Alone in the darkness, she groped.
No moonlight snuck under doors or through curtain edges.
She, the solitary inhabitant of the home, found herself in need of a candle and match.
Where had she placed the tapers – in the dining cupboard?
Inching her loafer-clad feet toward the antique buffet, her hands stretched in front of her.
A wall should be there, and where was the foot stool?
Whipping wind and pelting rain worked over the Victorian home’s exterior. There would be no electricity restored this night.
Ah, there. The fingers of her left hand found a stationary object. Relief flooded her tight chest. Must be the windback chair.
However, this chair took a breath! She gasped and pulled her hand toward her chest.
Then, she understood. No more surprise. No more startle. She had suspected he would come. Likely planned this night most of the year.
Resigned, she stood and allowed him to wrap one arm around her shoulder and pull her toward him.
His whisper revealed his intention. One she already knew.
“Merry Christmas, Ella. And Happy New Year.”
Santa. He returned to torment her year after year. With his fruits and nuts. His toys and games. His glove and wallet sets. Would it never end?
His flashlight clicked. Illumination ensued, and she viewed his white beard and classic red suit. Smiling face and bright eyes only added to her desperation.
Oh, God, no. Would he again leave her fruitcake?
(copyright – Lea Milford – no reproduction without giving origination of www.everydayclimb.com)