Ani’s Advent Invitation: Wedgwood and Wine by Sarah Brentyn

Okay, so I’m really looking forward to Christmas…as long as the antlers stay out of sight and as long as my mate Tink’s mum hasn’t given her any other awful ideas…. But not everyone enjoys the festive season, I’m  told. There are lots of folk who are alone… and they don’t all get a happy ending like Sally’s Jack.

And some folks might wish they were alone, or at least not in those unhappy places they find themselves. I don’t like it when she says ‘Ani!’ in that voice…. it makes me feel really sad, even though I know she’ll be cuddling me any minute. It doesn’t work that way for some…there is just that voice… and sometimes worse…

Wedgwood and Wine

Sarah Brentyn

“That’s not how it happened,” Terri barked.

“Maybe…” Tracy began.

“Who cares,” Kim interrupted, “I want to hear more about Tracy’s new ‘boyfriend’.”

“He had a…” Tracy said.

“No, no,” Mark gestured with his beer, “let’s hear more about this supposed thing I said about Tracy. I hurt her wittle feelings?”

Britney laughed. “It’s bullshit. Like her new job.”

“Tracy?” Her mother glared. “Don’t just stand there like an idiot.”

Tracy concentrated on smoothing her velvet dress, which was quite free of wrinkles.

She swore the merlot wouldn’t flow this Christmas but found herself holding a crystal goblet like a life vest in the storm that was her family.

Slow sips, at first, then an empty wine glass. More merlot and wishes of civility or, at the very least, quiet.

It was a gift she wouldn’t get. Dinner was excruciating. Six courses served with cruelty and foie gras on floral Wedgwood china.

At this point, she didn’t care what liquid swished in her glass as long as it contained alcohol. She knew she had sunk to their level. It was the way of Decembers. “Oh, shut up already. You’re right. I don’t have a boyfriend. Happy? And I don’t have a job. Ooh! Better yet…I’m a writer!” She laughed at her own joke, took a swig, and held her arm out for a refill.

She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to swipe before she saw her boyfriend, Brad.

“Hello, love,” he kissed her cheek, “so sorry I’m late.” He took her glass, set it down, and laced his fingers through hers. “Introduce me to your lovely family?”

She did.

And they looked small.

He squeezed her hand and looked genuinely pained. “It was nice to meet all of you but I’m afraid we have been called in to an emergency meeting at work.”

In less than thirty seconds flat.

She couldn’t help thinking of her family as a set of bowling pins standing straight at soldiers, being knocked down with Brad’s bowling ball timing. Strike.

He turned to her. “Do you want to leave now or wait a bit?”

“Now is good.”

About the author

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

Find Sarah’s Books

On the Edge of a Raindrop     Hinting at Shadows     Author Page

Find and follow Sarah

Lemon Shark     Lemon Shark Reef

Twitter    Google+    Website

On the Edge of a Raindrop by [Brentyn, Sarah]

On the Edge of a Raindrop

When You’re on the Edge, It’s Easy to Fall

These are stories of lives on the edge.

A girl tortured by the world within her. A boy powerless to escape his home. A mother doomed to live with her greatest mistake. A man lost in a maze of grief.

Each raindrop provides a microscopic mirror of ourselves and those around us. But we can’t always trust what we see. The distorted images disorient the mind, altering our view of reality.

This second collection of flash and micro fiction explores the depths of the human condition and the fragile surface of our perceptions.

Dive into these tales of darkness and discover what life is like On the Edge of a Raindrop.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

Hinting at Shadows by [Brentyn, Sarah]

Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

Antlers are for Reindeer!

If you would like to help save Ani from a fate (she says) worse than death, send your Letters to Santa, festive memories, short stories, flash fiction or poems to the Small Dog. She will post them every day through December until Christmas.

She would especially like to hear from her four-legged or feathered friends (she has a special place very close to her heart for turkeys)… but she says that two-legs are better than none, so she will accept submissions from humans too.

To get in touch, please use the form on the contact page or email Ani at

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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75 Responses to Ani’s Advent Invitation: Wedgwood and Wine by Sarah Brentyn

  1. Mary Smith says:

    A very satisfying story!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ani!!!! Dont trink wine! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that’s a Christmas wish come true. Great story, Sarah. Thanks Ani for sharing! No antlers today!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Wow. This is gorgeous! Thanks, Sue! And Thank you for sharing my lovely tale of a Christmas rescue. 😉 I love being part of Ani’s advent days. 🎄❤️💚


  5. Jennie says:

    Oooo, I like this story. Bingo!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. An interesting story, Sarah and Sue. I am sure Christmas is like this for some poor people.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dang, that’s a well done story, a strike. Ya set up the pins, ya knocked them all down.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Wedgwood and Wine | Lemon Shark

  9. Liz H says:

    Absolutely no place like home for the holidays (*shudder*).
    Lucky that Brad is a bowling pro!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Marcia says:

    Lovely to read Sarah’s story here, Sue & Ani. So glad you had her stop by. And so glad to see Prince Charming save the day!! Very well done, Sarah! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Marcia says:

    Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    Another great share today, from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo: Sarah Brentyn stops by with a short story probably more familiar to most of us than we’d like to admit. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love that ‘punch in the guts’ ending, Sara. Well done to Prince Charming! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ah. Rescued from that family holiday dinner. It should happen to a lot of us. Great story.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Viola Bleu says:

    A blogger who really knows how to write. Excited to have found you! 🖌

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Another guest for Ani’s Advent Calendar post this morning with the lovely Sarah Brentyn bringing her Flash expertise to the subject of Christmas Dinner with a bullying family… signed, sealed and delivered brilliantly.. head over to Sue Vincent’s and enjoy.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Pingback: Ani’s Advent Invitation: Wedgwood and Wine by Sarah Brentyn – The Militant Negro™

  17. Thanks, Ani, for the call-out (and so far so good). It’s just a bit scary that tonight she saw a sign about a Christmas Party at my Cheers Bar on the 22nd and she mentioned to someone that she needed to dig thru and find her Santa hat for the occasion. (She thinks she packed that dratted Elf Costume she got for me last year with her hat!) But at least she won’t be looking online!

    Loved the story, Sarah. Prince Charming to the rescue — BUT are there really families like that? And NOBODY stops them? How mean! I would growl every time they opened their mouths if anybody tried to treat Mom like that – and bite them if they didn’t stop. They’d deserve it.
    Woof! TINK

    Liked by 2 people

  18. dgkaye says:

    In true ‘Riddler’ style, lol. Unfortunately, that behavior happens on some family occasions. Glad Tracey had her savior in the ‘nick of time’. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  19. What a great story, I could taste the merlot on my tongue, feel the velvet as I smoothed my dress down and feel the rush of pure love at being rescued! Thank you, Ani for sharing Sarah’s lovely tale!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Tina Frisco says:

    Now that’s a different twist on a Christmas story, and one I’m sure many of the tormented would greatly enjoy reading! Well done, Sarah 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Teri Polen says:

    I always love a good ‘in your face’ story. Good one, Sarah!

    Liked by 2 people

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