#FTT 22 : There Was Only One Thing Left To Do

There was only one thing left to do. That was laugh. So laugh I did. I’m sure the neighbors thought I’d gone insane. And I probably had. At least for a little while.

It was frickin’ cold. Snowing, too. The day before Christmas. December 24th. And I was standing outside my house, in my pajamas, my fuzzy house shoes, and my bathrobe. Watching the house burn to the ground.

Stupid cats. It was all their fault. I’d been watching the NORAD Santa Claus report. You know. The radar tracking of Santa NORAD does every year. I know. I’m all grown up. I know there’s not really a Santa. But I started watching the NORAD feed on the ‘Net when I was a kid. Dad was so proud of it. “See, Son! We can track Santa! You can get an idea of when he’ll reach our neighborhood!” He patiently explained how Santa never came when children were awake, so we could use the NORAD radar tracking system to figure out when we all needed to go to bed, so Santa could visit us.

Yeah. I fell for it. Hell, I was only 5. Santa was God back then. “Dear Santa, I want a new table computer. And a smart phone. And a Playstation 4.” And it was like God heard, and granted wishes.

Took me several years to figure out it was Mom and Dad, and not Santa. But I still watched the NORAD feed every year. And I still felt that same tingle of excitement I felt when I was five.

Of course, the cats watched the lights on the tree. I don’t know which one of them found the cord and managed to short it out, causing the spark that set the tree on fire. I just heard a crashing noise, and smelled smoke. “Jesus, what have you idiots done now!” I got up to find out what they’d done, expecting to see the tree pulled over, and lots of the glass ornaments on it broken, booby trapping the carpet.

I sure didn’t expect to see the tree glowing orange, red, yellow. But it was. I remember my words when I saw it. “Holy shit!” Yeah. I know. Original.

I grabbed my phone, dialed 911, and screamed, “Fire! The damn tree’s on fire!”

Have you ever tried to speak rationally about where you are, and what’s going on, when you’re watching your Living Room go up in smoke? “Get everyone out of the house. The fire department is on its way.”

Everyone was me, and my three cats. They were waiting patiently by the front door. We all made it outside, and stood there, in the snow, waiting for the fire department.

Like I said. There was only one thing left to do. Decide if I wanted to laugh, or cry. So, I laughed. Like an insane maniac. As I watched my home go up in smoke.

Damn cats.

490 Words

I wrote this for Week 22 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

Wishes : Happy Holiday

I worked tonight.
Until the store closed.
At 2100 hours last night.
And as I sit here,
Looking at the clock,
I know it’s now
Sunday morning.

Although it’ll be dark
For another 6
Or 7 hours
Or so.

But it occurs to me
That it’s been a while
Since I’ve made a wish
Of any kind at all.

And I’m going to change that
Right now.
On this Sunday morning
I just can’t think
Of anything at all
That I’d rather do.

One week from today
It will be December 25th.
Christmas Day.

There’s something that I’ve always wanted
My entire life.
And I’ve never figured out
How to get it.
I’ve always wanted
To have a happy holiday
On Christmas.

It’s something
I can’t remember
Ever really having.

But, you know.
In the past year I’ve learned
How very much
I can decide
To be happy,
And enjoy the holiday.
Just because I want to.

It’s been a rough year
That I’ve just come through.
One filled with change.
And I’ve learned
So very many things.

I’ve always said
That everything’s a choice.
That I have to decide
To get up every morning.
The choice is mine to make
If I go to work that day
Or just stay at home.

But in this past year
I’ve learned
I can decide
To be happy,
Or sad.
Or glad.

It’s all a choice
You know.

And, dang-it.
I’m tired of being frustrated.
And angry.
And I’m tired
Of being sad.
And blue.
And depressed too.

So, I’ve decided
That this year
I’m going to enjoy
The holiday.
And have a good time
The year that I’ve been through.
And all the friends I’ve made.
And so very many people
That I’ve met.

Oh, the gifts
That life has given me
This year.

And I’ve decided too,
That I’m going to make a wish
For all of you.

May you decide to have
A happy holiday

I know I’m going to.
And I find
I can’t wish
Any less
For you.