Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It is the season when spirits are high and everyone seems to be walking around with a smile. Well except for maybe those dashing through the malls and trying to get ready for the season. Christmas is also a time, which for many is a time of struggles and sorrow. Here are three flash fiction stories about a Christmas miracle, a magic candle and an ill advised ride on a train.
The Christmas Tree
”Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree…”
“Dad, do you really have to sing? I mean isn't it bad enough you drug us out here in the middle of nowhere to get a Christmas tree.”
“Yeah dad, you can get a perfectly good tree at one of the many lots around the city.”
“It’s what your mother would’ve wanted. She always enjoyed coming out here and picking out a tree. I’m trying to honor her memory. I hoped you two would understand.” Some tears slipped from his eyes. He turned to find his son and daughter also crying. He walked over and hugged them. “I promise if we don’t find a tree soon we’ll go home. Now can we keep looking for a tree?”
They shook their heads.
“Ok, but can we hurry? It's freezing out here.” Said Laura, the daughter.
“Wimps!” Dad called out as he threw snow at his kids. They took off through the woods. Suddenly dad stopped. He felt the children run into him.
“Dad, why did you stop?”
“Tyler…Laura…look.” He pointed ahead to a clearing.
The children looked ahead. There before them stood the most beautiful Christmas tree they’d ever seen.
“Dad, look there is someone decorating the tree.” Said Tyler.
“Wait,I didn’t see anyone there before.” Said Dad
“What are you three doing standing there? You know this tree is not going to decorate itself.”
The person decorating the tree turned around.
“I know…I know, but I was allowed to come back to help you decorate the tree one last time. So get over here and let’s get to work.”
They all just stood there.
“Well what are you waiting for? The tree is not going to decorate itself.
They stood there for a moment and then slowly made their way over to the tree.
“Gloria, I don’t understand. How can you…”
She laid her hand on his face. The hand felt so warm and real.
“Don’t try to understand. Just know I’m here for you now.”
They all rallied around the tree. As they decorated the tree they laughed, chatted then laughed some more. After what seemed like hours they stood back and gazed at the tree. It looked so beautiful adorned with brightly colored bulbs, tinsel and an Angel on top.
“Do you all like the tree?”
“Mom, it’s so beautiful.” Said the children.
“Yes dear. It’s almost the same as the one we had last year before you…”
“I think so too.” She said, “But I think it is missing one thing.”
She walked over and put a hand on his shoulder. “Yes, the lights.”
Suddenly the tree was ablaze with the light of thousands of bulbs.”
“Now dear you and the kids go celebrate the season and live your lives. Sure they’ll be some pain but you have to move on.”
“I know dear but it is hard.”
She kissed him on the cheek. “My time here is almost done. Please promise me you will try to carry on. There is still life to be had. Now I must go. Merry Christmas my love.”
The alarm clock's warning woke him from his sleep. “Only a dream.” He stirred out of bed and opened his bedroom door. He noticed the doors to the children’s rooms were ajar. He called out their names. They answered from below.
“Dad come quickly. You’re not going to believe it.”
He rushed down the steps and turned into the living room. There before him were his kids standing in front of the tree from the forest decorated exactly the same. On the front of the tree hung two special ornaments, one for the children and one for him. Tears slid down his cheeks.
The Christmas Candle
“Dad, look at this candle. It looks very old.”
“You’re right Lily. And look, it's a luminary.”
“Yeah, see how there’s a winter scene on the side with little holes in it.”
“Well, when you put a candle inside and turn out the lights it will show the scene on the walls.”
“Oh cool! Can we buy it?”
“Yeah I guess. It’s only $20 bucks.”
“I wish mom could be here.”
“Yeah, I wish she could be here too. I miss her so much..”
The candle flashed.
“Dad, did you see that?”
“The candle flashed.”
He looked at the candle. “It must have a trick of the light. See, there is no candle inside.”
“I guess you’re right but I could have sworn…”She looked at the candle. Maybe it was just her imagination. “Never mind.”
They left the store and went home. When they got home she took the candle out and set it on the mantle.
“Go get ready for dinner.”
“Dad, are we having pizza again?”
“Of course, do you want my cooking?”
She looked at her dad. “No pizza is fine.”
“Now go get ready. Pizza will be here soon.”
“Dad, the doorbell.”
“Yeah, I’ll get it. Now, go get ready.”
Joe walked over to the door. He opened it to find a woman there holding two pizza boxes.
“Come in a second.” He shut the door behind them. “How much do I owe you?”
“Oh, pizza is on the house. Merry Christmas Joe.”
“It was then he saw the woman for who she was. His dearly departed wife.
“Don’t be concerned with the specifics dear…just enjoy the time the Christmas wish has allowed us.”
“Christmas wish? I don’t understand.”
“The candle on the mantle is magical. It grants but one wish each Christmas. You wished me here.”
“Mom!” Lily gasped as she dashed across the room. She embraced her mom. “My wish came true.”
“Yes it did sweetie. Now come let us enjoy the time we have together before the candle’s magic runs out.“
The Christmas Train - The New Rider
Jan stepped aboard the train.
”Ticket please.” Said the conductor.
She handed him the ticket.
The conductor looked at it. He started to punch the ticket but stopped.
“Is there something wrong?” Jan asked as a worried look crossed her face.
”No nothing. I’ve never seen a ticket headed in that direction before. Here you go. Merry Christmas and enjoy your ride.”
”Thank you…Merry Christmas to you too.”
Jan sat and stared out the window. She thought to herself. “Why am I doing this? I broke it off with him. Why am I so trying to see how his life worked out? Maybe I’m hoping he is miserable. No, it’s not why. It’s to see how I end up, which is not allowed under the rules of the Christmas train.”
“2031, the conductor yelled. Coming up in 2031.”
“What good was going to come from this.” She thought. “No she had to go through with it for her own sanity.”
The train came to a stop. She got up and headed for the exit.
“Enjoy your stay,”The conductor called to her. “I hope you find what you're looking for.”
Truth was she did know what she was looking for. She exited the train, made her way through the station and out the station doors. She waved down a taxi.
“Can you please take me to 131 41st Street?”
The cab pulled away from the curb.
“You’re here.” Called back the driver. That’ll be $12.50.”
She got out and looked up at the office building.
“You sure you want to do this?”
She turned to find an old woman with a purse standing there. The woman looked to be in her sixties or seventies.
“Who are you and how do you know what I’m doing?”
“Name is Agnes. I’m an Angel who watches over those humans who need extra care. Humans like you.”
“Angels don’t exist.”
Agnes looked down at herself. “Seems like I’m real. Besides, you came here on a magical train. Which by the way is powered by the Creator and His angels, namely Tom and crew. If you believe in the train how can you not believe in me?”
“So you’re an angel.”
“Now we have that settled. You’re here because you want to see if Tom has settled in with someone else. I can assure you the matter is being worked on. The boss sent me here to stop you before the proper course of events can transpire.”
Agnes snapped her fingers. They were back at the train station. “Now if you please take the return train trip and wait it out.”
Jan stood there for a moment. Finally she entered the station. “Hopefully the Angel is right.” She thought. “But what if she isn’t?”
The rest of this story can be found in my story “The Three Angels of Christmas“
© 2021 Timothy Whitt