The Night Before Christmas

All was well. The fire hummed happily in the corner, the light-show of fake flames rolling up predictably above the plastic logs. On the mantelpiece above, candles studded with berries and cinnamon filled the air with a sweet festive spice. Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole crooned away in the background.

The sofas were straightened up, each pillow lovingly plumped. The decorations on the Christmas tree twisted idly on their strings. The dog lay sprawled in front of the fire, staring up at it with glassy eyes. In the kitchen, bottles of bleach lined the sink and the puddle beneath the thawing chicken dripped slowly off the edge of the worktop.

Along the centre of the dining table, the freshly sharpened carving knives glinted in the candlelight. The shovel and tarp stood by the back door, wet with snow. Out across the dark lawn, rabbits struggled against snares, foam flecking their jaws, and down in the basement, mice wriggled helplessly against the sticky mire of glue traps.

Moira was suddenly struck by a pang of worry, and hurried to check the fridge. She breathed a sigh of relief. She had not forgotten the cranberry sauce. She turned to the pot simmering on the stove, and gently prodded her husband’s head back below the surface of the soup with the ladle. She took a sip and closed her eyes in bliss. Yes. All was well.

Happy #WritingAdvent! Day 11’s prompt was to start a brand new story with a much loved ending. Do I even need to tell you I chose Harry Potter? If you enjoyed this, I encourage you to try it yourself – pick a final line from a book you love and use it as inspiration to start a new story. And then send me a link so I can read it! Happy writing 🙂

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