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My gift to you all: Christmas Husky!

 
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Syrius
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 1463
Location: The S.S. ScurvyDog, Arizona! YARR!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:26 pm    Post subject: My gift to you all: Christmas Husky! Reply with quote

(Hello, you all. I've been writing this for close to two months, and I was afraid that I wouldn't finish. Thank God, I managed to gather inspiration to finish it today. Enjoy it for what it is: A story centered around the holidays, about goodwill, innocence and furry friends. I have three favors to ask from you, though. First, I want you to read and enjoy it. Read it to your kids, friends, family, etc. Second. Once you're done enjoying it, feel free to criticize or ask. And third, when you get to the giant asterisk in the middle of the story, click it and continue reading from there at the rhythm of what you'll hear, if you wish, of course. I assure you it's perfectly clean and safe for work. Merry Christmas!)

CHRISTMAS HUSKY.
By Syrius Belsferg.


Dreams. Dreams as bright as moonlight. Dreams that flow away and escape, blurry, like a reflection over trepid water. I often wonder, what exactly are they? Are they messages from another place, ethereal and ephemeral? Are they distorted glimpses to an alternate, real world? Are they another part of ourselves, guiding us as we sleep?

Some think they know. Some think they may never know. Some others, simply never know.

I think I remember my first dream. Or is it the first dream I remember? I am not sure. But I am sure of what I saw. I am sure that I saw it. In gold and white, someone. Someone powerful but kind. One that could simply demand anything, yet waited for an answer as he asked something. He didn't want to use of his authority, for he was under authority himself:

"There is so much good that can be done. So much that people can achieve, but they do not know they can. Many have been asked, and unsure, unwilling or afraid, have declined. As the paths of others cross with yours, would you be willing to help them? To show them there is another way? That no hope is vain, and that no matter how late it is, an honest heart can undo ages of wrongdoings? Your efforts will not go unnoticed nor unrewarded. Will you respond to that silent plea? Do you want to be the one to heed the call?"

I observed the stranger with curiosity and caution. But even at such tender age, I didn't feel any fear. I remember my answer...

But everything else escapes me...

As bright as moonlight. As blurry as the stars over trepid water...


~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*

Lights and colors. Movement and music. Waiting for her father's return, a girl barely over the age of nine admired the beautiful and delicate Christmas arrangements behind the large crystal exhibit. The season was definitely there; it could be heard and felt among the bustling of shoppers, the hope and anticipation in the eyes of the children, the many different and delicious scents that spiced the air in the commercial plaza. She was however oblivious to it all for a few moments; the mesmerizing spectacle on the other side of the barrier delighted her eyes and ears, captivating her as if produced by a delicate music box of the most charming manufacture.

"Jocelyn." The familiar voice of her father called behind her, "We are done here. Are you ready to go home?"

"Sure, dad. Look." She pointed at the exhibit behind the crystal. "Isn't it pretty?"

"Hmm. Yes, it is." Her father nodded in appreciation. "Old-style toys, combined with mechanisms of new design. Quite ingenious." He offered Jocelyn his hand. "Let's go."

Jocelyn took her father's hand, walking by his side. She didn't do it often; she felt she was old enough to walk around the street without being led by her parents, but it was Christmas season and she was happy to have her father there. He wouldn't have to spend the holiday away from his family because of work, as it had happened in previous years. Therefore, she allowed herself that pleasure.

He took a glance at his daughter when she wasn't looking, as they headed out; the father's thoughts centered on how that would be a wonderful Christmas: There would be food on the table, all of them were healthy, their house wasn't in need of repairs, and work was looking very promising for him. Jocelyn hadn't asked for many presents, either; all she requested were new ice and roller skates, just so she could enjoy herself in the company of her friends, regardless of the season. He had gotten her a secret extra present, too. His little girl wasn't an honor student, but she persevered at school, and her grades reflected it. Even though they didn't have everything they wanted, he thought, they had everything they needed.

Their respective thoughts were interrupted by a chorus of soft, youthful voices coming a little further ahead. Right around the corner, a group of children had stationed themselves in front of a candle store, drawing people with their song, much to the delight of the conductor and the store manager. Smiling, Jocelyn and her father exchanged looks, and silently decided to stay for a while to listen at the choir of boys and girls, all impeccably dressed in red, black and white. They had just finished "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", which of course made the appreciation be born in the shape of applause from the listeners that had gathered around.

After a minute of rest, the choir began the next carol, "Joy To The World", bringing it to life with true dedication. All of their voices seemed to have been carefully selected and trained to play their part in the composition. For a moment, it felt as if a harmonious cascade of bells and flutes made of pure silver and crystal raised and lowered each note, refreshing the ears of the audience the way an army of raindrops splashes the otherwise-thirsty earth. Igniting memories in every one of the listeners, each of the pristine and innocent voices had turned something as mundane and simple as the air around them, into a beautiful musical canvas that would stay with the audience for a long time.

Needless to say, the applause this time resounded louder and lasted longer. Those holiday shoppers, worried with bringing their loved ones the right present, had already been graced with one: a valuable Christmas memory. The conductor and the children bowed, thanking the audience, which proceeded to disperse after depositing their donations at the designated box. Reading the inscription on the box, Jocelyn remembered seeing the place: Steinhart's Home For Children.

"That was great." Jocelyn's father congratulated the conductor, as he deposited a donation. "I hope you can get enough presents for all the kids."

"Actually, it's not for presents." The conductor replied calmly. "We are asking for people's help because our roof needs repairs, and we don't have enough. It will be a very uncomfortable winter if it can't be fixed."

"Oh, my." Jocelyn said. "But you have enough for the presents, right?"

"The money for the presents is also being used towards the roof repair. The children understand it; they know being warm and dry is more important than getting toys." It was the plain and blunt truth, but the conductor tried to soften his answer as much as possible.

She only gasped quietly. Her father took her hand and bid farewell to the conductor and choir before leaving. "I see. Good luck. Take care."

~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*

"Christie, we're home." Jocelyn's father announced their arrival.

"I'm in the living room, Bruno. How did it go?"

"It's even better than last year!" Jocelyn replied as she entered the living room, describing what she had seen, and sat on the couch in front of her mother. "They put a confectionery store that sells only Christmas-related treats, and the whole plaza smells delicious because of that. And there are several islands all over the place with scenes full of toys that move on their own. You and grandma should really go and see it, mom."

"It must be really something, if that's all you remember instead of your presents for this year. Are you sure you didn't forget them, Jocelyn?" Her mother replied, half-joking.

"Oh, I'm sure that's already been taken care of. Because if I don't get my skates, I'm going to throw a tantrum so big, you two will appear on the evening news and the government will have to take me away from you."

"Oh, really?" Her father said, "Under what charge?"

"I've been a good girl at home and school, so you'd be guilty of denying me the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Christmas Happiness." Jocelyn said, smugly.

Such response made them all chuckle. "I don't think Thomas Jefferson wrote all that thinking of skates, darling. But don't worry; I know you've been working hard at school, so you'll be getting something nice this Christmas. We all are." Jocelyn's father sat down next to his wife, and hugged her passing an arm around her shoulders.

"We are?" She said, looking at him, not having expected that.

"Uh-huh." He only nodded, smiling with satisfaction.

Their attention turned to the door leading to the yard. Some scratching could be heard coming from the other side; it was the family pet, a beautiful Siberian Husky they had named "Bandido". The dog bore no mask or spectacle-like patterns on his face, but Jocelyn had decided to name him so, as it was the heart of the family what he had stolen when they first adopted him.

"Don't interfere with his Pursuit of Dinner, Jocelyn. It's your turn." Her mother indicated.

Jocelyn opened the door to let the black-and-white dog inside. He greeted her with some tailwagging followed by a couple of licks on the girl's hand; then headed to the middle of the living room to present himself to the parents. Master Bruno rewarded him with some pats on the head and neck, before Jocelyn's invitation drew him to the kitchen.

"Come on, Bandido. Dinner time."

Jocelyn's mom turned to her husband. "So you're getting me something as well? What is it?"

"Do you really want to spoil the surprise?"

She nodded firmly. "Uh-huh."

~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*

An iridiscent sphere floated upwards, hesitated, and then continued its trajectory before attempting a loop that couldn't be completed. Lacking the necessary impulse, it initiated a smooth descent to the floor where it would finally disappear in silence, scattering the remnants of its short existence in a second. "Why hasn't anyone invented a soap that produces unbreakable bubbles?", Jocelyn wondered, and took the towel to dry her hands. She had just gotten herself ready for bed, but decided to have a little fun right after doing so.

She got out of the bathroom and into her room, jumping on the bed. Spreading her arms and legs on it, she stared at the colorful paper ornaments hanging from the ceiling light. The red biplane and blue balloon had been hard to finish, she remembered, but it was precisely that extra work what made them turn out the way she wanted. Jocelyn turned her attention to the door when she heard her father coming up the stairs, after he had made sure all the locks in the house were in place. Bandido was probably resting in his favorite spot in the living room, she thought. Hopefully Lester, the neighbor's cat, wouldn't wake them up when he made his round in the wee hours of the morning.

"Dad." She called as her fatther approached the door. "Do you have a minute?"

He entered the room. "Of course, Jocie. What is it?"

She sat on the bed and expressed her concern directly. "I was thinking about the kids from the orphanage. They have to pretty much work to make sure they'll have a roof over their heads this winter, and won't have anything for presents. I know Christmas is not only about that, but I just can't avoid feeling a little bad inside knowing that I will be getting something, and they won't. The difference is that I have you and mom to care for me, and I'm grateful for that. Now, when I think about those kids, I wish there was something I could do. It's not their fault they have no parents, and I don't think it's fair that those kids that sing so pretty won't have even a simple doll, or a small toy truck to play with while I go skate at South Plaza."

"I know how you feel, sweetheart." He sat down by her side, hands on the knees. "Sometimes, some people have to spend Christmas without a present at all. I think I even remember a boy who had to deal with that, many times in a row." He looked for a moment at the floor, letting out a very quiet sigh.

"Who was that?"

"I'll tell you that story later." He turned at her, making sure his smile covered any sad memories. "You do realize, that even if you gave up your presents this year, you still wouldn't be able to get toys for all the children in the choir; let alone all the others who live at the orphanage, right?"

"Yes."

"Now, what if you could help to make sure they don't suffer the cold this winter, and next year's, and maybe the one after that too? Do you think they'd be grateful if they knew you helped them so?"

"Yes. Toys aren't going to help them avoid the cold, anyway."

"Very good." Jocelyn's father gently gave her hand a couple of encouraging pats. "I could make a donation in your name to help them with the repairs, but you may need to cut back on some things, like going to the pizza parlor or the movies, for some months. Would you be okay with that?"

"I think that would be fine. It doesn't have to be toys for it to be a present." She smiled brightly at her father. "Thanks, dad."

"Good." He gave her a soft hug before getting up and walking to the doorway. "Now go to sleep. We have a couple more things to do before we pick up your grandmother at the airport. I'm positive she'll be happy to hear of your decision. Good night, Jocie."

"Good night, dad." Jocelyn covered herself with a blanket and lay down her head comfortably on the pillows. Knowing she'd remember the orphan kids in a different way next time she went skating, the girl drifted off into peaceful sleep.

~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*

"WanTEd: hepL. Go to WokrShOp."

Jocelyn read the ad nailed to the post as she cocked her head slightly to one side. She had been trying to find something that indicated where she was, or where to find people after searching for a little while in the town; the style of the buildings reminded her of the Old West, or the villages in Alaska, during the times when the promise of gold lured people in search of good fortune. Jocelyn hadn't seen any prospectors or traders, though. Since the town seemed deserted, she decided to follow the ad's indication of where to find the workshop. Fortunately, she didn't have to walk for long.

The place was a building just like the others. The light from inside the windows and the smoke coming out the chimney, however, indicated she would find someone there. As she studied a correctly-written ad in the window, a soft meow called at her from the right. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the orange tabby cat she knew as Lester sat by her side, looking up at her.

"All right. What are you doing here?"

Lester remained silent as he studied Jocelyn, his tail swishing a little. Since he wouldn't reply to Jocelyn's question, she spoke again.

"Well, I thought you'd know something."

She placed both hands on the door and pushed. Even though it wasn't really cold outside, she was happy to feel the warmth in the workshop. Lester passed by Jocelyn's left and decided to explore the inside, losing himself behind a stack of wood. Studying the place from left to right, Jocelyn noticed it wasn't as old as she had originally thought; the workshop was equipped with a conveyor, a paint-mixing station, a press and a furnace, among other things. All the way to the back, she discovered a work bench, over which some colorful objects were studied by a familiar black-and-white figure.

"Bandido!" She called her pet, happy to see him. The dog turned around, wagging his tail once he recognized his friend, and pushed himself away from the table. He padded over to the entrance, and greeted the girl cordially:

"Hello, Jocelyn. I'm glad you could make it. Think you can give me a hand over here? You know, with these paws of mine it's hard to work out the details." His voice was jovial, cheerful. It seemed to be like that of a teenager who has just finished another school year, and only has the summer vacation to look forward to.

Jocelyn gasped slightly. "Wait a moment! Is this a dream? You... well, you normally don't speak."

Bandido smiled. "Of course it's a dream. And I've entered your dream because I need your help. Well, actually it's because someone needs our help. And I need you to help me, to help them. You get the idea. Heh."

"So, you can just come into my dreams like that?" She asked with concern, temporarily disregarding the explanation offered by her pet.

"Uh, yes. It's a long story." He said a bit embarrassedly, "It's something I've been able to do for some time now. But don't worry: I always stay away from the private stuff. Come on. I will tell you everything later."

"Oh, not so fast, Mister. How do you do it? I want to know now."

"Well... I am not really sure. All I know is that at some point, I was able to see the dreams of others in my own. And they looked like spheres, or "bubbles" I could jump into. It was told to me that I would see the needs of others that way, and that I should help. That's all I can tell you for now."

"All right. I'll help you." Jocelyn said, and knelt in front of her dog, "I just have to ask you something."

"Yes?"

"I want you to visit me again in my dreams, and to tell me more about all this. You're not going to leave me waiting after I help you, right?" She inquired, not wanting to let the opportunity escape.

"I will return, and we will talk. I promise." Bandido replied.

"Would you pinky-swear it?"

"I have no pinky."

"Just give me your paw." Jocelyn requested, and taking the limb when her pet extended it, she touched her pinky right under the corresponding toe's pad. "Do we have a deal, Mr. Bandido?"

"We have a deal." The dog affirmed with a smile.

"Good." She said, letting go of Bandido's paw. "What do you need help with?"

"Right over here." The dog indicated, trotting back to the work bench. He jumped and sat on the low stool, resting his right paw close to the objects he had been inspecting earlier. They were the figurines of a clown and a harlequin, made of several parts of wood, pieced together to imitate the motions of the human body as closely as possible. They only needed to be covered in their garments to be finished.

"They're beautiful, Bandido. How did you make them?"

"I didn't. The parts were already here. All I had to do was put them close together, and that's it." He explained. "But you need to put their clothes on. This is your dream, after all."

"All right." Jocelyn said, and proceeded to do so without difficulty. The clown was soon dressed in white with red polka dots, and the harlequin bore purple on most of the suit, accentuated with magenta footwear and sleeves. She propped the figures up side by side on their stands, admiring the fine craftsmanship, and commented: "Oh, the harlequin is a girl. I bet she and her friend will cause a lot of mischief together."

"Well, how about we find out?" Bandido proposed, and then brushed the toys with his nose in a smooth motion. It seemed for a moment that some glitter sprinkled from his whiskers onto the toys, but Jocelyn couldn't tell for sure. It would be the surprise of what would happen next what caught her attention: both figures shook their heads on their own, and rubbed their eyes, as if waking up from a deep slumber unexpectedly. After descending from the stands, they turned to look at each other, and took a small leap backwards in surprise, startled. Then, they waved at each other, and cautiously walked forward to meet and greet by shaking hands, all of it with comedic exaggeration.

Jocelyn giggled in amusement at the continued comedy of the toy duo, and inquired of her pet: "Who are these toys for, by the way?"

"The children of the orphanage." Bandido said, brightly. "And we can make more if you want."

"We can? But, there are many children. We'll never finish on time for Christmas!"

"Sure we will! Remember this is your dream." Bandido jumped off the stool, wagging his tail playfully. It seemed he wanted to lead Jocelyn to the center of the workshop. "You can make it happen if you want to."

"What about their roof? They need it more than any toy." She said.

"They have collected enough for it, trust me." He reassured her. "I know how much you wanted to help, and this is your chance. Do you want all of them to have a toy this Christmas?"

"Of course!"

"Then follow me!" He began to tap his paws on the floor, as if marching in one place, and turned around to call the orange tabby watching from the stack of wood: "Hey, Lester. Come here!"
*
Right as Jocelyn decidedly began to march in place behind her pet, a soft, upbeat melody of flutes, bagpipes and bells began to fill the workshop, coming from nowhere. Right behind her, Lester followed the rhythm as he smiled contentedly at the girl; and with the company of the Clown and Harlequin figurines, the joyful "battalion" was completed.

"One, two, three! Go!" Bandido indicated, as more and more instruments enriched the invisible melody, and each in the troop headed to a different part of the workshop to start; it was time to make toys. Lots and lots of toys.

Jocelyn began to push buttons on all the machinery, bringing it to life with sound, movement and light. Wheels spun, cogs and gears combined their strength, conveyors formed infinite roads to travel on and the furnace lit up with a characteristic orange glow, showing off the dance performed by the sparks inside of it, and warming up the building just a little more. Every piece of equipment joined in the cadence of the music as they received the girl's touch, who being the only one tall enough to activate them, brought them into the task of making the presents for the kids that had delighted her with their song just the day before.

When she was done activating all the machines, Jocelyn turned to the others. Lester had tipped over several cans of paint, which, instead of spilling all over the floor, formed puddles that immediately converged into enormous drops the size of an orange, and played leapfrog with the other colors as they splashed, spread, collected themselves into a sphere and jumped ahead of each other. White, yellow, red, green, black and blue raced to the waiting airbrushes, thirsty after not having been used for some time.

As soon as the reservoirs were filled with color, the Harlequin and Clown took places on each side of the moving conveyor, ready to work the airbrushes as the first batch of toys arrived. With admirable precision and grace, each of the toy comedians jumped from one pump to another to apply the right color on the recently-made figures as they passed by; thirteen was the number of old-style soldiers standing up firmly when they reached the end of the line, only to be met by the approving nod of Bandido. He waved his paw on top of the figures, sprinkling them with some of that mysterious glitter, and the company immediately saluted and followed their Captain, who signaled them to proceed and help make even more toys.

Bandido smiled at Jocelyn from the end of the conveyor, as they looked at the soldiers bringing rolls of cloth, pieces of pre-cut wood, wire and other materials to make toys with. Girl and pet nodded at each other and decided to follow the example of the troop. Jocelyn found a wooden box, and felt a soft knock coming from inside when she laid her hands on it. Removing the top carefully, the girl discovered three fairy figurines, who signaled requesting her help. Jocelyn noticed the fairies were missing their wings, and taking the figures in her hand, she placed each pair on their backs with ease. Once complete, each fairy circled the girl once and snuggled her quickly to demonstrate their gratitude, and took off to assist the other toys in the labor.

But instead of labor, it seemed more more to Jocelyn as if a celebration was taking place. A celebration full of color, light, movement and music: Recently come out of the furnace, a silver-clad robot rolled, whirred and clicked happily into life as the soldiers presented him parts for musical instruments; parts which he soldered together with the sparks generated by his clamp-like hands. Each finished instrument was handed over to and tested by a trio of teddy bears while the fairies struggled to take their measurements with their thin ribbons, puzzling Jocelyn as of why. Right behind her, a train blew its whistle to signal the upcoming departure, and its open wagons were filled by a series of circus animals, each carved in fine-grain wood, eager to meet the children they would play with. And then, right on cue, the monkeys arrived with their noise and laughter, on top of a table a little too high to jump from. But that wouldn't be a problem. Chivalrously, five brave firefighters brought their trampoline and signaled the amused apes to jump; which of course they did, bouncing safely into the open car that would take them to their destination.

"Bandido, this is great!", She said to her pet when he appeared by her side. "It's wonderful to see all these toys making other toys. And all it took was that glitter you sprinkled on them."

"Actually, Jocelyn, this is happening because of you. It was your heartfelt wish to help those children, and all I'm doing is help you direct the power of your dreams.", He replied, and then nuzzled the girl's hand. "Here. You can do it as well. Try with that flask of bubbles over there."

Jocelyn took the indicated object, and blew through the small loop after hesitating for a second. To her surprise, some of the bubbles floated towards a series of five ribbons extended above each other, around the walls of the workshop, close to the ceiling. Taking their place in between the ribbons and joining with each other, the weightless spheres formed the figures of the notes being played at the moment, and slid around like an animated music sheet. The other bubbles that were too heavy to float kept on bouncing off the floor, serving as rides for the toys who needed to get to the other side of the workshop; and as prey for Lester, who playfully pounced on the spheres, without causing them to break. Just as Jocelyn had wished before going to bed.

Pleasantly surprised, she turned to look at Bandido, who only smiled and winked at her. Feeling more confident, Jocelyn took three rolls of ribbon and started to juggle them slowly, each of them as light and floaty as a balloon. She then caught them in one hand and rolled them dexterously along the surface of the closest work table, undoing them. The soldiers promptly cut them across with their bayonets, cheerfully saluting the girl when they made it to the other side. Jocelyn returned the gesture, and proceeded to turn the cut ribbons into bows, simply by passing her fingers on top of them, and effortlessly directing the tips to curl and loop.

Suddenly, Lester landed softly on the table, close to her, and pointed with his paw to the other side of the workshop, where he had lined several open boxes. It was time to wrap the presents.

On the way to the other side, Jocelyn noticed a red biplane taking off from a table top with the help of the Clown and Harlequin. The Pilot gave them the thumbs-up sign, and once he was off the improvised airstrip, made several passes on top of the boxes, dusting them with paint and glitter. At the moment she took another basket of bows, Jocelyn discovered the fairies putting the finishing touches on a Princess' dress, behind a curtain. When done, they drew the curtain back to present her to a Knight in shining bronze armor, who gallantly carried her in his arms to where his eager Steed waited.

It seemed everything was ready. The soldiers, marching towards the boxes, broke their formation into two groups of six, and positioned themselves at the edges of the path, side by side. And then, Clown and Harlequin, each holding an improvised cane, indicated the other toys to follow. The joyful parade, thus started, strolled down the path towards the boxes. Elegantly dressed, Drummer Teddy Bear, Harmonica Teddy Bear and Trumpet Teddy Bear were next in line, adding harmony, melody and rhythm to the collage of notes saturating the now-lively workshop. The Knight In Bronze and the Princess Of Sky Blue followed riding on their loyal Steed; fairies, firefighters, pirates, cowboys and every single toy worthy of the innocent fantasies of a child could be seen in the procession, eager to be delivered to the person they'd play with for many years to come. Even Lester seemed to have joined the fun, as he and a plush lion just about his size pounced, rolled and chased each other on the way to the end of the path.

Jocelyn was keeping busy pinning the bows on the boxes, when Bandido approached her. "It's almost time, Jocelyn."

She stopped, and turned to him. "I know. We better mail these to the orphanage soon if we want them to get there on time."

Bandido shook his head. "It's not that."

"Then what?", Jocelyn suddenly found herself surrounded by fog, at the height of the ankles, as if a cloud had invaded the workshop. The music and noise started to fade. "Huh? What is this?"

"Your dream is about to end."

"But we're not done yet!" The girl protested.

"I'm sorry.", her dog explained. "Intense dreams like this will strain your body if they last too long, or if you have them every single night. I can't keep you here; it's not safe. This dream has to end."

She then realized, as vivid and beautiful her dream had been, it wouldn't be more than that. The baskets of bows and the boxes were gone. Even Bandido seemed to vanish away with every passing moment. "What about the children? What about seeing you again? Was all this just something to make me feel better?"

He smiled at her as he waved his paw. "Everything will be fine. I made a promise to you; remember that. Good bye, Jocelyn!"

And with that, everything faded away.

~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*

Skates.

Airport.

Grandma.

News anchor.


The sound of the television brought Jocelyn into the realm of wakefulness, brushing away her last unconscious thoughts. She rubbed her eyes and forehead, then stared at the ceiling. Everything was exactly as the night before. She could hear her parents' unintelligible voices coming from below. Why didn't they wake her up? Didn't they have to go to the airport? Or had she been so deeply asleep, that her father had already brought grandma home by himself?

Unsure of what she would find, Jocelyn got out of the bed and descended the stairs. She saw her parents looking at the TV screen, but before she could say anything, the mention by the local news anchor about Steinhart's Home For Children caught her attention. Her father saw her, and signaled to get close as the program switched to a reporter on the scene:

"It seems that an early Christmas miracle has happened at Steinhart's Home For Children. We have one of the members of the staff with us, so he can tell us, in his own words, what happened. Sir?" She pointed the microphone towards the man by her side. Jocelyn and her father recognized him.

"That's the conductor of the children's choir." He whispered to his wife.

"Yes.", the conductor began, "It was around six in the morning when I heard some knocks on the door. I thought at first it was somebody in need of help. But when we opened the door, all we found was this big sack full of presents, and no one around. Each of the presents is addressed to a child in the home, but we haven't found any indication of who sent them." He smiled at the camera and bowed lightly in a gesture of gratitude. "Christmas has come early for our kids. Whoever it was, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

The reporter proceeded to show the toys to the camera and denote their fine craftsmanship, as Jocelyn's parents commented about the incident, but the girl was oblivious to all of it. She had instead turned slowly to take a look at her pet. Laying down on his favorite spot, Bandido limited himself to smile at her in a canine way, as his tail kept on wagging. And wagging. And wagging. And wagging...

~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~* ~*

Applause, laughter and whistles were granted to the performers of the star act of the night. The Harlequin in purple and her companion the white Clown bowed deeply, and then waved at a specific section of the audience. The Fire Chief waved back at his friends, remembering how they had always been such a pair of jokesters. He felt grateful he had gotten the night off just so he could attend that special Christmas showing, along with his family and other childhood friends, including the pilot and the fashion designer. Only his friends the doctor and engineer had been unable to attend, but he'd see them in New Year's Eve. They would all get together after the showing as it was their custom, and reminisce about everything that had happened through the year: Life. Work. Accomplishments. All the bad, and all the good. And of course, that special morning so many years ago, in which their lives were touched by that mysterious, anonymous Christmas Angel.

_________________
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Last edited by Syrius on Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:21 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Syrius
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, I don't mean to be an attention hog and such, or am expecting a medal or something... it's just that... I can has feedback plz?
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Cookie
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Apologies, I've been consistently busy for days, with only a few minutes here and there. I haven't been able to read it.
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Cathal
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a lovely work, a few miner errors, but nothing that detracted from the story at all.

you have done well my Canine friend.. *huggles*..

=:3
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Virmir
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooo, this reminds me of dreams where I'm doing something on the computer and then start to wake up, then hurry up and try to save my work in vain. Happens *all* the time, unfortunately. Wink

This is a nice, to-the-point heartwarming tale. Your descriptions are very vivid, especially the dream sequence. The only thing that strikes me as odd is that the little girl acts overly mature, particularly the "pursuit of Christmas Happiness" dialogue. But then again, I recall older Christmas movies generally featured some little girl who spoke well beyond her years, so if that's what you were playing homage to, you nailed it. Smile

I'm particularly intrigued by the very end. The way I take it, it's the children of the orphanage all grown up, having taken professions inspired by the toys they received. It's good practice to allow the reader to draw some conclusions himself. Smile

Thanks for sharing!

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Syrius
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ Thanks for reading!

Yes, she is a bit mature for her age, but she also shows signs of the classic stubborness that kids display. (She MUST get her skates or will put her parents on the news. Razz). I didn't know how else I could have her be, to be honest. The only other possibility was that of a ditzy spoiled princess. I guess it can be explained by the father's thoughts while at the mall: They have dealt with economic, health or work difficulties in the past, and that has made Jocelyn mature. She has learned that one can't always gets what one wants.

The adults at the end of the story are the kids from the orphanage, all right. Bandido can dreamwalk, so he knows either what each kid wants, or what is better suited for them in order to positively-influence their lives, based on what he's seen in their subconscious (He's an agent of good, if you want further explanation.). So you get a mega-taco for seeing it first. Very Happy It was pointed out to me by a friend that it may not be too obvious, so I plan on revising it to add a clear hint. And re-post it around the net next holiday season.

Merry Christmas (belated) and Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading, those who did!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mods, can this be moved to either the writer's guild or the feedback thread? I'll make sure to post my next story there next time.

Edit by Nite: All set! :3

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Howellfan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finally got my but around to reading 'Christmas Husky'.

*Ghaaaawh* 'Tis sweet. Smile *Hugs*

Btw, updates on ADL(reboot) are coming fast and furious now; not that I'm suddenly pounding out material bab-bam as that now that I'm past fleshing out Gray and Rebecca's first days and am caught up to material from the first version I can go faster now. Even a complete rework of old material comes faster(and a lot easier Laughing)than original content - well, at least for me, anyways! Razz
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Syrius
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to bump this, everyone. (I won't do it every year, promised.)

I started to read this story again, and noticed some things needed to be revised to give more solidity to the plot. I am happy to say that I am pleased with the way it looks now, as it took me longer to revise it than to write it.

Those who haven't read it, I hope you like it. Merry (Furry) Christmas!

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Wolfshead
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you did bump the story. Those of us who weren't here last year would have missed it otherwise.

I did enjoy the story. Any plans to continue it? You certainly have enough loose ends to finish up.
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Syrius
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for reading it. Yes, I do plan on following up; that was precisely the point of the loose ends (Well, what do you think the loose ends are?), even though the story is meant to be self-contained.

Thanks again for your patronage. Come again.

Very Happy

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