Monday, December 7, 2015

Just In Time...


     I bounded behind a bush as fast as I could. My heart raced. We hadn't expected them so soon. The slow moving car stopped in front of the house, the squeaky brakes making me cringe.
     I glanced over at Mike. He was crouched behind a fallen tree by our house, looking over at me with a sharp eye and putting a finger to his lips. I nodded back. I carefully scanned the area for Willy, but couldn't find where he had gone. Apparently Mike could see him; he seemed to be motioning in another direction to someone else.
     The car engine turned off. A long, aching silence fell everywhere around me.
     I slowly rubbed my hands together, then turned them into fists, placing them in front of my mouth and breathing hot air on them. I thrust my hands deep down in my coat pockets, longing for the gloves I left on the front porch. The bone-chilling air sneaked it's way through my coat and slid down my spine. My numbing toes complained to the soggy socks inside my thin boots, and my shoulders began to shake.
     A car door shut, then another soon after. I tried to find Mike's face through the bare branches again. He nodded. It was time --- the moment we had been working for. I swallowed hard as I searched on the frozen ground for the cords. I found one end. But where was the other?
     I could hear their voices now, and the crunchy steps of boots approaching, closer and closer. I had to find it. I gave a panicked look over at Mike, lifting up the one end of the extension cord. "Only one," I mouthed.
     All Mike did was motion to me with his clenched hands to plug the two cords together. He must have not understood. I wasn't ready! You can't mess this up now, Jill, I thought to myself. Not after all we've gone through.
     Desperately, I turned around in my crouched position, searching and feeling for the other end, my hands now shaking. My heart beat in my chest like a bass drum, the pounding working its way up into my ears, faster and faster every step closer they took to the house.
     Then --- there it was! The cord was hidden underneath some dead leaves that had been piled up under the bush in the fall. I snatched up the other end, making sure it was dry, then spun around toward Mike.
     Mike's face lit up with fearful excitement, frantically mouthing the word, "Now! Now!"
     I took a deep breath, then --- plugged the two cords together.
     I turned my head away for a second at the giant flash of light. Squinting back up at the house, relief flooded through me. We did it! We actually did it!
     I glanced back over at Mike. I smiled. He nodded.
     The three of us leaped out of hiding. "Merry Christmas!" we shouted in unison. Mom and Dad gasped while jumping back in surprise as we rushed to meet them by the sidewalk. They stared at us for a moment, dumbfounded, then back up at the fully lighted house.
     "What? How...? You all... did all this?!" Mom exclaimed, gazing up in disbelief at our house.
     "In just three hours?" Dad marveled, a grin spreading across his face.
     We all nodded happily. "An hour for each of us, I guess," Mike responded with an unerasable smile.
     "Do you like it okay?" our little brother, Willy asked with wide eyes.
     "Like it okay?" Mom began.
     "...We like it a bunch!" Dad finished as he grabbed up Willy, whirling him around once. "This is great, guys! We should leave you all home alone more often!" Dad chuckled and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "I bet you made sure these boys did it just right, hmm, Jill?"
     "It was actually Mike's idea," I said. "We had been planning it for quite a while. He told us what to do mostly."
     "And I did almost all the lights on the poles all by myself!" Willy announced, jumping up and down and trying to point at the same time.
     "Well," said Mike, raising an eyebrow, "he had a little help." Everyone laughed, and Dad ruffled Willy's hair.
     As we all started up the porch steps, Mom and Dad kept complimenting how wonderfully everything looked. I snatched up my gloves off the porch swing, and dreamed of thawing out my frozen toes by the fire as I opened the door for everyone.
     I could hardly wait until they got inside --- Mom and Dad hadn't seen anything yet.


  1. Ohhhhhhh . . . I love this! Such a great Christmas story :)

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)

  3. This is awesome, Faith! Me likey ;)

  4. That's such a cute story! Good job!!!!!

  5. Faith, it is a lovely story with suspense and a surprise ending. I love it.

  6. I was not expecting that ending. It was so.... AWESOME!

    Seriously, it was wonderful :D I love your blog!

    ~Bekah the Bookworm

    1. Thank you so much, Bekah! I really appreciate your comment. :)