Flash Fiction Challenge

This morning while drinking coffee and watching my boys play Mario Galaxy I got a burr up my butt to participate in Dan Alatorre’s Flash Fiction Challenge, and for once, I had the time. Although the way things are going, I think I might have the time more often these days. There will be more on that later this week.

This challenge had some questions, then the story call…


Naughty or nice?

LOL. Do I have to be one or the other? I got a prize for bringing niceness to the world at our Nano wrap up party, so does that mean I am nice? Or that my Nano compatriots really appreciate the baked goods I bring?

Under the tree I want to see…

I wanted only two things for Christmas. A) to lose the last 45 pounds I am schlepping around. That won’t be under the tree, it’s still on my -, well anyway, it won’t be under the tree. B) to raise my Amazon ranking on Scripting the Truth. I am launching a free give away in three days so maybe, just maybe, I might find a better ranking around Christmas, or maybe right after, LOL.

Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Day and we have a routine. I’ll give an example. First person opens a present and gets a new lego kit. We all assemble the new lego kit, play with it, find a new home for it, and pick out a toy that will be donated in it’s place before the next person opens the next present. If it’s a movie, we watch the movie. If it’s a book we might read the first chapter or two out loud for the kiddo. If it’s a game, we play. You get the idea. Makes opening presents last all day and sometimes into the next day.

A visit to the relatives involved (you go see them or they come see you)

My son was always a little complicated. He learned to army crawl, elbows down, dragging his body when he was just four months old. He learned to walk/toddle by seven months. He completely skipped the crawling stage until his first Christmas. We went to stay with my in laws and my husband’s cousin, his wife, and daughter were visiting from the Netherlands for the holiday. The little girl was only two months older than my son and boy could she crawl. When he saw how that the girl could get everywhere faster than him, within a few hours my kiddo was crawling.

Go to Church?

No thanks. I’ve been, my in laws are Catholic, midnight mass was a big thing.

Big family dinner?

Not lately. We moved out of state a couple years ago so now Christmas is quiet. I used to do alternate big in law gathering on Christmas or Christmas Eve, open house at my house the opposite day. Where we lived before a lot of people were isolated, no family, or issues with their family, so we had an open house. Up here, people are closer to their families it seems. I don’t know anyone in this area with no where to go on Christmas so I don’t do an open house, I switched to a Sinterklaas Party, Dec 5.

big family brunch?

Not for Christmas. For every other family gathering with my in laws though, LOL.

Booze??? Anybody cross the line every year?

sigh. I’m not sure I should talk about this on the web but there is a member of my extended family who gets drunk every year and pisses off my husband with his inappropriate commentary, looks, hugs, etc towards me. LOL.

Anybody cross the line under the mistletoe?

No mistletoe. See above answer.

Best Christmas EVER – you have 1,000 words to tell us about the best Christmas you ever had. Make us misty eyed for your personal Rosebud sled! Great writing has to be personal.

It was hot, over ninety but the air conditioning was turned up to make the house a chillier sixty five. We all were wearing our Christmas sweaters over sun dresses and shorts. The decorations had been hung with haste not care but each of us smiled to each other as we shoved them here and there. All bets were off on the standard agreement that gifts would be only for the children, possibly because there was no time to organize a Secret Santa for the adults. We baked traditional dutch goodies, paper nochen and bitter ballen. My husband fried up some Ollibollen even though they are more for New Year’s than Christmas. The talk by adults when the children were not in the room, only emphasized the unreal quality of the day. “It was ridiculous we were doing this because she was going to beat this thing. She beat it before. She would beat it again. But she wanted Christmas in June so we would give her the best Christmas in June ever.” Smile. Laugh. Sing carols by the roasting fire. “But we’d all be back in December when she beat this and we would do it again for real.”

When all was ready we wheeled my mother in law out in her wheel chair. Her grandchildren clamored to sit in her lap. My son got there first and she granted him the spot of honor. He always was her favorite, though she took pains to hide it. While the kids got fun toys to play with in the hot afternoon sun, and the adults opened funny little gifts, slipper socks and second hand books, I watched the family. And when everyone went out to play, I got something more infinite. I got the time to sit with my mother in law and ask her about her relationship with my son. To jot down everything she said about him. To show her pictures of him and her and write down what she said in response, her memories, her love, her dreams for him. To make a scrap book for him of his precious Oma.

She didn’t beat it of course. Or this Christmas wouldn’t have been so precious. The last Christmas my son got with his Oma. The Christmas I got to immortalize the special love this kind woman, who would never have admitted she had a favorite in life, had for my son.


4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s