So when I woke up this morning I really felt like writing a Christmas story. I love little bursts of inspiration like this. Anyway, ten minutes later, this is the result. It's not finished yet -- probably still need to edit it some, and there's actually going to be a second part to it -- as right as I was outlining a further part of the story I had to do some other things. But still, I wanted to post it here while it's still Christmas (for us West-coasters, at least, for a few minutes =P); once I finish it I'll post it in COT, but for now:
A whiff of sweetness from the pine tree in her living room filled her nose as she walked past the Christmas tree. She stopped for a moment, smelling the sweet, syrupy scent. The lights sparkled around her; lights from the tree; light reflecting off the ornaments; rays from the sun shining an incandescent illumination upon the room through the drawn shades; all part of the conglomeration of lights forming a radiant brilliancy throughout the room.
Music played from a stereo on the far side of the room; “Carol of the Bells.” The music and light filled her with warmth as she observed the room around her. Packages in various states of disarray, wrapping paper torn to pieces, children squealing, giggling with delight in the playroom upstairs as they made use of the goods they had received, their grandparents laughing heartily at seeing the young children at play.
And, for the briefest of moments, it brought a smile to her face. Until tears clouded her vision again; wet globules of water streaming down her unblemished cheeks. She had turned her head to the single, non-Christmas picture hanging on the wall. Her husband, in his USMC Dress Uniform, his expression stoic; so plain just as all military pictures were. Seeing his face only brought more tears, wishing he could be with her now.
But his absence wasn’t the worst part. It was not knowing if he’d ever come home alive; not knowing if he was alive now
with the delayed notifications from the chaos of war. An organized chaos, but chaos all the same. She knew his body may never make it home – one wrong step and he may become a mass of millions of unidentifiable pieces. An empty coffin with only a flag.
That was what she feared, why she cried herself to sleep every night. Are you alive tonight?
was her constant query. Part of her liked to think that she would know – that they were connected by some unseen force, binding them together, letting her know when he breathed and when he didn’t – but she knew that wasn’t possible. So instead she hoped, she prayed, she cried; begging God to give him just one more day. Until the next night when she repeated desperate plea.
She lifted her head from her hands, unconsciously having sat on the sofa as the memory of her husband controlled her thoughts. The pine still sharp in the air. The music still playing. The lights still dazzling. Her children still shrieking. Pull yourself together. It’s Christmas for God’s sake.
She grabbed a tissue. Wiped her eyes and blew her nose. She sniffled and stood up.
Her children ran down the stairs, proudly displaying their recently acquired gifts. She smiled again as they tugged and pulled on her hands and clothes. She acquiesced, allowing them to drag her into the backyard, then chasing them, tickling them – all the while letting herself become more and more involved in the game, her sorrows melting away through the joyous squealing of her children. Children too young to understand the gravity of their father’s situation.
~::~The second part would be his (the husband's) thoughts/whatnot as he's trying to remember his wife/still celebrate Christmas while in Afghanistan. All comments/etc. are very much appreciated. =]And, of course, Merry Christmas, everyone!