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Fiction Happy Holiday

“Mom! Can you please come up here? I don’t feel so good” yelled Jane, her voice a mixture of fright and longing. With a sigh, Mrs.Wheeler kept aside the pair of streamers and climbed up the flight of stairs. She was not particularly fond of visiting her daughter’s filthy bedroom with her toys and books scattered about the floor.

 Jane, engulfed in blankets, rested upon her bed with a look of absolute terror etched on her face.

“What happened?” inquired her mother, her anger giving way to concern. “I...I had a dream. A nightmare, actually. There was a clock and..” stuttered Jane. Just then, her younger brother Justin barged into the room. Having heard the few words uttered by his sister, he had a look of absolute delight written on his face. He began hopping on one leg, screaming “Sissy had a bad dream. She is a scary rat.” His ability for mischief and energy had quadrupled due to the events of the past year, and he found solace in bothering his elder Sissy. Mrs.Wheeler shooed him out. She knew her daughter was having a hard time dealing with her father’s death.

“Love, ” she said in a soft, soothing voice, sitting by her daughter’s bed and gently pushing back her hair, “this year has been difficult for all of us. But now it’s over. The new year’s gonna bring happiness and life. A new opportunity. A new ray of light. And you have to be strong, for your papa, for Justy and for yourself.”

Jane merely nodded. Yes, her papa’s death had affected her. Harshly, one might say, but this wasn’t about that. Nor was it about the hardships her family had faced. It was different. The kind of different that sends a chill down your spine. Why wouldn't her mom listen?  

“So, up you get. Put on a nice dress and let’s celebrate new beginnings.”

------

Splashing her face with the cold, nerve tingling water, Jane let her flit up to the mirror. The girl in the mirror looked worn out. Drops of water hung from her eyelashes, like lustrous pearls. Jane stood staring at the image for minutes. The ticking sound she had heard in her dream was growing louder, sharper and more frequent. It was like a song that plays in the back of your head, which you just can’t seem to get out. The ringing of a doorbell pierced her thought. The guests had arrived. She left the bathroom, the ticking sound hammering at the back of her head.

------

The glimmering lights reflected to create a divine glow. The halls decked with shiny, colorful decorations. The smell of freshly cooked food filled the air. People stood in groups, smiling, laughing and talking in a joyful manner. They were all dressed in their best attire, ebullient to greet the new year looking pristine. Mrs. Wheeler was wearing a long silky emerald gown, which enhanced her eyes. She floated about the house, talking to the guests and enjoying herself. Inside the kitchen, the table was adorned with beautiful china containing the most exquisite dishes. Festivity was in the air.

But the outside cheer scarcely reached Jane. She was immersed in herself and her dream, which had now enveloped her, threatening to consume her. The ongoing party was a blur of images and colors to her eyes and the noises overlapped. The only thing she could clearly hear was the ticking of the clock.

“I need to lie down for a while,” she croaked. Then, she swiftly went to her room, before her mother could refuse.

She needed time to think about the dream. Should she tell someone? No one would believe her. They'd say it's just a dream and ask her to let it go. But she couldn't. She had once read that your dreams signify something, your heart’s desires, perhaps. But why would her heart want clocks to start spinning? And who was calling out to her? Somewhere between this train of thoughts, she fell asleep.

------

Warm rays of sunlight caressed her face. She felt stiff and her muscles were sore, like they are after some strenuous exercise. Her eyes fluttered open, taking a moment to adjust to the bright light. She hated mornings, especially when someone interrupted her sleep to wake her up. This time it was the sun.

The first thing to catch her eye was the absence of her favorite pop singer’s poster adorning the wall. Irritated, she sat up. 

It was her last gift from her Papa and was closest to her heart. It reminded her of his gentleness and warmth, his resounding laughter and brightening smile. She remembered the day as if it were yesterday. It was a day resembling this. Her mother and brother were out of town at her grandmother’s place. It was just her and her Papa, with the house at their mercy. Just the previous day, they had gone out cycling towards the horizon, watching the sunset. An array of colors lit the sky as the sun bid adieu for the day. The view was mesmerizing and her papa’s presence made the entire experience ethereal. During their time there, she had finally convinced him to buy her the poster. They had gone shopping together the next day, hand-in-hand. They laughed at the silliest things. Everything seemed funny. It had been his last day. Little did she know that he had spent it with his most favorite person. 

She stared at the blank wall for a couple of minutes, reminiscing.

“Darling, come down for breakfast. We gotta go shopping today.” a voice called. A voice. His voice. Her papa.

Her happiness knew no bounds. Her laughter echoed through the halls as she raced down the stairs, jumping and leaping. 

She forgot all about her sore body, her hatred for mornings and every other vice in the world. He had given her a chance. The new year had brought her her papa, her joy. She was definitely not gonna let him slip away now.

June 13, 2021 03:44

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10 comments

Jessica MARTIC
07:08 Jun 22, 2021

I think it was good well done and such warming story

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Prisha Vadhavkar
16:54 Jun 22, 2021

Thank you!

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Jessica MARTIC
09:03 Jun 23, 2021

No promblem 👍

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Jessica MARTIC
09:03 Jun 23, 2021

No promblem 👍

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Jessica MARTIC
09:03 Jun 23, 2021

No promblem 👍

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Sudhir Menon
06:19 Jun 20, 2021

A story of happiness and joy - well-written. You may read and comment on my story, 'A Picture Goes Missing...' I have used the same prompt.

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Prisha Vadhavkar
18:06 Jun 20, 2021

Thank you. Will surely read it.

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Sudhir Menon
10:48 Jun 22, 2021

Look forward to see your comments.

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Grace McClung
19:19 Jun 19, 2021

Such a heart-warming story! I also used dreams to spark premonition in the character in my story, but I really like the different take you had on the prompt and how Jane's feelings signified something good. It was a very sweet and entertaining story that left me wanting to know more. I just have a few critiques. First, I would suggest reading over to try and catch any grammar mistakes as I saw a few throughout your story. Also, while I love the ending, the last sentence doesn't seem to match up with the tone you use. Your prose utilizes stro...

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Prisha Vadhavkar
18:09 Jun 20, 2021

Thanks a lot for the feedback:) I will definitely check out your story.

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