This Christmas enjoy how each author creates a unique tale from the same starting sentences written by
the author of
can be followed online
thirteenth in the anthology is
Down the Chimney
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
At least she’d left Daniel with Socks to cuddle up to at night. He would have been totally destroyed if she’d taken Socks too. Not that she’d had much choice – her father was allergic to cats.
She hadn’t really had much choice when it came to leaving Daniel either. He was the one who’d laid down the ultimatum: it’s either him or me.
He hadn’t expected her to choose her new agent over a six year relationship and a diamond ring. But she had.
She pulled her coat closer and tucked her frozen hands beneath her arms.
One day Daniel would thank her. He’d meet someone new, really fall in love, and realise what they’d shared had been nothing more than a friendship with benefits.
The benefits hadn’t even been that good. Not good enough to give up on her dreams or the hope that there was something more than a mortgage and okay sex out there for her.
Jenny put it down to her reading too many romance novels. Her former BFF said it led to unrealistic expectations and one day she’d regret leaving Daniel.
But as much as she’d hated hurting him, and as much as she missed Socks’ soft purr waking her every morning, she hadn’t regretted it yet.
Not that her life had turned out like a romance novel either. She was now unemployed and living back in her girlhood bedroom in her parents’ house in Wickford, facing Christmas in a neighbourhood that seemed to consist entirely of old people these days.
The number 25 bus rolled to a stop before her, and she sat up straighter, watching with mounting anticipation as the doors wheezed open. Her heart hammered.
Copyright © Romy Sommer
Read the rest of Down the Chimney plus fourteen more short Christmas stories for free right now.