“Take 10 minutes. Sit, Write. Whatever comes to mind, let it flow free and just write it down. Write down ALL the thoughts words, concepts, worries, everything – that strolls through your mind in the span of 10 minutes.” mlmm writing prompt, December 25, 2016; image: Barbara A Lane via pixabay

Not the cheeriest of free writes, but what came into my mind and organized into a story (minimal editing for typos and misunderstandingos):


The thought came unbidden, as such thoughts always did: “This is my last Christmas.”

She had been forcing string through the top loops of shiny metal jingle bells; stringing them to hang on the rose bushes.

The sort of thought like S is pregnant again, A will get an underserved promotion, K will kill himself that popped into her mind from some ancient feral place within her. A place that knew.

No fatalistic vision – just a knowing. Not born of living within the bipolarsphere or with relentless depression.

Her major change towards the season did not seem like one made by someone experiencing her last: less cards sent, less gifts given; less acknowledgement of Christmas. As always, stuffed animals for a charity so 12 or so children wouldn’t have to sleep alone. Bought on sale throughout the year, she felt good delivering the Christmas-themed tote to the chosen charity.

Perhaps adorned the house she watched more – the outside show of pretend inside inhabitation. Such as decorating the large maple, bonsai spruce, and bank of rose bushes in the front, and the cedars that peeked out from beyond the perpetually open side gate. Strung the bells bought last year, but missing, as usual, a box of Christmas as if Scrooge’s pre-redemption ghost dwelt in her attic and rearranged things in December.

To at least a degree, all the cards were hand-made; the first time in 10 years. Maybe that was the trigger or the result of her thought. Standing in the driveway, fingers cold and bleeding from prickly roses. She took it calmly, as all such thoughts must be. Would forget – the “surprisingly early atrophied” parts of her brain must be her memory foam lost it’s reshaping properties – might remember with a start re-stringing metal jingle bells to hang on these or other rose bushes next Christmas or one beyond that or within this coming calendar year, as her life was slipping away.

(c) Lorraine