>> December 23, 2010

WooHoo! My first time hosting Friday Fiction
(even if it's unofficial)

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My Christmas Eve FF story was written during the Christmas quarter of Faithwriters under the topic "Christmas Carols".

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Gladys McKnight and the Kings

“Slow down, Gladys,” Millie begged. “Give me a chance to let the caboose catch up.” Millie referred to her own large square-shaped-back-side.

“Well, hurry it along. This steam engine is ready to roll.” Gladys yanked the chain of her imaginary train whistle.“Woot-woot!”

The daring duo, rebels in their old age, escaped unseen from the confines of the assisted living home to enjoy the annual Christmas tree lighting at the court house.

“Do you see what I see?” Gladys exclaimed pointing upward.

“What?” Millie squinted, “I can’t see anything since my cataract surgery flopped.”

“A star,” Gladys urged Millie to look again. “That star looks like it’s dancing in the night. See, with a tail as big as a kite?”

“Hrmph, all I see is black sky.” Millie’s pessimistic attitude could block out the brightest star.

Millie paused to catch her breath. Earlier, she balked the idea of leaving the comfort of the home. She could see the tree lighting just fine from her spot by the window, but Gladys’ granddaughter was singing and that made it worth the venture.

“We need to get closer so I can take a picture,” Gladys urged, zigzagging through the crowd.

Millie clutched her cane with one hand and firmly grasped Gladys’s coat-tail in her other. “Oh, do you hear what I hear?” Millie jerked on the fabric wadded in her fist.

“No, I can’t hear very well, remember? That’s why we need to get closer!” Gladys fished in her pocket for her camera.

“I hear Melinda singing. Her song is floating high above the trees. I know her voice anywhere. It’s as clear and big as the sea.”

They popped out of the crowd like someone spitting watermelon seeds in July. Gladys’ toothless grin greeted her granddaughter’s sparkling eyes. Her voice filled the air with a jazzy rendition of Joy to the World.

“Excuse me, Miss McKnight,” a young boy pulled at Gladys’s sleeve. “Have you seen the mayor? I have a message for him.”

Gladys pointed with her camera towards the courthouse doors where the mayor always sat during the ceremony, ready to pull the switch to light the tree.

“Who’s that?” Millie squinted in an effort to see better.

“That’s Jacob Shepherd’s boy, Gabe.”

Young Gabe ran up the stairs and slipped inside the courthouse door. “Excuse me, Sir; do you know what I know?” Gabe approached the mayor with polite respect. “Mr. King. I need to tell you something important.”

“Shh,” Mayor King held his hand out to halt the boy. “As soon as Santa arrives on the fire truck I’ll flip this switch and be right with you, Gabriel.”

“But sir, that’s what I need to tell you. Santa isn’t coming.”


Gabe twisted his hat in his hands and continued, “Just outside of town, a child was born in the shivery cold. They couldn’t get through the crowd on the street. They pulled over and delivered him right then and there in the back of his pickup. Fortunately, Joe was hauling feed earlier and made a bed of fresh hay.”

“It’s Marigold and Joey’s baby? She had a boy?”

“Yes. Santa rushed to be there.” Gabe relaxed now that he knew the mayor understood. “It was quite the sight to see Santa running and jingling his silver and gold bells shouting to everyone, I’m a grandpa…I’m a grandpa. He asked me to run here to tell you.

Mayor King rushed out to the microphone when Melinda finished her song. “Listen everyone, listen to what I say.” 

Silence settled on the crowd. “This is highly unusual,” Millie muttered. “This isn’t how the Christmas tree lighting goes.” 

“Listen to what I say. We need to tell people everywhere to pray,” Mayor King announced. “A child was born tonight, amidst our celebration. They couldn’t get through the streets and the baby was born on the side of the road. Marigold and Joseph have welcomed on this glorious night their son. He’s sleeping safe in Mari’s arms. Let’s celebrate the joy of this wonderful birth.” 

Mayor King stopped and whispered in the young messenger’s ear. Gabe ran and took the mayor’s seat inside the doors of the courthouse.

“I’m proud to announce the birth of my grandson, Joshua Christian King.” Mayor King pointed towards the tree. “Gabriel Shepherd, pull that switch!”

Just as the tree lights came on, the fire truck siren announced the entrance of Santa. Instead of carrying a bag of gifts, he held in his arms, wrapped snug and safe in a warm fluffy towel, baby Joshua. Santa handed the pink sleeping infant to the other grandfather. 

“Sorry to interrupt the tree lighting, Dad.” Joseph hugged the beaming mayor. “I thought you’d like a peek at the baby before we whisked him away.”

The next morning the Chronicle’s front page news included a picture of the Mayor holding baby Joshua, Santa and Joseph beaming with pride. The headlines read: Santa and the Three Kings celebrate Christmas. Photo courtesy of Gladys McKnight.

4 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

Rita's Random Ramblings 12/23/2010  

I love this story! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Catrina Bradley... 12/23/2010  

This story is so FUN! And it exudes Christmas joy. Thanks Mari(gold). :-) Thank you also for jumping in and hostessing a Christmas Eve Friday Fiction.
Peace, Faith, and Love,

Hoomi 12/23/2010  

Delightful take on the Christmas song!

Laury 12/24/2010  

I LOVE this story. It made me smile:)

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