This is not exactly a Christmas story, but it ties in to the December Celebrations All mistakes are mine. I welcome any criticism to help me in my writing.
Word count: 710
Teresa was finishing up her masterpiece as the Lancer men, home after a day’s work, entered the kitchen. Her gingerbread house was decorated with bits of peppermint, nuts, small pieces of candied fruit and covered with icing to represent snow. She also created and decorated two gingerbread men to stand guard at the house.
“Is that for desert tonight?’ Johnny asked as he reached over to try to swipe some of the icing with his finger.
Slapping Johnny’s hand, Teresa rounded on him. “Johnny Lancer, don’t you dare touch that! The Ladies Guild is meeting Saturday. We are creating and decorating gingerbread houses for the orphans Christmas party, and I intend on having an entry to present!”
She then ordered the men to the great room until dinner time. Even Murdoch would not cross Teresa in her frenzied state this time of year. She had been busy decorating and trimming the house for the Christmas holiday, but she wanted the orphans to have a nice Christmas celebration too. She took on the chore of creating and decorating her gingerbread cottage. Teresa put the last of the icing on the house, and placed it near the open window so the icing would set up.
As they finished their drinks, Murdoch and Scott settled to read and Johnny sat braiding leather for a new lead rope.
“JOHNNY!” The scream echoed through the house.
Two heads swung up to glare at the youngest Lancer. Johnny, looking shocked, defended himself. “Whatever it is, I swear I didn’t do it! I been right here with y’all.”
The three men rushed to the kitchen. Murdoch’s long legs carried him in first, followed by Scott, then Johnny.
They stopped upon entering to hear Teresa threatening bodily harm she would inflict. The men stood wide eyed with mouths open as they saw Barranca’s head in through the window, happily munching on the gingerbread house. He had icing and bits of candied fruit on his muzzle. Hanging up on his forelock was one of the little gingerbread men.
Teresa’s anger turned to sorrow as she stamped her foot crying “Look at what your horse has done. Now I won’t have an entry. There is no time to make another one.”
Johnny raced over to console his sister and scold Barranca. “Don’t cry, honey. I bet yours would have been the best entry. That was not very nice, Barranca. Teresa worked hard on that. And how did you get out here anyway? I put you in your stall for the night.”
Scott, trying to hide his amusement at the sight of the horse, spoke up. “Maybe you shouldn’t have taught him how to open the latch on his stall door.”
Johnny hung his head, embarrassed, and peered over to see if Murdoch had heard Scott. He did, and was not pleased with his youngest.
“John, that was not a smart thing to teach Barranca. Look at the mess he created. Tomorrow you and Jelly figure a way to latch his stall door so he cannot unlock it, understood?”
“Yes, sir” replied Johnny as he turned back to Barranca telling him he owed Teresa an apology. “You are sorry now, aren’t you boy?” Barranca shook his head in agreement, dislodging the gingerbread man, and a glob of icing still on his muzzle. The flying gingerbread man ended up in Johnny’s hair and the icing splattered on his nose. “Thanks a lot, horse. Santa won’t be visiting you this year.”
Teresa had calmed down, and she too was starting to see the humor in the situation. She tried to hide her smile behind her hand but ended up giggling out loud.
“So now this is funny?” asked an indignant Johnny.
When Teresa composed herself she replied “You and your horse are too much alike. I wonder if I had made a chocolate cake and set it out to cool, would I have found you with your head in the window munching on it?”
By this time Scott and Murdoch could not hold back their laughter.
As Johnny cleaned the icing from his face and removing the gingerbread man from his hair, Barranca reached in and grabbed the remaining wall to the gingerbread house. “Hay, you could have left some for me, you know.”
~ end ~
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