My writers group did a wee holiday exchange this year. We each picked names out of a hat, and wrote that person a secret story to be read aloud at our December meeting. My roommate and I picked each other, yet managed to keep it a secret, despite writing the stories side by side on the couch. This is for Lisa.
Georgia gets home from work at eight o’clock in the evening. She parks her car outside her apartment building and sits for a moment, listening to the radio. The street is quiet and the trees and pavements glitter from the constant rain of the past month.
She thinks about microwaving some leftover pasta for dinner and maybe watching a movie before bed. If she can stay awake.
With a tired sigh, she gets out of the car and slams the door. She feels her phone shift in her sweater pocket and it clatters to the ground before she can stop it.
“Crap,” she mutters and bends over to pick it up.
There’s a gust of cold wind that whips her skirt around her legs and when Georgia stands upright, snow is falling all around her. She stares up at the sky in disbelief, catching snowflakes in her eyelashes.
Behind her, the car rocks and groans, and she whirls around.
A boy dressed in deep red is crouching on the roof, staring at her with eyes so pale and vague it’s like he’s looking right through her.
“What are –” she starts, but can’t seem to finish the sentence.
“Merry Christmas,” the boy whispers, and wiggles his fingers in front of his face. The snow begins falling even harder, blanketing the street in white.
“Christmas is in December,” Georgia tells him.
The boy stops wiggling his fingers and drops his hand.
“What month is this?” he asks.
“April,” Georgia says patiently.
“Aw, man, I missed it again.” The boy stands and digs a small book out of his pocket. He flips through a few pages and looks at his watch. “Shit.”
Georgia stands mutely, watching him fiddle with his watch.
“Sorry!” he says and snaps his fingers, disappearing with a crack.
Georgia looks around at the snow.
Damn weather fairies.