"The Holiday Collection" is the second anthology of short stories from the Indie Eclective: A group of nine authors crossing genres. These holiday-themed stories range from serious to humorous, and all express the sentiments of the season in their own "Eclective" way.
In many traditions, the cold of winter is perfect for curling up and spending time with family. We cordially invite you to spend some time with ours. (Curling up is optional.)
Excerpt from Snow Whisperers, by Lizzy Ford:
Sandy wiped the last of her tears from her eyes lest they freeze on her face in the sub-zero wind chill. Her boyfriend of two years had just given her the “it’s not you, it’s me … and my new girlfriend” speech, two days before Christmas. This winter was supposed to be a good one. After all, they planned to hold an engagement party.
It was just another reason to hate winter. First, there were the snowmen that openly taunted her every time she left or returned to the apartment she rented from her parents over their garage. Now, there was Robby leaving her. Every year she hoped for a good holiday season, and every year she was more and more disappointed.
With a sigh, Sandy exited her car and planted her feet carefully on the slick ground. It was dark. Her day at the office sucked, mainly because everyone else had dates or plans with their significant others. It was all anyone talked about all day.
“Heya, Shuga.” She looked up at the familiar voice and saw the short, squat snowman across the street.
“Chuy? I didn’t see you last year,” she said and crossed to the only snowman she’d ever liked. He befriended her when she was young and returned to the neighborhood almost every year.
“Got sent to Brazil for a freak snow. They can’t send newbies into an environment like that,” Chuy spoke in a rich voice with a heavy southern accent.
“Right,” she said. “You sticking around for a few days?”
“At least I’ll have one friend,” she said. “Robby dumped me for a blonde.”
“You’ll have that,” Chuy said wisely. “We snowpeople understand just how precious our time is. Our relationships are brief but passionate.”
“Wouldn’t you rather have someone long term that you could grow old … uh, spend the entire winter with?”
“Sometimes, I think it might be nice, but then I couldn’t travel like I do. When one snowman melts, another is reborn, and our souls get recycled all over the world, wherever there’s an opening. We see a lot of neat things. Snowpeople as old as I am get first pick of the good spots.”
“This is a good spot?”
“Oh, yeah. I love it here,” he said. “I think I like my freedom to roam better than I would being chained to one snow-woman for the winter.”
“I guess I’m just ready to move into the next stage of life,” she said. “Been alone long enough.”
“Even so, you don’t want to spend it with a snow-gnome like Robby. He’d melt your happiness.”
“You’re probably right,” she agreed. “I’m just disappointed.”
“You got two days ‘til Christmas. That’s a lifetime for a snowman. You can find someone new.”
“We’ll see,” she said. “Well, I’m going inside. See you tomorrow.” She turned and walked away. At least her parents had respected her wish not to have a snowman in their yard this year. She entered through the garage and went to the large studio above it. Her mom had left a note on the microwave in the small kitchen area, reminding her dinner was in the fridge.
Depressed, alone, she heated it up and sat down to eat.