I won second place for the August short story challenge in my group Writers 750 at Goodreads. Here is my story for the month. Enjoy!
was another hot day in the nineties in the Florida Panhandle.There I sat at my laptop looking out at my
tropical garden in the back yard. The wasps were mocking me as they continued
flying around the glass door. Just as I doused the outside door and vinyl
siding with bug spray, the doorbell rang. There was no need to say, “I’ll get
it, honey.” I knew my hubby wouldn’t leave his man-cave.
door squeaked open. There stood a short, stout guy that resembled the actor
Danny Devito in a green velveteen suit with a long, green toboggan hat on his
head. I became aware that my mouth was open, so I composed myself.
Ma’am! It is my good pleasure to tell you that you’ve won a free dinner cruise
for two aboard the Kringle Voyager,” said the elf-like man before me.
I didn’t enter any contest for this. How did we…?”
in this household checked the box when you made a purchase at a vendor web
site. It automatically entered you into the contest drawing.” Yes, I did
remember checking a box. “The only thing is that you’ll have to use your
winning tickets this weekend since dinner cruise season is coming to an end for
you so much! By the way, it’s ninety degrees out here with high humidity. How
do you manage that suit in this weather?”
Elf smiled and said, “Mr. Kringle only uses a special fabric that keeps the
body cool in subtropical temperatures. He owns the patent on it – made in the
little man turned and got back into his Chevy hatchback that had a wrapped
digital print advertising Kringle Dinner Cruises. I immediately entered the
hubby’s man-cave and shared the news about the dinner cruise.
so happened that the next day was Saturday. We made our reservation for that
evening. It turned out that the Kringle Voyager was a river boat that cruised
Saint Andrew Bay and Upper Grand Lagoon. The life preservers had graphics of
Christmas wreaths and ornaments on them. The attendants were all dressed in the
same green velveteen fabric with toboggans. They all looked related if not
cloned from the same Mr. Elf that had delivered the winning tickets. The food
looked very festive with watermelon cut in the shape of Christmas trees; olives
and pickles had little red Santa hats; dinner rolls were stacked in threes to
resemble snow men; and best of all: the center piece was a pineapple with the
spiky leaves on top from which hung many colorful Christmas ornaments. My heart
leaped inside at such wonderful details. But the best was yet to come.
a fine meal of turkey, salad, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, we enjoyed
beautiful choir numbers performing songs of old and songs that I had never
heard. There was even a short ballet rendition of the Nut Cracker. For the
final number, Kris Kringle himself took center stage wearing a tropical print
shirt, board shorts, a flower lei necklace, and a straw hat. He held a ukulele
and began to strum a rhythm as he began to sing Mele Kalikimaka, a Hawaiian
Christmas song.Mrs. Clause joined him
in a grass skirt, white lei necklace and headband, and a coconut shell bikini.
She began to do a little Hawaiian dancing to the festive song. After the song
ended, we all raised our glasses in a toast to “peace on earth, good will
toward men”. The band played as couples got up from the table to dance. The
hubby and I made our way to the side of the ship. A small pod of dolphins swam
along side of our riverboat. The lights glistened off of their skin as they hit
the surface only to dive back in.
is the best time I’ve ever had with you in our thirty-four years of marriage.”
agree, sweetie. My love for you has grown deeper over the years. I would do it
all over again.”
too, babe. I’m so glad that I have you.”
embraced and savored the moment. This was and will be a great memory to look
back on through the years.
I consider the art work below to be some of my best. All were done during my college years 1980 - 1982 except for the sketch of the gorilla done when I was married and living in South Florida. The first sketch below of Jesus still hangs on the wall at a Church of the Nazarene in Chuckey, TN. The others were drawn for my art class at Kentucky Mountain Bible College.
A Special thanks to my Aunt Jane who provided my art supplies while I was going to school out of state with no means to buy my own.
I debated posting these at a large size. Art can't be appreciated if it is too small; detail is lost. Enjoy!
Elijah Ascends to Heaven - done with colored pencils
The Babe Moses - done with colored pencils
The Risen Christ - done with wax & oil crayon/oil pastel
The Good Samaritan - done with wax & oil crayon/oil pastel
One of the best trailers of The Originals that I've seen. Sorry to see they are making the final season. Here's an highlight reel that retraces the Mikaelson's past, while providing a glimpse of what the future holds for the family.