Short Story: Another Holy Night Part 1 by Cyndi Lord

Short Story: Another Holy Night Part 1 by Cyndi Lord
January 2, 2016 22 Comments Featured Poetry and Shorts Stephanie Ayers

Our Write Side recently had a contest. The theme was family traditions, written with Nicholas Sparks flair. Of the entries we received, only one could be declared the winner, but today’s story came in a very close second. We are very honored to introduce you to author Cyndi Lord and her mystical way with words. This is part 1 of her contest entry, Another Holy Night.

Cyndi LordCyndi Lord moved to North East Texas in 2005 where she lives on a ranch with her husband, two dogs, and two cats. An award winning author, she recently decided to go into semi-retirement from her career as a private investigator and research paralegal in order to write full time. Her novels incorporate her professional experience into the plots readers love to unravel along with the investigator.

She is active in a ministry to the homeless and enjoys many aspects of philosophy. As an animal lover, she is a vegan, and strong voice against cruelty to animals. Cyndi and her husband have nine adult children, sixteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. For tranquility she loves to work in the garden, and bake. Painting nature scenes is her favorite joy after writing.

She is the Administrator of Elite Critiques – Facebook, and award-winning Bestselling Author of the Sandra Derringer Chronicles, The Plain Series, and Nick The Owlet’s Adventure, and is also the Editor-in-chief for E.C.M (Elite Critiques Magazine).

Another Holy Night

Alexander McArthur raised the collar of his jacket and ducked his head against the frigid wind pelting him with snow from the canopies of decorated stores. Ice marbled sidewalks cast crystal clear reflections of rainbows, uncrushed beneath the boots of those who hustled along. In the holiday season, when others should matter most, thousands remained forgotten in their solitude of misery called homelessness. He walked onward, shoulders hunched, to make a difference.

The aromas of pine needles, cinnamon, and exhaust assaulted his senses and created mixed emotions of joy and disgust. For five years, each Christmas Eve, he’d made this trip into the distant city to honor his grandmother. Hope of finding her died a year earlier when disappointment crushed his spirit time and again. Compelled to find others living his grandmother’s fate, he walked on.

Alexander’s fixation pushed others away. He couldn’t deny his annual trips here contributed to the demise of his troubled marriage. The first year, she came with him and helped him search the homeless shelters, lowliest backstreets, and alleyways for his grandmother. By the second year, she refused to leave their newborn with her parents or miss his first Christmas. The next year infuriated her, and the fourth she moved out.

Every wishful child reminded him of Dean, his own son. After the divorce, the grief of not having his son in his life increased his desire to find his grandmother. The three year old spent Christmas with his mother and her new husband. Alexander and the tot celebrated Christmas a week later when others nursed hangovers. He’d be up at the crack of dawn partaking in the laughter and squeals of his child who’d spend two minutes ripping wrapping paper off gifts he had spent two hours meticulously taping. Alexander wanted his grandmother to know his son.

Groups of people bundled in jackets over Santa suits stood with large pots in front of stores. They shook bells hoping for donations, he stopped and pulled change from his front pocket. A breeze with the intensity of ice water hit his ears and cheeks. He’d ignored the taxis lined up in front, zipped his jacket, and walked east on Main Street.

The Santa he approached had bright red cheeks to match his costume. Alexander shook his hand. “You must be freezing. I don’t envy your job.”

“I’ll be done in two hours. It’s all right.”

He dropped a few dollars of change in the pot and turned around. An elderly woman holding the hand of a boy of about seven years old stood by the next Santa.

“Go ahead, Brian. Jesus will bless you when you bless others.” She smiled down at the boy.

Brian nodded. He dug in his pocket and looked at three quarters in his hand. “It all I have, Mister. Is this okay?”

“Yes, it sure is, son.” The Santa chuckled.

The boy dropped them in the slot one at a time.   

“I hope Jesus blesses me with that bike I been askin’ for, Grandma.”

She squatted in front of him. “I think you just might get that prayer answered this year.”

Alexander smiled and turned away. A tug on his hand stopped him, he looked down at the child. “I hope you get what you want for Christmas, too, Mister.”

He bit his bottom lip, nodded, and pulled his hand out of the boy’s.

Grandma had taken him in at three years old, the same age of his son. Grandpa later died in a car accident just like his own parents. The Christmas of his ninth year only grandma and he sat at the table. The tree had few gifts under it, but they made cookies and she let him lick icing off the beaters. The summer he turned eleven, the mortgage company evicted them from the house Grandpa built with his own hands. He’d mortgaged their home to start a business, and it failed in the recession. The older man took odd jobs to support his wife and grandson.

Alexander tapped an empty wine bottle with his foot and sent it bouncing over the curb. The helplessness he’d felt all those months while his grandmother struggled and grieved rekindled into anger. She sold everything in the house in an attempt to pay the mortgage company; a futile effort.

He walked along the cold, icy streets of the city. Lights twinkled, wreaths hung from store fronts, and he recalled the last time he saw his grandma. The power company disconnected the electricity in the summer. By late fall, the fuel supplier cut them off the gas, and the cupboards stayed close to bare. The mortgage company padlocked the front door Christmas Eve. Grandma sat on the porch steps close beside him. His suitcase and a paper bag contained everything he owned: a teddy bear, some pictures grandma shared with him, a small toy truck, three plastic soldiers, and a sandwich bag with few gold fish crackers. Grandma’s lifetime possessions stuffed her suitcase and purse.

The State Welfare Agency car pulled in and he threw his arms around his grandmother. “I want to stay with you. Please, don’t make me go with that lady.”

The final segment of Another Holy Night to be continued next Saturday, January 9, 2016.

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Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
Leave Comment
  1. 22 Comments

    Stephanie Ayers

    Thank you for entering our contest. We are so very honored to share your story here and in the newsletter as well.

    Reply
  2. 22 Comments

    E. Prybylski

    What a gorgeous story – I’m looking forward to the next installment! As always, Cyndi knocks it out of the park.

    Reply
    1. 22 Comments

      Stephanie Ayers

      She absolutely does.

      Reply
  3. 22 Comments

    Carol Franciottu

    Wow! Just LOVE Cyndi’s way of writing! She aways draws me in within the first few moments. Can not wait to read the final segment of this story. Thank you Cyndi!

    Reply
    1. 22 Comments

      Stephanie Ayers

      I wholeheartedly agree.

      Reply
  4. 22 Comments

    Devon Carey

    I’ll be waiting for the next installment. I’m excited to see where this is going. You’ve proven yourself, time and time again, to be a superb author that always delivers awesomeness.

    Thank you for sharing and winning! Well deserved. Anyone who enjoys reading, I recommend looking into Cyndi Lord if you’re looking for some good reads. Check out the Sandra Derringer Chronicles! 😀

    Reply
    1. 22 Comments

      Stephanie Ayers

      Thanks for stopping in, Devon. Her writing is truly a delight.

      Reply
  5. 22 Comments

    Larry Thompson

    I love this. she is not only a good friend. but a great writer.

    Reply
    1. 22 Comments

      Stephanie Ayers

      100% agree. I do hope she will share more of her writing with us.

      Reply
  6. 22 Comments

    Uttam Paudel

    Apart form her style of writing that makes one see things, it’s the humanism that draws me into the story. Eagerly waiting for the rest of the story.

    Reply
    1. 22 Comments

      Stephanie Ayers

      Agree. it very much meets the whole Nicholas Sparks, family tradition theme of the contest.

      Reply
  7. 22 Comments

    Lewis Smith

    What a great beginning! Can’t wait to see how the story turns out. Great use of descriptive prose really sucked me in!

    Reply
  8. 22 Comments

    Elizabeth

    Congratulations Cyndi. Great story!

    Reply
  9. 22 Comments

    Deb Hockenberry

    I was pulled into the story right away. I can’t wait to read the next installment & hope Grandma is found alive & well.

    Reply
  10. 22 Comments

    Tina

    Great beginning to the story. I look forward to the next installment.

    Reply
  11. 22 Comments

    Emma T. Gitani

    I don’t want to wait till next week!

    Reply
  12. 22 Comments

    Cyndi Lord

    Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. You all mean so much to me!

    Reply
  13. 22 Comments

    Linda W. Yezak

    Intriguing intro. I can see why Cyndi is an award winner!

    Reply
  14. 22 Comments

    Rich Weatherly

    I enjoyed, “Another Holy Night” Part 1 by Cyndi Lord and I’m eager to read Part 2. It’s on its way to being a truly meaningful, heartwarming story.

    Reply
  15. 22 Comments

    Short Story: Another Holy Night Finale by Cyndi Lord - Our Write Side

    […] Short Story: Another Holy Night Finale by Cyndi Lord […]

    Reply
  16. 22 Comments

    Nancy Hudgins

    I absolutely loved this story!

    Reply
  17. 22 Comments

    Alice Poll

    On pins and needles to see what is next. Love your writings, always intriguing!!!
    Alley

    Reply

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