A happy 2nd of December to you all! This month on my blog I'm going to be posting here and there, now and again. Not just on Fridays, but all kinds of times. And you won't want to miss Western Wednesdays! Yep, you read that right! Western Wednesdays are back for this month. Even if you have read all of The Unexpected Request, you just won't want to skip these Wednesdays. :) And no, I won't tell you want it going to be posted. You'll have to come and read it.
Oh, and if you want more Christmas stories to read go up to my Short Stories page and in there you will find all my Christmas stories including the ones about Garlandsburg (of which I hope to get more written this December).
Our house is now decorated so lovely that I'll try to take some pictures and share them with you this month. This week hasn't been as busy as the last few have been which has been wonderful. I've actually gotten somethings written and I got a Christmas book nearly finished. (I'm reading it not writing it.) Tonight S and I babysit the kiddos here along with two little girls K & N and one of our heart-sisters will be here watching her nephew (our heart-nephew) while the parents (and several other young couples) go to the Living Christmas Tree. It will be a long, late evening, but I'm sure we'll have fun. :) Hmm, maybe we'll make snowflakes.
This story which you are about to start reading is part of Ria and the Gang. :) I hope it gets you interested. It was a lot of fun to write and I kept laughing at the Gang. I think you will be too when you read about the antics of a group of 15- 20 lads. :) And remember, if you like what you read, drop me a comment and say so. I'll admit right now that I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to keep going with a story if no one says they like it.
And now here is a glimpse into Ria and the Gang.
The Worst and Best Christmas
“Tomorrow is Christmas Day!” Ria exclaimed for the umpteenth time that morning.
“Is it really?” Johnny asked in feigned surprise. “I thought it was the Fourth of July.”
Ria wrinkled her nose at her brother and giggled. She was well used to being teased; she should be with four older brothers and eleven older boy cousins not to mention Phil and the other five lads who made up the rest of “the gang.”
Skipping down the stairs, Ria paused in the kitchen to sniff the cookies her mom was baking. “Oh,” she exclaimed suddenly, “I forgot to wrap--” but she left the rest of the sentence unfinished and whirling around, raced back upstairs, nearly colliding with Ed and Chris as they were coming out of their room.
“Whoa!” Ed called, “what’s the hurry?”
“Forgot to wrap--” and the door of Ria’s room slammed shut behind her, cutting off the rest of her sentence.
“Maybe we should find out what she’s up to,” thirteen-year-old Chris suggested taking a step after her sister.
Ed, the oldest of the Mitchell children at nineteen, caught his youngest brother’s arm and stopped him. “Leave her alone, Chris,” he ordered. “After all, it is Christmas Eve.”
Busy in her own room, Ria pulled out her mother’s present and set about the wrapping of it. When it was finished and sitting on the floor before her, looking quite festive with its wrapping of green with a pert red bow on top, Ria gazed at it and began counting on her fingers. “I have the twins’ gifts wrapped and under the tree. Ed’s is there too. I don’t know if I should put Chris’s there yet or not. Sometimes he peaks. Hmm, Daddy’s is under the tree. Now, do I have the rest of the gifts for the gang, and Grandma and Grandpa’s gifts?” She did. All were now wrapped and ready.
Slipping her mother’s gift under her bed, Ria left her room to race through the hall and down the stairs. “Mom,” she asked eagerly, “when are we leaving tomorrow?”
Mrs. Mitchell looked up from the gingerbread men she was icing. “Oh, I don’t know. I would guess around mid morning. Why?”
“I just wondered,” and Ria moved into the living room and stood looking at the tree.
It was a large one, the top nearly brushed the ceiling with large full branches filling the corner of the room. Decorated with lights and ornaments, its glories far surpassed any previous tree the Mitchell’s had had, Ria at least was certain. The smell of the pine penetrated to the farthest corners. Underneath the wonderful tree were the presents. Gaily wrapped in bright colors the many different shapes and sizes of the gifts drew Ria’s eyes like so many magnets and she dropped down on the floor before the bright fire to look at the tree and the gifts. She could hardly wait for tomorrow to come.
It was around mid-morning when Ria, preparing to go outside, suddenly pressed her hand to her side and gave a soft groan.
“Are you all right?” Jimmy asked, buttoning up his coat. “What happened?”
Grimacing a little, Ria pulled her coat on. “I don’t know, my side just hurt.”
“Eat too many cookies?” her brother teased.
“I haven’t eaten any today,” she replied, still with a frown.
Though all her brothers enjoyed teasing, they could also be sympathetic and protective. “Do you still want to go for a walk?” Jimmy wondered.
Ria nodded. Maybe a walk would make her feel better; besides, the others were waiting for them.
Calling good by to Mrs. Mitchell, Jimmy and Ria joined Chris, Ed and Johnny out on the front walk. Mr. Mitchell had declined to go with them saying he was going to read the paper before the fire and enjoy the quiet.
“Where shall we go?” Johnny asked.
“Let’s go see the shop windows,” Ria suggested, forgetting her side as the pain eased up.
Soon the five Mitchell children were on their way down the sidewalk to the center of Plainville. They were all in merry spirits, and talk and laughter went with them that cold December day.
“Do you think we’ll get more snow, Ed?” Chris asked looking at the half an inch or so that lay on the ground around them.
“Oh, sometime,” Ed answered carelessly.
“I meant tonight, before Christmas.”
Ed looked at the overcast sky. The clouds were tinged with grey. He shrugged. “I don’t know. Grandpa would be the one to ask, or Dad.”
“It sure would be fun to have a good snowfall for tomorrow,” Johnny remarked.
“Sure would,” echoed Jimmy.
“Why?” Ria asked sweetly, “Did you want to make snow angels?” This brought a laugh from her brothers, and for several minutes they joked and teased one another good naturedly.
Arriving in downtown, their walk slowed as they admired the shop windows which were decked out in full holiday glory. This was not the first time the Mitchell five had walked the downtown sidewalks and looked in the shop windows though it was the first time without any other members of the gang with them.
“Look, Ed, a train set,” Jimmy pointed out. “Don’t you want that for Christmas?”
“I’d still have my train set if you hadn’t tried to ride on the train when you were three and busted it,” Ed pretended to growl and gave his brother a friendly shove.
“How do you know it wasn’t Johnny that sat on it?” Chris questioned.
Ed snorted. “Because Johnny was too busy trying to step on all the houses to see if they would smash.”
“And boy did they,” Johnny grinned and backed away from his older brother.
Their laughter was suddenly interrupted. Clutching her side, Ria gave a startled groan and leaned against the side of the store; her face grew pale and it was all she could do to keep from crying.
“Ria! What is it?” Ed asked, bending over her in concern.
Dropping down in front of her, Jimmy asked, “Is it the same pain you had before we left?”
Ria could only nod, her lips pressed tightly together to keep back a cry of pain.
“Where does it hurt, Ria?” Ed asked quietly while Johnny and Chris gathered around.
“My side,” Ria whimpered holding both hands over the place and catching her breath as the sharp pain once more shot through her.
If you want to read more, drop me a comment and come back next week.