Archive | December 2016

Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells #4

For December, Chrys. N. Jay brings a new tale to Tuesday Tales – a Christmas romance, Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells. Join us for the next four weeks as the story snippets are written to two picture prompts and two word prompts.

Week One and Week Three are picture prompt weeks. These snippets will be short, as they’re limited to 300 words.

This week we’re writing to the word prompt ‘snow’.

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A light sprinkling of snow lit briefly on her cheeks. Katie looked away from the window and up towards the sky. A sprinkling of fluffy white flakes drifted through the air. Though not sticking on the ground…yet…the change in the weather spurred Katie into motion. She hurried the last few blocks towards home, anxious to get inside and crank up the heater.

Once inside she hung her jacket on the coat tree and nudged the thermostat up a few degrees. Her cat, PJ, met her in the kitchen, rubbing up against her ankles as soon as she flicked on the lights.

“I know PJ. You’re hungry. Hold on for a few.”

The urgent meows continued while the head butts against her skins got more insistent.

“Hold on little girl. You’re not going to die if you don’t get fed right this instant.”

PJ’s cries increased in volume.

Katie picked up the insistent feline and headed towards the pantry to retrieve a can of PJ’s favorite, flaky tuna and egg. Looking at the food dish on the floor, she saw the kitten’s problem. “Oh. I see now. You were almost ready to die of hunger. Your dish is only half full of crunchies. You poor starved little thing.”

PJ meowed in agreement.

Once the cat was taken care of and had a full belly, Katie rummaged in the refrigerator to see what she had for her own dinner. Not much. She been spending too much time working on client’s designs and purchasing supplies to make their dream holiday visions come to life that she hadn’t spent enough time in the grocery store stocking up on her own necessities.

Oh well. It’s not like there’s anyone else to cook for.

She pulled out a loaf of bread and decided to throw together an easy sandwich.

cnj_hot-teaAn uneasy feeling, apparent since her phone call with her friend Sally, had been tugging at the corners of her heart. She didn’t know why she was feeling so dissatisfied at the moment. Thinking she must be overly tired, she decided to have an easy night. No planning. No creating centerpieces. Just her and PJ and a sappy movie. She made a cup of hot chamomile tea, dropped in a lemon slice, and carried it to the living room.

CNJ_kitten on lap.jpgAs she settled down on the sofa, PJ hopped up beside her and began kneading the top of her thigh. Making room for the cat who proceeded to curl up in her lap, Katie picked up the remote and surfed to find something interesting to watch.

Searching the channels, she found one of the popular holiday movies, which wasn’t too far along, and started watching it. About ten minutes in it dawned on her – of course, this would be one that had a drippy, romance worked into the Christmas plot.

She watched for a while until the sweet romantic scenes had her almost in tears. Jabbing at the ‘off’ button with a vengeance, she shut the television down and headed for bed, leaving the dregs of her cold tea sitting on the coffee table for the night.

Sleep came fitfully that night, and Katie was glad when the alarm finally buzzed. Getting up she peered out the window to check and see if a white world awaited her. Seeing that the snowfall had melted, leaving no trace of its presence, she decided to walk to work again. Maybe another brisk walk would help her release some frustrations.

An hour later, Katie stood at the doorway to her office, stomping her feet to remove the damp bits stuck to her boots. Her phone rang as she entered the dark premises.

“Hello. Even-Glow Designs. Katie speaking.”

“Katie Owen?”

“This is she.”

“This is Ryan, with Bryrwick Electric. I was making a follow-up call about your outage. Has your power been restored?”

Katie leaned over and flipped a switch. Nothing. “Nope. Still out.”

“All right. I’m at the transformer at the end of the block. I’ll be there in about five minutes.”

Katie plopped down on the loveseat usually reserved to show clients different possible design options. No sense in taking off her jacket in the frigid office. She certainly couldn’t go bump the heat higher with no power.

She hadn’t sit there for long when she heard footsteps approaching her door. The door sprung open and man stood in the doorway, his silhouette highlighted by the bright sunlight outside. Looking up at the six foot plus figure standing there, Katie almost thought it was a flashback from the movie from the evening before. Except for the grizzly stubble on his cheeks and chin and the hefty electricians belt around his far from tubby waist, the handsome vision standing before her was unlike any of the utility companies workers that she’d seen before.

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Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells #3

For December, Chrys. N. Jay brings a new tale to Tuesday Tales – a Christmas romance, Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells. Join us for the next four weeks as the story snippets are written to two picture prompts and two word prompts.

Week One and Week Three are picture prompt weeks. These snippets will be short, as they’re limited to 300 words.

Return here for more Tuesday Tales reading.

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When she found out that the electric company wouldn’t send anyone out until the morning, Katie decided to close for the day. Sure, she could make phone calls from her cell phone, but since she couldn’t see the paperwork in front of her face, there wasn’t a whole of lot of productive work that would get done.

Besides, it’s after four and it’s almost dark. Better head on home. I hate these short December days.

After locking up, Katie strode down the street, heading towards her house. Living only two miles from her office, she tried to walk to work whenever possible. The morning, while chilly, was still pleasant enough for a brisk walk. Although, on the days where she had to tote in boxes of supplies by the bushel, she drove her trusty Jeep.

The sun dropped from the horizon before she got very far. As the evening darkened, sparkling Christmas lights began appearing on trees and rooftops.

Everyone was busy last weekend. They’ve decked out the whole neighborhood.

She tucked her collar tighter around her neck to ward off the evenings cold and slowed her pace to enjoy the scenery of the houses bedecked in their Christmas glory.

The house on the corner caught her attention and she stood gazing at the scene visible through the window. Inside, a gaily decorated home shone brightly in contrast to the darkness around her. Brightly wrapped packages surrounded the decorated tree in the corner. Lights twinkled from the tree and the mantle, while a display of flickering flames gleamed from a display of brilliant red candles.

While beautiful to view, it wasn’t much different than Katie’s own festive decorating jobs. What brought a wistful longing to her heart was seeing it from the outside and envisioning this scene in her own home. If only she had a loving partner to share such a setting with.

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Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells #2

For December, Chrys. N. Jay brings a new tale to Tuesday Tales – a Christmas romance, Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells. Join us for the next four weeks as the story snippets are written to two picture prompts and two word prompts.

Week One and Week Three are picture prompt weeks. These snippets will be short, as they’re limited to 300 words.

This week we’re writing to the word prompt ‘bar’.

Return here for more Tuesday Tales reading.

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“…rats!”

“What? That all sounds great. I think they’d love it. What’s the problem?” Sally sounded confused.

“No, no. The décor is fine. The power just went out here. No lights. No computer. I can’t see a thing in this back room with no window.” Katie fumbled her way slowly to the door, trying to avoid banging a shin on any boxes or furniture.

Sally laughed. “Did you pay your bill?”

“Yes…I paid the bill.” Katie’s annoyance crept into her voice as she raised her voice in reply.

“Geesh. I was just kidding. Take a chill pill, gal.”

“Easy for you to say. You’re not so swamped that you’re running your hinney off for the next four weeks without a break. I do not have time to deal with a power outage today.”

“Methinks you need a little lovin’, my friend. That would take the edge of your stress.”

Katie finally finagled her way to the door and flung it open. At least the daylight streaming in the front window of the small quasi-showroom lit the interior enough so she could see where she was walking. “Ha! First of all, that would require…what’s that? Time. Which I thought we’d already determined I don’t have enough of. And secondly…I’d need a boyfriend for that. Of which I’m also lacking.

“You could always hit the bar one night.”

“Nope.” Katie shook her head for emphasis, as if Sally could see it from her cell phone. “Not gonna happen. I’m not into players and one night stands. Besides, it’s dangerous anymore.”

“True dat.” Another heavy sigh followed.

Katie mused about how Sally loved being dramatic whenever she had the chance. She was used to it after all these years. Katie doubted that Sally even knew how melodramatic she could be. “Hey, I’ve got to go. The power’s still out. I need to call and see if I can find out what’s going on.”

“Keep me posted. Maybe the electric company will send out a hunk o’ burning love to fix the problem.”

“Now you’re dreaming. Have you seen the guys working for them? Lots of beer bellies and chauvinistic attitudes from the ones I’ve seen.”

“Isn’t Christmas the season of miracles?”

“Good-bye, Pollyanna.” With a punch of a button, Katie ended the call and scrolled through her contacts looking for the number of the power company.

She wished she could be as optimistic and cheerful as her friend was. Even on a good day, far away from the two month holiday season that temporarily derailed her life, Katie knew she wasn’t ever as positive as her friend was. She wished she could be. At times she almost thought she’d brightened up her attitude. And about then she was smack dab in the middle of the frantic rush. Everyone wanted parties. Everyone wanted Katie for the job. Everyone wanted her to plan their events and decorate their homes. And everyone wanted everything perfect. Oh, and for very little money.

By New Year’s Day, Katie was always ready to ditch the company and go back to a nine-to-five job.

Fortunately, by the time the Rose Parade was over, she’d rethought that decision and knew she couldn’t do it. She loved what she did too much to stop. She thrived on coming up with unique, creative designs. Her signature décor was what had customers returning year after year. She also had enough of an administrative talent that she could plan all the details, keep the event on track, and stay under budget.

On top of all of those reasons, she also knew that there wasn’t any way she could go back to working for a boss, punching a timeclock, working eight hours a day following someone else’s commands.

With the phone ringing on the other end, Katie thought about how happy she was with her life and her career. However…a little thought nagged at the corner recesses of her brain…a special someone to share her life with would be nice too.

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Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells #1

For December, Chrys. N. Jay brings a new tale to Tuesday Tales – a Christmas romance, Jingle Bells – Here Love Dwells. Join us for the next four weeks as the story snippets are written to two picture prompts and two word prompts.

Week One and Week Three are picture prompt weeks. These snippets will be short, as they’re limited to 300 words.

Return here for more Tuesday Tales reading.

 

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“C’mon, Katie…please? With sugar on top? The seniors would love you to death. Do you know how many brownie points you’d score with them?”

“Sally…really…do you have any idea how crazy my December is?” Katie took a deep breath and tried to remain calm so she didn’t strangle her best friend. She knew Sally meant well. Working at the senior center gave her friend a purpose. It was something she was passionate about it. But that didn’t mean that Katie had the time available to help her friend out. “You know my December is back to back parties. Without all the holiday festivities, my event planning business would likely be bust by now.”

“You can’t even sneak one little luncheon in? It’s during the week, not on a weekend.” Sally was nothing if not persistent.

Katie sighed, knowing that Sally would keep at it until she got her way. And she usually did. That was what their friendship had been like since they’d met each other in junior high. “What day is the luncheon scheduled?”

“Wednesday. The twenty-first.”

Scanning the large calendar on the wall, Katie saw that that day was clear. Unlike the two days after it, which were blocked solid with tasks and chores for the Johnson’s huge Christmas Even event. But that Wednesday was clear, with a few light days in the week coming up, which would give her time to scour for last minute decorations for this unexpected party planning event.

“Okay. You win. Something easy though?”

Sally’s cheer at the other end of the line was an evident answer. “Yes! And easy is fine. They’d be happy with any holiday cheer your holiday decorating can bring them.”

“I’m thinking natural. Fresh green boughs, pinecones, maybe candles in aspen or birch holders…” Before she could continue, the office was plunged into darkness.

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