Today I welcome Penelope Crowe to the blog with her fairytale for Christmas…
Henry and Greta were tired of being gophers. Graduating first and second respectively in their class at Pratt three years ago meant nothing in the real world. They had no relatives in the art community, and all their friends had careers of their own to worry about.
So they got other people coffee, bought paint, climbed the ladders when the museum light bulbs went out, and barely make a living. Their apartment was an 800 square foot pre-war charmer, complete with roaches and windows that would not open.
Greta dreamt of a life in the country, with a little house of their own somewhere in the woods far, far away from the dirty city.
Henry’s drawings and paintings rivaled Cezanne. Greta wrote words Hemingway would envy. They worked on books at night and submitted them to publishers.
On Thursday Henry sketched some pictures to show the art director of the museum. They showed the stark white walls of the museum transformed by paintings that looked like stained glass. Their placement brought to mind the opulent Baroque style of churches from centuries before.
The sketches and ideas were stunning, and the art director dismissed him with a wave of his hand.
The next morning the curator announced their next display—an architectural transformation of the museum showing paintings that looked like stained glass. Congratulations were giving to the art director, the genius who thought of this wonderful idea.
Henry and Greta left the museum at 9:23AM, never to return.
They went home and gathered their books and illustrations in a portfolio and started walking uptown.
They left copies of their books with publishers on Varick Street, 24th, 53rd, Avenue of the Americas, and everywhere in between. Their trail of literature led them to the front doors of the Waldorf Astoria. Henry and Greta had to step aside as the doors swung open, and eight dogs of various shapes and sizes stepped through, followed by a very well-dressed old man.
The dogs surrounded Henry and Greta and proceeded to bark. They were silenced when the old man quietly spoke the two words “thank you.” They sat down and looked at the man as if waiting for a treat.
“My dogs have never been wrong,” smiled the old man. “and they tell me you have something to show me. Please come in and have tea.”
Hungry and thirsty after their journey through the city, they agreed.
Sitting in Peacock Alley enjoying scones and tea, the old man, Mr. Kris, pointed past the opulent gift shop and told them his book shop was around the bend. He had a first edition Animal Farm by George Orwell, and Dracula by Bram Stoker. He had a handwritten journal with illustrations touted to be the works of DaVinci. He said it was priceless.
“Please show me your work,” he said, “I am anticipating a glorious release. Everyone has been waiting, and I want to be the one to show your art to the world. My dogs are never wrong.”
Greta and Henry, though confused, showed Mr. Kris their books. With a glimmer in his eye he requested copies, and informed them they would be ready for sale in one week. Thank yous were exchanged, and Greta and Henry left shaking their heads.
They returned in one week and asked to speak to Mr. Kris, but no one knew who he was. No one had heard of him.
As if by magic their books were in every bookstore they passed on the way home.
Greta and Henry started to look for a place to live in the country.
Find Penelope on her blog: http://www.penelopecrowe.blogspot.com/
Click here to get a copy…
Thank you for that tale Penelope. Every writer needs a Mr. Kris. Hope you find your’s this Christmas. Happy Holiday Hop and Merry Christmas! 🙂
Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here. There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you! It’s your last chance to win some prizes…enter now!
Only 2 days left until the end of the #HolidayHop which means only 2 days left to enter the contest, win a prize here and be in for a chance to win the grand prize of a KINDLE FIRE….What are you waiting for? Rules for entering on the bottom of this post.
Today I welcome Robyn Porter onto the blog with her version of “The Three Little Pigs”…Enjoy!
Alexandra turned her thoughts to Krystoff and Edward. They’d pushed her to come out for the night. It was the night before Christmas and she had wanted to remain indoors. Edward and Krystoff had lived a longer life than she had and said they knew that the fables of Santa Claus were fake. It didn’t matter. All of her life she had loved the idea and magic of the holiday and this year was no different. Only change this year was the addition of both men in her life. Vampires, they always thought they knew everything.
“Come on Alex, I don’t want to be late!” Krystoff yelled from her door.
Moving around the room, Alex grabbed her coat and took one last scan of the area. Her tree was up, the white lights twinkling in the dim room. Beneath the tree she had put down her small snow scene, filled with a glass pond and miniature ice skaters. She’d gotten it from her mother’s things after she’d died. It was one of the few items she still had from her old life.
A pound at the door brought her back to the present. Opening the wooden door she found Krystoff and Edward standing outside.
“Are you ready?” Krystoff asked. “I want to get to the theater before the line forms.”
“Yes, give me one minute to secure my fireplace.”
“Oh come on, nothing is going to happen.”
Alex laughed. “I love Christmas, and though I do not believe in Santa Claus, I also do not want to leave my fireplace open.”
Moving towards the grating, Alex secured the entry point with a small lock and a chant of protection. Though she knew both men considered her silly, she didn’t care. It was part of her routine and one she refused to give in to. Turning back she found both men smiling at her. She knew they had shared some kind of joke at her expense, but she just brushed it off.
“Okay, we can go.” Alex replied.
Leaving the house, they headed out toward the town. Each of their homes began to fade into the snow that was falling around them when they heard a sound echo from above. Glancing around, Alex caught site of a flicker of light high above them.
“What was that?” Edward asked.
“I have no idea.” Krystoff answered. “Whatever it was it was above us and heading back toward our houses.”
Alex got the sudden urge to go home. Looking at both men, she knew they had the same feeling. Taking off, they headed back to Edward’s house first as it was the closet. Opening the door, Edward found his home was demolished. The roof had caved in and there was straw strewed all over the room. She tried to keep her smile at bay. She remembered telling Edward when he built the house that filling the attic with straw was dangerous. Now his house was impossible to live in. Looking past the mess, Alex noticed footprints near the fireplace. They were too small to be Edwards, which meant someone else had entered the home.
“Okay, this sucks.” Edward shouted. “What could have caused this kind of damage?”
“I don’t know, but I told you not to use straw when you built this death trap.” Krystoff said. “You should have copied my house.”
“Oh yes, because wood is so much better.” Edward bit back.
Another sound from outside drew their attention. Running out the door, they headed to Krystoff’s home only to find that the roof had caved in as well. Stepping across what remained of threshold, Alex found wood strewn all over the place. Moving her gaze across the area, she found the same footprints near the fireplace. Her skin shivered knowing that someone, or something, was causing all the damage. Looking at both men, she knew they were furious.
“I am going to kill whoever has done this.” Krystoff yelled.
“You are?” Edward asked. “How do you think I feel?”
“You both need to relax.” Alex began. “Right now, let’s head back to my house. If both of yours have been hit, mine will be next.”
She could still hear sounds above them, but the darkened sky made it impossible to see anything. Walking through the thick snow, she got to her house within a few minutes. As far as she could tell everything seemed normal. Opening her front door, she heard noises above her head. Sounds of tapping on the rooftop. Dropping her coat to the ground, she rushed to the fireplace and made sure it was secure. As she reached the edge of the grate, a loud sound echoed within the darkness of the brick chimney.
“Whatever it is, it’s coming down.” Krystoff shouted.
Behind her both men drew out their swords. Alex wasn’t about to let them attack what was coming down, not until she knew what it was. Waiting, she held her breath in anticipation. One, two, ten seconds passed and nothing. Just as she stood, she felt her house shake, the force enough to make her balance falter. Falling to the ground, she heard another loud thud. Glancing back towards the fireplace she found a pair of boots standing on the timber, red clad pants moving up into the darkness.
“Who is that?” Krystoff asked. “A burglar?”
Alex leaned in closer and heard a muffled grunt behind the brick wall that covered the entry to the chimney.
“If you wouldn’t mind a bit of help, I fear I’ve gotten stuck.” A voice echoed from within the darkness.
“Give me a moment.” Alex answered back. “Now, I expect you to behave as I unravel your situation.”
“I will.” The stranger replied.
A few words whispered under her breath, Alex undid the spell of protection. The chimney flume released its hold on the man, and the rest of his body came crashing down into the small confines of the fireplace. Looking out from within the dust and ash was a man with a long white beard, his red clothes covered in soot.
“My my, this has been an awful night.” Santa began. “First, I land on a house that cannot hold even one of my reindeer’s and I come crashing in. Then, I try another home, and test it first and it seems sturdy enough, but when we land the roof caves in.” Santa stood up and brushed off his clothes. “Thankfully, your house was strong enough to hold my workers, but your chimney is quite odd.”
Alex knew both men behind her were unsure as to what to think. Both of their homes had been destroyed tonight, but only because they’d chosen the cheapest materials to build them with. She had always told them to use brick and concrete. If the situation wasn’t so crazy she might laugh. Now she found they a man who none though existed standing in her living room after destroying Edward and Krystoff’s homes.
“How are you going to get my home back?” Krystoff asked. “It’s completely destroyed.”
The man moved out from the fireplace and into the open. Alex could see that he still had cuts and abrasions from his fall through both houses. She wanted to apologize for what he’d gone through, but she knew that the boys were keeping their anger barely at bay.
“I am sorry for your loss, but I’ve never come across homes that were so weak.” Santa began. “How come you used such cheap materials? Don’t you know how dangerous that is?”
Edward moved forward. “We did not expect someone to land a hundred pound sleigh on the roof. It’s not supposed to happen.”
“I think we need to have him arrested for breaking and entering.” Krystoff replied. “Call the police.”
Alex took in all three men. “Enough.” she started
“He needs to pay for this.” Krystoff said. She watched as he got closer to Santa. “You give gifts all over the world, replace our houses.”
“Ho, ho ho,” Santa chuckled. “You both were naughty this year. Guess this karma thing does work.”
Before any of them could respond the man twitched his nose and was gone before they could say another word. Alex watched as both men rushed out the door only to stop at the end of the porch. Walking out to where they stood she looked up and saw what remained of Santa and his sleigh. He was already gone on to the next house and she had a good feeling the boys wouldn’t be able to catch him even if they tried.
“Hard lesson to learn guys, but one I hope you take to heart.” Alex said as she turned back toward her home. “Come on in and out of the cold. Let’s enjoy what remains of the evening and address your homes tomorrow.”
Both men shrugged and followed her inside. As the door shut Alex swore she heard Santa’s laugh fill her house, the empty spot below her tree suddenly filled with boxes of all sizes. Santa had left all their presents in one place. At least the holiday wasn’t a total loss. She just hoped the boys had learned their lesson.
Thank you for that fairytale Robyn. Glad you took up the challenge. Happy HolidayHop and Merry Christmas! 🙂
Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here. There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you!