A Short Story: Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve The family was huddled around the kitchen table, elbows pressed firmly against the varnished surface, supporting heads both weary and dejected from the events of the day. Nothing had changed, Christmas was Christmas. Yet the cheer, the jolly, jovial nature of the whole celebration seemed to have been watered down through years of disappointment and gloom, finally distilled into a tasteless, humourless gathering of bodies. We waited as our grandmother prepared the famously dull and flavourless Turkey which, though bulbous and inviting on the surface, held none of our knowing tongues in suspense. Until, that is, a familiar smell danced through the door and into the dining room. Our collective expectations were from that moment very much increased. It was 1999, and discussion that December 25th had been more pessimistic than was the norm. Fears of a technological Armageddon had arisen and overwhelmed people’s positive perspectives. Presents had already been opened, and ardent warnings from wise, miserly grandparents had done nothing to quell the excitement of us youngsters. My brother and I spared no time in sneaking our precious new games console out of sight, away from elderly eyes. The pair of us slid out of the living room, holding our breath like deep sea divers, lest a bubble of air escape our mouths and alert the family to our absence. I tip toed down the creaky stairs, my body off balance with the weight of the console. My brother – my accomplice – completed a backwards shuffle down the stairs before me, keeping a trained eye on the basement door. Most people think of basements as dull places with low ceilings and mould, but my brother and I had a different idea. Our basement was an extremely large a... ... middle of paper ... ...head again. It was my grandmother. With her head down, she approached me with disappointment, hands stretched out holding a bowl of “I told you so”. Well, at least that’s what I thought. Instead, she picked me up and settled me down on the dining room table. “Wait here, Darling.” Her voice was tender and loving. As the voice slipped in my ear, it warmed my heart. A heavenly smell pierced my nose, with my head up high and my nose pointing north and I floated off my seat and followed the alluring smell. It led me towards the kitchen. It was grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies. The family gathered around me and stared impatiently. “Are you ok?” It seemed like they have been waiting several minutes for answer. I shook my head slowly and replied with a small nod. Confused as ever, I looked down upon my plate and saw the mouth-watering chocolate coated cookies.

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