Christmas Angel

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I was tired, my eyes heavy, but I was no longer cold or afraid! The glowing light hovering ahead cast warmth onto my limp body. Gazing into the glistening snowflakes my worries and tension floated away. A feeling of well-being spread within me.
Did I die?
I longed to see my mother’s face one more time, but my world faded to grey and the grey darkened to black.
How will it feel when my soul leaves my body?
I took a deep breath and waited.
For unto us a child is born,
Unto us, a son is given.
A choir of Angels, I’d made it to heaven. What will I see? What does heaven look like?
I was sad, scared and excited all at the same time.
So here it is Merry Christmas everybody’s having fun!
WHAT?
Look to the future now its only just begun….
Noddy Holder’s voice bellowed. How could I be hearing Slade’s Christmas song?
I opened my eyes and gazed at my surroundings.
Snow no longer fell, bright sunshine kissed the snow-covered grass.
A dazzling shape floated towards me. It looked like an angel, but it couldn’t be. Could it? I blinked, and it was gone.
What would your daddy do if he saw your mama kissing Santa Claus?
WHAT?
My radio still blasted popular Christmas music.
I was alive!

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Did I die?

snow lights

My car stopped at a precarious angle. I daren’t move! Had I slid towards the canal? I couldn’t tell. All I could see from the driver’s side window was snow, deep thick snow. The   passenger side widow looked up towards the sky, soon to be covered with thick snowflakes. My only escape was through that window, but if I moved my car would surely slide into the cold water that could be inches away. My engine had stalled and bitter cold seeped into the car, freezing my breath as it hung in the air.

Movement, the car shuddered. I braced myself for action. Not sure what I’d have to do to fight for my life, but I was ready!

What happened next defied gravity. The car move slowly and gently, but not down the hill as it should, instead it glided up towards the road again, almost floating! I sat still as it leveled out, waiting for someone from a tow truck to come and tap on my window, but no one appeared. Putting my hand on the door handle, I made to get out and thank whoever had saved me, but before I had chance the car moved forward. How could that be?

Straining my eyes I saw a light ahead, muffled by the snow, but still a warm glow. For a split second it brought me comfort, and then I worried what it was.

Did I die?

Flat Country Snow

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The snow started about an hour before I left town. The weatherman said “flurries” so I didn’t give it a second thought. Thirty minutes into my journey I couldn’t see. My headlights were packed with snow. It came down hard and fast.

Unfamiliar roads, no hedgerows, flat open country. I knew from my trip to Thetford a canal ran along by the road. It was pretty in the sunlight, boats gliding along its glassy surface, but I couldn’t remember which side. In the flat white landscape that surrounded me, I couldn’t see. I was terrified I’d slide into the icy waters.

My head ached with concentration! I skidded! My heart missed a beat! I straightened up. My little yellow car was the only vehicle on the road. If anything happened, if I got into an accident, I’d freeze to death. Or maybe I’d drown in the icy waters of the canal. Inching along at ten miles an hour, tears streaming down my face, I prayed.

Please God get me home for Christmas.
Don’t let me die.

Sliding slowly sideways. Out of control. What shall I do? Oh dear god what shall I do?

Jingle Bell Rock – Footprints in the Snow

We sat by the fire drinking hot cider infused with rum. A perfect drink for a snowy December evening. It was Christmas in a glass. Les was engrossed in a noisy car chase on the television. So tense was his body, he might as well driving the cop car. It never ceases to amaze me how guys lose themselves in television. Isn’t real live much more fun?

I gazed at the Christmas tree. It was full of ornaments and memories. Many of the decorations were older than me, passed down from my grandmother to my mam, and then to me. My mam was still alive so they could have hung on her tree, but she ‘didn’t like clutter’. To me those old faded baubles weren’t clutter, they were history. When I touched them my body tingled as though they were trying to reach out to me, trying to tell me a story.

I took my empty glass to the sink and stared out of the kitchen window. It was snowing again. Christmas twinkled in the distance from the local bar. I faintly heard music, “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock” sang with a country twang. It was a Saturday night, live music night. “Lets go down to the bar,” I said to Les. “It’s live music night, should be fun.” No answer! He was of course, on the edge of his seat, avoiding a collision with a school bus that had somehow gotten between the cop car and the bad guy.

I smiled. I wish my mind switched off from real life so easily.

I was drawn again to the Christmas tree, and the old clutter that hung there. Smiling I touched one of my Grandma’s ornaments, balancing it in the palm of my hand. It was a golden bauble, so worn and shiny it was like looking in a mirror. It moved slightly in my hand, or did I imagine it? Carefully taking it from the branch I held it up to my face and gazed into its smooth surface. My own face looked back at me, slightly distorted because of its shape. I closed my eyes and thought about my Grandma. When I opened them again my face no longer looked back at me, instead I saw the image of a child with blonde curly hair.

She smiled at me and waved, before turning around and walking away, leaving only footprints in the snow!

 

 

Who’s out there?

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He looked into my eyes, waiting for an answer. What do I tell him? 

“Come on we need to clean these scratches. Are you going to tell me how you got them?”

I daren’t

I followed him to the sink and stood silently while he dabbed my wounds with warm water. “So what happened, I saw you out there in the snow. Not exactly the kind of day to go for a walk. Did you fall?”

“Yes, at the end of the driveway. I heard a noise behind me and it made me jump. Lost my balance!” I said, relieved he’d put the idea of falling in my head. It wasn’t a lie. I did fall.

“What startled you?”

“It was snow falling off a tree branch, silly really, but I was lost in my thoughts.”

“You need to start paying attention or you’re going to hurt yourself.”

“I know, I have another book on my brain though. I was working out the plot in my head, walking helps me think.”

Les laughed. “Your mind is always somewhere else. Did you check the mail?”

“No, I didn’t”

“OK, I’ll do it now.”

I watched him walk along the driveway, wishing I dare tell him what really happened, but I couldn’t. He’d think I was imagining it, getting lost in one of my own plots. Sometimes I wondered if I was! 

Standing on the porch I breathed deeply, inhaling the cold crisp air. Snow fell from the roof, hitting the ground in front of me, I didn’t jump this time. 

Les walked back along the driveway, engrossed in the letters he was carrying, not noticing the snow whipping up behind him even though there was no wind. I held my breath as I watched the glistening mass take shape. It looked like a child, but disappeared before he reached the porch.

“Whats up? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” Les said as he kicked the snow off his boots. 

If only he knew!

Footprints in the Snow

Christmas is undoubtedly my favorite time of year, but it brings with it hours of preparation. After baking all morning, I needed a break. Grabbing my jacket and scarf, I stepped outside. A winter wonderland glistened before me. Standing still for a few minutes, I took in the beauty while me eyes adjusted to the brightness! There was a chill in the air and my breath made little clouds in front of me. A brisk walk would clear away the cobwebs. With one hand firmly planted against the house I walked carefully down the icy steps from the porch. When I reached the bottom something caught my eye.

FootstepsFootprints!

They started on the path and continued along the driveway to the dirt road that ran past our house. How could that be? We had no neighbors. Anyone who came to visit us, came by car. I looked along the dirt road for tire tracks, but saw none, only small footprints in the snow.

Surely these were made by a child! 

I set off to follow them anxiously. What if a child was lost and cold?

Why would they start at my house? 

Bewildered, I walked along the dirt road that led to the old barn and opened the door cautiously, not wanting to scare whoever may be taking shelter there.

Why would a child be out here alone. Where did she come from?

It was dark inside, but splinters of sunlight shone through the holes in the roof, and eventually I was able to see my surroundings.

“Hello! Is anyone in here?” I asked. “I followed your footsteps. Are you lost?”

Silence.

“Are you hungry? I’ve made fresh shortbread, I’d love to share it with you.”

Movement! A rustling in the far corner. My view was blocked by old farm equipment.

“I’m coming over, don’t be scared.” I said as I walked towards the noise.

Silence.

My cellphone rang, I screamed. “Dammit!” I said as I switched it off.

“No need to hide, I’m not going to hurt you.”

Something dropped on me from above, claws digging deeply into my shoulder, teeth sinking into my ear.

“Holy Shit!”

I swatted at the crazy wild thing that attacked me, knocking it to the floor, and then I turned and ran.

 

Footprints in the Snow – A Christmas Ghost Story

Christmas day in all its glory had been enjoyed by all. We relaxed by the fire, almost comatose, watching movies. We were too stuffed to move or even talk. Uncle Fred was snoring, his party hat rising and falling over his mouth as he breathed. It was a good day.

I forced myself to move and went into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher (again). Someone had to do it. I glanced at the back door as I walked past. Was someone standing there? I heard a light tap on the glass. I opened the door a crack and saw a young woman standing on the step. She was shivering as snowflakes fell around her. “Please come in, you must be cold. Are you alone?”

She was pale and thin. “Thank you for your kindness” she said as she stepped inside. “I lost my dog, I was looking for her, she’s old”

“What’s her name?” I asked

“Sandy” she said “Her name is Sandy and I’m afraid I won’t see her again”

“You aren’t from around here are you? What makes you think you will find your dog here?”

“She got out of the car whilst my husband was changing a wheel. I didn’t see which way she went.”

“I’m sorry, I haven’t seen her, but you look so cold. Don’t you have a coat?”

“I left it in the car when I ran after my dog. Sorry to have troubled you, I must be going.” She turned around. “Sandy” she shouted to no-one.

I grabbed an old cardigan from the coat rack in the hall and turned around to give it to the cold young lady, but she was gone. She had faded into the snowflakes leaving no trace, not even a footprint. Odd!

Snowy night

I couldn’t get the young girl out of my mind. She looked so cold and sad.

December 26th was a bright clear morning. It was beautiful. No one else was awake so I enjoyed the tranquility of the morning. A welcome relief after the chaos of Christmas. I switched on the television and watched the morning news in the kitchen as I drank a steaming cup of coffee, lovely.

One of the reporters was covering an accident that had happened less than half a mile from my house. I froze! A young couple had stopped at the side of the road to change a tire and were rear ended by a truck. They were both killed instantly, a tragedy on Christmas Day. They weren’t locals and their family had not, as yet been located. The face that looked back at me from the television was that of the young girl that had tapped on my door on Christmas night. How could that be? Then I remembered there were no footprints in the snow. I shivered and put down my coffee as I headed to the back door.

I did see footprints in the snow now, but not human footprints, they were paw prints. The paw prints came from the trees at the back of my house directly to my front door. It looked like an animal had laid there for a while.

Golden retriever

“Sandy” I yelled instinctively. I heard a low whining sound and a golden retriever walked slowly into view. She looked tired and cold as she came to me. I knelt down and felt for a tag on her collar. I found it. There was no address, no phone number, just a name. ‘Sandy’

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Ghost Story. Check out my short story while it is still on Amazon. It will be available for another month or so (for free) until it gets a facelift in the spring.

My first full length novel ‘Dead of July’  (Preview) Dead of July will be published in March 2013. For updates Follow me on Facebook.

I am very excited about this novel and know you will love it. Check back for updates. 

Weekend Away

Street view - Vail, Colorado, USA.

Vail Village

Sometimes you just need to give your brain a rest and take a weekend off. That is what I am about to do (once the football is finished). We are all ready to go to Vail, not much to pack for one overnight.

Its going to be a nice weekend of relaxing and enjoying my other hobby, ‘photography’. I will post some photos on my blog tomorrow night when I get back.

Hopefully I will also have time to write another ‘Moving to America’ installment. I still have a lot to write about that little adventure.