This Christmas enjoy how each author creates a unique tale from the same starting sentences written by
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tenth in the anthology is
The Best Present
Charlotte sat at the bus stop wondering whether she would make the naughty or nice list this year. Last year she had rescued a stray kitten and therefore considered herself most definitely “nice”. This year she had broken Daniel’s heart into a million tiny pieces, so “naughty” seemed to be the only answer. There’d be no Santa Claus coming down her chimney anytime soon. – Georgia Beyers
There has to be a way to make things right.
The thought gnawed at Charlotte, holding her still, doubting her decision to come home, until snowflakes started falling. A quick glance up did nothing to improve her mood. For once, the weatherman was right.
White bits of fluff caught in her long dark hair as she moved the cat carrier off her lap and onto the sidewalk by her feet. Charlotte pulled a sky blue hat out of the backpack beside her. Restless, she tugged it on while getting to her feet.
The bus had driven out of Fir Mountain almost as soon as she disembarked . The local station, no larger than a coffee stand, was dark and a closed sign hung in the window. The rest of Main Street appeared much the same. Businesses closed early on Christmas Eve in the small Oregon town where she’d been born and raised.
Her cell phone weighed heavy in her pocket. One phone call to the Bar 7, the ranch that had been in her family for generations and someone would come pick her up. Part of her wanted to run straight to her parents, ask them what she should do but Charlotte hesitated. During the past year, living apart from her large family in the ‘big’ city , she’d grown to rely on her own council. She couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a way to make things right if her guilt would only quiet. Yet she didn’t know what else to do, he ignored her every effort to talk about it.
One hand slipped into her pocket. Her fingers briefly clutched the phone and then dropped it again. She had other news, news that would be exciting to share normally. Tim, the owner of the Indigo gallery called late last night. A customer had noticed one of her paintings he was preparing for her first exhibit, and wanted it, was impressed with the depth of emotion it portrayed.
A lump formed in her throat. Charlotte blinked rapidly, fighting back the urge to cry. That success came from knowing Daniel , the way he’d snuck into her heart, and how it was now breaking because she was losing him.
She should have taken better care.
Copyright © Lori Connelly
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