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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: The Last Christmas Carol
By Rhonda Hensley


Elizabeth had looked forward to this night all week. She enjoyed spending time with the teenagers and children. It made her feel young and lively again. In spite of her enlarged heart, she had the energy of a twenty year old – at least that is what she wanted everyone to believe.

Beep, beep – the horn was announcing the arrival of her ride. She hastily hurried out the door and jumped in on the passenger’s side. “Sorry, I am running late, the phone rang just as I was heading out the door,” her younger sister exclaimed. “Looks like it is going to be a cold one tonight so I picked up some extra blankets.”

In spite of the unexpected delay, the sisters arrived at the church a few minutes early. Laughter filled the air as the church folks began to gather for the night’s event – Christmas Caroling. Elizabeth began to experience the sting of the cold air. She hurriedly reached into the pockets of her jacket and pulled out her gloves;wiggling her fingers in she firmly pulled the gloves onto her cold hands. That afternoon’s episode crossed her mind but she quickly brushed the thought aside.

It was just a twinge of pain – nothing to worry about she was sure. After all, it subsided about as quickly as it came on.

Assignments were handed out to each driver and the merry carolers loaded up and headed on their way. Each time they made a stop, Elizabeth, Carolyn and their three bundles of joy headed to each door with excitement and anticipation of the recipients welcome surprise. Several of the church’s saints lived next door to each other which made it easier and quicker to accomplish the task. Carolyn parked the car in a central location and they headed to the first house.

Each time they would ring the door bell and when the occupants would open the door the carollers would greet them with gleeful sounds of Christmas and then depart after giving each one of them a warm hug and a basket of fruit. Running across the lawns became a game to see who could get to the next house first. Elizabeth had always liked a challenge and she in no way was going to let these young ones show her up. She darted across the yard heading to the last home on their list.
Halfway across the lawn she disappeared.

Carolyn saw her sister hit the ground and ran to help her up. She was sort of laughing and at the same time expressing her concern, “Are you okay?” she hollered, expecting to see her sister bounce right back up before she could get to her.

“Elizabeth are you hurt?” “Elizabeth, Lib are you hurt?” “Lib, answer me, are you hurt?", Carolyn screamed this time. The air filled with silence as she ran to her sister’s side. Her sister had not stumbled at all but had collapsed. Carolyn immediately began CPR and screamed for someone to call 911. The ambulance arrived within minutes and continued the compressions. Elizabeth was resuscitate but never regained consciousness. Little did the sisters know that night they would sing their last Christmas Carol together.

Several days later Elizabeth went home to be with the Lord where she is patiently waiting for her sister to one day join her in singing the everlasting Christmas Carol.

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This article has been read 383 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Keck10/09/08
I enjoyed this beause of the hope at the end. My mother will be playing piano for the carolers I'm sure.
Jan Ackerson 10/10/08
Lots of good imagery here in the little details you included.

There was a sudden POV switch about halfway through that might need to be signaled with a triple asterisk, and some of your dialogue seems a bit stilted--try using a few contractions to make your people talk more realistically.

The first half of this is particularly well-written.
Marlene Austin10/10/08
A well written, poignant story. :)
Karlene Jacobsen10/12/08
Such a sad memory of caroling. Nicely written. Thank you.
Karlene Jacobsen10/12/08
ps. I'm glad there was the light of hope at the end.