Wednesday, 21 December 2016
Snow Globe - A Christmas Short Story
Lissy felt a strong tug at her arm as Max dragged her along the street. Max was late and didn't have time for his little girl to be dawdling. It was Saturday morning (Lissy knew this because her teacher had told all the children to have a lovely weekend) and being the last one before Christmas the town was heaving with shoppers. In front of Lissy were a sea of bellies, she looked up to see some smiley faces but many look pained with the strain of Christmas etched onto their faces. Lissy stole one last glance back before she was carried away through the crowds. Out of the corner of her eye she could still just see the Little Christmas Shop, her favourite shop in town. It had appeared a month ago and no one knew the owner. She had been looking at the pretty and colourful little snow globe that had a twirling pink ballerina in a pink tutu and soldier inside it. She wished for this snow globe more than anything this Christmas. Although one of the smallest gifts in the store, in the window it proudly took centre stage. Lissy wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up, her after school class was the thing she loved to do best. 'Mummy probably would have bought it for me' she thought, then she felt a tear well in her eye. She missed mummy and recently daddy rarely had time for her.
Max felt bad, he hadn't wanted to get Lissy up early this morning but he just had one major project to complete this week before he could relax and enjoy time with Lissy. It was so important he had to make a visit to the office at the weekend, next year he promised himself he would make more time for his wonderful little girl. Dropping her off at the babysitter, Irene, he kissed Lissy on the cheek and vowed to return soon. 'Daddy won't be long, now why don't you play with Oscar and the time will pass quickly.' 'Thanks Irene, I owe you one!' 'No problem Max, take your time.' And with that the door closed behind him and he was gone.
Lissy looked at Oscar, he had a mean look on his face. The kind of look that she understood to mean 'you better not touch any of my toys'. She was glad she had insisted on bringing her rag doll. Not only was it for playing with, it was a great source of comfort when she was alone. Lissy whispered into Daisy's ear. 'Don't worry Daisy, daddy will be back soon. Don't look at Oscar, he is not very nice!' Max grinned as he listened and then went back to playing with his cars. Lissy began telling Daisy all about the snow globe. Irene smiled as she listened, she made a mental note to send Max a text later telling him what the little girl had been saying, she was certain that Max would have been oblivious to it and she didn't want Lissy to be sad on Christmas Day.
In the Little Christmas Shop Marnie took the musical snow globe out of the window so she could wind it up again. She didn't mind having to do it quite often, truth be told it was one of her favourite items in the shop too. As she placed it back in the window she couldn't help thinking about the pretty little girl who had been entranced with it earlier in the day. She smiled as she also thought of the handsome man that had pulled the little girl away. It had been busy in the shop. with lots of items selling, but no one had yet to buy this sweet festive gift. If it still hadn't sold by Christmas Eve Marnie decided she would have it for herself. From the way the little girl had been gazing at the snow globe, she hoped the man would return to buy it for her. She wondered if there was any way she could get a message to him?
Max was working hard but heard his phone bleep with a text alert, he instantly checked his phone in case something was up with Lissy. It was Irene with the message about the snow globe. He hadn't a clue what she was referring too. Had he been too wrapped up in his thoughts. He would pass by the shop again on the way home, he would take a look then.
That evening, once Lissy had been picked up, they walked back through the town. The Christmas Lights were twinkling and a jolly, portly Santa was handing out sweets. It was so magical to Lissy and this time Max let her take her time. She stopped in front of Santa 'Ho, ho, ho hello there! Now have you written your list to Santa ?' Lissy nodded in awe, unable to speak. She desperately wanted to tell him about the snow globe. Max got his phone out 'Lissy, stand next to Santa, I'll take a picture'
Lissy moved closer and Santa bent down to be the same height - she leaned in and whispered 'A snow globe from the Little Christmas Shop, it's not on my list though' Santa turned to her in surprise, what a sweet child he thought, 'You will get your wish, I promise.' He squeezed her arm, turned to the camera and they both smiled as Max took the photo.
As they passed by the Little Christmas Shop Lissy was disappointed, the shutter was down. She couldn't see inside. At that moment Marnie came out of the door next to the shop. She lived above the shop. She smiled at the little girl and her dad. She really wanted to say something but now was not the time. Max also wanted to say something but suddenly his mouth had become dry, he had never noticed the strikingly attractive woman who worked in the shop. He mumbled some words, Marnie thought she could make out 'Oh you are closed?' She replied in her American accent 'Yes, sorry. I closed a little early. Last ballet practice this evening. I can't be late,. We are open tomorrow, you should pop in'. She hadn't meant to sound abrupt and the conversation played out in her head all the way to the theatre. She sped off as fast as her feet could carry her, she really couldn't be late.
Lissy's eyes lit up, a real life ballerina. She had met a real life ballerina. Max looked down at Lissy 'Never mind Lissy, we will come back tomorrow.'
Except they didn't return the next day, or the next. That night Lissy had come down with a temperature and a mystery illness and had had to go to hospital when she wasn't getting any better. Max was fraught with worry, worrying about his little girl and hating the fact that he still had to work. Between him and Irene they covered visiting times but Lissy wasn't even awake most of the time so she barely knew he was there. He completely forgot about the snow globe and Marnie. Not having to go to Irene's house he bypassed town entirely. He was struggling to concentrate on his work but was forcing himself to focus. Just a few more days.
Marnie was disappointed that she hadn't seen the lovely family again, she had felt sure they would return the next day and when they hadn't she thought they would come back on the Monday. The week passed quickly, by day she was in the shop serving customers picking up last minute things. By night she was dancing to a packed theatre. She didn't stop thinking about the two of them however and was secretly pleased that no one had bought the ballerina snow globe.
On Friday afternoon a phone call interrupted Max's train of thought. He was tired, exhausted. He was just waiting for one last email to action with which he could then close his laptop and put the year behind him. He rubbed his eyes and stretched. 'Max speaking' 'Good news Mr Timpson. There's been a Christmas miracle. Your daughter has woken up, no sign of anything wrong. She wants to see you right , best news however is she has been allowed to go home for Christmas.'
Max perked up instantly and straightened his crumpled worn out body 'What? Really? Oh that is just the most amazing news. I will come just as soon as I can. Tell her her daddy is on her way.'
As soon as the email came through he sighed with relief. Closing his laptop, he turned off the lights in his office, wished the security guard a Merry Christmas and drove to the hospital.
Sat on the bed, dressed and ready to leave hospital, Lissy was beaming and Max knew she was better as her eyes glowed with happiness and her cheeks were rosy.
'Daddy!' She put her arms up towards him and gave him a huge, tight hug. 'Daddy?' 'Yes Lissy?' 'Did you buy my snow globe?' Max's stomach sank, his heart lurched and he felt sick. How on earth had he forgotten about the snow globe ? He had to be honest with his little girl. '|No Lissy, I am sorry. I promise you though we shall go out first thing tomorrow and get it' Lissy's lip quivered, her head dropped. Max felt more than awful that he had let his girl down. In quiet tones she replied 'Santa promised me I would get it, but what if someone has bought it already?' 'Well then let's hope they haven't. If they have, I am sure there is bound to be something else in that lovely shop that you would like.' Lissy nodded but deep down in heart she thought 'But that was what I really liked.'
It was Christmas Eve and Marnie came down the stairs of her flat to open the shop up for the last time this year. To her immense surprise there were keen shoppers already waiting for her to open. She felt butterflies and her cheeks redden as she realised it was the man and his little girl. Max felt a warmth in his stomach too as he saw Marnie. As she spoke he realised how much he loved her gorgeous accent.
'Well hello there! I wasn't expecting to see you again!' Lissy looked up at the pretty face 'I've been in hospital. I've come for the snow globe, the ballerina one. Do you still have it?'
Marnie pulled up the shutters and to Lissy's relief it was still there, taking pride of place in the centre of the window display.
Marnie took Lissy's hand 'We do! And I can't think of a nicer little girl to give it a home' Lissy felt Marnie's soft, warm hands wrapped around hers. 'You are a ballerina, I want to be a ballerina when I grow up.'
Marnie had a thought 'Yes I am! Actually I am performing in the Nutcracker this year. We are performing until New Year at Mason's Theatre. Why don't I get you some tickets so you can come watch, would you like that?'
Lissy nodded furiously, she turned to Max 'Daddy, can we go. Please say we can?' 'Of course we can darling'. Max was happy, he wanted to get to know this nice lady better, he extended his hand to Marnie 'I am Max by the way and this is Lissy.' Marnie held out her hand 'Marnie, a pleasure to meet you both. Now let's get this snow globe wrapped up for you.'
Max spoke once more, nervously this time. It had been a long time since he had chatted to someone as beautiful as Marnie. 'I was wondering...'
'I was wondering if you would like to join Lissy and me for Christmas Day?' Marnie didn't say anything in reply. 'I mean, that is, if you are not doing anything?'
Marnie was shocked and felt her cheeks redden once more 'I would love to, as it happens it was going to be a meal for one' she laughed. This Christmas was going to be wonderful, she could just feel it.
Lissy jumped in happiness 'It's going to be a GREAT Christmas' She had already warmed to the kind lady owner of the Little Christmas Shop and she could tell her daddy had too.
Lissy held on tightly to her snow globe, as if her life depended on it, as they hurried home. That evening she put it in the window, lights all around it and played it, over and over until she went to bed. Yes, when she grew up she was going to be in the Nutcracker too. As Max tucked her into bed she looked out of her window into the night sky and whispered 'Thank you Santa!'
Loved this story? Then please check out my debut novel - A Tempting Trio - Available now by clicking this link - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011ZEUQZI
*An original work of fiction, all rights reserved.