I hope you enjoy these “best of” stories from the month of December. With commentary!
“Okay, team. We’re all aware of the serious errors in the current earth.matrix system. Any ideas on how to fix the next version?”
“We reprogram the system so that whenever someone litters, their trash turns into a literal bug and attacks them.”
(Note: Not one of my favorites as far as stories go, but I’m keeping it here because I love that the inspiration for it came from my 11yo who had the idea of “litter bugs” in the first place.)
Where was the bread?
She got out the meat for her sandwich.
She parked the car and dashed inside with the groceries.
The car was low on fuel, but she ignored the indicator as she drove.
She was so hungry.
Eager to get home, Jana missed the loaf of bread left behind in her cart.
(Note: If you’ve ever read Wayside School, you should be able to figure this one out.)
KNIT WITH LOVE
There wasn’t much to knitting. Knit one, purl two, knit four, purl three, and so on, over and over, to create something warm and original. It kept Lola’s hands busy, and helped her de-stress after a long day. She never accepted money for her creations; the reward, she said, was in knowing that her work brought joy to those she loved. She never told anybody who showed up wearing one of her sweaters, that she’d never want to be caught dead in one.
“…and one of these hair colors.”
“That’s not an option.”
“Enjoy Earth; we’ll see you later.”
She dyed her hair purple her entire life. When she died, the angels made the decision to grant her pre-life request and kept it that way. She had earned it.
Your slender form enchants me. Your inner core infused with black, to match your dark exterior. A name, etched upon your face, reminds me where you came from. We met at the bank, where I first picked you up. *click* Write for me, clever pen.
Great drops fall and splash onto the asphalt. Perfect weather to help the flowers grow, if any were expected. But the flowers I hoped for are of a different sort than May’s colorful blooms. None of that here. Just rain. How I long for the crystal-white winter of my childhood.
Don’t let that face fool you: Rudy knew what he was up to- playing the victim, claiming the others envied his freakish red nose, when he had been teasing them all along. It was no natural storm that almost stopped Christmas that year- Rudolph had sold his soul to old Jack Frost.
She wanted to ride her trike in the street. “You’re too little,” they said.
She wanted to climb the big rock. “You’re too little,” they warned.
She wanted to bake a pie. “You’re too little,” they scoffed.
It never occurred to her to grow– no-one ever told her she could.
I stalk past mounds of produce, and turn sharply into the valley of chemical elements of sweet and savory. I avoid eye contact with another hunter with his eyes on a bag of crystaline powder. My quarry is of a darker, viscous nature. Curses! The evasive molasses eludes me again.
(NOTE: I wrote this after my third attempt to find molasses at the grocery store. I did eventually find some, but in a bulk bottle that will probably last me several seasons (does molasses last that long?). I think during this time most people have felt that moment of frustration at their usual store being out of something they really want.)
It started innocently enough– just a few batches of Christmas cookies to deliver to neighbors and friends. But once she started, she couldn’t stop; a spell had overcome her, one she had nearly forgotten:
“May you discover your passion, and never cease to follow it.”
“What did you do today?”
I falter in my response. Memories flood my mind: laughter, sticky fingers, green tongues, running up and down stairs, desperate to catch my breath as the “zombies” chase me. I understand now, why kids always answer that question the same way.
“Do not open until Christmas.” Aiden stared at the big red letters stamped across the large, garage-sized package. His fingers itched. He gave up the battle and tugged on the festive ribbon. The unset Jello flooded out and down the street, taking a shocked Aiden with it.
(Note: This one’s just silly, but I like it.)