Christmas Challenge: Wish Upon A Star

The latest challenge was to write a Christmas/holiday story without using the words “Christmas” or “holiday”. This is what I came up with. Will let you know how it does in the challenge.

Wish Upon A Star 1,000 words

“Tell Tina I’m only enduring this for her.” Lieutenant Rick Davenport slid out of the booth he’d just claimed.

His partner, Dave Tracy, laughed on the other end of the phone. “Careful. You might get into the spirit of things. I’ll owe you one.”

Rick shook his head at the cute blond waitress headed his way. Humbug. He’d finally worked up the nerve to ask her out. He hated to admit his reluctance to ask her for a date, but his divorce had left him gun shy. “I still say you need to name that baby after me.”

Dave snorted. “I may love you like a brother but no way I’m naming my kid Dick Tracy. Uh-oh, there’s a nurse here handing me scrubs to wear. I guess it’s show time.”

“Go get ‘em, daddy.” Rick swiped his thumb across the screen. The blond waitress was now taking someone’s order. Sighing, he pocketed his phone.

He pushed open the glass door and zipped his jacket against the December chill. He hadn’t always been a Grinch but the hoopla reminded how alone he’d been since the split. Rick glanced back. The pretty blond was laughing with a customer. Bah-humbug.

Soon after Rick parked at the strip mall, a yellow bus with a Shop with a Cop banner on the side drove in. Hunching his shoulders against the wind, he trudged across the parking lot. Eager kids piled out, followed by enthusiastic uniformed officers.

One of them grinned and waved Rick over to a tiny blond pixie clutching the hand of a morose sandy-haired boy. Rick huffed out a mirthless laugh. The boy’s mood matched his own. The little girl, however, danced with anticipation.

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First, Last and Always a winner!

I honestly didn’t think I’d win this last 1k Challenge. The competition was very stiff and the finish was so close. Out of 30 possible points I won with 28.45 and the second place winner had 28.25 so definitely a photo finish.

First, Last, and Always 1,000 words

The speedboat bounced along the choppy waters of Penobscot Bay. Standing at the wheel, the teenager with spiked hair widened his stance but didn’t slow down. Josie clutched the metal container against her chest afraid its contents would spill before she made it to the island.

Was it only a week ago she’d blocked the doorway, denying entry to the two Navy officers on her front stoop? As if not letting them in could somehow manipulate the truth, as if, like Schrödinger’s cat, Alan wouldn’t be dead if they didn’t speak the words. But those officers were on to her little game and outwitted her, guiding her to the couch before she could thwart their intentions.

“Bastard,” she muttered, looking at the urn cradled against her chest. Why had he left instructions that his remains were her responsibility? Hadn’t he hurt her enough when he was alive? Why reach beyond the grave?

The boat slowed and the kid maneuvered toward the pile of weathered wood that passed for a dock these days. He pulled earbuds down around his neck, Safe and Sound still blaring. “Uh, ma’am, are you sure this is where you wanted to go?”

Ma’am? When had thirty gotten old? Josie glanced up at the crumbling bricks. What salt air and harsh Maine winters had started, neglect was finishing. “Yeah, this is it.”

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Digging Up More Than Bones

Another 1k challenge winner! I had fun with these two characters.

“Dr. Grainger?”

The deep whiskey smooth voice broke Annabelle’s concentration and she looked up from the pottery shard she was uncovering. Well-worn black cowboy boots hung over the edge of the excavation pit. Looking higher, she met burnished brown eyes. Those amazing eyes were in a face with bronzed skin, prominent cheekbones and thick black hair worn in a single braid down his back, characteristics of a Navajo ancestry. He wore a white shirt open at the neck, suede jacket, faded jeans and a turquoise studded belt. Definitely a mouth-watering picture.

“Dr. Grainger?”

Caught gawking, Annabelle flushed. “Sorry. Yes, I’m Dr. Grainger. But, please, call me Annabelle.”

She placed her hands on the edge of the pit to heft herself out, but he leaned down and offered her a hand. Before accepting help, Annabelle brushed her dusty hands on her khaki pants. Not that it did much good since her clothes were almost as dirty. His large hand not only swallowed up her smaller one but contrasted with her paler skin. His long fingers and palm were callused.

He easily pulled her out but hesitated before letting go of her hand. Even free of the small pit she had to look up to meet his gaze. Unlike her, he looked and smelled fresh, like leather and spice.

“Thank you,” she said but it came out more like a breathless squeak and she winced.

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