Free Fiction Thursday – Roger’s Christmas Wish

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I’m having a blast this holiday season watching the Christmas episodes of my favorite shows.  First there was Castle, and tonight’s there’s a brand new Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory.  I can’t wait!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, just like for the young boy in this week’s story. Only this year a dark cloud has arrived to wreck Roger’s Christmas.  He has one last chance to set things right — he needs to catch Santa on Christmas Eve so he can make the most important wish he’s ever made in his life.  I hope you enjoy “Roger’s Christmas Wish.”

xmaswish1

ROGER’S CHRISTMAS WISH

Annie Reed

Copyright © 2010 Annie Reed

 Published by Thunder Valley Press

Roger couldn’t sleep.

It was Christmas Eve.  He was supposed to be asleep already—mom always said Santa wouldn’t come unless he was sleeping—but Roger was too nervous.

He planned to wake up after everyone else fell asleep so he could go sit in the living room by the Christmas tree and wait for Santa.  He even had his alarm clock set for two in the morning because he was pretty sure that’s when Santa would be there.  Last year Roger snuck out into the living room at three, but the cookies and milk his mom had left out for Santa were already gone, and Roger’s stocking was stuffed full of little wrapped presents.  Two o’clock had to be the right time, it just had to be. This year was too important.  He couldn’t miss Santa again.

Roger had stashed his wind-up clock under his pillow so that he’d be the only one to hear the alarm when the little hammer beat on the bells.  If the alarm woke up his parents, much less his grandmother, Roger would be in big time trouble.

No kid wanted to get in trouble right before Christmas, especially not on Christmas Eve.  Roger didn’t want to take the chance that Santa might cancel Christmas.  Things were already bad enough at his house.  He didn’t think he could stand it if Santa decided he was a bad little boy this year.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – Essy and the Christmas Kitten

Happy Thursday, everyone!

It’s officially Christmas season. Yes, I know it’s still November (thank goodness; I’m not quite done with my NaNoWriMo novel yet), but we’ve already survived the day after Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, Cyber Monday (and about a bazillion other shopping gimics) and we still have twenty-six more shopping days to go. I’ve started playing Christmas music in the car and at my desk at work, and I have a collection of Christmas stories all set on my Kindle.

To kick the Free Fiction Thursday holiday season off with style, this week we have “Essy and the Christmas Kitten,” a story about a lonely, broken woman who receives a most unexpected Christmas gift. Enjoy!

 

Essy and the Christmas Kitten

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed

Image licensed by Depositphotos.com/Arina Verstova

The kitten looked like a cross between a drowned rat and one of those scary-looking bats with huge, radar ears.

Essy had been on her way out to scrape the latest accumulation of heavy, wet snow off her ten-year-old Toyota, a car that hadn’t tried — yet — to kill her by deciding all on its own to set a new land speed record, when she saw the kitten huddling beneath the prickly holly bush at the corner of her house.  Its grey fur was sopping wet.  Even without bending over to get a closer look, Essy could see it shivering as each new flake settled on its skinny body.

What in the world was a kitten doing out here all by itself?  At the end of November?

Essy didn’t exactly live at the edge of civilization, but her house was the last on the block.  Beyond her fence, the land rose up into the first of the rugged foothills that separated her subdivision from the newest cookie-cutter shopping center in the valley a mile away.  People didn’t usually dump unwanted animals on her street.  It was a dead end, which had suited Essy just fine when she bought her little house.

She supposed someone could have tossed the kitten out of a car and driven away.  Or a coyote could have gotten its mother, even though a kitten seemed like easier pickings.

Essy had no pets.  The days of pets and kids and a husband and work were long gone.  But she couldn’t leave a kitten out in the snow to freeze to death.

She crouched down in front of the bush, her knees protesting.  The kitten backed a couple of steps away, crying at her, all wide blue eyes and pointy baby teeth.  It couldn’t have been more than eight weeks old, if that.

Essy’s daughter had brought a baby kitten home one day from school.  Six weeks old, and little more than a fuzzy black fur ball on spindly legs.  “Mommy, can I keep her?”  Essy and her husband had never been able to say no, not when their daughter had her heart set on something, so the kitten had joined their family.  It was gone now, too.

“Come here, sweetheart,” Essy said to the sopping wet kitten.  “Where’s your momma, baby?”  She took off one leather glove and held her fingers out, hoping to entice it, but it backed away one more step, still crying.

(read the rest of the story here)

Free Fiction Thursday – Hunters

Hey, let’s start the new year off right with a horror story. *g* This week’s story draws on my background as a former member of a low-rent rock band.   Have a look.

Hunters

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2010 by Annie Reed

The first time Shelly knew she dreamed in technicolor was when she saw her own blood splatter across a rough brick wall. The blood was deep maroon, each drop as big as her thumb, glistening and wet and oh so much of it.

Too much to lose and survive, even for her.

Maroon blood. Grey brick. The stone cold certainty that she was about to die. Over the years the nightmare had become familiar, if not welcome. At least she no longer woke up screaming.

When Collin touched her shoulder to wake her, Shelly sat bolt upright with her hands to her chest, heart pounding. Tonight the dream had been so real. More than any other night? She didn’t know, but she thought so. She half-expected her fingers to smear her tee-shirt with that dark maroon red.

“You had the dream again,” Collin said. It wasn’t a question. He had been with her too long. He knew her too well.

Collin brushed Shelly’s hair away from her forehead, leaned in and pressed his lips lightly against her pale skin. Collin was good to her, watched out for her, but he couldn’t understand. He didn’t dream.

“We’ve got a gig tonight,” Collin said. “You gonna be okay with that?”

Thigh-high boots, leather skirt and a baby-doll, all in black. Her stage costume. So different from the faded, oversized, Reality Bites tee-shirt she wore when she slept. Shelly tried to remember if she had been wearing the costume in her dream, but the details were elusive. Rough grey walls, dank, musty dirt under her feet, the heavy pounding tread of something chasing her — that’s all she remembered.

That, and the taste of dying. The dying part had been very clear.

link to the rest of the story