Monday, 28 October 2013

Christmas at Carol’s by Victoria Parsons

This story was written for the Tales by the Tree - a Flash Fiction Anthology, written by Victoria Parsons and I am hosting it on her behalf.

                                                Christmas at Carol’s by Victoria Parsons
                                                            E-Book - Yes

   Floating not falling, the moons making magic with the snowflakes. Perfect. I open the patio doors to let the sprinkles swim in. The silk tablecloth, all the best crystal tiered down the middle, you got to go that extra mile, I mean they’re coming a long way to get here. There’s always the stragglers, uninvited, got to welcome them too. Bing croons about Christmas’s before and the candles bluster with his velvety breath.
   “Good Girl!” Aunt Maggie ruffles in from the hallway, lifts a martini glass and winks.
   “Port, you always forget the port.” Bampy Jack wiggles his ginger moustache.
   “No fool like an old fool, right in front of your mince pies.” Cousin May nips his cheek. “Now pour me the bubbles.”
   “No Dancing?” Uncle Joe pulls Betty May by her feather bower and they glide.
   “Forever Dancing.” She sighs dreamily over his shoulder.
   “Such a treat.” My dear sister curls catlike into the sofa.
   “Treats! We love treats!” The twins come scampering out from under the table.
  “Cherries Carol?  Cherries, bowl of, life and all.” Nanny Meg shouts over the din.
   I open the fridge door and find Houdini hiding on top of the turkey, smoking a cigar. “Sssshhh” He passes the cherries out.
   A Peruvian snake charmer pops up from behind the sofa. His flute seduces the fairy lights into a tightrope across the table. Charlie Chaplin’s up there balancing with his cane whilst Dean Martin and James Brown try to outdo Bing at the piano. 
   Sally Jane’s juggling satsumas. Two, three, eight, twelve turning orange orbs that stay in orbit when she moves away, pulls a cracker with Billy Ray.
    “Turn on the TV, Luna 13 is landing on the moon.” A mouth in a mistletoe topped trilby yells.
  “You’re so behind the times.” Cousin May dances the Charleston around the bobbing hat.
  “Cake cake cake.” A toothless woman chuckles, hiccups, hitches down her red tutu and disappears through the wall.
 We dance, we drink, we toast all the dear dead ones that haven’t made it and we laugh like life never runs out. The phone rings, glasses halt mid air, eyes flit, toes tip and legs lean to leaving.
   Ring. Chaplin’s out into the night stepping across the stars.
   Ring. Aunt Maggie swallows her olive and dives away into her Martini.
   Ring. The twins turn bunny and borough out through the carpet.
   Ring. The Piano stops playing.
   Ring. Satsumas thud to the floor.
   Ring. The snow’s falling not floating now.
  My daughters voice comes out of the answer machine, there’s giggling and drunken voices sing Jingle Bells at me from the black box. “Come round Mum, come now, we hate to think of you on your own.”
   From behind the silver curl of her cigarette smoke Garbo raises an eyebrow at me. “You want to be alone?”
  “I never am.” 

This story appears in 'Tales by the Tree' an anthology of flash fiction - 75 stories from over 40 authors
It is available to purchase at Amazon in print or for Kindle (these are Amazon Uk links but it is available at .com


  1. Loved the detail! "Bing croons about Christmas’s before and the candles bluster with his velvety breath" is pure magic.

    1. I've passed your comment on to Victoria - thanks for looking in Mary!