There's a lot of writing going on this time of year. Cards, lists, letters to the Man with the Bag.
Youngest daughter has written her own letter for the first time ever, which reads Dear Santa I have been good. May I have a dragon L xxx
Not much proper writing midst all the excitement. So I enjoyed the writing challenge my lovely writing friend A set our group. 250 words on the subject of 'holiday', use the word fragile and incorporate some kind of creature or animal and absolutely NO adjectives. Being American she adheres to the Mark Twain dictum
As to adjectives, if in doubt leave them out.
Excellent advice, that I find hard to follow in my writing. So here's my effort-only one or two slips.
She hates the holiday.
Too much food.
Too much booze.
Most of all, too much family.
Her sisters purr like cats with kittens, kittens that wail a chorus of Mine! and abandon her gifts in a heap, unloved, as they crowd round the games console.
Not this year. This year, they are staying at home.
On Christmas Eve she trims the tree with her collection of ornaments. The last is a unicorn; glass the shade of skim milk that fits in her palm.
They grow tipsy on cranberry and vodka watching a thriller. She falls asleep to the rattle of gunfire.
The silence wakes her. Such silence. She pulls open the curtain and sees the icing sugar blanketing pavement and roof. Four in the morning and all the partygoers have stumbled home. Too early for the smallest child to be awake. Snowflakes hover, whirl and settle in the lamplight. She hears a thud and thinks of burglars, breaking in to steal presents. A bang then creak of wood. She pulls on his jumper and steals to the door.
When she opens the front door the creature is on the steps.
Harrumph, it says, as if to mean About time.
Tufted mane the colour of old piano ivory against the snow, the creature inclines its neck and ducks its head. Raises a hoof and looks at her with eyes as unfathomable as night.
-Is this a joke?
She hears him tread softly up the hallway to stand behind her.
She shakes her head and steps outside. The creature’s horn is a twist of pearl the thinness of a pencil. It brushes against her for a moment and disappears into the darkness.