A Gift

Some ten days after the solstice, Valentine has a surprise for Aubrey, and he for her. For more read here.

Red Writing Hood, New Year's Eve, Big Ben clock
Image courtesy of nvannet via stock.xchg

“Three… two… one!” Valentine whispered as the second hand on her brass ship’s clock ticked down the year from its place on the mantle. She knelt, holding Aubrey’s hands in hers over the coffee table in her front parlor. He sat cross-legged, his back against the squashy suede couch under the front window.

The evidence of the Solstice snow was long gone, but the lingering magic of Christmas remained. The bungalows and shotgun houses on Val’s street still twinkled with lights and window-candles.

“And here I was, hoping for a midnight kiss,” Aubrey teased, opening his eyes and looking into hers.

Val blushed and gestured to the matted drawing on the table. The rendering of his staircase lay between them, but this time Val had drawn it hung with laurel garland and scarlet ribbon. She’d festooned the watercolored and penciled railings with white pine, winterberry, and holly.

“Valentine,” he breathed.

“I imagine you’re missing home this time of year–” she began.

“It’s perfect.” He pressed a finger to her lip. As she closed her eyes, the drawing came to life in her imagination: a pair of dark-haired boys in flannel pajamas flying down the stairs towards a soaring Christmas tree with candles and sparkling glass icicles, piled with boxes.

She opened her eyes. Aubrey was watching her, his expression sparkling with curiosity.

“What did you see?” he asked, “just then.”

Val’s cheeks flamed. “Nothing,” she stammered.

Aubrey only smiled, as though he knew a wonderful secret.

“Happy New Year,” he said.


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week, we’d like you to write a post – fiction or creative non-fiction – which begins with a countdown. “Three, two, one.”

17 thoughts on “A Gift

  1. I get a sense there is a bit of magick in this…someone is more than they appear.
    I can’t put my finger on the time period? Is it present day or set in the past? The ships clock made me think Victorian and then the suede couch brought me to the present…then the candles on the tree screamed late 1800’s again 🙂

  2. I am intrigued! Does she have “the sight” or did he put the whammy on her? Great use of language. I love the line, “The evidence of the Solstice snow was long gone, but the lingering magic of Christmas remained.”

  3. hee, i like that, he put the whammy on her.
    this is so lovely, cameron. and also, just weirdly, i’m here in my kitchen reading it as the kids have Arthur on the TV, and as i read the last line, a character on the show SAID “three, two, one…”
    maybe you put the whammy on my house, too! 😉

  4. Personally I think she is just seeing what she is hoping is her future..that she is seeing a “life” with him.

    It was poetic, the drawing, the clock, the quiet romance…I loved every word. And I love “squashy”…to me it meant comfortable..but that’s just me.

  5. “…dark-haired boys in flannel pajamas flying down the stairs towards a soaring Christmas tree …”

    I love this because it shows the power of our imaginations-where anything is possible.

    Also? I am a total sucker for a great staircase!

  6. Why do I always identify with your female characters?

    I like Aubrey’s reaction. The dialogue is perfect because it’s simple, like a Ramones song.

    more please, it;’s great

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