About A Good Thing
Author: Julia Talbot
Word Count: 10100
Page Count (pdf): 35
Date Published: 12/05/2017
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
File Types available: pdf, epub, mobi
Dan hates to be known as the ‘Christmas Fire Guy’, but he is, thanks to the accident that ruined his holiday three years ago. He lets Chris know what he thinks of the time of year, too, when they meet on the street. Chris is full of holiday cheer, and determined to remind Dan how good it can be to celebrate. He’s got the Santa hat, the hot chocolate, and the good will toward his fellow man. All Dan has to do is let Chris into his house, and his heart, to realize what a good thing Christmas can be.
This is a previously published title. The publisher has changed.
Once upon a time I was a real Christmas fan.
Oh, yeah. I decorated. I waited patiently for Santa. I believed. It wasn’t just childish faith. It was adult zeal. Wreaths, strings of twinkly lights, a fresh cut tree every year. I would bellow Christmas carols like a bridge troll, all deep voice and enthusiasm, if not skill.
That was all before Christmas Eve, Two Thousand and Four. Or what I like to call Black Christmas.
It’s going to sound impossible, like one of those “Urban Myth or True Tale?” TV shows. I swear it’s the truth, though. I was waiting for my friend and pretty regular fuck-buddy Anthony to show up. Mulling cider, making those break and bake cookies, I was watching White Christmas. It was like, midnight, it was snowing, and it looked like paradise outside, all glowing lights on pristine white.
That should have told me something.
About the time I pulled the cookies out of the oven, I heard the screech of brakes and the crash tinkle of a car hitting something. Hard. Sounded like it came from the tight-assed curve that ran out in front of my property. I had one of those little four acre lots on the creek, with the little stone fence that bordered the road…
Dropping the cookies on the stovetop, I grabbed my jacket and my phone, heading out to see if someone needed help.
The car was lodged in my rock wall, halfway through it, in fact, front wheels still spinning. Bile rose in my throat when I realized the car was a familiar red Mazda, the sporty, low-slung front all crushed up.
I pelted through the snow, slipping and sliding, dialing 911 as I went. Jesus, I thought, oh Jesus, just let him be all right.
Anthony wasn’t all right. He had a concussion, a cracked collarbone, and two broken legs.
“Fucking hate snow, Dan,” he said when the ambulance pulled away. “Fucking hate Christmas.”
So much for my nice Christmas Eve fuck, huh? I was going to the house to close up and grab my keys, meaning to follow Anthony to the hospital. Stomping the mud and snow off my boots (my yard was not so pristine, now, with boot tracks all over) I stopped, sniffing the air.
Shit. Something was burning.
I ran into the kitchen just in time to see flames shoot out of the oven, the cook top already burning merrily away. The potholder I’d used to pull the cookies out looked like a cinder, and the counter next to the stove caught even as I reached for the little fire extinguisher I kept by the sink.
Yeah. I lost a third of my house. The kitchen, dining room, laundry room and mudroom all went up in smoke, and all of the breakers went when the toaster exploded, burning up my TV, my computer and all of my damned Christmas lights.
I didn’t make it to the hospital to see Anthony for two days, where he was laid up, all up in traction because of his broken femur.
He never spoke to me again. Even moved out of town, from what I heard. I wouldn’t know firsthand. All I knew was that he’d sent me back everything I ever gave him, including the big dildo we’d used for fun sometimes. In pieces.