While everyone else is counting sleeps, I’m counting friends. She says it is just four more sleeps now till Christmas… I sleep a lot, so you can prob’bly add a naught onto that for me. But I have a friend here today and a dognity-saving friend tomorrow… and she says I can write Christmas Eve all by myself, but I was still one post short! I found something though… that was just right. I may have cheated a bit… but I really don’t want to wear the dreaded antlers again this year!
She might be nice and let me off the hook, though. It is Christmas.
Still, there is always turkey to look forward to… though she might have to cook it elsewhere and bring me some home. Which isn’t quite the same, but turkey is turkey, after all. ‘Specially when it comes with those neat little sausages wrapped up in bacon.
I bet that means I won’t get custard though… which is really unfair, ’cause I do like a drop of custard.
Mind you, it could be worse… as Sarah tells in hr Christmas story letter…
Shoes and Shelter
My patent leather shoes weren’t black.
Granny looked down her nose, over her glasses, and glared at the footwear. Her eyes traveled up over my white tights, green, velvet dress, to curly, red hair.
“A girl your age…”
“Should be wearing a red dress,” Mama finished.
“Not with that hair,” Granny rolled her eyes. “Or those freckles.”
Mama took one of those breaths. The deep ones she tells me to take when a peer (I’m supposed to call them peers, now, not buttheads), says something that makes me mad. Well she took one of those breaths. “Can we eat one Christmas dinner without your fu…” another breath, “comments?”
“I was just saying,” Granny continued, “She’s too old for velvet and tights.”
“Apparently we can’t,” Mama said through clenched teeth.
Granny stood up, walked out of the room, and retuned with our coats. “This is about the time you get huffy and leave, is it not?” She dangled them from her fingers like she was holding snakes. Mama grabbed them. Granny smirked. “See? I was right.”
Mama turned on her and I swear I thought she was gonna pull a ruler out of her desk and smack Granny in the face with it and get sent to the principal’s office. Not that I know anything about things like that.
Another breath. “I’m sorry, baby. How about we stop at that sushi place we love?” Mama said as we walked to the door.
“And patent leather shoes should be black. Red shoes are for clowns.” Granny’s voice drifted to us.
I didn’t love the sushi place but I nodded my head because the look in Mama’s eyes was like the dogs we saw at the shelter last week when we dropped off blankets and biscuits.
One of the dogs had black fur on his paws and the lady there said they were cute, little boots but all I could see were patent leather shoes. Just like the new, black ones in the box in my closet. I couldn’t wear them after that. Mama said it was okay and she would do a return. It took her two days in the stores to find a different color, in my size, but here they were. On my feet. The lady at the shelter let me pet some of the dogs on the tops of their heads, smoothing their fur back. She said it made them feel better.
When we were in the car, Mama put her forehead on the steering wheel. I reached over and smoothed her hair back.
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 and follow Sarah
Books by Sarah Brentyn
Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.
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.
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.