Home For The Holiday: A Short Story

Home For The Holiday: A Short Story

The first part of a mini-series.

Hey, guys, so I'm switching things up, so instead of writing an article, I'm going to start a short story series. I'm doing this for variety and also because of writer's block.

* * *

"I see you've... redecorated..." Chloe smiled. The house looked like it had been frozen in time. Nothing had been moved or touched since her parents first moved in. The house was stuck in the '80s.

"Well, your father and I like the way it looks" Amanda swatted her daughter with the rag in her hand and walked into the kitchen. "Plus you haven't been home in 17 years so you don't have a say." It was true, the day Chloe graduated from college was the last day she stepped foot into her house. The very next day she loaded up her car and went away to college. She kept in touch via Skype, and her parents visited her at least twice, but she had no actual intention of coming back home. But this Christmas was different... This Christmas she...

"Put your things in your room and come help me, sweetie." Chloe rolled her eyes and did as she was told. Her room was laughable. Her parent's hadn't touched it either. Her twin-sized bed was going to be interesting to sleep in. The posters on her wall were off boy bands she no longer listened to. There were still pictures from high school taped around her mirror. She looked at each one, recalling the memories associated with the picture. She got to one that made her pause. She touched it and then took it down.

She made her way back down the hallway. The smell of her mother's cooking and the sound of her singing accompanied her on the walk. Her father stood watching his wife move around the kitchen. His smile was wide and his eyes bright. He loved her with everything inside of him. Watching her parents was worse than watching romantic movies. At least a movie can be called fiction. Some person's made up account of two fictitious people who seem to fall in love effortlessly and perfectly. She hated those movies and made it a point to avoid them. But she couldn't avoid her parents. They were picture perfect and it was completely real.

"Oh, hey, sweetie, I'm glad you're home." Chloe hugged her father. He had been wearing the same cologne for as long as she could remember, like the house, that hadn't changed.

"Glad to be home."

"To what do we owe the pleasure?"

"Clark, don't ask her that. Chloe is always welcome home." Chloe was thankful for her mother's diversion, she didn't want to explain why she had come home. It was honestly the last thing she wanted to do but out of options, she settled. "Now, put an apron on and come help me with this food."

"Momma, you I can't food to save my life."

"Oh honey, I thought you'd grow outta that by now."

"Mom, you can't grow out of being a bad cook."

"Oh well sweetheart, how do you eat?"

"Take out, restaurants... McDonalds" Chloe shrugged, her parent's shared a look and then doubled over with laughter.

"Your husband might want a home cooked meal every once in awhile."

"Well I don't have to worry about that do I, Dad?" Silence filled the room. Chloe regretted sounding so short with her Father but she hated that no matter what the conversation was originally about, it was always brought back to how single she was.

"How about I show you how to make some things and that way you can enjoy them when you go home." Her mom tried to make light of the situation but the tension was still thick in the air.

Instead of picking a fight, she picked up an apron and tied up her hair. There was a knock at the door.

"I'll get it," Clark said. Amanda handed Chloe potholders and nodded towards the oven.

"Take the turkey out and place it on the counter and get the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar out of the cabinet for me."

"Sure" Handing her mom things was something she could do. Amanda smiled at her daughter and went back to singing. Chloe joined in and the two women danced around each other. Chloe handed her mother whatever spices she needed and Amanda did the actual cooking and baking. Clark came around the corner and smiled at the sight.

"Join us, honey," Amanda held out her hand.

"I would love to but Ryan is here and he has a question for you."

The women stopped. Amanda gave Clark a look to kill. Chloe sharply turned towards the kitchen door, and a man came into view. He looked exactly the same as Chloe remembered. His hair was starting to grey and he had a lot more facial hair, but everything else was the same. He was always muscular, always handsome, that hadn't changed. He smiled when he saw her. Her expression didn't move. The moment she heard his name she had this look on her face as if she'd seen a ghost.

"Hey, Chlo- it's good to see you." He stepped towards her. She instinctively took a step back. Then she ripped off her apron and headed out the door.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my short story. To be continued...

Food for Thought: There's a lot of drama in this world... sometimes we need a little fiction
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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