FURIOUS FICTION DECEMBER 2019 – THIS MONTH’S CRITERIA
- Your story must include SOMETHING EITHER BEING SENT OR RECEIVED IN THE MAIL.
- Your story must include the following words: JINGLE, CLICK, BUMP, SIZZLE (plurals or -ing variants are allowed).
Your story’s final sentence must contain exactly THREE words.
Murray pushed through the door balancing a precarious stack of boxes, almost bumping into Sandy.
“Whoa, there. Just a few things to send today?” Sandy took the top-most boxes from Murray’s arms and shuffled behind the counter.
“Not going to make it up there this year. The depot needs me to work through.”
His smile didn’t reach his eyes. Sandy’s face fell.
“They couldn’t come to see you this time?”
“Nah. Jen’s been having that morning sickness and doesn’t trust her stomach on the plane.” He cleared his throat. “No worries, though. There’s always next year.”
Sandy pressed her lips together. “Well, come round to mine, at least. Nothing fancy, just a sausage sizzle.”
“I’ll see how I go.”
Murray scribbled down the address and Sandy tallied up the postage.
“Anything exciting in there?”
“A firetruck for little Jay and a doll’s house for Ally.” Murray grinned. “They can show it off on the whatchamacallit.”
“Facetime?” Sandy smirked.
“That’s the one.” Murray chuckled, clicking the pen and tucking it away in his pocket. He swiped his card and promised Sandy to call in soon.
The heat outside was oppressive and Murray climbed into his ute with a wince. The air-con had died years ago, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a window cracked open. He fired it up and turned onto the dirt road toward his place.
Even with the static which made the radio almost unintelligible, the familiar tune caught Murray off guard. Jingle Bells. It always reminded him of Rhonda getting revved up with holiday cheer.
He tightened his grip on the steering wheel. It always seemed uncanny that she died on Boxing Day, like she’d held on for just one more Christmas. It never felt the same after that. And after Jen got married and moved up to Sydney… well, they wouldn’t want an old bugger like him moping around while the kids unwrapped their pressies.
Maybe next year.
As he pulled into the driveway, he frowned. Buster’s nose wasn’t pressed against the window. Something wasn’t right. He fumbled for his seatbelt and climbed out.
He heard the telly blaring as he climbed the steps and pushed the door open, sticking his head in. Buster was on the couch, cheeky bugger, right next to Jay.
“Dad.” Murray turned as Jen waddled out from the kitchen. “You’re home. Surprise!”
He stood, miffed, as Jen threw her arms around his neck. His mind reeled as he looked back at Jay, he didn’t look so little anymore, and swallowed to push the lump from his throat. He patted Jen’s back absently and startled when Ally walked out of the hall staring at a phone with earbuds in. She had to be as tall as her mother.
“But.” He looked down at Jen’s rounded belly. “You didn’t have to come all this way.”
“We’re not letting you spend another year alone.” She grinned up at him. “Merry Christmas, Dad.”
Furious fiction in December was a cracker, and if there’s one New Year’s resolution you should make, it should be to get on board.
You can sign up to get all the prompts emailed to you each month by visiting the AWC website here. I would love to head how you get on with it and read your contributions. Remember, it’s about turning up, not winning.
You can find my entry for November here.