Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Underneath the Mistletoe - A Christmas Short Story


Underneath the Mistletoe

Sixteen-year-old Amy’s stomach was in knots, flipping over and over in anticipation of the school’s Christmas Disco that evening. All week, Scott, the object of her affections, had been throwing hints that she would be his date for the night but with just hours to go, she was disappointed to have not heard anything from him. Perhaps the phone had been engaged when he had tried to call. She could throttle Sammy, her younger sister, for hogging the phone all the time and ruining her love life. ‘Get off the phone Sammy!’ she yelled as she threw a cuddly toy from her bed at the gossiping teenager. But still no call came.
                At seven, Sarah, her best friend knocked for her and together, dressed in their best party frocks, they made their way to school. It was only a short walk which Amy, wearing the highest heels she could bear, was grateful for. Her dress was a striking bright blue and her hair had been crimped, showing off the blonde streaks that Sun In had created. Sarah was wearing a dark green crushed velvet dress and with her rich, wavy chestnut hair and emerald green eyes, Amy was really quite envious at how effortlessly beautiful she was.
                ‘Where are you meeting Scott?’ Sarah asked as they walked.
                ‘I don’t know, I haven’t heard from him.’ Amy replied sadly, the air was crisp and her breath was blowing out wisps of cold air, as if she was smoking.
                The teacher’s greeted the girls at the door before they entered a hall transformed into a festive party venue, filled with sparkly balloons and coloured ribbons, Christmas music was playing and already a few girls had taken to the dance floor.
                Amy searched the crowds, was Scott already there? A small group of boys were huddled in one corner and it was there that she saw him, his blonde floppy hair covering one eye, the other boys in awe of the coolest kid in school. He looked over and winked at her, causing Amy to blush and excitement tingle through her body. He still liked her then, so she was baffled when he didn’t automatically walk over to join her. Must be playing it cool she thought, the night had only just begun. Sarah dragged Amy onto the dance floor and for a few songs she managed to forget about Scott and the games he was playing. With all the dancing they did, the two girls had worked up an appetite and headed to the buffet table. Out the corner of her eye she spied Scott on the other side of the room, in his hand a sprig of mistletoe. Their eyes locked and he grinned at her, shaking the mistletoe in her direction. He wanted to kiss her, the mistletoe the perfect excuse. She had to go over to him.
                ‘Erm, Sarah, I am going to give the buffet a miss for now.’ Sarah watched as her friend walked away. She shook her head, guys like Scott always spelt trouble from her experience. Too cocky for their own good. But she couldn’t say anything, Amy was hopelessly love struck.
                Scott was waiting for Amy, he closed his eyes, holding the mistletoe above his head. Amy was walking faster now, eager to get to him and feel his lips on hers. Almost there, she watched in horror as Claire swooped in and pressed her lips against Scott’s instead. To her disgust she noted that Scott didn’t open his eyes or even stop to come up for air. The pair of them embraced long enough for Amy to feel the tears slipping down her cheek. Scott placed his arm around Claire’s as he took her to a dark corner, Amy’s public humiliation was complete.
                With the party spirit well and truly over, she wasn’t going to hang around any longer, kicking off her heels she raced out of the door. Sarah ran after her distraught best friend, rejection hurt and she was ready to console Amy and her broken heart.

***

Now forty, Amy opened the envelope with intrigue, no one sent post these days, events were all handled on Facebook.  
‘You are invited to a school reunion. Carswell High seeks your presence at The Christmas Ball of the Year! Connect with long lost friends and party the night away. Relive your sweet sixteen!’
Amy shuddered as she read the leaflet. She couldn’t think of anything worse. She had absolutely no intention of reliving those days. She took a deep breath, the humiliation she had felt that night had never left her but Scott and Claire were a distant memory and she was keen to keep it that way. She tossed the letter into the bin and gave it no more thought.

***
A week before Christmas her company were enjoying their Christmas dinner and party at a local Country hotel. Having just finished their rich, dense pudding with cream, they were invited to head into the hall where the DJ was playing Christmas favourites. 
The venue was hosting parties for a few other companies that evening and so Amy found herself on the dance floor with people she didn’t recognise. After a couple of glasses of wine, she didn’t really care and happily danced the night away. At midnight the DJ’s tunes had turned to slower, more romantic numbers and with no one to dance with, Amy decided to head home. As she walked out of the door, a tall dark and handsome stranger prevented her from leaving.
‘Amy?’ He spoke, surprised.
             She blinked a few times as she tried to place the guy who appeared to know her. She felt his hand on the top of her arm but she didn’t resist.
‘Wow! You are looking great.’
She stared into his warm brown eyes and then it suddenly dawned on her, it was Robert, Scott’s best friend!
She vaguely remembered him, he had been tall and skinny back then with his dark hair brushed forward, rarely smiled, moody looking. Now, standing before her with the most devilish smile, she had to admit that there was a spark, an instant attraction that she had never felt before, with anyone.
‘Thank you’ she responded, nervously laughing as she did so.
Rob glanced upwards, in the doorway someone had hung some mistletoe. His face was mischievous now… ‘I think I know what the answer is going to be but… a kiss underneath the mistletoe? It is Christmas after all…’ 
Scott had been an asshole, they had long fallen out over how he had treated girls. 
Amy’s first response, when she saw the mistletoe, was to take flight once more. But she had to let the past live in the past.
A mix of emotions filled Amy as she closed her eyes but most of all she wanted to know what she had missed out on that fateful day. This wasn’t Scott but she didn’t want it to be. Rob closed his eyes too, pulling her close. She took in his scent, a strong and heady aftershave that made her legs wobble. Their lips locked, the party continued around them. As their kiss became more passionate, she was surprised at how tender his touch was and how soft his lips were. She couldn't quite believe how her heart was fizzing with delirium, overwhelmed, she was taken aback by her feelings for Rob.
 For Rob, the kiss was everything he had imagined it to be. Amy had never known the way he had felt about her, he had fancied her from the very first day he had met her. Now, he felt her rosebud lips on his and they were full and sweet tasting, drawing him in further. His arms held her tight as they embraced, melting in new found desire for each other.
Conscious of where they were, Rob reluctantly pulled away ‘I have been wanting to do this for almost 25 years, Merry Christmas beautiful!’
Amy whispered back ‘My mother always said magic happens underneath the mistletoe, now I know what she meant.’


Merry Christmas x 


Loved this story? You may want to read the two novels I have written. Both are available to buy from Amazon.

A Tempting Trio - 

Without A Hitch -


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Falling - Flash Fiction

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt


PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell


Falling

Laura froze, she had been here before. This building was the image of the one she saw every time she closed her eyes. She turned to leave but Ben was standing behind her.

'Great idea for a first date huh?’ Pleased, he flashed her tickets for afternoon tea at the Sky Restaurant. ‘The highest vantage point in Europe.’

Panic set in, she clutched her throat, her breath quickening, face draining of colour. Chatting to Ben online she had fallen in love, but the nightly premonitions of her falling to her death could not be ignored.

‘No, I can’t.’ she gasped.



I hope you enjoyed my latest story 

Bettina x


* With thanks to Rochelle for the picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on the prompt click here

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Training - Flash Fiction

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior



Training Room

The delegates filled the room, name badges in place, chatter ringing through the air. With one eye on the person they were talking to, the other on the centre table, they were eager to down a coffee and devour a mini pastry or two. Despite it being free, no one dared be the first however, but as soon as someone made their move, they would all follow, swooping in like birds of prey.

Betty had no such qualms, she boldly approached the table and filled her plate. Perhaps today’s training on Confidence was superfluous to her needs.

Bettina x

* With thanks to Rochelle for the picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on the prompt click here 


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Gift - Flash Fiction

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The Gift 



It took all of my strength to smile and thank her graciously as two men carried it inside.
Gwen’s moving in gift. Apparently, Tom had always wanted this clock... so here we were. This gothic monstrosity had no place in my modern, minimalist living space. I offered her a drink as she made herself at home.
‘Now you have no excuse dear.’
A dig at my timekeeping. The knife kept turning.
‘Never late for Matt though, are you?’ Her eyes scanned my face, searching for guilt.
‘Time to go Gwen.’
Asphyxiation by clock. Terrible way to die. Slow and painful.


*Thank you to Rochelle for this week's picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on this prompt - click here

Friday, 7 September 2018

On A Night Like This - Flash Fiction

A new 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Gah Learner 

On A Night Like This 

I push back the curtain and smile, the sky is cloudless and the bright light keeping me awake, a glistening full moon. I glance at my watch, in just a few hours Andrew will be home, back from his stint in the army. I wrap the duvet around me, it won’t be long before I feel his arms around me keeping me warm and safe.

Hours later Andrew isn’t by my side, he never made it back. Car accident, they said. I struggle to understand. How can you lose control of your car when the driving conditions are just perfect?


*Thank you to Rochelle for this week's picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on this prompt - click here 

Monday, 3 September 2018

Who's That Girl? - Flash Fiction

A 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

Copyright Dawn M. Miller


Who's That Girl ?


The door creaks open, long overdue an oiling. Snarling, he pushes me towards the mirror. ‘There you go, take a look at yourself.’

It was the same routine every day, my captor permitting me five precious minutes to stand and gaze at my reflection. As the blindfold comes off I wince as the light smacks against my lids. My face gently comes into focus. My face. My glorious hair now matted and excessively long, drawing my face downwards. My sparkly blue eyes, hollow, almost dead. Old skin, creased and bruised.

A mask conceals his face, the lips smile back. ‘Beautiful!’


* Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE).
To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



Thursday, 30 August 2018

L'Occitane Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream



At the beginning of Spring I was lucky enough to be sent two pots of this gorgeous hydrating facial moisturiser from L'Occitane and I have only just opened the second pot!

If a scent sums up Spring/Summer it is this one. Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream smells fabulously fresh, the cream is light and almost water like in texture, sinking into the skin without leaving a trace of sticky residue. Wonderfully hydrating it, I think it is the perfect choice for post holiday parched skin.

The claims -

Enriched with hydrating hyaluronic acid and calcium rich Réotier water known for its properties to help skin maintain its hydration barrier and retain moisture, this melting fresh cream hydrates the skin while comforting it.
Its velvety, light texture combines the refreshing thirst-quenching benefits of a gel with the softening and smoothing properties of a cream. Its formula act like a magnet to hold-in moisture and drench the skin all day long. Skin’s natural hydration is improved; it is immediately recharged with water. Replenished and radiant, skin is visibly plumped. 


My thoughts - 

Does exactly what it promises. My skin feels and looks great, a perfect base for foundation. Thumbs up from me. 

Have you tried it? 

L'Occitane Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream 50ml £28 

*PR Sample

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