Flash 500 Day 4 – Writing Prompts:
Keeper of a Family Tradition
Kelcey leaned her forehead against the windowpane and watched the snowflakes swirl into the darkness outside. The icy chill of the glass matched her heart.
Cold . . . Dark . . . Empty . . .
The fresh, pleasant scent of the beautiful fir tree in the corner invaded her darkness, and she tilted her head enough to see the tree without interrupting her contact with the glass. The cold from the glass was penetrating, but real. This room, the tree covered with joy and happiness and circled with a jumble of hopes and dreams? It was fake. Pretend normal.
“What are you doing?”
Kelcey rolled her eyes and cut them towards her little sister. No matter how good or bad life was Eliza was always a pain. “Go away, Lizzie.”
“No! I live here too, you know.” Eliza threw her hands on her hips, squashing her hot pink tutu on each side and looking incredibly like six-year-old version of mom when she was mad. Kelcey swallowed hard. “And don’t call me Lizzie anymore. It’s Eliza Jane.”
Her chastising finished, Eliza began to twirl around the room, lost in an imaginary ballet. Of course that didn’t last.
“Wanna sneak open a present and the pretend to be surprised in the morning?”
“No, that’s cheating.”
“Not if nobody else knows.”
“NO. Mom wouldn’t like it,” Kelcey’s face twisted, “Eliza Jane!” In the reflection on the glass she could see Eliza’s face crumple. “Well you don’t have to be so mean,” Eliza said. “I’ll tell—“
“Just who will you tell, stupid?” Kelcey jerked her forehead from the hard glass and gave Eliza a long stare. She immediately regretted it as she watched the realization register on Eliza’s face.
“I . . . well . . . I’ll tell Santa and he’ll never bring you anything ever again!” she yelled. “You know, I’m not stupid. I know she’s gone and she’s never coming back. I just want things to be the way they used to.” Eliza sat down on the floor. “I just wish things were way they used to be,” she said quietly as she picked at her dance shoes.
Kelcey sighed, turned back to her icy post. Way to be a big, fat jerk sister, stupid.
A huge snowflake plopped against the window right between her eyes, and Kelcey had to pull back to see it better. It was perfect and beautiful, like a paper doily, only with diamonds. Mom always said snowflakes were all the wishes of all the people in the world flying to the earth hoping to become real.
Kelcey swallowed again as she watched the snowflake slowly succumb to the temperature of the warmed glass, then she walked over to the large bookcase in the far corner of the room and pulled out a book. She brushed her hand across the worn cover and smiled.
“Let’s read The Christmas Story.” She said as she plopped down on the loveseat closest to the fireplace. Eliza flew across the room and leapt into the small space beside her.
“Really? Can I turn the pages like always?”
“Of course, you can. But no wiggling, Eliza Jane.”