It’s the Wednesday before Christmas and I promised y’all a Christmas story to keep up my yearly tradition. I finished up late last night so if there are typos or other goofs, don’t look a gift story in the editing! Also, today’s #1lineWed theme is **GIFT** so there ya go–my gift to you. Below is the prologue and then click on the last line. That’s the link to the page with the rest of the story. Merry Christmas to All!
Psst. If any writers want to drop some gift words in the comments, yay. Also, readers, did you like your gift?
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
Penumbra Papers #5.25
It’s Beginning to Look…
Stars glittered like snowflakes in a snow globe. The moon, looking slightly smushed, decorated the horizon as the sleek private jet banked for landing at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The dark waters of Lake Ponchartrain rippled below. Sinjen reached over and took Sade’s hand, giving it a little squeeze. For a woman so fearless in every area of her life, it amused him that she was always tense on landings and take-offs. Still, it was a good excuse to be a little romantic.
A red fireball flashed by the window and the jet suddenly nosedived. Curses spilled from Sade in a torrent so rapid every cuss word ran together in a long string that lasted as long as she had breath. The plane righted, banked slightly in the opposite directly and leveled out.
The pilot’s apologetic voice came over the loudspeaker a few moments later. “Sorry about that, boss. Whatever the hell that thing was, it took the tower, us—” He broke off as radio traffic chattered in the background. He returned to his announcement a couple of minutes later. “That sucker took regional air traffic control by surprise too. General consensus is that it was a real UFO. Welcome to the weird that is New Orleans.”
Only then did Sade breathe again. “Damn fuckin’ lucky that he’s a werewolf.”
Sinjen smiled. “True dat,” he agreed, getting into the NOLA spirit. Most magicks had better reflexes than humans and werewolves had excellent ones.
“And so much for a week of rest and relaxation. It’s going to take me that long to get my heart rate back to normal.”
He squeezed her hand. “I’ll see what I can do to distract you.” He leaned in, captured her mouth and continued to kiss her through the pilot’s announcement that they were making the runway approach a second time, followed shortly by “We’re on the ground.” Sinjen broke the kiss as the engines whined down to nothing and the flight crew opened the hatch for them to descend into the balmier temperatures of December in New Orleans.
The historic art deco terminal was festooned with Christmas lights as they walked down the steps to the tarmac. A black Suburban, with a big red nose on the hood and reindeer antlers attached to the roof, idled close by. Luggage was transferred quickly and they were soon ensconced in the back seat.
The drive to the French Quarter was uneventful though colorful. New Orleans was always up for a party and Christmas was a big one. White light glowed around the main entrance to their hotel. The doorman, spiffy and matching the season in his tailored green coat, opened the back door with white-gloved hands.
“Welcome to the Hotel Monteleone.”
SQUEE! I’ll open this gift and enjoy it later, but I’m super excited. :does a little happy dance:
And I actually have a bit to offer you this morning. As soon as you said gift, I knew just the bit to share…
The boy nodded his head, appearing as if he was about to lose a battle with his churning stomach.
“Let us all pray to the Lady you have learned. So very rarely do any of us get a second chance, child. Remember you have had yours and value it.” She held out her hand. “Now, please release your sword to me.”
“It belongs to my fath…”
“And it will be returned to you when you are ready to hold it. You are not ready now.”
He opened his mouth to protest further, but then unbuckled the weapon from his side. He handed it to her. His eyes searched the room and then lighted on Fenwyn. Soon, he was seated beside her and although he said nothing, his hand curled around hers. Aryl noticed they both had wet eyes.
His own thoughts went to Lyra, and he wondered what she was doing—whether their wagon had stopped for the night yet, or if those in the caravan had decided to linger at the marketplace. Going to the city was a long trip and most of the time, those in the caravan would use the visit to fill their stores. His parents using this trip to buy goods unavailable in Northunder wouldn’t be unimaginable. Da could buy a new crossbow and add to their supplies of steel and fletching for making bolts. Ma could get Lyra the material for a new cloak. Lyra herself could use the coins she’d been hoarding to haggle for a new a dagger to match the one she’d given him as a remembrance gift—
“Young mage?” Vere said, breaking into his thoughts. He jumped as if she’d spoken in his ear. Though she still stood yards away, he could swear her breath was blowing hot across his cheek.
“Do we all need another lesson today? Perhaps one about how distraction can kill?”
Awwww! I don’t care how long this book is, or how long it takes you to edit, it is going to be AWESOME! 🥰 Thanks for this gift!
I just finished the story and… THAT… was… AWESOME! Thank you for the amazing gift/story!
And now I’ve got to think about getting ready to go put the finish on our Christmas gift. Do that, eat lunch at a restaurant, harangue poor Hubs about being THIS CLOSE to the animal rescue place and it being Christmas and all… LOL
Poor Hubs. And it IS Christmas. What a happy gift for an abaondoned critter to find its furever home… Just sayin’…
And thanks for being a loyal friend, reader, and “whip cracker” — LOL. Glad you enjoyed that little foray into Penumbra.
Loved the story, Silver. Thank you so much for bringing a smile to my face. Enjoyed your snippet as well, B.E. Looking forward to reading more of this story.
Thanks, Latesha! And you should give B.E.’s books a look-see. This epic fantasy is shaping up to be…EPIC! 😉
Wow, thank you!
You’re weldome. Glad you enjoyed it, Dawn! Merry Christmas! ❤