Decking the Halls
If you look closely, you can still see Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror. Time has a habit of flashing by for me. I’m still trying to figure out what happened to August and the heat of summer while December is just peeking around the corner. One of these days, I’ll figure out how to slow things down.
Meanwhile, I’m doing my part to get things ready for the holidays. It’s easier to take it in stages, with the Christmas tree, lights and decorations. No sense rushing around trying to do everything at once.
Before you know it, the radio stations will be playing Christmas carols around the clock and the networks will be dusting off the Hollywood holiday movies from the shelves. Of course, Hallmark started showing Christmas movies in October. I’m still waiting for “Die Hard” and “Scrooged” to appear, right along with “Jingle All The Way”.
So between segments of decorating, I’ve been working on a new Jamie story. This may not turn out to be a full novel. Maybe a short story or a novella. I’ll have to wait and see what Jamie has in mind.
Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from “Devious” to put you in the holiday mood. In this scene, Jamie has found a new place to live and wants to get it ready for the holidays.
I really wanted to spend Christmas in my new place. Part of the magic would be to spring it on Malone as a holiday surprise. Disappointment was closing in. I knew it was a last minute decision, but I had to go through with it. Inspiration saved me.
I didn't have to move completely, just enough stuff to get through a few nights. Kitchen gear for cooking, clothes to wear, gifts for the tree. A tree! Not some polyester conglomeration of wires and bristles. I wanted an honest to God Scotch pine with needles and a thirst, tinsel and popcorn and ornaments and lights. It was time to get moving.
He sat there patiently while I drove to the house. It was only a few miles away and traffic was nonexistent. A light dusting of snow had fallen earlier, making everything sparkle. I parked by the curb and helped him from the car. He held my arm gingerly and followed me up the walk and the two short steps to the front entrance. Inside I made him stand by the door and wait.
"What's going on?" Malone blinked as his eyes swept the room.
"Welcome home." I patted the sleeping bag beside me. I was sprawled on top of another one, clutching my long, wool winter coat around me. A queen-sized air mattress was beneath them, giving the nest a bed-like quality.
"It's my new place. I rented it last week."
"Room for two, Malone, if you're interested."
He stood there by the door, staring. I couldn't read his reaction from here and started getting nervous.
"Aren't you going to come in?" I pleaded. "Take the chill off, get cozy."
In front of the picture window was our tree, five feet of Blue Spruce, trimmed with little lights, ornaments and strings of popcorn. Outside I'd wrapped the railing in tinfoil and red ribbons. The fire was burning strongly, throwing heat toward the sleeping bag nest. Beneath the tree were a dozen packages for Malone.
Timing is everything. As I’m writing this, thinking about favorite old movies, this classic from the Rolling Stones came up on Pandora. How appropriate.