Author Topic: Winner! Fiction #131  (Read 1254 times)

Offline bailish

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Winner! Fiction #131
« on: January 07, 2018, 10:40:51 AM »
We have a winner! Congratulations, Mr. Barry.


The Gap

A bone chilling wind was blowing the fallen snow into towering drifts that made the landscape appear to be on some mysterious planet far away.  Far away was the key.  Anywhere but here. 

That is not how one is supposed to feel at Christmas, but it was the reality that year.  It was the beginning of what our family came to know as “The Gap”. 

I am the eldest child of seven.  Sadly, Child #6 died just as she was born.  I found Mother in the bathroom, unconscious, with a little purple baby beside her.  The aid car arrived, and took Mother and baby away.   

The next year was a blur for our whole family.  Mother never did recover from this tragedy, but it was revealed that we had another sibling on the way.   She was born healthy, and completed “The 6 Pack”.

For every family event we would line up by age, and there was always this gap near the end of the line.  No matter how close we stood, there was always an empty space where a little shining smile should have been. 

The Gap was especially evident the Christmas after our youngest sibling arrived.  Mother had closed herself off in grief, and Father simply threw himself into work.  He was away, training in the Navy, that holiday season. 

Our home was not decorated as it had been in past years, and there was no joy in the rooms or in the hearts of those living in those rooms.  I was ten years old, and was doing my best to keep things together.  I taught myself how to cook, and kept the house reasonably neat.  I learned to forge Mother’s signature on checks to pay bills, and to use similar forged checks to shop at the local store for necessities. 

But, I had no clue how to handle the upcoming holiday.  I didn’t know where the lights and decorations were, so I worried and directed a silent prayer to God.

On Christmas Eve day, our doorbell rang.  We did not have many visitors, so right away that was strange.   I cautiously answered, and there was our neighbor, “Rainy”.  Her name was really Renata, and she was a teenager. 
Oddly enough her parents were also at our door.   

Rainy said they noticed that we did not have a tree. She added that her family was going out of town for the holiday, and asked if we wanted to use their tree so it wouldn’t go to waste.   Astonished, I said OK and welcomed them into the house.   They proceeded to set up a completely decorated tree, and then even brought in several presents.  And just as quickly, they were gone.
My silent prayer was answered!
It was not until after the holidays had passed that I realized that Rainy and her family were Jewish.   

Offline heidi52

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Re: Winner! Fiction #131
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 08:49:05 AM »
What a lovely story! Good restraint showed, because it's so easy to get maudlin about holiday stories. Well done. Looking forward to the next challenge.

Offline Laura H

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Re: Winner! Fiction #131
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 04:42:32 PM »
Yahoo, Mr. Barry!  :D
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline fire-fly

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Re: Winner! Fiction #131
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 05:04:26 PM »
Congrats Mr Barry but I doubt you will see him. Real life dragged him away, he is on hiatus sorry Bailish
I'm A Binge Thinker: Do It A Lot Somedays, Then Not Much At All.

Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it alive. >:D