My entry into this year's (hoping it's an annual thing) A Merry Minion Blog Hop for the Dark Fairy Queen and her Minions. The hop has been organised by Laura over at Office Mango, Missy over at marissaames, Nick at talesfromatightrope and Ruth at bullishink.com. It is hoped the entries will form a gorgeous little anthology by those creative people over at blueharvestcreative.com. Enjoy my story and please, read all the other fantastical tales of Christmas by other fabulous authors by clicking on any of the links above. Oh and for my American friends, I have used English spelling and the preferred phrase 'Father Christmas' to 'Santa'. x
Title: It's Just Another Day
Author: Lizzie Koch
Dedication: There's a little Christmas magic in everyone. Merry Christmas Ralph, Ethan and Charlotte; hubby, son and sister of a Daughter of Christmas. xx
It's Just Another day
It had been three days since Ellison collapsed unexpectedly, now laying in a hospital bed. Nothing appeared to be wrong with him, his heart was fine, his brain functioning normally but still he slept. I wasn’t even sure how it happened. One minute we were arguing, the next he slumped into a heap.
But stress had been ruled out; Ellison was fit and healthy.
It wasn’t even a proper row; I only admitted I’d cancelled Christmas due to a serious lack of money after being made redundant. Oh, then I said something about it being just another day. That was mean. It was our wedding anniversary after all. But he must have known what I meant? I just didn’t want the fuss, the families, the huge amounts of debt. It was quite romantic when you thought about it really; just the two of us, celebrating our anniversary at Christmas. But then I went on about not believing anymore, the magic gone.
I glanced out of the window, before leaving for the hospital. The whole world seemed greyer this morning. Even the twinkling lights looked limp and dull. The atmosphere outside felt different. People trudged by with hunched shoulders, ignoring the shops. The charity singers weren't in their usual spot. The decorations on the town’s tree lost their lustre and the tree itself, only a few days up, lost its needles. The radio in the taxi wasn’t even playing Christmas tunes.
“Are you looking forward to Christmas?” I breezily asked the cab driver.
He eyed me in his mirror before turning back to the road. “Just another day,” he sighed.
The hospital was worse. I noticed decorations were missing especially in the children’s ward. There was no tree and the nurse that attended Ellison was now minus her flashing snowman broach.
“How is he?”
“Same as last night. Wish I could tell you something different Bella. But a specialist is coming in later today. All the way from Iceland or Greenland or somewhere like that,” she said as she wrote on his chart, “Let’s hope he has some answers although there doesn’t seem to be any hope,” she mumbled. I blanched. “Not with Ellison, sorry Bella. I meant in general. There seems to be an immense feeling of nothingness.”
“Christmas is around the corner,” I ventured.
“It’s just another day Bella”
What on earth was going on? How could people be so dismissive about Christmas? I clutched Ellison’s hand. He loved Christmas. He was Christmas. Not Father Christmas but he had the spirit of Christmas and it was contagious to everyone he met.
“Bella?” I turned. A short, grey haired man in a black suit walked in, a sweet smile on his creased face. He held out his wrinkled hand. It was warm to the touch and soft. “I have come to help.”
“You’re the specialist?” He nodded, looking gravely at Ellison. “Can you help him?”
He looked at me, his watery blue eyes mournful. “No I can’t. But you can.”
“Me?” My patience imploded. I couldn’t understand the lethargic nature of everyone and now stupidity was joining in. I know I swore. I know I wanted to leave and find a sane doctor but the door closed. It wouldn't open. I know I turned the air blue again but the little man just sat calmly, staring at me.
“Now Bella, I need you to listen. The key to all this is you. Only you can make it all better and Christmas again.” Banging on the door, I yelled for someone to come and get me away from this madman. “As you wish.”
In a flash of red light, I was standing in an unfamiliar room full of sparkles, the smell of cinnamon and chocolate filling the air. Toys littered every corner. Music echoed through the room; Here Comes Santa Claus. I peered out of the round window. A shimmering, snow covered landscape stretched as far as the eye could see.
“Lovely to see you Bella,” a voice boomed. I turned to see a plump, jolly man wearing red velvet trousers and a white t-shirt. His beard was as white as snow and looked as soft as a pillow. “Yes it’s me. You’re at the North Pole.” I was handed a tray of chocolate and a hot cocoa by what looked like a little girl but was an elf.
“Is Ellison your son?”
“Yes and no. He is a Son of Christmas. Throughout the world there are daughters and sons of Christmas. They are born with the spirit of Christmas in them, have the Christmas gene so one day, one of them can carry on my work when I can no longer do it. Don’t worry; I've plenty of years left in me yet.”
“Why is Ellison ill?”
“Can’t you guess?”
“Because I said I didn’t believe?”
“But thousands of people don’t believe.”
“They’re not married to a son or daughter of Christmas. Ellison and others like him can’t just fall in love with anyone. They are drawn to those who carry true Christmas spirit.”
“And I've lost mine so Ellison is dying?”
“Yes. Come, let’s take a walk.” I timidly followed him around his magical world. The work shop was buzzing, the reindeer resting in beds of fresh straw, the kitchens baking up a storm of gingerbread, cookies and candy canes. As I walked, I felt the gloom embedded within me lift. The grey shadows of my heart faded away as Christmas spirit and magic returned in abundance.
“It’s not just another day,” I realised, “ I was wrong.”
“I know.” He smiled. The red flash surrounded me; I looked down at Ellison, his dark eyes sparkling, the rosy glow back in his cheeks, his smile welcoming. “How do you feel, meeting the Big Man?”
I grinned, my face flushed. “Oh you know, it’s just another day.”