Welcome. Each episode of the Christmas Story has been written by a different author adding to what has been written by previously. Part Two is brought to us by Nicole Zoltack.
Heather closed the door behind her and leaned against it. A night had not passed since Sean had left a month ago that Madison didn’t ask about him. Each time her daughter asked, Heather’s chest became a little tighter. She had no idea where Sean was; no one did. No letter, no phone call, no good bye, nothing. One day, she picked Madison up from school and texted Sean to know when he was leaving work so she could start dinner. No answer. He never came home. Hadn’t even gone into work that day. He had just… disappeared.
With a long sigh, Heather dragged herself to her room. She had a few more presents to wrap, then she’d wait another hour or so to make certain Madison was asleep before placing them beneath the tree. The artificial tree. She hated it, missed the smell of pine filling the house. But Sean insisted last year they buy it.
Pushing thoughts of him aside, she rummaged through the items covering the bottom of her closet and pulled out the doll Madison had begged for. Then she hurried up to the attic to retrieve the gift wrap. Normally wrapping presents had been Sean’s job. He liked order and perfection. Heather had too much to worry about to make sure the lines were crisp and even.
She grabbed the blue roll with snowflakes on it, and turned to go back downstairs when a small box caught her eye. Careful not to step an anything--it was surprising how messy the attic was considering Sean was the only one who normally came up here--she made her way to the box and opened it.
A necklace with a blue and purple studded butterfly.
She caressed it. The back wasn’t smooth so she flipped the butterfly over.
“H Love always. S”
Tears prickled her eyes.
Sean wasn’t one for picking out jewelry. He had forced her to pick out her engagement ring, and then their wedding bands.
This gift meant so much to her.
And if he had left this here, did that mean he would one day come back? Or that he hadn’t left them by choice?
Maybe it was time to ask the police to resume their search.
Heather gingerly put on the necklace, then made her way downstairs. Once the last presents were wrapped, she placed them beneath the covers on her bed. Making like a mouse, she sneaked down the hall to Madison’s room. She heard nothing. Normally Madison was a heavy breather.
Perplexed, Heather inched the door open before flinging it open wide. “Madison? Madison! Where are you?”
Madison was nowhere to be found.
This could not be happening again…