A Christmas Tale
Ms Samiksha S. Deshmukh
The Somaiya School,
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
“Oh Larry, the presents go under the tree, not beside it!! Anne, the goblet goes near the plates either on the right or left side of the plate!! Darling, the Christmas tree does not have the angel at the top!! Why are you all so slow??!! Come on, work it!” screamed Samantha at her family. Samantha and her husband Hank lived on 12th street in Manhattan. She had a son named Laurence and a daughter named Anne. Samantha was anxious about her boss visiting her for dinner. Anne never liked Christmas for the mere fact that she did not like having family get-togethers. She did not like having new guests for Christmas.
"Mom, why is your boss coming for dinner? Why can't we just have dinner for ourselves? Anyways, my friends calling me for a facetime. Bye, mom." said Anne and left the room. "Why is she always grumpy?" asked Larry to Samantha. "I don't know," said Samantha and started helping her son. Back in her room, Anne opened her feed and started checking it. Suddenly, she heard a small rumbling sound under her "mountain of clothes". She went closer to see what it was and zoop!! She got sucked in a time void.
Scientists have recorded several time voids in Manhattan. One of them was in Samantha's house. It was regularly investigated and but never discovered by anyone because they came in the night to investigate.
Anne woke up in her bed and looked as if it was morning already. She wore her robes and went downstairs to find no one there. She went into the kitchen to find it empty. Her mother, father, and brother were nowhere to be seen. She made her breakfast and went to the living room to find no tree, no presents, no stockings, and no sweets. The bell rang and she went to open it. To her surprise, she saw an elderly man and woman who looked similar to her parents. Clueless, she asked, " Who are you and what do you want?" They replied that they were her parents who were having a vacation in Switzerland. She let them, still clueless and confused. "So Anne, how is work?" asked the elderly man. " How does he know my name?" thought Anne. " Good," Anne replied to the man. " I'll be back in a minute," said Anne and ran towards her room. She went near the mirror to notice the face of a middle-aged woman and realized that she was in the future.
" Wait, I am in the future. The elderly couple downstairs is my parents. I can't believe that I am in the future. Did Dr Emmett leave the time machine? If yes, why couldn't I see?" said Anne when her thoughts were interrupted with the creaking of the door. " Honey, did you have breakfast?" asked Samantha wearily. Anne nodded and accompanied her mother downstairs.
As she stepped into the corridor, she saw a young man hugging her father. " Oh my god Larry, you are grown up. How are you?" asked shocked Anne. Larry gave her a confused look. " You see me every day, Anne. What is wrong with you?" he said.
Anne could not believe her eyes. She was witnessing the future. Anne helped her mother cook food for the feast, helped her brother and father set up the tree, and set the table. She felt unusual happiness while her family for the Christmas feast.
At night as they were about to begin the feast, Samantha fell to the ground. Anne and Larry helped their father pick their mother up. "We have to take her to the hospital." As they went to call a taxi, they heard a scream from inside the house. " Help, a raccoon has just entered the house. Call the animal control now." shrieked their father. So, it was decided that Anne went to call the taxi while Larry called 911.
Anne went to the hospital with her mother and started searching for a doctor. The nurses started to set up the ICU for the emergency but no doctor was there to report for heart cases. Finally one of them had just finished with surgery, he was told to report. Back at the house, the animal control came to rescue and took away the raccoon.
Back at the hospital, the doctor announced that Samantha had gone into a coma. That was the last anyone would have expected. The doctor assured her that she may come out of it in a week or so. She called her brother to check the raccoon and also told them the news. Accordingly, they had to cancel the feast and eve party to stay with Samantha. Suddenly a notification popped on Anne’s phone which said- ‘Tomorrow flight for London for the meeting”. She was shocked and clicked on the notification. After reading the note, she realized that she had a meeting in London and she was staying there for 2 weeks. She knew she could not meet her mother for the new year and sadly returned home to pack her bags. Hank left for the hospital and Larry helped her pack her bags.
“Weird isn’t it? Last Christmas you didn’t want to see mom and now suddenly to wanted to spend time with her? For so many years, you have always hated helping and having a feast with us and today you are devastated to leave on Christmas eve? Whatever happened to you, whatever changed you, did it for good. Finally, you realized that there is no Christmas without family. Please, stay back.” Larry pleaded. Anne realized that she never liked having Christmas of togetherness and would be regretting in the future.
After packing, she lay in bed thinking about the deeds she did every Christmas till now. She could only see herself being grumpy and angry. She wanted to restart her life. She wanted to back in past and change herself. She went near the time void which was still under the pile of clothes and zoop!!! She woke, laying on the ground, surrounded by her parents. She got up and first hugged her and said,” Mommy, I am so glad you are healthy.” Then looked at her family and said, “ I love having Christmas with you and I am so sorry that I behaved rudely with you all.” She hugged her and never complained about Christmas feasts.
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