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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)

TITLE: A Christmas Wish
By Bryan Ridenour


“Oh my…,” gasped Marie, her eyes wide with wonder. “How pretty.”

A few solitary snowflakes landed on a young evergreen bordering the winding walk to the quaint cottage. Marie noticed a soft lamplight glow behind a kitchen window. A snow shovel leaned against the porch rail, evidence of its use long covered by another blanket of snow.

In an instant, snow fell thick and fast, a swirling chaos settling on the powdery white fluff already blanketing the ground. Marie squinted and made out a doe and two fawns standing motionless in the winter wonderland.

Her eyes were drawn again to the welcoming cottage. “I wonder,” she thought aloud, “if a family lives there and they drink hot chocolate and make s’mores by the fireplace.” She could almost hear crackling embers and feel the warmth of the roaring fire, stoked by seasoned oak and pine.

Up on the hill, a rustic barn stood sentinel; a cow and nuzzling calf peeked out, observing winter’s display. A horse drawn sleigh poked from the barn’s open door, awaiting a joyride through the frosty landscape. Marie imagined a family wrapped in patchwork quilts riding snugly, meandering through the winter paradise. The dull clop of horse hooves and runners carving a snaking path through the powdery snow, the only sounds interrupting evening winter tide.

The snowfall slowed. Soon only a few straggling flakes drifted from the heavens, adding to the white innocence of a frozen oasis.

“Marie,” a voice whispered. “Marie…it’s time to go.”

“Mom, look, isn’t it beautiful?”

“Yes dear, very,” she nodded, admiring the snowy tableau.

“Momma, I wish we had white Christmases’,” Marie said wistfully, wiping away the tears streaking down her cheeks.

Marie felt hands on her shoulders and she snuggled into her mother’s embrace.

“I know sweetheart. I miss the snow, too. Remember the snow angels we used to make?”

Marie smiled through her tears. “And how about the times we hid in the bushes and pelted daddy with snowballs when he got home from work?”

Mother laughed. “Maybe Daddy’s job will transfer him back to Minnesota some day. We can ask God, and who knows? He might send us packing back to the snowy North.”

Marie’s mother retrieved a handkerchief from her handbag and Marie took it, dabbing away tears.

“We’ve got to go sweetheart. Don’t forget, it’s Christmas Eve, and all children are supposed to be home... tucked in bed…early.”

Marie nodded and placed the snow globe back on granny’s knick-knack shelf. She looked out the window and saw palm trees swaying softly; a salty sea breeze orchestrated the dance and sway of sheer curtains tickling her nose. A single strand of lights entwined around Granny’s lamppost blinked a celebratory red and green. Christmas morning would soon be here.

“One more time mom?” she asked, eyes pleading.

“Ok, one more time.”

Marie cupped the globe, turned a small silver key, and shook vigorously. Once again the winter’s scene swirled to life as the globe rendered a hushed tune. Both mother and daughter watched in quiet awe, humming, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.

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This article has been read 905 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristin Slavik08/20/09
This was precious - loved that she was wondering about the family in the snow globe. Good Job!
Mona Purvis08/23/09
This is just outstanding. I was totally drawn in and delighted to find out it was a snow globe. Writing is top notch.
Patricia Turner08/24/09
A lovely well written story with a nice little surprise ending.
Jan Ackerson 08/24/09
Wonderful! I suspected that something was "up" after several sentences...thought maybe it was a window display. Awesome twist, very clever.
Colin Swann08/24/09
You have caught the winter aspect beautifully here. Bang on topic and interesting and well written. Thanks!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/24/09
I loved this--the imagery making a beautiful picture and the memories the snowglobe evoked. Great job.
Carol Slider 08/24/09
Fantastic surprise ending! You really drew me into this story. I suspected that all was not as it seemed, but I didn't guess your wonderful twist. Well done!
Jeanne E Webster 08/24/09

Oh, my! You took me back to my Christmas times with my dear grandmother. Sweet memories and hopeful futures.

Kimberly Russell08/24/09
Wow- didn't see that coming...had to go back and read it again. Really well done.
Mariane Holbrook 08/24/09
You are a very clever writer! I really enjoyed this and I think it's time you were "movin' on up, to the East Side" (the Masters!) giggle. Kudos, no kidding!
Ada Nett08/24/09
I really liked this piece . It was a well-written wistful masterpiece!
Karlene Jacobsen08/25/09
Norman Rockwell painting is what I think of with this story. I can imagine the picture of the mom and girl staring into the little snow globe. Nicely written.
Deborah Engle 08/26/09
You gt me, and I loved it. Everything about this supported the "aha" moment. Nice job.
Catrina Bradley 08/26/09
What a creative twist!!! Absolutely love it, from start to finish.
Chely Roach08/27/09
Absolutely lovely. Congrats on your EC!
Mona Purvis08/27/09
I knew this was exceptional. Congrats on a much deserved win.

Eliza Evans 08/27/09
I am so proud of you, Bryan!
You are in there every week, trying and growing and producing fine pieces like this one.
Way to Go, my friend!!

On to Masters for you! :)
Robyn Burke08/27/09
congratulations and spot on! Loved it!!
Genia Gilbert08/27/09
Excellent, Bryan! And congratulations on your EC! This Arkansas Grandma always enjoys your writing. You are very deserving of both placing first in Advanced as well as in the top 10.
Sonya Leigh08/27/09
Fantastic story, Bryan--so creative and well written! Congratulations on your EC and the move to level four. Great job.
Anita van der Elst08/27/09
Way to go!! You give us something masterful to aspire to.
Catrina Bradley 08/27/09
Congratulations on your EC, Bryan!!!! You deserve it for this fabulous story. :)
Eileen Knowles08/27/09
This was beautiful. Absolutely loved it! Congratulations!
Connie Dixon08/27/09
You really had me going here, Bryan. Your writing is amazing and very deserving of an EC. Congratulations on your win and your move up to the next level.