Word Count 405
The tree was set in the great room. Tonight, they would decorate it. They, his family, together, home for their first Christmas.
There’d been trees before, but this was the first time is so many years these ornaments had been unpacked. He’d brought them from the attic. There weren’t many; a few Catherine had brought with her, others he’d purchased with Maria at his side. He picked up the string of delicate silver bells. They’d delighted his toddler; he’d run by the tree and set the string of bells tinkling. But now it seemed time had corroded the bells and stilled the tiny clappers. But a little polish and at least they’d shine on the tree for the first time in many years.
At first, Johnny was hesitant about what he was supposed to do to decorate a tree; there’d been no such ritual in his life in Mexico. But a few cups of spiked eggnog, his family, the laughter, and he found the spirit to hang the ornaments and strings of popcorn Teresa had strung.
Johnny picked up the string of silver bells, a memory of holding them whispering to him.
“Murdoch, these were on our tree,” Johnny said, a look of wonder lighting his face.
“Yes, they were.” Murdoch felt his heart catch; that Johnny remembered something from so long ago, that he remembered something of Lancer, was a gift Murdoch hadn’t expected. “They don’t jingle anymore, but still pick up the light.”
Johnny gently placed the string on bells on the tree, just at the height to brush them as he walked past the tree.
The tree was trimmed, the delicate blown glass ornaments shining in the light of the fire, the silver bells twinkling. Murdoch told stories of each of the ornaments Catherine had brought with her from Boston and of picking out decorations with Maria. He sat in his chair by the fire and watched his children ready the house for Christmas. They laughed and talked into the night.
“I don’t know about the three of you, but I’m going to turn in.”
Murdoch rose from the chair.
Johnny stood and stretched by the fire.
“The tree looks good, Murdoch.” And as he walked past the tree, he brushed the silver bells, and they chimed, the sweet musical sound the echo of years past, the sound of the holidays to come.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT
Thank you for reading! The authors listed on this site spend many hours writing stories for your enjoyment, and their only reward is the feedback you leave. So please take a moment to leave a comment. Even the simplest ‘I liked this!” can make all the difference to an author and encourage them to keep writing and posting their stories here. You can comment in the ‘reply’ box below or email Christine directly.