Christmas Gifts #fridayflash #fridayfictioneers #100words

I love the sweet simplicity of  this week’s photo prompt by Madison Woods. Here’s the story it inspired:

Christmas Gifts
     Joey poked his head through the door. “Close your eyes.”
     “Oh, honey. Not now. I’m cooking.” I turned so he wouldn’t see I’d been crying.
     “Come on, Mom. I’ve got a surprise for you,” he pleaded.
     I shut my eyes. They burned beneath my lids.
     “Don’t open them until I say so.”
     “I won’t.”
     I heard him groan a bit, some rustling, the creak of the shutting door.
     “Almost done,” he said. “Okay, open your eyes.”
     A tiny tree. A smile beaming on Joey’s face.
     “Before Dad left, he said to be sure you had a Christmas tree.”
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14 Responses to Christmas Gifts #fridayflash #fridayfictioneers #100words

  1. Jan, your story, even though it's only a hundred words, made me cry. Very awesome story!

  2. cleveroldowl says:

    Very sweet story, Jan. great pace too.

  3. Russell says:

    Bittersweet. Salty tear and joyful smiles. It all goes with the territory. Beautifully captured in only a few short words. Well done!

  4. elmowrites says:

    This story was really sad – you capture it so perfectly in a hundred words. In the end I decided that Dad had to go away for business / war rather than leaving the family; I hope that's the right interpretation.Beautiful!

  5. I liked the story. It left "reasons" as a mystery; was he going to war, did he leave her for personal reasons? But if he did, why was he concerned she had a tree? I love mysteries. Great story.

  6. Dear Jan,I once had a woman come up to me after I'd read a piece of mine on an open mic. She said, "You made me cry and I hate you for it." The last was a reflection of who she was, a tough forensic pathologist, and it made her compliment all the sweeter.I pay it forward to you now. You made me cry, and I don't hate you for it. Thanks for writing such a heartbreaking and heartwarming tale.Aloha,Doug

  7. Linda Palund says:

    Oh, Jan! that was terrific. It really was an entire short story – and all the details were perfect. Your eyelids burning, the child beaming, the little tree.Almost a memory, it was so evocative…Lindaura

  8. Madison Woods says:

    Yes, you made my eyes burn too Jan. That was poignant, and I loved it.

  9. That's really sweet, Jan. Well done. You captured all the emotion in so few lines. 🙂

  10. Jan Morrill says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. I'm on the road today, but look forward to reading yours tomorrow!

  11. Robin Hawke says:

    What I loved is how well I knew the dad by the end…Robin

  12. Susan Wenzel says:

    I love how children can step up into a parental role. Good story with a sweet ending. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Ruth says:

    I only have one word to say, "Wow!"

  14. Vincent says:

    I like the control you kept over the story. In less skillful hands it would have been overly sentimental, instead it's subtle and poignant. I especially like that you chose the little boy's action to drive the story, instead of mom's. Good choice.

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