home, they have-to have one more before–you know the bank foreclosed today–the sheriff rustles them out tomorrow morning.”

    Wendell considered quietly for a few moments, then said, “Flora, I think you and Ethel need to get back on your medications.”

  16. Writetopian says:

    I’ve tried posting this short comment three times before this. I don’t know anything about HTML. Do I need to to post? Oh well, I’ll give it another try.

    Christmas Cheer

    Wendell wheeled his spotless ’72 Cadillac to a short stop at the foot of his driveway. Across the street at Eggbert and Ethel’s place Santa waved a mechanical arm at him, Christmas lights blinking gaily about the white whiskered face. That’s my Santa! thought Wendall.
    Proceeding into his garage, red, blue, green, yellow and white lights shone in his rear view mirror as he pushed the door closer button on the dash. The boxes that had held his Christmas decorations were off the shelves and scattered on the floor, empty.
    Wendall stormed into the kitchen where his wife Flora was sitting at the small table, a cup of tea steaming in her hand.
    “She’s gone too far this time with her stealing!” he shouted. “I spent six months putting my Santa together. I’m going right over and get it back!”
    “Now, Wendell, have a cup of tea. Calm down,” said Flora, patting the white laced table top in front of him.
    “Why should I?” said Wendell, sinking into a chair.
    Flora blinked tear-filled eyes at her husband. “Because I helped Ethel take those decorations and put them up this morning.”
    Wendell was double-stunned: “You, Flora?” and “But, Flora, it’s July.”
    Flora wiped tears from her lined face. “Well, you know how their Aunt Jilly, who lives with them and loves Christmas so much, the brain cancer is so bad, Eggbert and Ethel wanted to give her one last time before she goes.”
    “I, I didn’t know she was so far gone,” Wendell said, sitting back from his tea.
    “Yes,” said Flora, “and Jessie, their little darling fox terrier, was such a joy to them at Christmas, that after she drowned last week in the bath tub, they decided she had to be buried under Santa’s sleigh.”
    Wendall grasped his tea cup with both hands. “Bath tub?”
    “Yes,” said Flora. She took a quick sip of tea. “And you know how much their family loves Christmas, they just wanted one more before—you know the bank foreclosed—the sheriff rustles them out tomorrow morning.”
    Wendell thought quietly for a while, then said, “I think you and Ethel need to get back on your medications.”

  17. Writetopian says:

    Christmas Cheer

    Wendell wheeled his ’72 Cadillac to a short stop at the foot of his driveway. Across the street at Eggbert and Ethel’s place Santa waved a mechanical arm at him, Christmas lights blinking gaily about the white whiskered face. That’s my Santa! thought Wendall.
    Proceeding into his garage, red, blue, green, yellow and white lights shone in his rear view mirror as he pushed the door closer button on the dash. The boxes that had held his Christmas decorations were off the shelves and scattered on the floor, empty.
    Wendall stormed into the kitchen where his wife Flora was sitting at the small table, a cup of tea steaming in her hand.
    “She’s gone too far this time with her stealing!” he shouted. “I spent six months putting my Santa together. I’m going right over and get it back!”
    “Now, Wendell, have a cup of tea. Calm down,” said Flora, patting the white laced table top in front of him.
    “Why should I?” said Wendell, sinking into a chair.
    Flora blinked tear-filled eyes at her husband. “Because I helped Ethel take those decorations and put them up this morning.”
    Wendell was double-stunned: “You, Flora?” and “But, Flora, it’s July.”
    Flora wiped tears from her lined face. “Well, you know how their Aunt Jilly, who lives with them and loves Christmas so much, the brain cancer is so bad, Eggbert and Ethel wanted to give her one last time before she goes.”
    “I, I didn’t know she was so far gone,” Wendell said, sitting back from his tea.
    “Yes,” said Flora, “and Jessie, their little darling fox terrier, was such a joy to them at Christmas, that after she drowned last week in the bath tub, they decided she had to be buried under Santa’s sleigh.”
    Wendall grasped his tea cup with both hands. “Bath tub?”
    “Yes,” said Flora. She took a quick sip of tea. “And you know how much their family loves Christmas, they just wanted one more before—you know the bank foreclosed—the sheriff rustles them out tomorrow morning.”
    Wendell thought quietly for a while, then said, “I think you and Ethel need to get back on your medications.”

  18. n-rani says:

    I look down at my phone and read “Come with lights and canes-2560 Heatherway at 21:00”
    A text similar to all the rest I get from this unnamed number; I sigh waiting for the day when I can retire from my strenuous job. I drive my Sedan up the driveway to my characterless house unlike the neighbors whose house is decked out in lights and multiple candy canes.
    I carry the grocery bags into my house and greet my son.
    “ Hey Charles do you think it is time for christmas decorations yet?”
    “Sure would you like me to bring them up from the cellar?”
    “ That would be great son, thanks”
    Charles stomps down the wooden stairs and a couple minutes later returns with the usual decorations. I open the boxes eyeing the lights and the candy canes of our own, very similar to our neighbors in fact.
    “ Is it funny that our neighbors have the same decorations as us?” I ask Charles
    “ It would be funny if I had not loaned them half of our decorations, I saw that we had extra boxes of lights and candy canes down basement so I let the neighbors use them.”
    My face is in shock, my heart is beating. I look around the room and see my son staring at me with wide eyes. .
    “ Are you OK Dad”?
    I frantically rip open the candy canes, nothing inside. Looking up at Charles I realize I am acting deranged. Calming myself down I meet my sons concerned gaze.
    “ The decorations you gave to the neighbors were very special to me and I need them back right now.”
    “ What’s going on Dad, they are just decorations we can buy new ones if you need them that bad.”
    “Son even I don’t have that much money”
    “ It would only cost a couple of dollars”
    “Way more than you think Charles. What is important is getting the decorations back.”
    Walking over to the neighbors house Charles and I prepare what we are going to say.
    The neighbors understands since the decorations had “sentimental” value to me, and agree to help me take down the decorations and put them back in the box.
    Once the neighbors house was stripped of decorations Charles and I went back to our own house.
    “ Why did we need the decorations back” Charles asked.
    “Some day I may be able to tell you but that day is far in the future.”
    Suspicious but goodnatured Charles lets go of the topic and goes to his room. This allows me time to look at the decorations. I lift up the lights and shake them. A rattling sound comes forth and I relax my shoulders. I opened up a giant, plastic candy cane: stuffed to the brim. Later in the night I load the boxes in the car and tell Charles I am going to the store. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have half an hour to drive to Heatherway rd. Turning around in my seat I look at the christmas decorations. Opening the candy canes once more; I see the packs of weed. I shake the lights and the sound of pills rattling fills my ears.

  19. Northern Saw-Whet Owl says:

    Hi, I’m an aspiring writer and constructive criticism is very welcome.

    Does guilt smell?
    I sniffed the air, tail twitching. No, never mind. That was just the scent of Augustus Bushytail being horrible.
    Just to make sure, I decided to go over to that tree again. My paws pranced delicately over the freshly fallen snow, not making a sound. I couldn’t afford to. The foxes would be out and about at this hour, looking for trouble.
    “Hello,” Augustus himself leaned out of his hollow, situated comfortably forty feet high. His squeaky voice carried down. “How are you, Marcus?” I nodded in his direction, acknowledging his presence. Ugh. The whole tree smelt of his horrible personality. He was a gray. Of course. Leave it to a gray squirrel to ruin the season.
    My eyes darted up to a big acorn wobbling precariously on the lowest branch, then to the swan’s feather dangling from the hollow’s entrance, then to the sprig of holly adorning the treetop. I had found that acorn two weeks ago and had brought it home, intrigued by its abnormal size. And that swan’s feather was a gift from my lover. She had found it by the river. I had also spent two weeks saving up nuts to trade for that fine sprig of holly. Just looking at it made my ears twitch with fury.
    Yep. Those were mine alright.
    “Nice decorations,” I muttered.
    “Thanks! I think the holly looks especially festive. I just don’t know where to put it yet,” Augustus said. Without replying, I leapt back to my tree.
    It’s not against the law to take back what was yours in the first place, I tell myself.
    ***
    My plan was in action. I knew Augustus always stayed in his hollow at night. Always. It was a sensible thing to do, considering the predators that roamed the woods at this hour. The acorn was going to be easiest; I could just leap over to that branch and take it and Augustus wouldn’t notice at all.
    Silently, I crept up to the end of my tree’s lowest branch, before springing forward. I had measured it so that I would land directly on the acorn. Surprisingly, I landed on something more soft. Perhaps the acorn was covered in snow?
    “Oof!” A voice. I looked around, terrified that I had been spotted, before realizing the voice had come from underneath me.
    “Augustus!” I quickly got off him and let him stagger to his paws. “Marcus!” he cried.
    Another voice, shrill and annoying, sounded by my ear. “See? I told you he was coming to steal your decor!”
    Huh? I looked to my side and saw Artemis, the most annoying cardinal in the history of annoying birds. She laughed her piercing laugh.
    “Marcus…” Augustus looked heartbroken. “How could you do this?”
    “I…I…” Something dawned on me. My eyes hardened. When I spoke again, my voice was a low hiss.
    “Augustus, help me capture that thief of a bird.” P

  20. Northern Saw-Whet Owl says:

    Hi everyone, I’m an aspiring writer and would appreciate some constructive criticism. Thanks!

    Does guilt smell?
    I sniffed the air, tail twitching. No, never mind. That was just the scent of Augustus Bushytail being horrible.
    Just to make sure, I decided to go over to that tree again. My paws pranced delicately over the freshly fallen snow, not making a sound. I couldn’t afford to. The foxes would be out and about at this hour, looking for trouble.
    “Hello,” Augustus himself leaned out of his hollow, situated comfortably forty feet high. His squeaky voice carried down. “How are you, Marcus?” I nodded in his direction, acknowledging his presence. Ugh. The whole tree smelt of his horrible personality. He was a gray. Of course. Leave it to a gray squirrel to ruin the season.
    My eyes darted up to a big acorn wobbling precariously on the lowest branch, then to the swan’s feather dangling from the hollow’s entrance, then to the sprig of holly adorning the treetop. I had found that acorn two weeks ago and had brought it home, intrigued by its abnormal size. And that swan’s feather was a gift from my lover. She had found it by the river. I had also spent two weeks saving up nuts to trade for that fine sprig of holly. Just looking at it made my ears twitch with fury.
    Yep. Those were mine alright.
    “Nice decorations,” I muttered.
    “Thanks! I think the holly looks especially festive. I just don’t know where to put it yet,” Augustus said. Without replying, I leapt back to my tree.
    It’s not against the law to take back what was yours in the first place, I tell myself.
    ***
    My plan was in action. I knew Augustus always stayed in his hollow at night. Always. It was a sensible thing to do, considering the predators that roamed the woods at this hour. The acorn was going to be easiest; I could just leap over to that branch and take it and Augustus wouldn’t notice at all.
    Silently, I crept up to the end of my tree’s lowest branch, before springing forward. I had measured it so that I would land directly on the acorn. Surprisingly, I landed on something more soft. Perhaps the acorn was covered in snow?
    “Oof!” A voice. I looked around, terrified that I had been spotted, before realizing the voice had come from underneath me.
    “Augustus!” I quickly got off him and let him stagger to his paws. “Marcus!” he cried.
    Another voice, shrill and annoying, sounded by my ear. “See? I told you he was coming to steal your decor!”
    Huh? I looked to my side and saw Artemis, the most annoying cardinal in the history of annoying birds. She laughed her piercing laugh.
    “Marcus…” Augustus looked heartbroken. “How could you do this?”
    “I…I…” Something dawned on me. My eyes hardened. When I spoke again, my voice was a low hiss.
    “Augustus, help me capture that thief of a bird.”

  21. nmartin14 says:

    I look down at my phone and read “Come with lights and canes-2560 Heatherway- 21:00”
    A text similar to all the rest I get from this unnamed number; I sigh waiting for the day when I can retire from my strenuous job. I drive my Sedan up the driveway to my characterless house unlike the neighbors whose house is decked out in lights and multiple candy canes.
    I carry the grocery bags into my house and greet my son.
    “ Hey Charles do you think it is time for christmas decorations yet?”
    “Sure would you like me to bring them up from the cellar?”
    “ That would be great son, thanks”
    Charles stomps down the wooden stairs and a couple minutes later returns with the usual decorations. I open the boxes eyeing the lights and the candy canes of our own, very similar to our neighbors in fact.
    “ Is it funny that our neighbors have the same decorations as us?” I ask Charles
    “ It would be funny if I had not loaned them half of our decorations, I saw that we had extra boxes of lights and candy canes down basement so I let the neighbors use them.”
    My face is in shock, my heart is beating. I look around the room and see my son staring at me with wide eyes. .
    “ Are you OK Dad”?
    I frantically rip open the candy canes, nothing inside. Looking up at Charles I realize I am acting deranged. Calming myself down I meet my sons concerned gaze.
    “ The decorations you gave to the neighbors were very special to me and I need them back right now.”
    “ What’s going on Dad, they are just decorations we can buy new ones if you need them that bad.”
    “Son even I don’t have that much money”
    “ It would only cost a couple of dollars”
    “Way more than you think Charles. What is important is getting the decorations back.”
    Walking over to the neighbors house Charles and I prepare what we are going to say.
    The neighbors understands since the decorations had “sentimental” value to me, and agree to help me take down the decorations and put them back in the box.
    Once the neighbors house was stripped of decorations Charles and I went back to our own house.
    “ Why did we need the decorations back” Charles asked.
    “Some day I may be able to tell you but that day is far in the future.”
    Suspicious but goodnatured Charles lets go of the topic and goes to his room. This allows me time to look at the decorations. I lift up the lights and shake them. A rattling sound comes forth and I relax my shoulders. I opened up a giant, plastic candy cane: stuffed to the brim. Later in the night I load the boxes in the car and tell Charles I am going to the store. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have half an hour to drive to Heatherway rd. Turning around in my seat I look at the christmas decorations. Opening the candy canes once more; I see the packs of weed. I shake the lights and the sound of pills rattling fills my ears.

  22. nmartin14 says:

    I look down at my phone and read “Come with lights and canes-2560 Heatherway-21:00”
    A text similar to all the rest I get from this unnamed number; I sigh waiting for the day when I can retire from my strenuous job. I drive my Sedan up the driveway to my characterless house unlike the neighbors whose house is decked out in lights and multiple candy canes.
    I carry the grocery bags into my house and greet my son.
    “ Hey Charles do you think it is time for christmas decorations yet?”
    “Sure would you like me to bring them up from the cellar?”
    “ That would be great son, thanks”
    Charles stomps down the wooden stairs and a couple minutes later returns with the usual decorations. I open the boxes eyeing the lights and the candy canes of our own, very similar to our neighbors in fact.
    “ Is it funny that our neighbors have the same decorations as us?” I ask Charles
    “ It would be funny if I had not loaned them half of our decorations, I saw that we had extra boxes of lights and candy canes down basement so I let the neighbors use them.”
    My face is in shock, my heart is beating. I look around the room and see my son staring at me with wide eyes. .
    “ Are you OK Dad”?
    I frantically rip open the candy canes, nothing inside. Looking up at Charles I realize I am acting deranged. Calming myself down I meet my sons concerned gaze.
    “ The decorations you gave to the neighbors were very special to me and I need them back right now.”
    “ What’s going on Dad, they are just decorations we can buy new ones if you need them that bad.”
    “Son even I don’t have that much money”
    “ It would only cost a couple of dollars”
    “Way more than you think Charles. What is important is getting the decorations back.”
    Walking over to the neighbors house Charles and I prepare what we are going to say.
    The neighbors understands since the decorations had “sentimental” value to me, and agree to help me take down the decorations and put them back in the box.
    Once the neighbors house was stripped of decorations Charles and I went back to our own house.
    “ Why did we need the decorations back” Charles asked.
    “Some day I may be able to tell you but that day is far in the future.”
    Suspicious but goodnatured Charles lets go of the topic and goes to his room. This allows me time to look at the decorations. I lift up the lights and shake them. A rattling sound comes forth and I relax my shoulders. I opened up a giant, plastic candy cane: stuffed to the brim. Later in the night I load the boxes in the car and tell Charles I am going to the store. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have half an hour to drive to Heatherway rd. Turning around in my seat I look at the christmas decorations. Opening the candy canes once more; I see the packs of weed. I shake the lights and the sound of pills rattling fills my ears.

  23. Writetopian says:

    Christmas Cheer

    Wendell wheeled his ’72 Cadillac to a short stop at the foot of his driveway. Across the street at Eggbert and Ethel’s place Santa waved a mechanical arm at him, Christmas lights blinking gaily about the white whiskered face. That’s my Santa! thought Wendall.
    Proceeding into his garage, red, blue, green, yellow and white lights shone in his rear view mirror as he pushed the door closer button on the dash. The boxes that had held his Christmas decorations were off the shelves and scattered on the floor, empty.
    Wendall stormed into the kitchen where his wife Flora was sitting at the small table, a cup of tea steaming in her hand.
    “She’s gone too far this time with her stealing!” he shouted. “I spent six months putting my Santa together. I’m going right over and get it back!”
    “Now, Wendell, calm down. Have a cup of tea,” said Flora, patting the white-laced table top in front of him.
    “Why should I?” said Wendell, sinking into a chair.
    Flora blinked tear-filled eyes at her husband. “Because I helped Ethel take those decorations and put them up this morning.”
    Wendell was double-stunned: “You, Flora?” and “But, Flora, it’s July.”
    Flora wiped tears from her lined face. “Well, you know how their Aunt Jilly, who lives with them and loves Christmas so much, the brain cancer is so bad, Eggbert and Ethel wanted to give her one last time before she goes.”
    “I, I didn’t know she was so far gone,” Wendell said, sitting back from his tea.
    “Yes,” said Flora, “and Jessie, their little darling fox terrier, was such a joy to them at Christmas, that after she drowned last week in the bath tub, they decided she had to be buried under Santa’s sleigh.”
    Wendall grasped his tea cup with both hands. “Bath tub?”
    “Yes,” said Flora. She took a quick sip of tea. “And you know how much their family loves Christmas, they just wanted one more before—you know the bank foreclosed—the sheriff rustles them out tomorrow morning.”
    Wendell thought quietly for a while, then said, “I think you and Ethel need to get back on your medications.”

  24. nmartin14 says:

    I look down at my phone and read “Come with lights and canes-2560 Heatherway at 21:00”
    A text similar to all the rest I get from this unnamed number; I sigh waiting for the day when I can retire from my strenuous job. I drive my Sedan up the driveway to my characterless house unlike the neighbors whose house is decked out in lights and multiple candy canes.
    I carry the grocery bags into my house and greet my son.
    “ Hey Charles do you think it is time for christmas decorations yet?”
    “Sure would you like me to bring them up from the cellar?”
    “ That would be great son, thanks”
    Charles stomps down the wooden stairs and a couple minutes later returns with the usual decorations. I open the boxes eyeing the lights and the candy canes of our own, very similar to our neighbors in fact.
    “ Is it funny that our neighbors have the same decorations as us?” I ask Charles
    “ It would be funny if I had not loaned them half of our decorations, I saw that we had extra boxes of lights and candy canes down basement so I let the neighbors use them.”
    My face is in shock, my heart is beating. I look around the room and see my son staring at me with wide eyes. .
    “ Are you OK Dad”?
    I frantically rip open the candy canes, nothing inside. Looking up at Charles I realize I am acting deranged. Calming myself down I meet my sons concerned gaze.
    “ The decorations you gave to the neighbors were very special to me and I need them back right now.”
    “ What’s going on Dad, they are just decorations we can buy new ones if you need them that bad.”
    “Son even I don’t have that much money”
    “ It would only cost a couple of dollars”
    “Way more than you think Charles. What is important is getting the decorations back.”
    Walking over to the neighbors house Charles and I prepare what we are going to say.
    The neighbors understands since the decorations had “sentimental” value to me, and agree to help me take down the decorations and put them back in the box.
    Once the neighbors house was stripped of decorations Charles and I went back to our own house.
    “ Why did we need the decorations back” Charles asked.
    “Some day I may be able to tell you but that day is far in the future.”
    Suspicious but goodnatured Charles lets go of the topic and goes to his room. This allows me time to look at the decorations. I lift up the lights and shake them. A rattling sound comes forth and I relax my shoulders. I opened up a giant, plastic candy cane: stuffed to the brim. Later in the night I load the boxes in the car and tell Charles I am going to the store. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have half an hour to drive to Heatherway rd. Turning around in my seat I look at the christmas decorations. Opening the candy canes once more; I see the packs of weed. I shake the lights and the sound of pills rattling fills my ears.

  25. nmartin14 says:

    I look down at my phone and read “Come with lights and canes-2560 Heatherway at 21:00”
    A text similar to all the rest I get from this unnamed number; I sigh waiting for the day when I can retire from my strenuous job. I drive my Sedan up the driveway to my characterless house unlike the neighbors whose house is decked out in lights and multiple candy canes.
    I carry the grocery bags into my house and greet my son.
    “ Hey Charles do you think it is time for christmas decorations yet?”
    “Sure would you like me to bring them up from the cellar?”
    “ That would be great son, thanks”
    Charles stomps down the wooden stairs and a couple minutes later returns with the usual decorations. I open the boxes eyeing the lights and the candy canes of our own, very similar to our neighbors in fact.
    “ Is it funny that our neighbors have the same decorations as us?” I ask Charles
    “ It would be funny if I had not loaned them half of our decorations, I saw that we had extra boxes of lights and candy canes down basement so I let the neighbors use them.”
    My face is in shock, my heart is beating. I look around the room and see my son staring at me with wide eyes. .
    “ Are you OK Dad”?
    I frantically rip open the candy canes, nothing inside. Looking up at Charles I realize I am acting deranged. Calming myself down I meet my sons concerned gaze.
    “ The decorations you gave to the neighbors were very special to me and I need them back right now.”
    “ What’s going on Dad, they are just decorations we can buy new ones if you need them that bad.”
    “Son even I don’t have that much money”
    “ It would only cost a couple of dollars”
    “Way more than you think Charles. What is important is getting the decorations back.”
    Walking over to the neighbors house Charles and I prepare what we are going to say.
    The neighbors understands since the decorations had “sentimental” value to me, and agree to help me take down the decorations and put them back in the box.
    Once the neighbors house was stripped of decorations Charles and I went back to our own house.
    “ Why did we need the decorations back” Charles asked.
    “Some day I may be able to tell you but that day is far in the future.”
    Suspicious but goodnatured Charles lets go of the topic and goes to his room. This allows me time to look at the decorations. I lift up the lights and shake them. A rattling sound comes forth and I relax my shoulders. I opened up a giant, plastic candy cane: stuffed to the brim. Later in the night I load the boxes in the car and tell Charles I am going to the store. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have half an hour to drive to Heatherway rd. Turning around in my seat I look at the christmas decorations. Opening the candy canes once more; I see the packs of weed. I shake the lights and the sound of pills rattling fills my ears.

  26. nmartin14 says:

    I look down at my phone and read“Come with lights and canes-2560 Heatherway at 21:00”
    A text similar to all the rest I get from the unnamed number; I sigh waiting for the day when I can retire from my strenuous job. I drive my Sedan up the driveway to my characterless house unlike the neighbors whose house is decked out in lights and multiple candy canes.
    I carry the grocery bags into my house and greet my son.
    “ Hey Charles do you think it is time for Christmas decorations yet?”
    “Sure would you like me to bring them up from the cellar?”
    “ That would be great son, thanks”
    Charles stomps down the wooden stairs and a couple minutes later returns with the usual decorations. I open the boxes eying the lights and the candy canes of our own, very similar to our neighbors in fact.
    “ Is it funny that our neighbors have the same decorations as us?” I ask Charles
    “ It would be funny if I had not loaned them half of our decorations, I saw that we had extra boxes of lights and candy canes down basement so I let the neighbors use them.”
    My face is in shock, my heart is beating. I look around the room and see my son staring at me with wide eyes. .
    “ Are you OK Dad”?
    “ Shit”
    I frantically rip open the candy canes, nothing inside. Looking up at Charles I realize I am acting deranged. Calming myself down I meet my sons concerned gaze.
    “ The decorations you gave to the neighbors were very special to me and I need them back right now.”
    “ What’s going on Dad, they are just decorations we can buy new ones if you need them that bad.”
    “Son even I don’t have that much money”
    “ It would only cost a couple of dollars”
    “Way more than you think Charles. What is important is getting the decorations back.”
    The neighbors understands since the decorations had “sentimental” value to me, and agree to help me take down the decorations and put them back in the box.
    Once the neighbors house was stripped of decorations Charles and I went back to our own house.
    “ Why did we need the decorations back” Charles asked.
    “Some day I may be able to tell you but that day is far in the future.”
    Suspicious but good natured Charles lets go of the topic and goes to his room. This allows me time to look at the decorations. I lift up the lights and shake them. A rattling sound comes forth and I relax my shoulders. I opened up a giant, plastic candy cane: stuffed to the brim. Later in the night I load the boxes in the car and tell Charles I am going to the store. It is 8:30 p.m. and I have half an hour to drive to Heatherway rd. Turning around in my seat I look at the Christmas decorations. Opening the candy canes once more; I see the packs of weed. I shake the lights and the sound of pills rattling fills my ears.

  27. calicocat88 says:

    “Jokul Frosti”

    Catherine was dead. I knew because seventeen years ago, I murdered her myself. Ice crystals like delicate cotton flecked spider webs patched the window. With a slight twist to my wrist the snow outside danced until it became a swirl of sugar. Nothing I did seemed to get the girl’s attention. She resembled Catherine in a way that made the juice in my stomach turn to heavy gel. Stealing her Christmas decorations was a moment of desperation and I was watching out the picture window as the girl and her aunt fumbled through their garage looking in empty cardboard boxes for decorations they weren’t going to find. They looked towards my house—pointing their fingers and waving their hands in the air—confusion passing over their features that quickly turned to rage.

    Grabbing a light jacket so not to draw suspicion, I headed out the door into the beautifully frigid weather.

    “Looks good,” the Aunt hollered over with some strained effort.

    “Thanks,” I gave a slight wave across the street. “Getting the house ready for the holidays?”

    “We’re trying,” the aunt had her hair in thick red braids sprinkled with specks of melting snow. She walked to the edge of the fence holding an empty box of multicolored lights. “Someone stole our decorations. Would you mind asking your parents if they saw anyone funny around our house?”

    I stifled a laugh. “I’ll be sure to ask my…mommy if she saw anyone today.” Maybe I was laying the teenager language on a little thick, but the aunt didn’t seem to notice.

    She walked back to the girl who was standing with her arms crossed in a pretty light blue coat that made her pale blond hair look like silver under the syrupy clouds. Her eyes looked almost too big for her tiny face and were focused intently in my direction. I would have her within hours.

    * * * * *

    Night had come quicker than I had anticipated. Huddled in the basement I waited for the girl to wander into my house and down the stairs. It was obvious what she was thinking in that little feminine brain of hers. I had made sure that I looked the part—teenagers were difficult to imitate and even more frustrating were the clothes they wore. Besides a ragged pair of jeans and a gray tee-shirt with the words “Pavlov’s Cat” I managed to find some old combat boots and a red beanie. I at least looked the part.

    The window across the room clicked open, shedding strips of moonlight into the basement and onto the cement floor. I waited until she was just at the foot of the stairs before I came up behind her pinning her arms around her back.

    “Get off me!” she screamed.

    “It’s not a good idea for a little girl to wander into a strange boy’s house,” I spit out a mouthful of her hair, “Especially one as pretty as you.”

    She gave a hard jerk and I let her go before she hurt herself. “Where are you?”

    I sighed and switched on their stolen Christmas tree I set up in the corner of the basement. The dark lights washed gold and red flecks across her flaming cheeks. “You look upset.”

    “I am upset,” she stomped her boot like a child. I smiled, despite myself. “What’s wrong with you? Don’t your parents have their own Christmas stuff?”

    “I don’t have any parents,” I said. The teenager bit must have been working because she didn’t seem scared.

    “Are they dead?”

    “Sure.”

    She narrowed her eyes. “Look, stop lying to me like you think I’m stupid.”

    “Okay,” I said and took a step forward. “You want the truth? I’m here specifically for you.”

    She squirmed in her boots. “Me? Why me?”

    “You have a…certain spirit. And I need it.”

    Like I figured, the girl was smart. As soon as I lurched, she dodged me and ran back to the window. I lifted my hands shooting shimmering beams of ice and frost that took hold of her body and held it firmly in position. When I knew she wasn’t going anywhere, I walked forward and she began to scream. With a flip of my finger a swath of ice covered her mouth, cutting her off mid-scream.

    Inches away from her face, I let her watch as my hand slowly turned into razor sharp knives. I held them over her nose and grinned, “Snip, snip.”

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      A macabre intervention, Calico. Bone chilling to the core. You caught me with the first sentence. It reads like Poe, although I think he might have taken lessons from you. As your sure you’re not a time spirit, shifting back and forth across the ages?

      You can do a lot with this character. The “Ice Man Cometh” would be a good title you might use.

      • calicocat88 says:

        Lol! Thanks as always Kerry :) I may jump through time, but only in my head, lol! Actually, when I was young Poe was my first set of stories that I had read besides children’s books. I suppose some of his ways stuck with me without knowing.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Ah, calico, what a delightfully dark story. At first I wasn’t sure if he was a demon or a psychopath, but you made the answer very clear by the end.

      You have a natural way with this.

    • snuzcook says:

      I’ve always thought Jack Frost was a little more unsettling than the simple imp who draws ice patterns on windows. Puts a whole new meaning to the song…”Jack Frost ‘snipping’ at your nose…”
      Well done.

      • calicocat88 says:

        Thanks snuzcook :) I got inspired to research the legend of Jack Frost and what I found was not the Jack Frost we all heard about as children, lol! He’s a mean little bugger.

    • Thomas says:

      A really evil Jack Frost. Quite a twist. Good story. I could read more about it.

  28. My husband and I giggled as we shook hands and put the infamous burglary ski masks on. Our neighbors, the very same neighbors who presented us with that some-what-funky casserole, had stolen our Christmas decorations, and for Christ’s sake made them look good. Those jerks. Too bad for them, though, because we would be the ones with the last laugh. As I fearlessly walked out the front door, black uniform and all, I could feel Damon’s nervousness creeping towards me in the darkest of night.
    “What is that?” I questioned my traitor partner.
    “What? Do you see them?” Damon replied, flustered, and almost about to rip his disguise it two, sheesh, talk about manhood.
    “No, but I’m pretty sure you’re about to back out, and judging by that awkward clear of the throat you just did I think it can be verified,” I snapped.
    Damon eyed me down and I knew confidence ran through his blood once again for the sudden squint in his eyes said it all. “I’m here aren’t I? Now let’s do this before the kids wake up and see their parents looking like a bunch of wacks.” There’s my husband.
    Step one. Cross the street. Easy enough. My eyes darted toward our vintage Christmas lights. The big ones that reminded me of my childhood, and how every time my father put them up it was a big hassle. That’s why I inherited them, because I figured Damon would do the same. To our advantage the Linton household was a ranch, no ladders necessary for this mission. However, that was also a disadvantage; their room was on the same floor of our sneaky bodies and it would be simple to hear us if we made a loud squeak.
    Step two.
    “Alright you go for the reindeer I’ll take these lights down,” I whispered to my accomplice, “let’s make this quick I’m starting to sweat.”
    I began stripping the lights down, string by string, first undressing the garage doors of its new fanciness then working my way to the bushes. I studied the placement, all wrong when up close. Clear that there was no strategic moves on this, for there were knots everywhere. Damn you, Terry. Next time you want butter you’re getting a special ingredient, too. I took a quick glance at Damon and knew our hierarchy was crumbling to our feet with each red and blue light reflecting off his body. Instinct put my hands in the air and it also cocked my head to the front window where Terry had been maniacally smiling with her ear to the phone. She gave me an air-tap-of-the-fingers wave and walked outside to discuss with the police officer on how her neighbors were thieves.

  29. My husband and I giggled as we shook hands and put the infamous burglary ski masks on. Our neighbors, the very same neighbors who presented us with that some-what-funky casserole, had stolen our Christmas decorations, and for Christ’s sake made them look good. Those jerks. Too bad for them, though, because we would be the ones with the last laugh. As I fearlessly walked out the front door, black uniform and all, I could feel Damon’s nervousness creeping towards me in the darkest of night.
    “What is that?” I questioned my traitor partner.
    “What? Do you see them?” Damon replied, flustered, and almost about to rip his disguise it two, sheesh, talk about manhood.
    “No, but I’m pretty sure you’re about to back out, and judging by that awkward clear of the throat you just did I think it can be verified,” I snapped.
    Damon eyed me down and I knew confidence ran through his blood once again for the sudden squint in his eyes said it all. “I’m here aren’t I? Now let’s do this before the kids wake up and see their parents looking like a bunch of wacks.” There’s my husband.
    Step one. Cross the street. Easy enough. My eyes darted toward our vintage Christmas lights. The big ones that reminded me of my childhood, and how every time my father put them up it was a big hassle. That’s why I inherited them, because I figured Damon would do the same. To our advantage the Linton household was a ranch, no ladders necessary for this mission. However, that was also a disadvantage; their room was on the same floor of our sneaky bodies and it would be simple to hear us if we made a loud squeak.
    Step two.
    “Alright you go for the reindeer I’ll take these lights down,” I whispered to my accomplice, “let’s make this quick I’m starting to sweat.”
    I began stripping each light, string by string, first undressing the garage doors of its new fanciness then working my way to the bushes. I studied the placement, all wrong when up close. Clear that there was no strategic moves on this, for there were knots everywhere. Damn you, Terry. Next time you want butter you’re getting a special ingredient, too. I took a quick glance at Damon and knew our hierarchy was crumbling to our feet with each red and blue light reflecting off his body. Instinct put my hands in the air and it also cocked my head to the front window where Terry had been maniacally smiling with her ear to the phone. She gave me an air-tap-of-the-fingers wave and walked outside to discuss with the police officer on how her neighbors were thieves.

  30. The Christmas Heist

    He was standing in the middle of his ransacked basement. ‘’There’s got to be a rational explanation for this’’ growled Robert as he attempted to catch his breath. He stood motionless while reminiscing about the ordeal. ‘’Hmm I can’t even prove they’re mine. It’ll teach me to throw my receipts away’’. A solution materialized itself in an instant, snapping him out of his daydream. ‘’Oh ho! I have got you now! You’ll remember this one my dear Mrs Swanson!’’.

    He raced up the stairs as thought it was for his dear life and made his way into the dusty living room. The dusk had settled itself upon the small suburb while he turned his basement upside down. He preyed upon her from the safety of his manor. Like a ravenous lion, he was determined to wait endlessly for an opportunity to obtain what he longed for.

    His wishes were granted when the black widow made her way into her Lexus and gently pulled away. He had seen her deviant grin when she enabled the current to flow life through his Christmas decorations. His anger metabolized itself as his blood rushed to his head and his eyelids began to twitch like those of a crazed addict.

    He hastily dressed himself and grabbed an empty cardboard box from his garage. A wave of anxiety flowed through him like lightening through steel as he quickly made his way across the street. He unplugged the lights and pulled on the wires. The staples had no way of resisting Robert’s fury as he frantically ran around the house.

    In less than a moment’s notice, he had laid the box in his garage and closed the door. He headed towards the liquor cabinet in his living room in order to savor his favorite brand of scotch. As the adrenaline levels in his body dwindled, he grew excited to see the old hag’s reaction. He sat in his leather chair and impatiently waited for his nemesis to return. He was about to savor the fruits of his labor when his wife walked through the door. ‘’Oh hey honey! Come quick! She’s coming down the street! I have got a hell of a story to tell you! It turns out Mrs Swanson’’… She calmly cut him off.

    ‘’When did you go to the old Church?’’

    ‘’With you last Sunday, don’t you remember?’’

    ‘’Well how did you get the Christmas decorations I donated this morning?’’

    Robert turned into a flabbergasted deer in a set of headlights as Mrs Swanson’s pulled her vehicle in her driveway.

  31. pulp says:

    I slowly pulled the curtain back and peeked from the small window slit, at my neigbour. Chester was a queer sort of fellow, he lived alone, he had his windows painted black, would be seen sitting on the chimney in cold winter nights stark naked.There he was up on the ladder with my christmas light slowly fondling them on his roof. It was the same lights i bought with kaley, the same white nosed reindeer, the same rabbit faced gnome. The sheer audacity of him baffled me. I slid back the curtain, he wasn’t to know that i knew, and pondered over my next course of action. This matter required confrontation, he had humiliated me before but his weirdness attracted me. Stung with curiosity for this character i decided to engage him.

    Nelly had gone to her parents while kaley and jan slept in their bedroom. I slowly opened my bedside drawer, dug down inside the clothes and pulled out the glistening anodized black metal glock, just in case.

    I put on the gloves, wore my large hooded jacket and stepped out in the front porch. There was Chester except now he was stark naked, sitting on the edge of roof. In course of the past half hour his front porch had filled with an assortment of Christmas accessories. There was Mr. Gable’s Santa sleigh, stacked beside with were her large flamingoes – her most prized. Sprawled on the snow floor were red winter lights, with mixes of blue and green. It was as if he had opened a whole winter store.

    He stood up, and rolled my christmas lights around his body, around his hands, his legs and his neck. A bright sunny yellow enveloped him. This dark winter night was emblazoned with the mixture of red, blue, green and yellow, twinkling. He walked on to the edge of his roof, a most glorious of smile hung around his lip and slowly he let himself fall.

    His body hung in mid air, in front of his door, oscillating and revolving amongst the brightest and happiest of Christmas memories.

  32. Critique says:

    Coming home from an extended assignment in South Africa to a full blown Canadian winter was a shock. I love my town but wearing capris and sandals to scrape ice and snow off my car parked at the airport? Brr.

    I relished filling my lonely cupboards with authentic Canadian food and doing laundry in my own laundry room. Humming along to The Little Drummer Boy on the radio I turned onto my shovelled driveway. I smiled. Amos, my neighbour Betty’s son – recently divorced and a hunk – would likely be responsible for that.

    I glanced over and saw Betty weaving garland around her veranda rail. Her house looked festive with those blue lights – just like mine – twinkling on her cedar shrubs. I wondered if Amos might be around helping with the decorating. A girl could hope.

    I tooted my horn and rolled down the window letting in the cold air.

    “Hey Betty.” I called. “It’s looking great.”

    “Oh.” Betty nudged foggy bifocals up on her nose looking bewildered.

    “Just got back today. It’s sure good to be home.” My eyes zoomed in on the Snowman wreath adorning her front door. It looked a lot like the one Aunt Hazel gave me for the first Christmas in my new home.

    She tossed the garland down almost losing her balance and went into her house slamming the door.

    Taken aback at her manner I was nosing my car into the garage when I spotted it. The metal snowman with the top hat standing on Betty’s steps… it had to be mine. My heart beat accelerated.

    Downstairs I stared at empty shelves in the storage room. I felt sick. Betty did this?

    Five years ago Betty welcomed me – the new kid on the block – with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I liked her immediately. She kept an eye on my place when work sent me abroad. This trip I brought back a Shona stone sculpture for her.

    The doorbell pealed an hour later. Amos stood there – his hands full of garland – my garland.

    “Hi Portia.” His eyes fastened on my face.

    I nodded gazing into indigo eyes. My favourite color. Twinkling Christmas lights.

    “Mom’s – that is Betty – is in trouble. What I mean is…” He took a deep breath. “May I come in?”

    “Of course.” I stood aside to let him in.

    “Two weeks ago my Mom was diagnosed with a brain tumour. They’ve given her a month.” His voice sounded scratchy. “She’s been doing strange things.” He help up the garland. “I just found out about this.”

    Poor sweet Betty. My heart swelled with sadness.

    “Amos I’m so very sorry. None of this matters.” I laid a hand on his arm. “I just opened a bottle of wine. Would you join me?”

    “I’d like that.” He smiled. “My Mom was right. You’re something else.”

  33. Becky says:

    Steal back my loot? Well it sounded easy enough
    Until I bumped into the old Christmas Cream Puff.

    His eyes, how they twinkled. His dimples, how merry.
    But a jolly laugh? Pfft! It was downright scary!

    “What have we here?” He inquired to a wee elf,
    And I just looked dumbfounded, in spite of myself.

    Saint Nick caught me stealing back my Christmas decor.
    Before I could respond, he began to call for

    Each little reindeer, by hoof or shiny red nose.
    No need for names, we all know how THAT story goes.

    “What’s the meaning of this?” Santa asked again.
    I knew any stalling would just be in vain

    So I thought up a lie and I thought it up quick,
    And hoped that the details of my story would stick.

    Before I could speak Santa pulled me to one side.
    “You can’t stay on my nice list when you’ve outright lied!

    You might think your neighbor is a thieving squatter,
    But truth be told this lovely lass is my daughter.

    She had no decorations for her brand new home
    So I told her to take yours and call it a loan.

    ‘neath your tree on Christmas morn you’d find more from Kohl’s,
    But after this you just get a stocking of coal!”

    Before I could contemplate a Christmas morn so sparse
    The old man took his boot and kicked me in the arse.

    Sure I’d heard the rumors. Santa’s just a big myth!
    After our rooftop tussle, I’ll just plead the fifth.

    As I hung from the roof by one woolen mitten,
    I grumbled aloud, “You haven’t won yet, kitten.”

    And now I share the moral of this sad, sad tale.
    If Miss Clause steals your decor — buy new ones on sale!

  34. My husband and I giggled as we shook hands and put the infamous burglary ski masks on. Our neighbors, the very same neighbors who presented us with that some-what-funky casserole, had stolen our Christmas decorations, and for Christ’s sake made them look good. Those jerks. Too bad for them, though, because we would be the ones with the last laugh. As I fearlessly walked out the front door, black uniform and all, I could feel Damon’s nervousness creeping towards me in the darkest of night.
    “What is that?” I questioned my traitor partner.
    “What? Do you see them?” Damon replied, flustered, and almost about to rip his disguise it two, sheesh, talk about manhood.
    “No, but I’m pretty sure you’re about to back out, and judging by that awkward clear of the throat you just did I think it can be verified,” I snapped.
    Damon eyed me down and I knew confidence ran through his blood once again for the sudden squint in his eyes said it all. “I’m here aren’t I? Now let’s do this before the kids wake up and see their parents looking like a bunch of wacks.” There’s my husband.
    Step one. Cross the street. Easy enough. My eyes darted toward our vintage Christmas lights. The big ones that reminded me of my childhood, and how every time my father put them up it was a big hassle. That’s why I inherited them, because I figured Damon would do the same. To our advantage the Linton household was a ranch, no ladders necessary for this mission. However, that was also a disadvantage; their room was on the same floor of our sneaky bodies and it would be simple to hear us if we made a loud squeak.
    Step two.
    “Alright you go for the reindeer I’ll take these lights down,” I whispered to my accomplice, “let’s make this quick I’m starting to sweat.”
    I removed the lights string by string, first undressing the garage doors of its new fanciness then working my way to the bushes. I studied the placement, all wrong when up close. Clear that there was no strategic moves on this, for there were knots everywhere. Damn you, Terry. Next time you want butter you’re getting a special ingredient, too. I took a quick glance at Damon and knew our hierarchy was crumbling to our feet with each red and blue light reflecting off his body. Instinct put my hands in the air and it also cocked my head to the front window where Terry had been maniacally smiling with her ear to the phone. She gave me an air-tap-of-the-fingers wave and walked outside to discuss with the police officer on how her neighbors were thieves.

  35. Kylero says:

    “Screw this bitch,” I said to myself as I dug the legs of my ladder into the arctic, snow covered ground. “She thinks she can just sneak into my basement.”

    I raise my second foot to the second rung, shifting the ladder slightly to the sound of the snow crinkling underneath. I wobble the ladder as to make it stick, rooting it deeper, before climbing to the top.

    “Steal my lights,” I say, gripping the edge of the frozen gutters, balancing myself as I reach, grabbing hold of the wire of lights, dangling from Mrs. Watermen’s roof.

    “My decorations.” I pull the cord towards me, whipping it off of catches and snags, mindless of the breaking bulbs because they’re my bulbs and I can break them if I want.

    Ripping away the wire, I throw down the end I held, and proceed to climb up onto the roof. Leaning forward, I trudge to the top; The blown up Santa Claus and reindeer residing, spreading all their Christmas joy and good will. Dislodging the stapled spikes which once held the overblown Santa to the roof, I wrench it away, throwing that jolly old saint down to the pile of broken bulbs and tangled wires, dispersing the forming, encircling crowd below.

    “What on earth are you doing to my decorations?” screamed the insolent old hag who stole my stuff.

    “This is my joy and good will,” I yell, grabbing hold of reindeer and throwing it down to her feet, which I’m sure are wrinkled and look gross.

    “What?” she hollered, probably because she forgot to put in her hearing aide.

    “Listen lady,” I stand, arms akimbo, on my platform. Reading to speak justice. “You can’t just go digging in other people’s basements, stealing their Christmas decorations – their blown up reindeer – like some Nazi gypsy on Black Friday.”

    “What are you talking about?” she said, tossing out her arms as if saying “More! More!” As if she hadn’t gotten enough from me.

    “You stole all my stuff!” I yell, grabbing hold of another reindeer and throwing it off the roof, unbeknownst that it was connected to another reindeer. Seeing this, but not embarrassed, I reach down and toss the second one off, but this one is connected to a third, which barely moves from my throw, so I kick that one off the side of the roof.

    “That one was stuck – ” I try to explain before being cut-off.

    Rude.

    “I didn’t steal your stuff!”

    I laugh robustly. “How can you say that? This is all mine! Those lights,” I say pointing to the pile below, “mine! That Santa – or what used to be Santa – mine! These reindeer – mine! All mine!”

    “Yes, but you told me I could use it!”

    Silence.

    “What?”

    “I called you last night about buying some decorations for me and you told me I could just use yours. So my grandson, got them for me and put them up,” to which the kid who stood next to her waived and said a kind hello.

    “I did?”

    “Yes!”

    “Oh, wow,” I said, rubbing the back of my head, “sorry. I don’t remember any of that.” laughing, slightly embarrassed, “I got so shit-faced last night.”

    A collective sigh rushed over the encompassing crowd.

    “So, yeah sorry. I’m going to go buy you some, uh, decorations,” I said reaching the ladder, turning and laying a foot down on the first rung. “And clean all this up for you.”

    I climbed down, stepping off my ladder and turning to the face of Mrs. Watermen whose face I couldn’t figure out was especially wrinkled today or just really mad.

    “And sorry about the whole ‘Nazi gypsy on Black Friday thing,’ I said, bending my head down. “Yeah.” I walked to my car.

  36. Islandgirl2 says:

    Candy Cane and Reindeer Games

    Corrine’s car screeched into her garage knocking over the bicycle parked at the back. “Damn!” She slammed the car door, pressed the garage door remote and headed down the stairs to the basement. As Corrine hit the last step, she tripped, slamming her arm against the wall in a desperate attempt to keep from hitting the basement floor. “Damn!” Marching toward the corner, she saw nothing and nothing was not what she wanted to see. Corrine threw up her arms forgetting that a large garden cart hung from the ceiling. “Damn!” She rubbed her already injured arm and felt the blood. Up the stairs, she ran and began pacing back and forth in the garage staring out the garage door window from time to time.

    “How could he do this. Travis knows how much Christmas means to me. It’s our wedding day and not only that, my birthday too. We picked out every Christmas decoration together. Each one meant something, it represented our love, our uniqueness. Each of the 7 years we were married, Travis would wrap up a special ornament and attach a goofy poem just for my birthday. Then we would pick out a reindeer together to complete our Santa and sleigh theme for our anniversary. First year Dasher, then Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and this year would have been Blitzen. A complete set. Seven years until SHE moved across the street in July.”

    Corrine spat out her name in the growing darkness of the garage. “Kandy, Kandy Kane!” The irony of her name was not lost on Corrine. She felt her face burn from the anger and quickly looked in the garage window at her reflection sure her face was glowing bright orange. How had it happened? Oh, innocently at first. The beautiful divorcee showing up at the door needing help with a new lock, a broken window, a leaky faucet and Travis such a handy man. “Handy man!” Corrine’s hysterical laugh actually frightened her, but another side of her loved the sound of it. It felt good to let go. Her anger had been bottled up for so long, seeing her treasured Christmas ornaments displayed on Kandy’s lawn that was the last straw. With that thought, Corrine ran straight to the window tripping over something in the dark. “Damn!” The paint brush clattered against the old tin can while paint thinner splattered onto the garage floor.

    Corrine had always prided herself on her control and how she could wrap all the hurt and pain into a neat little package inside her. Once Travis and Kandy had expressed their desire to be together, she had found another home. Oh, she had been cool, cool as a cucumber tonight. Pulling her car over when she saw Travis and Kandy on the lawn. She wanted to tell him she was going to get the Christmas decorations for her new house, hoping the cherished items would soothe her wounded spirit. But now she realized she secretly longed to see a spark in Travis’s eyes, a look between them of something sacred and shared, and more importantly not forgotten. What she saw was her husband placing their sacred ornaments in her unholy ground. And something snapped inside Corrine as she watched him laugh and kiss this woman – no not woman . . .” BITCH!” As she let loose of the word from inside her brain, Travis came running over, with Kandy trailing behind. Corrine still emotionally stunned could only manage a smile, a wave, and a weak, “Looks good!” She quickly felt she had betrayed herself and shoved the gas pedal to the floor spraying snow in the air behind her. A soul tortured laugh erupted as in her rear view mirror, Corrine saw Travis and Kandy try unsuccessfully to dodge the slush that erupted.

    Wondering what they were doing now, Corrine looked out the window. She could see the ornaments lighting up the dark now. Two shadowy figures darted around the lawn and Corrine knew Travis and Kandy were continuing their desecration of her Christmas memories and marriage. Hitting the garage door opener, Corrine opened her car door and reached in her purse. Slowly backing the car , she stopped, struck a match and threw it on the paint thinner. A flame instantly erupted and she continued backing out the garage door and onto the street. She shoved the car into drive and it leapt forward, over the curb into the yard. She could see Travis and Kandy at the manger scene. The seven reindeer were illuminated in her headlights and behind them stood Travis and Kandy “like deer in the headlights”. Again, the irony of the situation was not lost on Corrine. Another demonic laugh erupted as the Dasher then Dancer hit the grill. Travis landed at the foot of Joseph and Kandy landed in Santa’s sleigh. Corrine saw large drops of Kandy’s red blood in a line up to the sleigh. Red and white, red and white, it reminded Corrine of a candy cane. As she looked at Kandy’s body in the sleigh again the irony was not lost. Corrine quietly whispered, “ The sleighing of Kandy Kane and saving Christmas. “

    She turned to watch as the flames gathered momentum and overtook the whole garage.

    • Kylero says:

      Dark and grave; I love the irony presented through a happy-joyous occasion. Fits perfectly with a piece filled with irony. I did find it tough to follow at times. Specifically where she resided (she moved out to a new place, but was still able to see them out the window after she went home), but I could have misread a passage. Fantastically dark idea

    • jj3ffr3y says:

      I see her returning to their once-shared home to get the decorations, only to find her estranged husband across the street at his new girlfriend’s house? And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they are putting up her cherished decorations on the new girl’s lawn. Great take on this prompt.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Whoa. This is very dark. Corrine’s going to spend her Christmas, birthday, anniversary getting a psych evaluation from the police.

      Nice story of someone sliding over the edge.

  37. jj3ffr3y says:

    “Hoppy Holidays”

    Thanksgiving weekend always starts the Christmas season at our house. Lights and decorations appear from thin air and transform our humble abode into a Hallmark scene. Yeah, right. No, I grudgingly do it myself. The neighbors give me grief when they see me on the ladder but hey, I work a lot of weekends so I have to do what I can, when I can. I agree with the critics that yes, it’s too soon for Christmas décor but my wife won’t give me any peace until the lights are up.

    “At least hang the lights,” she says. “You’ll be happy to get the hard part out of the way before it gets really cold.” Yes, dear.

    I pulled into my driveway after a brutal night shift and looked forward to a long weekend of turkey and fixings and football. After I got out of the car I saw Kowalski hauling a huge wreath up a ladder to hang on his house. My gaze traveled upward. At the roof peak sat a Santa sleigh complete with reindeer and “Hoppy Holidays” spelled out in big red plywood letters. The “a” in “Happy” became an “o” last year after it blew off the roof… Off of MY roof– WHAT THE HELL? I ran down to my basement.

    The empty corner shelf confirmed what I already knew. I looked down at a garland which snaked across the floor and over to the back door. The door glass pane next to the knob had a cleanly cut hole big enough to reach in and turn the deadbolt. I yanked open the door, raced up the stairwell and around to the front of Kowalski’s. He was in his living room, standing at the window below the stolen wreath. I glared at him but before I could start yelling he grinned, raised a fist chest-high and flipped me the bird.

    After midnight I dressed in dark clothing and slipped over the fence into Kowalski’s yard. The house was quiet and dark. This won’t take long, I muttered. Suddenly a net burst from the leaves all around me and then I was caught, swinging in a slow circle a few feet off the ground. A spotlight blinked on and I saw Kowalski coming toward me with an axe in his hand.

    “This won’t take long,” he growled and then his wood chipper roared to life.

    “Are you going to sleep out here or in the house?”

    I opened my eyes. I was still in my car. I looked out at my wife, standing on the porch in her robe, morning coffee in hand. Then I looked next door at Kowalski’s. No wreath, no Santa sleigh, no decorations. Kowalski was in his backyard running limbs through the chipper.

    “In the house,” I sighed with relief.

    I followed her in, she went to the kitchen and I headed down the basement stairs. The corner shelf stood empty. A lone, forgotten garland meandered across the floor to the back door.

  38. My husband and I giggled as we shook hands and put the infamous burglary ski masks on. Our neighbors, the very same neighbors who presented us with that some-what-funky casserole, had stolen our Christmas decorations, and for Christ’s sake made them look good. Those jerks. Too bad for them, though, because we would be the ones with the last laugh. As I fearlessly walked out the front door, black uniform and all, I could feel Damon’s nervousness creeping towards me in the darkest of night.
    “What is that?” I questioned my traitor partner.
    “What? Do you see them?” Damon replied, flustered, and almost about to rip his disguise it two, sheesh, talk about manhood.
    “No, but I’m pretty sure you’re about to back out, and judging by that awkward clear of the throat you just did I think it can be verified,” I snapped.
    Damon eyed me down and I knew confidence ran through his blood once again for the sudden squint in his eyes said it all. “I’m here aren’t I? Now let’s do this before the kids wake up and see their parents looking like a bunch of wacks.” There’s my husband.
    Step one. Cross the street. Easy enough. My eyes darted toward our vintage Christmas lights. The big ones that reminded me of my childhood, and how every time my father put them up it was a big hassle. That’s why I inherited them, because I figured Damon would do the same. To our advantage the Linton household was a ranch, no ladders necessary for this mission. However, that was also a disadvantage; their room was on the same floor of our sneaky bodies and it would be simple to hear us if we made a loud squeak.
    Step two.
    “Alright you go for the reindeer I’ll take these lights down,” I whispered to my accomplice, “let’s make this quick I’m starting to sweat.”
    String by string, first undressing the garage doors of its new fanciness then working my way to the bushes. I studied the placement, all wrong when up close. Clear that there was no strategic moves on this, for there were knots everywhere. Damn you, Terry. Next time you want butter you’re getting a special ingredient, too. I took a quick glance at Damon and knew our hierarchy was crumbling to our feet with each red and blue light reflecting off his body. Instinct put my hands in the air and it also cocked my head to the front window where Terry had been maniacally smiling with her ear to the phone. She gave me an air-tap-of-the-fingers wave and walked outside to discuss with the police officer on how her neighbors were thieves.

  39. If anyone can see this because I can’t see my comments but supposedly they are being posted don’t mind my hasty comment before. Just becoming a bit agitated.

  40. Well just to justify my last hasty comment I don’t see any of my comments popping up and I’m a little agitated because I just wrote a story for this! What the heckin heck.

  41. My husband and I giggled as we shook hands and put the infamous burglary ski masks on. Our neighbors, the very same neighbors who presented us with that some-what-funky casserole, had stolen our Christmas decorations, and for Christ’s sake made them look good. Those jerks. Too bad for them, though, because we would be the ones with the last laugh. As I fearlessly walked out the front door, black uniform and all, I could feel Damon’s nervousness creeping towards me in the darkest of night.
    “What is that?” I questioned my traitor partner.
    “What? Do you see them?” Damon replied, flustered, and almost about to rip his disguise it two, sheesh, talk about manhood.
    “No, but I’m pretty sure you’re about to back out, and judging by that awkward clear of the throat you just did I think it can be verified,” I snapped.
    Damon eyed me down and I knew confidence ran through his blood once again for the sudden squint in his eyes said it all. “I’m here aren’t I? Now let’s do this before the kids wake up and see their parents looking like a bunch of wacks.” There’s my husband.
    Step one. Cross the street. Easy enough. My eyes darted toward our vintage Christmas lights. The big ones that reminded me of my childhood, and how every time my father put them up it was a big hassle. That’s why I inherited them, because I figured Damon would do the same. To our advantage the Linton household was a ranch, no ladders necessary for this mission. However, that was also a disadvantage; their room was on the same floor of our sneaky bodies and it would be simple to hear us if we made a loud squeak.
    Step two.
    “Alright you go for the reindeer ill take these lights down,” I whispered to my accomplice, “let’s make this quick I’m starting to sweat.”
    String by string, first undressing the garage doors of its new fanciness then working my way to the bushes. I studied the placement, all wrong when up close. Clear that there was no strategic moves on this, for there were knots everywhere. Damn you, Terry. Next time you want butter you’re getting a special ingredient, too. I took a quick glance at Damon and knew our hierarchy was crumbling to our feet with each red and blue light reflecting off his body. Instinct put my hands in the air and it also cocked my head to the front window where Terry had been maniacally smiling with her ear to the phone. She gave me an air-tap-of-the-fingers wave and walked outside to discuss with the police officer on how her neighbors were thieves.

  42. fangedllama says:

    After around the fourth or fifth shot, I had decidedly overcome any anxiety that I had had earlier when I first discovered the unnatural behavioral pattern my neighbor had displayed. Who does that? Did he not expect me to confront him? He even waved at me while putting up MY christmas lights. He expected me to act professional about it, I’m sure. Me being a psychiatrist and all.

    In the thick of the night tho, after my day’s experiences, I decided to go against all of my professional training. I am still human after all. With that thought, I grabbed my shoes and rushed into the living room. I peered out of the sliding glass door. The neighbors’ house was dark with the exception of one room upstairs. If I was going to do this, I needed to act fast. I looked down, coming to the realization I was in my underwear. Screw it I thought. I finished putting my loafers on and walked out into the night air.

    Before I made it to the house, I started thinking if I get caught, theres no proof that these decorations are mine. I’d be arrested on the spot. Well I wasn’t going to let the prick get away with stealing my decorations that easily. I decided that I would start this mission off by leaving him with something to remember me by. I squatted right there in front of the door and defecated on the newspaper. I mean, who waits twenty-four hours before reading a newspaper?

    Right then I saw someone peak out from the door’s window curtain. My neighbor’s wife. I tried to stop but I was in mid stride so to speak. I heard her call to Jake. I stood up fast and started to pull my underwear back up. What the hell had she been doing at the door with all the lights off? The door come open right as I finished pulling up my tighty-whiteys. Out came Jake.

    “What the hell are you doing?” Jake whispered.

    “What the HELL are YOU doing?” I came back while pointing at the decorated house. ” THOSE ARE MINE!”

    I yelled as if I wanted to draw attention halfway forgetting what I had done and that I wasn’t dressed for credibility.

    That is when the unexpected happened. The lights in the house came on. Through the window I could see a banner hanging in his kitchen. Oh dear. One by one, the house emptied out onto the lawn. My wife, my mom, my dad and siblings. Even the entire police force who had previously acted as if they hadn’t remembered my birthday.

    I stood their, my jaw agape. I didn’t know what to say. My wife came over with the jacket and put it around my waist.

    “I’m sorry.” I muttered.

    “We expected you to confront him professionally.” She said holding her nose.

    I blushed.

    “Happy Birthday, Doc” said Jake.

    I closed my eyes hoping to wake up back in my bed.

  43. ebersocats says:

    I was going to put up Christmas decorations, but couldn’t. They were missing … where had they gone? I stared, looking hard around in my garage, wondering, “Where could the decorations be?”
    I glanced out of the window and saw my decorations! Our neighbor was putting them up on his house! The nerve!
    Well, there was only one thing to do. Steal them back.
    I planned on staying awake later than Nathan and Ester, our thieving neighbors. I could easily get our decorations back.
    The clock chimed 10 and still the neighbors were up. What was the wrong with them? What kind of derelict and irresponsible people were they anyway? I mean, it wasn’t bad enough to steal a neighbor’s Christmas decorations, but they had to party all night.
    OK, maybe they weren’t partying. They were just night owls Well, my mood was as fowl as any owls, night or day!
    “Alright”, I told myself, “if I want justice I just have to grin and bear it and stay up a while longer.”
    I guess I dozed off around 10:30 and woke up at 11:30 and snuck over to my dishonest neighbor’s house.
    Someone else was in the neighbor’s garage!
    I thought it might be a burglar so I hid behind a bush by the garage, and saw it was our other neighbor on the other side of this garage.
    “OK,” I thought, “he’s not a thief. And if he is, he’s shorter by a foot and about 50 lbs. I can fight him.
    So, anyway, before any fights, I had to think what was the other neighbor doing here?
    “Hey, bud, what are you doing in here?” I asked.
    “Me?!!!” He looked around.
    “Who else?”
    He gasped as he whispered, “I came to get what belonged to me.”
    Before he could say anything, I informed him, “Those lights are mine!”
    “Lights! What do you mean?”
    I replied somewhat annoyed, “Those lights, the Christmas lights.”
    “Oh, heck. I don’t want those. I want my wife.”
    “Wife? Who would steal her?”
    He pointed into the house and said, “That dirty download thief would.”
    This was too much for me. I figured this was even more serious and I couldn’t just steal back my lights. I needed to know about this thieving man and how he rationalized his behavior.
    I knocked on the door. OK so it was no major crime, I’d be safe. My neighbor opened the door and all of a sudden my all my neighbors jumped out to say, “Surprise! Happy Birthday!”
    Then my wife ran up to hug me, “I never thought it would take you long this to come over.”
    My thieving neighbor said, “I knew that you’d be provoked by the sight of your decorations here, and I thought you’d be over sooner.”
    My other neighbor who also had been breaking into the garage said, “Your wife called and asked for my help.”
    It was a great party, but aren’t there better ways to get someone over to surprise them?
    My loving wife said, “Happy Birthday, and good thing you’re so predictable.”

    • My husband and I giggled as we shook hands and put the infamous burglary ski masks on. Our neighbors, the very same neighbors who presented us with that some-what-funky casserole, had stolen our Christmas decorations, and for Christ’s sake made them look good. Those jerks. Too bad for them, though, because we would be the ones with the last laugh. As I fearlessly walked out the front door, black uniform and all, I could feel Damon’s nervousness creeping towards me in the darkest of night.
      “What is that?” I questioned my traitor partner.
      “What? Do you see them?” Damon replied, flustered, and almost about to rip his disguise it two, sheesh, talk about manhood.
      “No, but I’m pretty sure you’re about to back out, and judging by that awkward clear of the throat you just did I think it can be verified,” I snapped.
      Damon eyed me down and I knew confidence ran through his blood once again for the sudden squint in his eyes said it all. “I’m here aren’t I? Now let’s do this before the kids wake up and see their parents looking like a bunch of wacks.” There’s my husband.
      Step one. Cross the street. Easy enough. My eyes darted toward our vintage Christmas lights. The big ones that reminded me of my childhood, and how every time my father put them up it was a big hassle. That’s why I inherited them, because I figured Damon would do the same. To our advantage the Linton household was a ranch, no ladders necessary for this mission. However, that was also a disadvantage; their room was on the same floor of our sneaky bodies and it would be simple to hear us if we made a loud squeak.
      Step two.
      “Alright you go for the reindeer ill take these lights down,” I whispered to my accomplice, “let’s make this quick I’m starting to sweat.”
      String by string, first undressing the garage doors of its new fanciness then working my way to the bushes. I studied the placement, all wrong when up close. Clear that there was no strategic moves on this, for there were knots everywhere. Damn you, Terry. Next time you want butter you’re getting a special ingredient, too. I took a quick glance at Damon and knew our hierarchy was crumbling to our feet with each red and blue light reflecting off his body. Instinct put my hands in the air and it also cocked my head to the front window where Terry had been maniacally smiling with her ear to the phone. She gave me an air-tap-of-the-fingers wave and walked outside to discuss with the police officer on how her neighbors were thieves.

    • jj3ffr3y says:

      Ha! I can imagine all the guests waiting around for her to come over and demand her stuff.

    • agnesjack says:

      At first I thought it was going to be a neighborhood chain: Neighbor A steals from B who steals from C, etc., so the ending caught me (and the MC) by surprise. Nice.

      Just a quick note on formatting. It helps the read when there are two returns after every paragraph. Also, I hope you don’t mind my pointing out that there was some repetition that could be eliminated, such as the back-to-back dialogue, “I never thought it would take you long this [sic] to come over.” and “I thought you’d be over sooner.”

    • Observer Tim says:

      Okay, this was just surreal, ebersocats. I really like surreal!

      But how are the neighbours going to top themselves next year?

  44. BezBawni says:

    Popped in to wish you all, guys, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! :))) I give you my thanks for giving me encouragement when I needed it and wish you all easy writing, creative ideas and wonderful stories :-))

  45. agnesjack says:

    I wanted to get this posted before heading out for Thanksgiving. Looking forward to reading all of yours when I get back. –Nancy
    ________________________

    I drive into my driveway and get out of the car. My neighbor across the street is just finishing decorating her house for Christmas. Sharon lost her fifty-one year old husband, Ben, to a heart attack two years ago, so I’m happy to see her making the effort this year. There are wreaths on all the windows with lights illuminating them from below. Tiny white lights encircle the front door and cascade down the stair railings. On the front lawn is a very pretty angel in a flowing gown of sparkling lights that trail behind her on the ground. The overall look is understated and quite beautiful.

    “It looks wonderful, Sharon,” I shout with a wave.

    “Thank you,” Sharon says. “You and Sam inspired me, you know.”

    “I can see that,” I say, “I’m glad, Sharon.”

    I place my grocery bags on the counter in the kitchen and begin putting the items away. It doesn’t really bother me that Sharon copied our idea of the wreaths on the windows. Nor do I mind her using white lights as accents like we do. The angel bothers me a little, and I wonder how she managed to find one so similar, but I feel I can let that pass under the circumstances. After all, she’s a widow.

    I figure it’s time to do our house, so I decide to bring our decorations up from the basement, but when I get to the room at the back where we keep the boxes, they aren’t there. Actually, none of the boxes are there, including the ones with the decorations for our tree and mantelpiece.

    I go upstairs and look out the front window at Sharon’s house. The decorations do look just like ours. She had volunteered to feed our cat last May when we went to a nephew’s wedding. Could she have taken them then? The thought that she may have stolen our decorations shocks me. Why would she do such a thing? Maybe losing her husband did something to her mind.

    I decide to call Sam, who’s out getting beer and wine, to ask him what he thinks I should do. It goes right to voicemail. I leave a message and ask him to call me.

    I’m starting to feel angry. Widow or no widow, you just don’t do something like that. We bought those decorations when we first moved into our house. They have sentimental value. I decide to go over and confront her. I just want her to know that I know. Just as I ring the doorbell, my cell phone buzzes. It’s a text message from Sam. It reads: “Decorations in attic. Had to move after storm flooded basement last yr, remember? lv, S.”

    The door opens. I look up from the text message. I must have a strange look on my face because Sharon is looking at me funny.

    “I just wanted to tell you how much I love your decorations,” I blurt out.

    “Oh. Thanks,” she says. “I hope you don’t mind that I copied yours this year. Ben always loved the way your house looked.”

    “Not at all,” I say. “Not – at – all.” Then I slink back to my house to go retrieve the boxes from the attic, and to thank God and Jesus and Mary and Joseph AND my lucky stars that Sam texted me in time.

  46. DMelde says:

    Rosie and Josie Sunder were Siamese twins who, after being medically separated, decided to live right next door to each other in the very small town of Snowflake, Alaska.

    They loved living in Snowflake, where there was snow on the ground all year long, and they loved being with one another. In very many ways they acted as if they were still joined at the hip. It wasn’t unusual for Rosie to come home from work to find that Josie had come over and baked her cookies. Once, when Josie came home from running errands, she discovered that Rosie had taken all of Josie’s Christmas decorations out of her garage and taken them over to her own house, where she decorated her entire, snowy yard. It looked so pretty, and it didn’t bother Josie in the least that her sister had taken them. She simply went over to Rosie’s garage, and she took Rosie’s decorations, and Josie used them to decorate her own yard too. Then, later on that same day, together they dug a snow cave into the fourteen foot-high snow drift, out in the gully behind their homes. In their cave they strung Christmas lights that sparkled off of the snow like ten thousand twinkling lights, and they would sit in their lawn chairs with blankets wrapped around them, and sip their tea. It was like living in a snow globe. Together, Rosie and Josie were very happy.

    Snowflake was very far north, and at night, if it was a silent night, the sisters could see, far off in the distance, the soft white glow from the toy workshops at the North Pole. They heard the rumors whispered about town. They knew what went on in the workshops, with Santa and his elves, and they approved of it all, because they loved Christmas and the celebration of family that Christmas represents. Well, they approved of almost all of it, because there was one dark rumor that they did not like at all.

    The talk in town was about the Blue Elves, who in whispers were called the enforcers of Christmas. They traveled far and wide enforcing the rules of Christmas, namely; —No Decorating before Thanksgiving, and — Absolutely No Bah Humbug.

    The sisters fretted over the matter as they sat inside of their snow globe sipping on their hot tea. They knew they had decorated their houses before Thanksgiving, and they were a little afraid that the Blue Elves might show up and do whatever it is that Blue Elves do. Not that they believed all of the rumors, of course. For instance, they doubted very much that the Blue Elves killed and ate baby reindeer. More likely, they just yelled at people to take down their decorations and quit mixing up their holidays. The sisters decided that at the first hint of trouble they would make a snow door and hide out in their snow cave until after the trouble left. And, if the Blue Elves found them, they decided they would take the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a Very Merry Christmas, and a blessed, Happy New Year.

    • snuzcook says:

      Your vignette was like a lovely Christmas Card, DMelde. I really enjoyed the image of the ice cave with the lights inside.

    • don potter says:

      What a unique take on the prompt. Who would have come up with separated Siamese twins living together? You, that’s who. Loved your story.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        And I also loved it. So easily written as a fairy tale, the reader knew not to be afraif of the Blue Elves. I can just imagine the snow cave and wish I was with the twins. I have twin grand daughters who graduate from high school next spring. They’re seventeen and I still can’t tell them apart. I’ve caught them with their subtle glances, communicating with each other.

        This is a unique style you’ve written this in, so comfortable.

    • agnesjack says:

      This was truly delightful, dmelde. Very unique response to the prompt.

    • Observer Tim says:

      This piece has the innocence of childhood written all over it DMelde. It’s quite a touching story.

  47. Reaper says:

    The Nativity

    “Those look nice Susan!” I waved at the woman that lived next door as I backed out of the driveway. Then I blinked and spoke to myself instead.

    “Damn it.”

    Tom had stolen the decorations back again. It was a running competition. We did it every year. Well we tried to. It had actually taken me three years to steal them back out of his garage but I had finally succeeded last Thanksgiving when they were out of town at his parent’s house. I knew I should have set a bear trap in front of them. By the rules of our arrangement I had only until the last day of November to get them back, so it had to be done tonight.

    Eleven should have been late enough for Susan and Tom to be asleep, but apparently Tom knew I was going to take no prisoners this year. I had a life size Mary under one arm, and a Joseph under the other for the lawn nativity when Tom cleared his throat. That jerk was on his roof keeping watch. He turned on one of those industrial flashlights when he coughed to announce his presence. I startled and dropped the holy parents. Being made of porcelain they shattered into thousands of pieces on the hard ground.

    Well that was the last thing Tom was expecting. It startled him as much as he had surprised me. I saw his arms windmill as he tried to keep his balance. No such luck though, he toppled off the roof and landed on his lawn with a sick crack that told me, as much as the angle of his head did, that he was not going to see the new year.

    Of course that was when Susan decided to make her appearance. She screeched as her hand fell on my shoulder. Her voice was choked with tears as she beseeched me.

    “Steve, Tom’s okay ri…”

    That was as far as she got. I spun on instinct, picking up the first thing I could find. That happened to be a piece of Mary. The sharp plaster wedged nicely into Susan’s throat. Now I had two dead bodies to explain away.

    Damn it!

    I looked around slowly. Should I report this? No, not until after the holidays. I still had the night to myself though. It seemed with all of the clatter no one in my suburban neighborhood arose to see what was the matter. Now I just had to figure out what to do with the neighbors until the end of December.

    Damn it.

    Everyone tells me how the nativity suffers because Mary and Joseph look so lifelike they take away from the cheaper pieces around them. My wife says it simpler. Mary for some reason reminds her that she needs to talk to Susan about putting an end to this foolish bet between me and Tom. Stop it before someone gets hurt.

    Damn it.

    • don potter says:

      This was funny in a most pervert way. I can almost see the new Nativity scene as I look out my window. Tom and Susan won’t be discovered until well after Christmas, so the MC has time to plan for their disposal.

    • snuzcook says:

      Good creepy story, Reaper! Too bad his wife didn’t have that talk with Susan a year ago.

    • agnesjack says:

      I agree with don that this was funny despite being quite perverse. Wouldn’t want to be downwind of that nativity.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Alfred walks in to match his line-drawn silhouette, then turns to the audience.

      ALFRED: Well, Steven has crafted a rather original solution to the problem of completing his Christmas disply. I’m sure that the police will be quite interested in his display once things begin to warm up. Good night.

      GRAMS: Funeral March of a Marionette

      Brilliant piece, Reaper.

  48. PeterW says:

    DUPLEX PLUS HOLIDAY DECS (damn this is so bad, I sorrz, no can write gud)

    We are out on the street drinking brews on a cold Thurs., surveying the duplex. Our holiday decorations are in the neighbor’s, a widowed Mrs. Sheffield’s, lawn along with a lot of other trash. It was a sad site, honestly. There is a Halloween skeleton draped over the nativity scene. The reindeer made of wire and silver-colored wires has its back feet on a big plastic turkey. There are holiday lights, of icicle and color variety over everything like a spider web. Some are shooting through the eye-sockets of a decaying and toppled Easter bunny, others are criss-crossed over the windows, haphazard.

    “Does she know it looks like shit?” says Derek.

    “You where got she all the Christmas lights…” I says.

    “Does she even know it looks horribly unfestive, not to mention macabre, and quite frankly fucked up?”

    “Dude, she’s has been in our house again.”

    Our side (commuting grad-students) of the lawn is sparse, as in dead grass, one dying bush. Her side (old bat) is a gigantic collage of gnomes, plastic flamingos, everything Christmas, everything Halloween, everything America, all caught in a grid of shining Christmas lights ending exactly at halfway.

    “I like how she got our beer-pong table buried halfway into the yard. How’d she do that!” says Derek.

    “I think it’s your turn to talk to her.”

    “Check it dude, Santa is wearing the American flag as a loin cloth.”

    “Tell her about privacy issues; tell her we will call the domestic services next time she forces our screen door.”

    “It’s so avant-garde. This is like Pollack at work. Sheffield is like crazy-ass genius. I mean we don’t know shit about art, she might be like the next Picasso.”

    “Tell her violation of home is practically a violation of your slash my body. She is practically raping us.”

    “Dude, geniuses don’t rape people.”

    “She breaks into our house. She steals our shit.”

    “Dude, it’s so genius. She takes all the random shit we don’t need or ever use. Seriously my wok plus your canoe plus all five seasons of Friends we weren’t gonna watch plus Mindy’s (my ex-GF) make-up, lotions, eye-liner removal kit plus that awful self-portrait you drew as a kid and hung over your bed. She is like the perfect garbage disposal.”

    “She is gonna do weird stuff slash shit to us when we are asleep. Dudeee.”

    “OMG, OMG, check it. There are like fifteen vibrators in baby Jesus’s crib. That’s cra [zy].”

    Then suddenly she is in her front door, looking at us drinking brews on the sidewalk, on a cool Thurs. during dusk time, drinking and speculating after a hard-day at grad school, thinking wistfully of two years past, when we first saw her and first knew she was cooky, ape-shit, bat-shit, way-the-F-out of her mind, and now we see her in her white, wearing-disgustingly-thin, scratchy bathrobe, remembering then that when we choose the duplex on Bearing St, 10 min off campus that we seriously thought she would be dead in a few months because she was so old and frail and completely demented, her spine like a rubber band, her skin dropping worse that a basset hound’s jowls, worse than the blubber rings of a one-thousand pound man; that she would be able to somehow break our house and drag of the most rando-shit ever, and leave lingering old-woman-no-able-to-shower-smell ,and we had just figured we would get the stuff back when she eventually croaked, and there we stood facing her and she faced us, her hard, wizened, fucking crazy eyes looking… How many times did we say, ‘she is just an old lady.’

    “Mrs. Sheffield, a word please,” I yell, then holding my brew duskward.

    “Yo Ms. S. we need to speaky [sic] with youuu,” yells Derek; us both then stepping forward.

    She snarls like an animal and retreats into her Duplex-side.

    “Damn, she feisty,” says Derek.

    I would never tell Derek, but she seriously, seriously scares me… very, very shitless.

    “Damn, feistiness is sexy,” says Derek joyingly, crushing brew-can, heading back to our side, then whistling, then brushing hand in hair.

    I get an uncanny feeling suddenly— is Derek fucking her???? (Did he just…) It is wild and out of place and so ridiculous that I feel I should smile, but I don’t and I can’t. “Call city services tomorrow, dude,” I say.

    “Right, dude,” Derek says and we pass the hodgepodge, mishmash, squashposh of shit in Mrs. Sheffield’s lawn-half, now tangled under a shitload of Xmas lights, Xmas lights that were formerly in our basement in boxes, Xmas lights lit, and sure enough there are vibrators in Jesus’s crib and wires through toppled Easter Bunny’s eyes, and a nebulous array of fake spider webs, and skulls (real, fake?) and reindeer and Santa and elves and gnomes and the biggest American flag, poled, center, flaccid, falling on the night setting, on Mrs. Sheffield, on me, on Derek, on the whole fucking world, and whose to say who the fuck is cra [zy] and whose just ironic and who knows what’s best and who knows at all and who knows why, why I live door to door with a Mrs. S, Mrs. F-ed out of her mind, and why, me, Derek, feel so bad for her that we take our shit back, don’t call the police, don’t break in her back door, like she does ours, and straggle her with her own pillows, and just then I reach for my own pillows, old ones, six of them, ones which are impaled on a gnome’s hat and draw my hand away and shudder and follow Derek into the house and partake in more brews where a wall, a thin fucking wall away, quietly, very fucking quietly, Mrs. Sheffield spirals further and further (up? down? around-around?).

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      Peter, this is pure genius from you. How much Old Crow do you think I need to drink to even begin to write this way? It is so funny, so tragic, so real and so powerful.

    • jj3ffr3y says:

      this is completely twisted and bizarre and I love it.

      • snuzcook says:

        PeterW, I always close one eye as I start reading your pieces, steeling myself for sprawling prose and pirouettes of grammar sprinkled with bleeps. But I find this piece kinda climbs up on my lap like a Great Dane that thinks he’s a piddle-poo pocket pouch and I can’t help but adore it. The images are unforgetable, and I really like the characters you have drawn here–I believe them entirely and somehow they make my world more interesting because they’re here. Thank you!

    • Islandgirl2 says:

      Edgy with subtleties. Crazy ass genius!

    • PeterW says:

      Thank you all for the comments The encouragement is greatly appreciated =D Its nice to feel that I have some fans!

    • Observer Tim says:

      These two sets of neighbours truly deserve each other. A truly enjoyable piece.

      I have no idea where you find these characters, PeterW, but they have the right mix of strange and entertaining. Whatever drugs your psychiatrist told you to take, keep not taking them!

  49. don potter says:

    It was midnight when I put the last of the Christmas decorations in the wheelbarrow and started to push it back to my house. Suddenly my neighbor’s spotlights wen on. It was as bright as noon.

    “What’s going on out there?” the woman standing at the front door cried out.

    “Is that you Gladys?” I replied.

    “Who else would be standing here in a bathrobe at this hour?”

    “Good evening,” I said in a rather weak voice.

    “And, just what do you think you’re doing?”

    “Taking back my lawn decorations. Don’t know how they ended up in your yard.”

    “They got there because I put them there.”

    “There must be some mistake. I checked the garage and several of my decorations are missing, and here they are on your front lawn. But I’ll be putting them out this weekend, like I do every year.”

    “I always enjoy the way your place looks for the holidays. That’s why, when the man offered to sell me the decorations at a really cheap price, I jumped at the chance to light up the neighborhood the way you do.”

    “That’s a nice thought, but these are my decorations.”

    “I bought them this morning and that nice man arranged them and plugged everything in. I can’t believe you want to ruin my Christmas by stealing them.”

    “Sorry, I might have shared them if you had asked. Under the circumstances, that’s out of the question.” I then headed home with my decorations.

    At breakfast the next morning my wife asked, “Did you hear the commotion outside last night?”

    “I sure did. It was me taking back our Christmas decorations.”

    “You took them from Gladys’s place?”

    “Can’t imagine why she would steal our decorations.”

    “Well, Mr. Grinch, did it ever occur to you that I may have given her the decorations?”

    “No. Gladys told me she bought the stuff from some guy. And he set them up, too.”

    “You know she suffers from dementia and gets easily confused. I gave her the decorations and the fellow who does a lot of the handyman work around the neighborhood set them up. She paid him to do that when he strung her lights. Obviously she mixed up the order of things.”

    “How am I going to make things right? I won’t be able to face Gladys ever again.”

    “You’ll figure it out.”

    I went to the Christmas Store and picked up decorations to replace the ones given to Gladys and bought a few more for her as well. The next project for me was to re-do the yard without her seeing me. So I decided to do it when everyone was sleeping. Like the night before, Gladys noticed me and the spotlights went on.

    “Who’s there?” she shouted standing at the front door.

    “Just decorating the lawn.”

    “Be sure you tie them down; someone keeps trying to steal them.”

  50. The Christmas Heist

    He was standing in the middle of his ransacked basement. ‘’There’s got to be a rational explanation for this’’ growled Robert as he attempted to catch his breath. He stood motionless while reminiscing about the ordeal. ‘’Hmm I can’t even prove they’re mine. It’ll teach me to throw my receipts away’’. A solution materialized itself in an instant, snapping him out of his daydream. ‘’Oh ho! I have got you now! You’ll remember this one my dear Mrs Swanson!’’.

    He raced up the stairs as thought it was for his dear life and made his way into the dusty living room. The dusk had settled itself upon the small suburb while he turned his basement upside down. He preyed upon her from the safety of his manor. Like a ravenous lion, he was determined to wait endlessly for an opportunity to satisfy what he longed for.

    His wishes were granted when the black widow made her way into her Lexus and gently pulled away. He had seen her deviant grin when she enabled the current to flow life through his Christmas decorations. His anger metabolized itself as his blood rushed to his head and his eyelids began to twitch like those of a crazed addict.

    He hastily dressed himself and grabbed an empty cardboard box from his garage. A wave of anxiety flowed through him like lightening through steel as he quickly made his way across the street. He unplugged the lights and pulled on the wires. The staples had no way of resisting Robert’s fury as he frantically ran around the house.

    In less than a moment’s notice, he had laid the box in his garage and closed the door. He headed towards the liquor cabinet in his living room in order to savor his favorite brand of scotch. As the adrenaline levels in his body dwindled, he grew excited to see the old hag’s reaction. He sat in his leather chair and impatiently waited for his nemesis to return. He was about to savor the fruits of his labor when his wife walked through the door. ‘’Oh hey honey! Come quick! She’s coming down the street! I have got a hell of a story to tell you! It turns out Mrs Swanson’’… She calmly cut him off.

    ‘’When did you go to the old Church?’’

    ‘’With you last Sunday, don’t you remember?’’

    ‘’Well how did you get the Christmas decorations I donated this morning?’’

    Robert turned into a flabbergasted deer in a set of headlights as Mrs Swanson’s pulled her vehicle in her driveway.

    Hope you enjoyed! This is actually my first time on here.

  51. jhowe says:

    Mrs. Howard sobbed in her hands as Dwight Jenkins sat across from her at his kitchen table, a dark gray Uzi pointed at her heart.

    “Quit blubbering and tell me again where you got the decorations,” Dwight said.

    Mrs. Howard straightened in her chair and wiped her eyes on her sweater sleeve. “I told you, I bought them at a yard sale at my church this summer.”

    “That’s a lie. Those decorations were in my basement. You stole them from my house!” He kept the gun trained on his neighbor with one hand and jotted notes on a legal pad. This dialog was superb.

    “How do you know they were in the basement?” She said. “Do you check on them often?”

    Dwight mulled on this and began to doubt himself. That, he had to admit was well played, but no matter, he was in too deep now. “I ask you Mrs. Howard, how did they get to the church if they weren’t stolen?” This was going to be a great story. Maybe even a novella.

    “It was probably your girlfriend, the one before Erica. She probably donated them before she left.”

    “Shut the hell up.” He took a quarter from his pocket and slid it to Mrs. Howard. “Here, flip this coin and let it land on the table. Heads you die, tails you go free.” This should keep the tension heading in the right direction, really advance the story.

    “You won’t let me go free,” she said, pushing the coin away. The tears were flowing again.

    Dwight reached across the table and slid the coin back to his side. “I’ll tell you what. Give me one good reason not to shoot you. If you convince me we’ll talk.” There, a moment of compassion for the protagonist.

    “I’ll give you two reasons.” She dried her eyes once again.

    “Go ahead,” said Dwight. He couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario than this.

    “Remember that nice police detective? I think his name was Johnson. He’s been coming around asking about your missing girlfriends while you’re in your office writing. You should answer your door sometimes you know. What is he going to think when your next door neighbor ends up dead?”

    Dwight took his finger off the trigger and laid the Uzi on the table. “He’s been asking you questions about me?”

    “I haven’t told him anything yet,” Mrs. Howard said. “Don’t you want to hear my second reason?”

    Dwight nodded and flinched as she reached into her purse. She pulled out a leather notebook and started to write in it. “I’m also a compulsive writer. Without you, I have no story. I need you,” she said.

    “Merry Christmas Mrs. Howard.” Dwight returned the gun to his satchel.

    “Merry Christmas Mr. Jenkins.”

  52. peetaweet says:

    We pull into the driveway to find our moody and quite possibly bipolar neighbor on a ladder while enveloped in blinking white lights.

    “Hey Laura, looking good.”

    She grumbles something unintelligible.releasing a plume of smoke from the cigarette hanging from her lips.

    I smirk at Amy but then notice the star. I glance at the nativity scene scattered about in her driveway.
    My wife rubs her arms. “What are you doing, it’s cold.”

    “I think,” I say, craning my neck out farther into the cold. “those are our decorations.”

    “What? No.”

    “She stole our decorations.”

    “Honey.”

    “Did you lock the door?”

    The door isn’t locked. I scratch Rufus’s head as I tromp down the stairs to our basement, clicking on the light to find gaping spaces on the shelf where boxes marked Xmas exterior had been stored.

    My snowman, Santa’s sled, his reindeer, everything. The only thing left is the black baby Jesus that I picked up a few years ago, for its historical accuracy of course, but also to piss off Roger, the bigot across the street. 60/40 maybe.

    Amy’s waiting at the stairs. “Even for her, this is…wow. She’s like the Grinch.”

    The sky darkens and the weather hardens. From my window I watch as the sixty year old beast lifts, hauls, and drags my decorations up the ladder and out onto the yard. I look at my worthless lab and vow to let him do his business on her grass from here on out. I’ve bent over backwards for this lady since we’ve moved in and she has yet to thaw.

    I bundle up tight for operation repo. My wife vetoes the ski mask, not wanting me to get shot.

    I slink behind her Buick and start with the easy stuff. Snatching farm animals and clutching wise men between my arms before coming back for the manger. I pluck Santa and his sled, the reindeer, and then look to the roof. I scamper up the cold shingles for Frosty, cursing myself for not owning a decent pair of gloves.

    “Be careful Peter, it’s a hell of a fall.”

    I nearly hurtle to my death at the sound of her raspy voice.

    “Laura?” A nest of white hair glows in the darkness, near the chimney. I pad over on all fours and she thrust a sloshing bottle of whiskey in my direction.

    “Merry Christmas Peter.”

    “Why did you steal our decorations?” It’s the best I can do.

    A pull on the bottle. When she looks up I can see she’s crying.

    “Maybe because I’m dying.”

    “You’re not dying Laura, but you may freeze to death out here.”

    “I miss him, Peter.”

    “I know Laura,” I say, helping her up. She’s unsteady, in both mind and body. Her hands feel like ice as we scoot down the ladder. We back away and look up at the house. She takes a swig and passes the bottle, twinkling under the lights.

    “It does look good.” She lights a smoke. Amy appears in our driveway. I can’t tell if she’s smiling or snarling. Laura waves her over and offers her a swig. To my surprise she does.

    We set up the manger, Laura falls in the lawn. The night is clear and cold but we’re warm with spirit and bourbon. Amy giggles, wearing her mittens and ski jacket as I chase her around Santa. Her face reflects the light as I catch her and our cold noses touch as we kiss.

    Laura croaks out Silent Night and Rufus howls in tune. It’s just one of those nights.

  53. skipfree says:

    where is my comment??

  54. skipfree says:

    Standing there at the kitchen window, my eyes fiercely gazed at Tom’s house. The whistle of the coffee pot breaks my attention for a moment. chuckling to myself “I can’t believe he had the nerve to pass off my decorations as his own”. Pouring myself a strong cup of Joe I will surely need tonight. two spoons of sugar for energy. I sit at the kitchen table, strategizing my retaliation and half heartedly in disbelief at the audacity of neighbor once friend. “Who does Tom think he is” I think to myself, “this isn’t a matter for the police”. This is my domain and I will take action. Psyching myself out for the inevitable poorly made plan to reacquire my belongings. First a little recon, its not too late to make my way over and show my amazement of Tom’s ill-begotten decorum.

    Treading through the knee high snow patch between our homes, admittedly angry that the warm glow from the Christmas lights displayed atop my neighbors home actually belong to me. “He’s stealing our glow” I chuckle to myself. “What a world we live in” I say. I knock at his door forcibly as I do not care that i’m interrupting what would be otherwise a quiet night for my formerly befriended neighbor. No answer! “Bastard”
    I declare. I not let him get away with this I say to myself. Making my way back to my garage stepping in the same snow prints I previously made. Where is it? Where is it? Got it! Now headed back to Tom’s house
    better equipped to handle the task at hand. If I must I will bare the mark of justice tonight, the 20 foot ladder in hand my spear. I setup at the side of Tom’s house. Now at the ladder’s top I truly feel on top of the world. I am truth perched at the top of its corrupter’s. disconcerting every bit of holiday cheer atop this home. I take it all back.

    The lights, the wreathe, Santa, Rudolph and his friends, even the Elves. I save all of them, victorious completely over the tyranny of thievery. Now my kitchen is a full of holiday cheer and trinkets. This is saint Nick’s kitchen as far as im concerned. I hear someone coming down the stairs, my wife it is. Who will be happy in my triumph who will sing my praises and be thankful of my swift retrieval of our Christmas spirit. She steps into the kitchen, amazement on her face shocked of the holiday that just entered our domain.
    “What is all this”? she ask. I respond, “I just took our decorations from the neighbors house”. “They stole them out of the garage”. “Oh Lord” she remarks, here comes the praise I think to myself. “Honey” she says “I sold our old decorations to Tom and his wife this morning, we’ve had them over three years. It was time for a change so i ordered new ones, they should arrive tomorrow”. Now dumbfounded at my actions she leaves the kitchen. “Oh” I say.

  55. snuzcook says:

    THE RAID BEFORE CHRISTMAS

    T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
    Not a creature was stirring except for my spouse.
    The decorations, you see, hung with such loving care
    On the neighbor’s front porch just shouldn’t be there.

    Our children asleep and snug in their beds
    Never dreamed that their father once worked for the Feds.
    So as I watched, Bob, in a black stocking cap,
    Snuck out the back door to get back all our crap.

    Soon out in the yard there arose such a clatter
    I ran to the window to see what was the matter.
    I got there in time to see flash after flash
    As each colored bulb hit the ground with a splash.

    Bob, in a crater of fresh fallen snow,
    Lay in a tangle of lights down below.
    He’d been on the roof, and the crash I did hear
    Had been Bob sliding off with eight plastic reindeer.

    My hung-over neighbor, so grumpy and quick,
    Appeared at his door with a big ugly stick.
    Like a big riled bear ‘cross the white lawn he came
    Spotted Bob in the tangle, raised the club and took aim.

    I opened the window, and in my best Richard Nixon,
    “He’s not a crook,” I called before he got his licks in.
    “Those are our lights that you hung on your wall,
    Our reindeer and sleigh. You stole it all!”

    As dawn breaks slowly at the edge of the sky
    Our neighbor’s face changed in the blink of an eye.
    “My wife, Mary, bought all them things from Miss Lou.
    Are you saying that Miss Lou stole all them things from you?”

    My husband was waking. I stalled. “I have the proof.
    See that Santa you have on your roof?”
    He looked up where I pointed, turning around
    And behind him, unseen, Bob got up off the ground.

    Still groggy, Bob straightened, kicked out with his foot
    And toppled our neighbor, whose head struck a root.
    In one motion, Bob rolled the man onto his back.
    “Wait,” I shouted, “I think he was on the right track.

    “I don’t think he’s to blame, I know it’s contrary,
    But I think it’s Miss Lou who sold them to Mary.”
    “Miss Lou came over about two weeks ago,
    She admired our lights and reindeer and our bow.”

    Bob frowned. “You know, the big red bow on the wreath
    That hung on the door with the bells underneath?
    I saw her this morning with her nephew Kelly
    He had a ladder on the truck he drives for the deli.

    It must have been him she paid, the bad elf,
    To steal our things and then resell them herself.
    Our neighbor was rousing, shaking his head
    And Bob let him know he had nothing to dread.

    He apologized to the neighbor for going berserk
    They soon put things back up, got the lights all to work.
    “We know what Miss Lou did and we know it’s not right.
    But for now, happy Christmas and to all a good night.”

  56. snuzcook says:

    Wonderful look at the high and mighty ‘treed’ by her own self-righteous indignation. I could just see the well-turned-out Hannah risking her perfect mani and skinned knees to get her own back. The twist of Stacey’s revenge was delicious.

  57. Kerry Charlton says:

    THE ‘YOU KNOWS’

    Two forty five in the morning, Chuck Bronson rose silently from his side of the bed. He looked at Delores sleeping with her mouth agape and watched her tonsils quiver to the wave lengths of her snores. ‘Gad!’ he thought. ‘Twenty seven years listening to a garbage disposal grinding away at night, has ruined my persona.’

    He dressed in deer camo, floppy hat, put his boots on, grabbed his Bowie knife and his fish skinner for backup. He wore night binoculars he had used to spy on his next door neighbor during the bewitching hour. He left notes in her mailbox, describing her rumba dancing in the nude with her ‘you know’ swaying to the music as she pranced around her room.

    Chuck slipped out of his house and waited for a cloud to cover the half moon above. He was furious with his neighbor, Delicious Tootsie, a wanton, sleaze bucket, trailer trash floozy who had moved next door in the spring.

    She had ruined his life with his wanton desire to jump on her ‘you know’. She was trouble with a big “T”, hanging her ‘you knows’ over his fence, daring him to give them a feel as he passed by with his lawnmower. The last straw was her playing photographer, sitting across from him at the Halloween party. She wore a skirt up to her ‘you know’ and crossed her legs continuously taking snap shots with her, uh, ‘you know’.

    Delores had caught him looking and hell came around to play. And then this afternoon, he had driven home to see Delicious bending over her ladder, flashing her naked ‘you know’ as she put his Christmas lights on her porch facia boards. He had watched her set his candy canes by her mailbox and Ruldolph humping Dasher and Prancer by her driveway.

    With cloud cover, he crossed her rose bushes and with his wire cutters, started taking his lights off her porch. He didn’t realize Delicious had posted Killjoy and Bi-section, her two Dobermans, sleeping by her driveway. They raised such a ruckus, her lights went on and Delicious ran out of her house with her ‘you knows’ flooping up and down in the night air.

    She straddled Chuck, as her dogs circled the two of them like a wagon train in heat. “Hi O Silver!” she hollered as she bucked her wild bronce in the midst of the rose bushes.

    By this time, Delores had vaulted the flower bed between the two houses and had leveled her 12 gauge at the two of them. The shotgun was filled with buck shot and she had started to squeeze the trigger.

    “I’ll count to five,” she said, “and you’re dead meat if you don’t take your scrawny, stinking ‘you knows’ out of here.”

    The last thing Delores saw was Chuck with his ‘you know’ swinging back and forth and Delicious with her ‘you knows’ flooping each shoulder in the moonlight, as they bolted down Arousal Lane with Killjoy and Bi-section in hot pursuit.

    All the neighbors rushed out and strained their ears to hear an eerie wail in the distance,

    “Hi O Silver, Hi OOOOOO Silver.”

    • jhowe says:

      That’s what happens when a man thinks with his ‘you know.’ Nice comedy piece. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

    • snuzcook says:

      That was hilarious. Makes me think of Christmas songs; “You-knows roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at their you-knows…”

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        You should write lyrics, snuzcook. My mother-in-law used to rewrite songs to different lyrics. They put me under, they were so funny. Glad you enjoyed my little tale.

    • don potter says:

      A fun piece, you know.

    • agnesjack says:

      This was very funny, KC. Loved the names.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Thank you Nancy. The names come easy, only the stories are hard. But in this case, the story came all at once. My evil mind I guess, although it’s only in fun.

    • Observer Tim says:

      Indirect and salacious in a delightful proportion, if you know what I mean. It was crazy and hilarious and I loved it.

      Now here’s an explanation for those readers who are having trouble deciphering the ‘you knows’.

      The ‘you know’ swaying to the music was obviously one of her dogs; dogs like music.
      Chuck wanted to jump on her ‘you know’, a trampoline; every tramp has a trampoline.
      She swung her ‘you knows’ – tomatoes – over the fence; she was an avid gardener.
      At the party, she flashed her ‘you know’ – a camera; cameras have flashes.
      While hanging lights she flashed her naked ‘you know’ – reindeer.
      When she came out, her ‘you knows’ – slippers – were flooping.
      Delores was naughty; she used ‘you knows’ to refer to their behinds.
      As he ran, Chuck’s ‘you know’ – binoculars – were swinging and Delicious once again had her ‘you knows’ – slippers – flooping, though why she wore them on her shoulders was anybody’s guess.

      All perfectly innocent. Well, except for Delores’s naughty reference.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Thanks Observer Tim. A classic statement from you for all time,

        “Chuck wanted to jump on her ‘you knows’ – a trampoline; every tramp has a trampoline.” This should be carved in stone some where.

  58. Mittens1326 says:

    I ease the car up the slope of cracked asphalt and plaster a smile on my face as I climb out. You’d think my husband would park his car in the damn driveway and give me the garage since it’s freezing out and I have a full carload of groceries.

    I wave to Nell as I unload the bags. “Looks good!”

    It’s not even Thanksgiving and she’s already got the reindeer out.

    “Thanks, Ro,” she calls back. She’s holding a plastic Santa just like ours, the one we got before the kids were born.

    I haul my bags through the garage. Michael doesn’t open the kitchen door, so I put everything down to fish my key out.

    On my way back to the car I glance at Nell again. The wreath she’s arranging on her front door looks oddly familiar. The red ribbon, the pinecones. What are the chances she has one just like ours? I squint my eyes.

    On the third trip I spot what can only be our dilapidated manger – the one we’ve displayed for twelve years – and feel my spine stiffen at the sight. I slam the trunk a little too loudly and march inside.

    I search for the old dusty bins in the basement marked “XMAS” but they’re gone, leaving a hole in the neatly organized stack I ask Michael to carry up for me every year.

    Late that night I sit at the kitchen table, my hands wrapped around a mug of hot tea.

    And then I’m lacing up my sneakers, marching across the frozen ground to Nell’s house, yanking the pinecone wreath off her door. I shove the wreath under my arm and grab the plastic Santa, dragging it with me. I hook the manger on my free arm and drag it along, scraping against the driveway, not caring who hears.

    I reach our garage and Michael rushes towards me in his boxers and a T-shirt, eyes wide. “What the hell are you doing?”

    I square my shoulders. “She stole our Christmas decorations, Michael. The bins in the basement…this is our stuff.”

    He drops his chin to his chest.

    “What? What?” I demand. “I’m not supposed to be upset?”

    He sighs. “I gave that stuff to her.”

    “You what?” My heart constricts. Even the things Jeremy and Sam made? The little handprint stars and homemade paper chains with rips in familiar places and glue smudged at the edges? Every keepsake, every memory, gone?

    “I know how much you hate that old crap. You complain about it every year.” His breath drifts between us in the bitter air. “I asked Nell if she could use any of it to make room in the basement. I wanted to take you shopping for new Christmas stuff. I thought that might be a present you’d actually like for once.”

    I stare at this man who is supposed to know me and push past him without a word, into the house where I’ve always been alone.

    • Mittens1326 says:

      Oh crap. My attempt at using HTML failed miserably. Please excuse the italics.

    • Observer Tim says:

      A clever story, Mittens, and thought provoking. I sense that Ro will very likely be spending next Christmas in the company of her new boyfriend. Either that or Michael is going to get a schooling that he desperately needs.

      Don’t sweat about the HTML; it can be a pain. My guess is you put an <i> tag at the end rather than a </i>. The story looks a little funny, but it doesn’t detract from readability.

    • snuzcook says:

      Poor Michael. It looks like it will take a mighty big nutcracker get through to Ro. I agree, with O.Tim that Ro and Michael are destined to celebrate their holidays apart. Good story. Loved the ending line.

    • jhowe says:

      Well done Mittens. You lead us along with Michael’s crap behavior nicely: not letting Ro park in the garage, not helping with groceries, not opening the door, running out in his boxers. Then the last straw at the end. I liked it.

    • don potter says:

      Tis the season for storytelling, and I enjoyed your story

    • agnesjack says:

      I agree with the previous comments. It doesn’t look good for this couple in the future, but I’m not so sure it’s all Michael’s fault. I think you’ve shown, with Michael’s little speech, that it takes two to make a bad marriage.

  59. swatchcat says:

    The Last Angel
    Veronica was handing her husband a length of pine garland as they worked together decorating their front porch for the holidays. It looked as if they were nearly done as Jewels drove past and entered her drive, pulling to a stop.

    “Looks good,” Jewels yelled. Veronica waved as her husband bent and said something to his wife.

    Jewels paused to take in the winter air while continuing to admire her neighbor’s handy work. Orbs of twinkling lights lined the front walk. A crafty wreath hung from the door and masterfully made twig figurines grazed on the frosted grass.

    Her eyes spoke a thousand words but not a sound came from her mouth. She squinted as her mouth pinched to one side, then suddenly she planted her hands on her hips and her eyebrows rose to the heavens in disbelief, mouth dropping open. She spun around on the spot and ran into her house.

    Plopping her purse in the entry, she headed down to the cellar. “That bitch! I made all those by hand; my house was shown in Martha Stewart’s frickn’ magazine.” No one heard a word of her rant as she stormed toward the storage bins. Meticulously labeled containers marked where Christmas and other holiday decorations were stored. Each one she open, starred back at her empty, except for one little angel.

    Thoughts raced in her head. “What had happened? Was it her imagination? Why would someone do such a thing?”

    Jewels sat on a nearby stool, an empty Rubbermaid between her legs. She looked at her surroundings and wondered, how her neighbor even got into her home, invaded without a trace, until now. She thought she knew them.

    Overwhelmed, she sat there for a time. She rationalized and prioritized but the only reasoning she could come up with, was to steal back what belonged to her. Come hell or high water, she was getting her Coffee filter wreath and twig reindeers back. The micro-crocheted angels now hanging in her neighbors front windows had taken months to make.

    As she reached the cellar steps, she could hear footsteps from above. She stopped half shocked and listened. Muffled voices seemed to argue. She watched from the bottom step as a shadow appeared in the doorway.

    “Hello?” Jewels called out, her heart vibrating and throat constricting with fear. She watched as the shadows arm rose before she heard, POP! POP! POP!

    She lay on the cold floor chest and head searing with pain in a gummy puddle of blood “Shit, keep the damned decorations,” and she died with an angel in her hand.

    A year later, Jamie drove up to her new house. She was so proud of the new place. Independent, she loved living in this quaint community. Although not very many, the neighbors seemed friendly.

    “Hey Ms. Veronica, decorations look nice. Getting ready for the holidays?” They waved. She looked at their yard with an odd sense of familiarity. Veronica’s husband bent and whispered in his wife’s ear.

  60. The Christmas Heist

    He was standing in the middle of his ransacked basement. ‘’There’s got to be a rational explanation for this’’ growled Robert as he attempted to catch his breath. He stood motionless while reminiscing about the ordeal. ‘’Hmm I can’t even prove they’re mine. It’ll teach me to throw my receipts away’’. A solution materialized itself in an instant, snapping him out of his daydream. ‘’Oh ho! I have got you now! You’ll remember this one my dear Mrs Swanson!’’.

    He raced up the stairs as thought it was for his dear life and made his way into the dusty living room. The dusk had settled itself upon the small suburb while he turned his basement upside down. He preyed upon her from the safety of his manor. Like a ravenous lion, he was determined to wait endlessly for an opportunity to satisfy what he longed for.

    His wishes were granted when the black widow made her way into her Lexus and gently pulled away. He had seen her deviant grin when she enabled the current to flow life through his Christmas decorations. His anger metabolized itself as his blood rushed to his head and his eyelids began to twitch like those of a crazed addict.

    He hastily dressed himself and grabbed an empty cardboard box from his garage. A wave of anxiety flowed through him like lightening through steel as he quickly made his way across the street. He unplugged the lights and pulled on the wires. The staples had no way of resisting Robert’s fury as he frantically ran around the house.

    In less than a moment’s notice, he had laid the box in his garage and closed the door. He headed towards the liquor cabinet in his living room in order to savor his favorite brand of scotch. As the adrenaline levels in his body dwindled, he grew excited to see the old hag’s reaction. He sat in his leather chair and impatiently waited for his nemesis to return. He was about to savor the fruits of his labor when his wife walked through the door. ‘’Oh hey honey! Come quick! She’s coming down the street! I have got a hell of a story to tell you! It turns out Mrs Swanson’’… She calmly cut him off.

    ‘’When did you go to the old Church?’’

    ‘’With you last Sunday, don’t you remember?’’

    ‘’Well how did you get the Christmas decorations I donated this morning?’’

    Robert’s turned into a flabbergasted deer in a set of headlights as Mrs Swanson’s pulled her vehicle in her driveway.

    I hope you enjoyed! This is my first post on here and I’m always open to good constructive criticism. I thought I had sent my comment a while ago but I can’t see it on the page. Hopefully I don’t post this twice!

  61. nelleg says:

    Polly pulled up to her home and saw how nice the neighbor’s house looked lit up for the holidays and a smile crossed her face. She walked into her house and tripped over her husband’s briefcase. “Damn it, Roger!” She was constantly telling him to pick up his things away. Then she noticed the DVD labeled ‘PLAY ME’. She put the disc into the DVD player, turned on the TV and sat down. On the screen was her husband dressed in all black and wearing night vision goggles.

    “Honey if you are watching this then I haven’t returned and my suspicions are correct. Mrs. Louis is actually a cunning criminal. I got this notion shortly after her husband died in that freak accident. She may look like a sweet little 73 year old woman but she didn’t fool me. Now she has taken our Christmas decorations but I’m going to get them back! Call the police if I not back by midnight.”

    “OH NO!” Polly jumped up and ran outside where she saw her husband Roger on the neighbor’s lawn taking strands of lights and tying Mrs. Louis to her oak tree. “Roger what are you doing?”

    “I got her now and I called the police.” Roger’s smile stretched across his face and his eyes were wild with delight.

    “Roger, you idiot! I let Mrs. Louis borrow our decorations this year; her son is finally coming for a visit with his kids and I was planning on surprising you with a trip to the Bahamas.” Polly screamed at her husband as the patrol cars pulled up.

    “Step away from the lights and put your hands up.” called the officer over his car speaker.

    Roger dropped the lighted cords. He also dropped his smile as he raised his hands over his head. “Polly are those tickets refundable?”

  62. Observer Tim says:

    I live in a suburb of cookie-cutter houses crammed together on postage stamp lots. Yesterday evening I saw Krista up on the roof hanging lights. All around the lawn were light-bedecked reindeer, and the sleigh on a stick that, if it was dark enough, looked like it was flying. And seated in the sleigh was an inflatable Grinch. My inflatable Grinch.

    I drove around the back and parked in the garage, then rushed into the house. Down to the basement; the decoration boxes were all open or gone! That Krista! I knew she was struggling since Todd left her, but to steal Christmas decorations! I was set to give her a piece of my mind but Dana reminded me we had to leave now for the Christmas party.

    I fumed through the night with no enjoyment, but told no-one. And when we drove past the house on the way home Dana even commented how beautiful the decorations looked. My decorations!

    So I waited till late, when all were asleep, then out the back door with a ladder did creep. I snuck to the side of her humble abode, and up on the ladder I gently tiptoed. As I pulled up the lights that were strung all along, I found myself humming my best festive song.

    “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch! You really are a heel…”

    So I pulled up the lights and I pulled up the strings, I pulled up the wreaths, oh the little green rings. I pulled up the icicles, tinsel and bows; I pulled up the stars in their neat little rows. To get back my own made me feel so sublime I found even my thoughts were now coming in rhyme!

    I moved every bauble and glittering light over onto my roof where I set them up right. Not even an inch from my plan did I veer to pay back the one who stole my Christmas cheer.

    Then on to the lawn where I found all my deer; I took them down there and I set them up here. And even the sleigh and inflatable Grinch were moved to my lawn, it was truly a cinch.

    And finally standing out front on the street, I stared at my work: revenge is so sweet.

    Then the moment was broken, my smile to a frown, for Krista came out in her slippers and gown.

    “Bill, what are you doing? You moved all your lights here? I put them up to earn money for Christmas this year.”

    I looked at the address a couple of times; the house I’d moved all this away from was mine! So I walked up and gave her my winningest grin, and at last the true meaning of Christmas sunk in.

    “Keep them, dear neighbour,” I said without fuss, “Come over at Christmas and share it with us.” And when the time came for our grand Christmas feast we shared it with Krista, and she carved the roast beast.

  63. john godfrey says:

    Getting in the Christmas Spirit

    “Looks good,” Mr. Levine muttered under his breath, sarcastically, “It better look good, I bought ‘em.” The cold winter air, colder thanks to the night, made his wrinkly skin get goose bumps, and the little bit of hair on his head certainly did nothing for the cold. He trudged back into his house, bitterly angry and bitterly cold.

    They had moved in only a month ago, when the house right across the street from him when up for sale. Mr. Levine remembered looking out his dusty window (which, no matter how hard he tried, never seemed to quite get clean anymore) and seeing the moving truck pull in the house’s driveway, the family following in a mini-van. Mr. Kaufman was a small, stout man with a comb-over and a tendency to act like a dad off of a sitcom. Levine could hear him all the time booming from outside of the Kaufman house into it, yelling for his wife that her muffins were burning or for his young son to clean up his toys. Mrs. Kaufman was always cheerful, but she would always look at Levine’s house in disgust, as if it were an eyesore, but Levine always kept his house modern and his yard clean. What was there to be disgusted with?

    The son was a constant source of anger for Levine. Levine would constantly catch the son kicking up the grass by the curb in front of Levine’s house or peeking through the windows. Mr. Levine had tried to yell at him, but he would just look scared and run off. When Levine would go to the Kaufman house, banging on their door, nobody would ever answer, like he wasn’t even there! The entire family annoyed him to no end, and tonight (two days before Christmas), Levine had seen Mrs. Kaufman putting up his old Christmas decorations, stolen right out of his basement! His! As if he wasn’t even alive, sitting in his armchair, living and breathing.

    He tried calling the police, but his damn phone didn’t work. Nothing in his house was working anymore. He would try again in the morning, he was old and tired. Levine tucked himself into bed, and slowly his thoughts about Christmas drifted into a wonderful dreamland.
    ***
    Mrs. Kaufman looked out of her upstairs window at the old Levine place. The place gave her the creeps. It had been abandoned, ever since Levine died in his sleep a while before they came to the neighborhood. Her husband had even bought some of his old Christmas decorations from a yard sale Levine’s kids had held.

    “What are you looking at, dear?” her husband said from the bed.

    “I thought I saw someone moving around in the Levine house, Gary.”

    “What did I tell you? Nobody lives in that house ever since old man Levine died. Now stop trying to spook me, you’ll spook Junior if you’re not careful. Come back to bed, it’s not Halloween, it’s Christmas. Try and get in the Christmas spirit.”

  64. Kilik Raizen says:

    Day turned to night. I was the longest four hours that passed in my entire life. It is unfortunate that Jacqueline has a big mouth. “I will be leaving tonight to meet up with my ex. Call me if Mr. Jiggles escapes form the house, would you?” “Stupid cat.”, I said to myself as I poked my head out the front door. Looking the entire 180 degrees for any peering individuals, I verified that I was safe for takeoff.
    I put on my coat and exited my house from the back. I made my way to Jacqueline’s back yard to make sure she was gone. It was no surprise that Jacqueline’s parents were never home, due to their busy work schedules, but in this instance Jacqueline has no transportation in her possession, which leaves her ex-boyfriend to pick her up. All that I know is that her lights are always on when she is present within the household. Veering through her back windows, I do not spot a single light, giving me the mental signal to carry on with my plan.
    I simply walked out of her back yard to enter her front. “Thank God she never put up a fence in all this time”, I thought to myself. Looking at the decorations already displayed, I realized she did not get very far. Only a few of the cheap decorations were placed in her yard and the lights are just lying in a pile next to her front door. A gleam of joy swept my entire being, knowing how weak kids are these days. Wondering where the rest of my decorations could be, I could only think of one logical place; the garage.
    The rejection of light maintenance can mean complete jeopardy of one’s belongings. Making my way to the garage, I noticed the bottom of the door had a five inch gap, giving me more than enough space to force the door up even higher. I only open the garage a good foot and a half, just in case. I kept stealthy as I entered the garage. As soon as I slid under, I view the rest of the decorations in my 12. “Perfect”, I thought to myself. I approached the boxed items and bent over, attempting to grab my prize. Out of the darkest shadow of the garage, I was tackled to the ground. I had no earthly idea what had engaged me. My mind began going numb as I feel a warm, coursing item run down the side of my neck.
    I could not move afterward. I lied on the cold, cement floor feeling my life force depleting. I turned my head to the right while lying on my back. What I was astonished me. A full grown, blue Pit Bull was hovering over me. I happened to glance at its collar before blacking out. There was a nametag with “Mr. Jiggles 2” displayed. The words “Stupid dog”, managed to escape my mouth before I lost consciousness.

  65. Kilik Raizen says:

    I’m driving back home from an exausting day at work. I can hardly keep my eyes open any longer as I drove into my parking lot. My neighbor, a young college student with short, sloppy, black hair was putting up her Christmas decorations. I felt a ray of plesentness, watching an individual such as Jackqueline, a meak, quiet child, celebrating a holiday such as Christman. That feeling of joy quickly turned sour as I took a closer look at the decorations. Thoes looked like the exact lights and props that I have purchased just two months ago. Killing the motor of my car and upon exiting, I felt I should get a closer look.

  66. PromptPrincess13 says:

    I had a lot more details but had to cut them out to be closer to the limit. Thinking about evolving this into a short-story so comments and advice is extremely welcome!

    The night was hushed with the impending fall of winter but Hannah’s thoughts were anything but quiet. She kept recalling the wrongs she’d been done, and most of all, the face of the person who had done them.

    As she crept through the winding walk-way that sloped off the hill her home rested on, Hannah didn’t even shiver; her blood was running too hot to even feel the slap of the icy wind.

    “Looks good, Stacey! Those decorations are really lovely. Where did you buy them?” Hannah was muttering to herself, repeating her own words, the bitterness that laced them audible to only herself.

    “Oh, you know, around.” Stacey’s words felt mocking now, cajoling her into feeling an emotion fairly alien to her: Hannah Burton felt stupid.

    How could she not? She’d complimented her very own Christmas decorations.

    She hadn’t wanted to believe it as she’d pulled into her garage, had even convinced herself that it was a coincidence. But, once she’d scoured the basement and found not one of her Christmas decorations, it wasn’t possible to stand-by and keep on believing that Stacey was innocent.

    Hannah dragged the sack she carried behind her, raking it through the pebble-filled trenches on either side of her. As she reached the street she took a moment to let her anger fuel her plan. She’d never admit it but she was slightly nervous; Hannah was angry, true, but there was still a slightly sensible part of her that registered what might happen if she were caught. She’d thrown the receipt, the one that confirmed her purchase of the decorations she was currently about to steal, out a long time ago- there was no proof that she was the rightful owner. None.

    As she stepped onto her neighbor’s front-lawn, she shook her head at the significantly smaller house. It was upsetting to see her decorations mistreated so badly, but one thing got to Hannah the most; Instead of leaping in a half-prance on her dining table, her precious reindeer was in a tree, placed lopsidedly on a drooping branch. Rudolph was small but perfectly carved out of beautiful oak, rubies serving for a nose-wood; it had cost a small fortune.

    She tore off her high-heeled combat boots and sprinted through the grass in thick socks. She fell once but barely noticed. Hannah’s beautiful face twisted in a snarl of indignation as she found questionable footing on the bark and started pulling herself up. The branches creaked under her weight as she scrabbled, her manicure so false it barely chipped throughout the unfortunate ordeal. Once to the height of the reindeer, she lunged both arms, cautiously, and caught the branch where Rudolph sat. Her legs were below her on a separate, but just as creaky branch.

    It wasn’t until she tried to get a tighter grip that she realized she couldn’t move. She tugged her arms back, elbows jabbing the air at her back and rattling the leaf-stripped tree. Her feet were just as immobile.

    That’s when Hannah remembered that Stacey’s husband worked in a glue company… and that her oldest son had (accidentally!) vandalized their house for Halloween.

    Stacey’s voice reached her from the house, where she stood at the bedroom window, watching with a tape-recorder in her hand.

    “What’s wrong, Hannah? Stuck?”

  67. skipfree says:

    Naughty but Good

    Standing there in my kitchen, my eyes fiercely gazed at Tom’s house. The audacity I think to myself, the whistle of the coffee pot breaks my attention for a moment,

Leave a Reply