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Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'll be Home for Christmas - Part 2

Hi!
Just wanted to let you know that several of my books (the kindle versions) are on sale today! They will be on sale until Mid-Night Christmas morning. (That’s for all those very last minute shoppers.) However, the price will be going up nearly every day, so you might want to take advantage of the first days. The books on sale will be:

Triple Creek Ranch - Unbroken (Book 1)
Triple Creek Ranch - Home at Last (Book 2)
Triple Creek Ranch - Rustlers (Book 3)

The Unexpected Request

and

Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories
(If you enjoy listening to stories on audio, this book will be available on audio hopefully around the first of the year.)

    My other books (except my first book) are also on kindle, but not on sale. I would have put Triple Creek Ranch - Stephen (Book 4) on sale, but I can’t do that now because of when it was published.

And please, feel free to share this info with anyone you would like to! And if you enjoy any of my books and haven’t left a review, I’d really love to have one or more from you on Amazon! 


If you are wanting “The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers” but not before Christmas, there is going to be a FREE promotion of that book starting the day after Christmas!

And here is the last of this short Christmas story. Enjoy!

I'll be Home for Christmas
Part 2

    Christmas Eve arrived and the hospital ward was decorated by the nurses. Mike watched it all, heard the laughing and teasing of some of the fellows, but said not a word. When Nurse Polly came by and stopped to talk with him, he only managed to give the briefest of answers. All he could think of were the words of that song, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” No, he wasn’t going to be home for Christmas. If he’d gotten wounded earlier, maybe he could have gotten leave to go home for Christmas, but not now.
    It was mid-morning when the doctor stopped by Mike’s bed. “Are you feeling up for a visitor, Corporal?” he asked with a smile.
    Mike looked up questioningly. “A visitor?” he echoed. “I don’t know anyone on the islands, sir, so I don’t—"
    He didn’t finish for a new voice broke in. “Who says you don’t?”
    Startled, Mike struggled to sit up as a tall man with a quick and easy stride crossed the room to his bedside. He wore the uniform of an Air Force pilot and Mike blinked. “George?” His voice was low and charged with emotion. “George!”
    “Yep, little brother, it’s me.” And George sat down on the edge of the bed, gently eased Mike back onto the pillow and then gripped his hand.
    For several minutes, neither brother could say a word. Each was struggling to hold in their emotions, for they hadn’t seen each other in eighteen months.
    “Have you been home?” Mike whispered.
    George shook his head. “No, I was stationed here only two weeks ago and got a letter from Mom saying you had been wounded. She didn’t know where you were, but I did a little checking, and I found you today.”
    Sighing, Mike tightened his grip on his brother’s hand and asked, “How long . . . I mean, will you be here . . .” His voice trailed away.
    “I’ll be here tomorrow,” George reassured, reading the unfinished question in his brother’s hungry eyes. “I already got leave. Can’t spend all day here, but first thing in the morning and then I’ll be back in the evening.”
    Wearily Mike closed his eyes. His brother was there. Everything was going to be all right. George would be with him for Christmas.
    A voice from the next bed spoke into the silence. “I say, Mike, you’re one lucky guy. I’d give anything to see one of my brothers this Christmas.”
    Mike opened his eyes and turned his head. “George, that’s Dick. He was fighting in the unit next to mine. We both ended up in the field hospital on the same day.”
    A smile flashed over George’s suntanned face, and he held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Dick. Where are your brothers?”
    “Over in Europe. One drives a tank and the other is a paratrooper. I never could see why Andy likes jumping out of an airplane . . .”
    The rest of the talk became mixed up in Mike’s brain as he dozed off. The intense homesickness he had felt had faded away at the sight of his brother’s face, the sound of his voice and the feel of his strong hand on his own. Let Christmas come. “I’ll be home in my dreams, Mom,” he thought, before falling into the first real refreshing sleep he had had since his injuries.

    Christmas morning dawned bright and sunny. “No, snow,” Dick muttered, trying to glare out the window, but Mike could see the twinkle in his blue eyes. “What’s a Christmas with no snow?”
    “A warm one,” someone across the room retorted. “Me, I never had snow on Christmas where I’m from.” That brought forth much talk of Christmases across the country.
    Mike, feeling more cheerful than he had, joined in the conversation a little and when the breakfast trays were wheeled in, he realized he was hungry.
    A little while later George arrived with a box. “Mom sent me a Christmas box, and since she couldn’t send you one before Christmas, I thought we’d share. Want a cookie?”
    Nodding, Mike asked, “Is there a letter? I haven’t had a letter from home for a long time.”
    As George sat down on the edge of the bed, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a well worn letter. “Sure. Here, you can read mine. I wired Mom and Dad yesterday after I knew where you were. I expect you’ll be getting a flood of letters soon. Had you heard Sis was singing in the local canteen?”
    Mike gave no answer, for he was already devouring the letter written in his mother’s familiar hand.
    When George had to leave, he did so with a promise to return that evening. “I’ll stay here while the others go hear those singers. The Major said you’d be the only one in this ward who couldn’t go. So we’ll have a nice long chat then.”
    “Thanks, George.”

    The men had been gone for some time, and only George and Mike were in the room. The lights were low and the brothers fell silent. They had talked about home and Christmases past, but the distant strains of music drifting down the hall had finally stopped all talk. Mike was content to just lie in bed and look at his brother’s face.
    A nurse came by and, unnoticed by either man, switched on the radio. A sweet, clear voice came from the small set.
“I’ll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me.”

    Mike gave a gasp and gripped George’s hand. That voice, it—he looked at his brother’s face. “George, is—"
    With a motion, George cut off the sentence and listened. The voice went on singing those tender words that brought the folks at home into clear focus for many a lonely G.I. away from home.
“I’ll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams.
If only in my dreams.”

    The sound of applause was heard and then the voice spoke. “That song was sung for my brothers, George, who is a pilot in the Air Force, and Mike, who was serving in the Pacific with the Army until he was wounded. I hope you both were listening. We miss you, but we know you are both home in your dreams. Merry Christmas, George! Merry Christmas, Mike!”
    Lying in his hospital bed, Mike couldn’t keep back the tears. The sound of his sister’s voice and her words coming over the radio was almost like having her in the room with them. “George,” he whispered, as another song was begun by a different voice, “did you know?”
    Wordlessly George nodded. He too had been moved.
    “This is a Christmas I’ll never forget.” Mike squeezed his brother’s hand and closed his eyes.



***

    “And I never did forget that Christmas.” Silence fell over the living room as Grandpa’s husky voice finished talking. Billy glanced around the room. His aunts and mom were wiping away tears and even his uncles and some cousins were blinking. In fact, not many eyes were dry. Turning to look at the old picture of Grandpa in his army uniform which stood on the shelf, Billy wondered how many servicemen spending their first Christmas away from home had sung that song and how many were even now reliving those Christmases away from loved ones at home.

Well, what did you think?
Did you like this story?
Did you share the info about the book sales with anyone?

8 comments:

-Christian said...

I liked it!

Jesseca Dawn said...

I honestly think that is my favorite of all the stories you posted!! It was wonderful!!

Blessing Counter said...

I agree with Jesseca! I think this is my absolute favourite. I almost cried!

Rebekah said...

Glad you enjoyed this story. I'll let you in on something. I did cry when I was writing it and then again when I was editing it. :)

V.S B said...

Just wanted to share with you a place you could get readers to review your books. http://www.crossfocusedmedia.com/

Christianna Hellwig said...

I almost cried when I read it, what a sweet story!

Elizabeth said...

I love it!!

Bethany Stelzl said...

That is an amazing story. I loved it!!!