Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Eve

It was the rattling of the loose window from the wind that woke me up. For a moment, I lay flat, staring into blackness. The pale yellow light etching the outline of my closed bedroom door was the first sensible feature my eyes matured to in the cold dark. The drone of the television, like an annoying fly, faintly seeped into my vibrating ears, and my old bed creaked dramatically as I rolled onto my elbow and strained to listen. Hearing nothing in particular, I stared around my room. It was a depressing sight, the dark, peeling walls, with their ugly patches and holes where sandy plaster crumbled onto the floor. And the old, drooping ceiling and cold, bare wooded floor. Why did I live here? Couldn’t we afford a better place to live than this? I decided to shake the worthless thoughts off – it was Christmas Eve, after all.
          Sitting up, I observed the light rush of snowflakes as they danced past my third floor window. It wasn’t easy to make them out in the dark, so I crawled to the foot of my bed where the window was and looked down. Clouds of brilliant snow filtered through the street lamp’s eerie light, appearing like a ghostly apparition as they slowly spun downward to finally settle below. An impending feeling struck me, a slight churning in my stomach, an ominous warning of sorts – a warning that something was out there, on the streets, waiting for me. I sat silently, wondering at my strange feeling.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


The ringing was coming from the counter.
Marty Peterson looked up wearily from his hand notebook. A small, dark-haired boy was at the counter, standing on tippy-toe. An assortment of nuts and bolts lay scattered over the counter, his intended purchase.
            Sighing, Marty slipped his notebook into his apron and made his way over to the counter. He had been alone in the old store, which was the way he liked it. It was why he took the early shift. But a customer was a customer, and needed to be served. He had known that when he applied for the job.
            Gathering up the handful of nuts and bolts, he paid no attention to the small boy. As he silently rung up the price, he sensed the child glancing at him. There’s nothing here for you to see, he thought bitterly to himself.