Winter Wonderland

Written for the game Snap Shot, Writing Prompt #11


“Good evening folks! Looks like we’re in for another warm Christmas. No snow in sight and highs ranging in the fifties–” the radio announcer faded in the background as Karly slammed the car door shut.

“Right. Winter Wonderland, here we come,” she said, a very snug winter bauble hat over her perfect hair.

“Right,” I said, observing the empty streets laid out in front of us. Christmas lights were strung up and down the buildings and around each tree, all glowing like they were about to burst into a million pieces.

Jimmy shoved his hands in the pockets of his shorts. “Mmm, wonderful way to spend a Christmas Eve.”

I couldn’t tell if he was being honest until he walked right up to the sad light-up snowman and attempted to remove his nose.

“Why can’t we just go home and pretend it’s a proper Christmas?” I slouched over to a bench and sat down with my arms crossed. “No one else is here. There’s a reason for that. It’s late. I’m tired.”

“Nancy,” Karly pulled her hat off and jammed it in her back pocket. “This is more Christmassy then home. Just try to enjoy it.”

“Enjoy what? All this snow–brrrrrrr?”

Jimmy grit his teeth, I could hear them as they snapped together. “Don’t be mean to your sister like that. We’re just trying to do the right thing.”

I leapt to my feet and almost killed a Christmas wreath. “This isn’t the right thing: Christmas was ruined from the moment Mom and Dad missed their flight home. And you both know that.”

Karly looked at her shoes and Jimmy ran a hand through his hair like he was trying to scalp himself. No one spoke for the next five minutes–long enough for the lump that had sat in my stomach for the last four days to rise up into my throat.

“I just wanted everyone to be happy,” I whispered. “I wanted it to be a perfect Christmas for once.”

When Jimmy sniffled I looked up in surprise. He covered his face with a hand but Karly had already started to cry too. They both hugged me much too tight and I was left completely shocked.

“We know,” said Jimmy. “But we’re just going to have to try and make it work.”

Karly wiped her nose on her sleeve. “Starbucks?”

I hugged them back just as speakers started to gently pant out Silent Night.