It’s time for Susanna Hill’s holiday writing contest, the theme being Holiday Helpers. The story has to be for kids and not over 250 words. If you’re interested in trying your hand at creating your own story the submission window is open for a few more days and the full list of rules are here.
–The Sick Day Before Christmas–
Christmas Eve day is grey, but I’m excited anyway.
My mouth is full of doughnut when dad comes into the kitchen.
“Good morning,” he mouths, his throat too sore to talk.
My stomach twists. “But what about The Night Before Christmas?”
Every year dad puts on his silly hat and reads for us. He uses voices and props and the best part is when he rings the bells and yells “and to all a good night!”
If he’s sick, there won’t be any of it.
No silly hat.
All morning I make dad mugs of hot water with lemon. It’s what he makes when we’re sick and I hope it works.
He still can’t say a word.
After lunch, I make another big mug for dad and tuck a blanket around him on the couch.
There are a few hours left to get him in tip-top shape.
Dinner comes, and dad manages a croaky “thank you” as I make him yet another mugfull.
I tried and tried! It’s not fair that he didn’t get better.
No silly hat tonight.
I know the story.
It bounces and jumps along, it’s easy enough to remember.
I gather everyone up into the living room, pull out the props, and dig out dad’s hat.
There are a few fumbles, but it’s okay.
Everyone claps as I ring the bells and dad gives me a double thumbs up.
“And it is a good night.”
This was an interesting ride. First draft was 270 words, 20 over. Second draft was 230, with 20 words of editing wiggle room. 2.5 was 239, and for the final version it edged back up yet again. It was a fun experience, that’s for sure.