Instead of a spotlight post – here’s a quick Christmas Flash Fiction piece I wrote just for you…hope you enjoy it.
“But what if I don’t WANT to sparkle?” In my mind it was a legitimate question. My mom didn’t seem to think so.
“That’s enough whining. It’s not like we ask you to do anything most of the year. The least you can do is hang there and shine like the rest of us. Be part of the family business.”
“Don’t but, Mom, young ball.” She waggled her hook at me. “You straighten your cap and hold tight to that branch. This is our job. You can sulk in your box all year long. This season you let your glitter glow or else.”
“Or else…the cat will visit you when you least expect it! And no one wants that, it puts us all in danger.”
“The CAT?” I snorted. I was too old for boogeymen and vague threats. “There’s no such thing You’re making it up.”
“Just you wait, keep going the way you are, and you’ll bring the wrath of the cat down upon us all!”
Mom was just being a gloom and doomy – of course she was a bell ornament so her tolling didn’t help, even if it was high and tinkling. But of course I didn’t take her seriously, I mean come on? There’s no such thing as cats, that’s not believable, like Santa. So I pouted on my branch, cap askew – like you do. Until everything…changed.
“I know Christmas isn’t for a few more days, but I couldn’t help it.” The being who put us out every year said. “He needed a home, and we’ve been talking about it. And he’s…SO CUTE…”
I don’t know who “he” was, but a wave of fear flowed over the tree like I never felt before. That’s when I hear the jingling of a bell, but it didn’t come from anyone I recognized. The lights blinked with distress instead of their gently pattern. There are only a few bells in our ornament clan, and that wasn’t their sound.
“I warned you. You didn’t listen,” Mom said in a swing towards me.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mom.”
“I just hope we all survive this season. Someone’s bound to shatter, then where will we be? I can’t wait for New Years so we can go safely back in the box.”
I huffed. “How can you like the box so much? It’s SOOOOO boring. And dark. Not to mention the hot and cold and all the stuff in between.”
“At least it’s safe. I tried to tell you. Now just hope it doesn’t come for us.”
“Hope what doesn’t come for us?” I really had no idea what my mom was rambling on about. But she’s OLD, I never know what she’s talking about. Before she could answer, a shiver ran through the tree, causing squeals and tinkles from ornaments from base to top. “What was that?”
Fear gripped me as something soft and fluffy patted my curves. “Mom?”
“Just stay very still and hold on to your cap.”
I tried to do what she said but found it difficult with the branch swaying with each knock. I felt my hook and cap lifting a little with each swing. On one trip back I twisted enough to see a furry face with large glowing eyes and sharp little points on the hair covered foot, just like in the stories. OMG, cats did exist. What else had my mother told me that I never believed? Maybe she did know more than I thought…
“I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry. I’ll be good! I promise! I’ll shimmer with the best of them. Just… help!”
“Hold on tight and think good and peaceful Christmas thoughts!”
I did what I was told, wishing for a Christmas miracle.
“Mittens! No! Bad kitty. Leave the tree alone. Those ornaments are not toys!”
And just like that, the threat was gone… the ornaments were quiet. The lights returned to their normal pattern. But I didn’t relax. I knew Mittens was out there, and someday he’d come back. Maybe not today, but soon, and someday when we least expected it.