Chapter 1:

It was the Night Before Christmas

A Perfect Life

I leaned back in my chair, surveying the results of my hard hours. The living room was an array of red and green’s, wrapping the walls of the house together. Each light glowed brightly like a fairy, shifting back and forth like the wires were rope bridges. Individually, each light did its part, providing a bright glow, that could shine for miles in the dark winter nights. When combined, however, the lights became a masterpiece, lighting up the dull living room, transforming it into a work of art. The lights stretched around the room before starting to spiral like a top around the giant Christmas tree I had cut down from the woods. Bookmark here

Laughter came from the kitchen, causing me to pop up as quickly as I sat. I rushed over to the door, passing through as quickly as I could. The room needed to be kept a surprise, she couldn’t enter unexpectedly.Bookmark here

I passed through the halls before I reached her, sitting at the table drawing a doodle of sorts on her slate. A man was dancing in the snow without a care in the world. For being only four years old, my little girl was the most talented in the world, at least in my eyes. Bookmark here

“Daddy!” her eyes sparkled as she jumped off the stool and into my arms. Her bright blonde hair fell across my face, making me sneeze. Every day with Alisha was a blessing to me, a blessing given directly from god.Bookmark here

Footsteps came from the other door in the kitchen as my wife, Olivia strutted through the opening. Her blonde hair seemed to shimmer in the air as she walked, drawing your attention towards her wherever she went. “Hey honey, long day at work?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Nothing more than the normal. This whole pandemic thing is getting out of hand. Were already overworked enough, yet the people keep rolling in.” She collapsed on one of the kitchen chairs, head against the desk.Bookmark here

Alisha squirmed out of my hands towards her mom and gave her a great big hug. “Aww, what’s up my little honey bun.Bookmark here

“Mommy! There was this big cweature in the window!” I frowned, this was the first I’d heard of anything of the sort.Bookmark here

“Oh, a creature you say. I’m sure it was very scary.” She picked up Alisha and held her in her arms. “Well, mommy wants to see that big scary creature in the living room.”Bookmark here

“Actually I have something to show both of you there.” Without saying another word, I lead them both towards the living room and put my hand on the handle. “May I present, my Christmas wonderland.Bookmark here

Beyond the door lay my hard work. Alisha gasped as she ran inside, spinning in a circle as she tried to look at every inch, eventually collapsing on the floor, dizzy out of her mind and laughing. Bookmark here

“Honey, what is this?” Olivia looked around, her mouth was wide open in a gasp. Trains were running along the walls, having plugged them in when I closed the door. Whenever they made a full loop their lights flashed on and off in greeting to whoever was observing at the time.Bookmark here

“Surprise I guess.”Bookmark here

“How much time did this take? I didn’t notice anything this morning. There’s no way you got all this done in Ten hours.” she asked.Bookmark here

“Hahaha, you underestimate me, honey. I called someone to help set up a bit, but 90% of this was all me. A man’s determination can take him a long way.”Bookmark here

“If you say so.” she walked over to where Alisha was still plastered to the ground in a heap of laughter. “Looks like someone likes the room, or am I wrong. We can always take it down if you don’t like it Honey bun.”Bookmark here

“No mommy, up! Keep it up!”Bookmark here

“If you say so, now, let’s take a tour, shall we?”Bookmark here

“Yaaaay Towr.” She jumped up from the floor and back into Olivia’s arms. They walked around the room, admiring every little detail of the lights, trains, and everything Christmassy I added. This is what made the hard work worth it, seeing the bright smile on my daughter’s face.Bookmark here

Her eyes seemed to follow the trains religiously as they finished their so-called tour of the room. They ended up right in front of the great big Christmas tree, still fresh from being cut. The red and green lights spun around the tree, joined by golden tinsel. Trying to follow the path of the would only lead to a headache it was so spiraly. That didn’t keep my precious daughter from trying, however, and soon enough she was back on the floor, causing a laugh to pass through my lips.Bookmark here

I looked at the clock, it was eleven pm on the 24th. Only one hour until Christmas began. Alisha should have probably been in bed, but I decided to let it slide. I’d sacrificed a lot for this Christmas, that we could all spend it well together as a family.Bookmark here

The couch squeaked as I sat on it, patting it as Olivia sat next to me. Alisha gave us a bear hug before we could react, crashing in between our two bodies. Due to her age, it was more cute than anything else, making me smile as she snuggled between us.Bookmark here

“Well Alisha, as there’s only an hour until Christmas begins, I thought we could read a fun story before we go to bed and Santa comes.” I pulled out a large picture book from behind the couch, putting an expression of happy surprise on her face.Bookmark here

“Daddy, where that come from?”Bookmark here

“It’s magic. Now then, This is a small tale from long ago, a tale of Santa traveling through a small town, delivering presents to the good little boys and girls. Are you a good little girl Alisha?Bookmark here

“Yeah!”Bookmark here

“Hahaha. If you say so. This is a tale about a good girl like you.” I opened the book up and read the first sentence.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.