A story a day until there’s a sleigh! This holiday season, I’m sharing a new flash fiction piece inspired by a holiday song every day of December until Christmas. Today’s story is inspired by Christmas Island.
“I’ll leave you to your bah humbugging,” Jenny said as she slid the glass door closed. Her Mai Tai was half full and Jeff registered that he should probably for the sake of their marriage follow her inside and apologize to save their beachfront cocktail hour, but he didn’t want to risk waking Anders and Charlotte. Jet lag had turned the toddlers into even more hellish versions of their persistently destructive selves, and Jeff couldn’t take another tear soaked, ear splitting meltdown. No, better to let Jenny stew in her anger and just sit here on the balcony taking in the expansive view of the Pacific. It was her dumb idea anyway to trek halfway across the world to spend Christmas on the beach. “The kids have had such a tough year,” she’d said like the kids had any real idea of how much being in the world sucked right now. If anyone had had a tough year, it was Jeff, forced to work from home, spending all day on mute on Zoom trying to pretend like he cared about anything that was being discussed while slowly being driven insane by the soundtrack of screaming toddlers. Yes, the nanny was there. Yes, they had their health. That’s the way Jenny looked at it. She tried to see the bright side of things, but Jeff liked to stew in the misery. Lately, he’d sensed that he’d been pulling her too far into the stew with him. They were both going to simmer and drown. The balcony door slid open and there was Jenny again in her wraparound sweater. She handed him a can of beer and sat back down beside him. He thanked her and popped the tab. The moon shone off the water.