[Weekly Writ is an entertainment project where we take story suggestions from our Your Ad-Vantage Facebook page and turn those ideas into a flash-fiction vignette every week. This week’s special Christmas-themed story is written by Loren Rugen. It is based on a true story (though embellished in folk-tale style) and inspired by Linda, who reminded me to create this account in story form.]
There once was a young couple who lived a simple sort of life. They were raising a delightful son, whom they loved, and he was their greatest joy. He was a source of continuous entertainment and glee.
Even while no older than a toddler by stature and age this boy reveled in laughter; whether it was his own or that of his admirers was inconsequential. Though he lacked the motor skills to speak, the boy displayed an astonishing fascination with human interaction, constantly striving for their good humor and attention.
Because of this desire, he was never content with being alone. If he found himself absent of company, the boy would devise the existence of companions he could babble with. Before long, in the occurrence that others were near, his companions occupied him even in their presence.
These companions of his did not truly exist, of course, but they were real on an entirely basic level to the boy in the form of his stuffed animals, the pictures in his books, and human-like shapes he perceived in his surroundings.
It came about that Christmas was only a fortnight away and the boy’s family was actively baking ginger Christmas cookies. Among them were stars, teddy bears, rocking horses, angels, Christmas trees, and little gingerbread men and women. Of all the shapes on display for the boy’s perusal, it was the gingerbread men that caught his eye the most. To him they were a happy sort and he longed to get his hands on them. His parents, occupied with the task of crafting the delightful things, kept them at arms length from the boy, thinking he only wanted to eat the tasty treats.
The time came when all the cookies were done and the three of them were preparing to depart in order to decorate the cookies with family. The wife grabbed the boy in one arm and the cookies in another and started to descend the flight of stairs that led down to the car, where her husband had gone to warm it up.
The close proximity to his new companions was a treat indeed for the boy. The gingerbread men were dancing such a silly jig and singing such a silly song that he impulsively reached out and grasped the plate of cookies. The imbalance caused by this motion slipped the plate right out of his mother’s hands. The plate fell to the nearest step and promptly scattered its contents. The gingery escapees bounced every which way down the flight of stairs and beyond.
The boy didn’t even hear his mother’s cry of dismay. He was too busy watching the gingerbread men dance and twirl like he couldn’t believe down the concrete steps. And he laughed, as he is prone to do, because they were so free and giggling with glee as they went.