Chapter Five

In eighth grade, I was published for the first time.

Never mind that everyone in my class was also published or that it was in the Christmas edition of our local newspaper. All that mattered to me was that I was published. And that my Grandma had bragging rights that she fully exercised.

So, here is that tale, cleverly entitled “A Christmas Story.” I guess it’s okay for a fourteen-year-old kid…

The old man sat at the table, wrapped in a blanket, eating his supper. As usual, it consisted of some venison, a potato or two, and a glass of milk. Though the house was warm and there was food on the table, the man, whose name was Henry, was not happy. It was Christmas Eve.

For most people, Christmas Eve is as happy a time as Christmas Day. For Henry, it was dismal. His wife, Martha, had passed away some years before, therefore, she wasn’t around to help decorate the tree, which stood nearly bare in the corner. Not only that, but he missed her company terribly.

His children had grown up and moved away, too far to visit. They usually sent a letter and pictures, sometimes a present, but that was it. Because of this, Henry became a gruff, sometimes mean, man…though he never meant to.

Christmas  morning soon rolled around and Henry got up early, from habit, and started a fire in the fireplace to warm up the chilly house. He then took some oatmeal from the cupboard for his breakfast.

Setting it on the stove, he left it to cook and went to the door. As with any morning (Christmas was no exception), he went out to bring in firewood…despite the fact that there was a box full of logs already inside.

Stepping outside, he stubbed his toe on a box sitting on the doorstep. As he bent over slowly, he tried to figure out who it was from. It couldn’t have been from the mailman; he would’ve left it by the mail box. So, shrugging his shoulders, he took it inside. He then set it on the table and finished getting his breakfast.

When his oatmeal was done, he turned back and proceeded to open the box. Inside, to his disbelief, he found a turkey and everything else you can imagine having for a Christmas dinner. Staring at the contents of the box, he was startled out of his daze by a knock at the door. He closed the box and hobbled over to see who was there.

Upon opening the door, he found his two sons standing there, with packages in their hands. A single tear of joy rolled down his wrinkled cheek as he let his sons in.

It’s not great. I suppose it’s barely good. I had decent grammar. The storyline was okay, if a bit overly sentimental. There are some glaring inconsistencies that make me cringe as I read it now.

Still…it was my first published piece. And that kind of makes me pretty happy.

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About Nichole R. Beltz

Self-published author and professional photography hobbiest...striving to find my fifteen minutes of relative obscurity...
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