Christmas Drama Fiction

"Twas the night before Christmas,

And you know the rest,

Hence why I am here standing

In this frilly-silly vest!"

At first glance, one would assume that Charlie Lark was drunk, but he hadn't even sipped once from the wine glass; the full cup teetered and tottered wherever his hand swayed, but not one drop spilled out. The red liquid danced with its partner, the lanky bookkeeper who was reluctantly chosen to give a speech to the rest of the employees.

His khaki slacks flapped as well, being a size bigger than his waist and legs with the brown leather belt being the only thing keeping them on. His dress shoes were new, yet already showing the creases from his constant swaying and shifting at different paces, with the black socks complimenting them on their palate as well as their versatility. His vest, in question, wasn't actually frilly; the festive decor of the item made it stand out more than the buttoned-up office shirt he wore since his first interview with the company.

Overall, this man was a usually well-groomed, well-dressed, well-mannered...well, quiet individual. Almost every day, he would come to work five minutes early, greeting everyone in his path with a "Good morning" here and a "Good morning there", here a "hi", there a "hi", everywhere a "bye-bye", and then it repeated the following day.

Except today.

It was like popping open a bottle of champagne and just letting the drink spray out before it finally settled. To everyone else, it was a festive day, but Charlie was making it interesting, and they figured that he had a lot on his plate to unload. They waited to hear more.

Charlie, in turn, stopped his dancing and steadied his drink, having finished his opening statement and was now indicating to his audience, announcing:

"I, Charlie Larks, of sound mind and body,

Just did a dance that's reminiscent

Of a child needing to potty,

But cannot leave the room yet absent."

The unexpectedness of the rhyming left many a smile on people's faces, but it was in the use of its descriptive self-narration that had people laughing. It was going to be a roast-toast! The room quieted down, and Charlie continued:

"A year has passed, champs, since invocation

From your boss, and still mine, of my hiring.

After today, when I have said my say...

Hopefully, there won't be any firing. George!"

Here, Charlie indicated to his boss, the balding George Fletcher, who nodded his thick head and, afterwards, pushed back up his thick glasses; he smiled politely, waiting like a cat that was watching the mouse hole. Charlie closed his eyes:

"The big man himself, in more ways than one,

With a tenor's voice used for humming.

Except for this one day of joy and fun,

"Get to work, 'cause King George is coming!"

There was some laughter and some "oohs", and George only nodded; he had no problem in the addressment of his weight, nor his work standard. Everyone knew that he was hard but fair, and this whole party was his treat for them. Charlie then indicated to Sarah, the secretary that always stood at George's right shoulder:

"Sarah Witwicky, Mrs. Picky-picky,

To eat more than greens is a deal too tricky,

With her wrists all a-flicky, she types tic-tick-ticky!

To try her patience is a scene too sticky!"

Again, the "oohs" and laughter sounded out, and Sarah's face went as red as her daily dose of tomatoes; she was suppressing a smile, and hid it behind George's shoulder. George glanced at her, a large smile plastered on his face, and Charlie did a graceful bow in her direction.

Next up, Ron Donalds the technician!

"Ron, Ron, up here at dawn!

Machines's his life, so get 'er done!

And if she don't wanna, you get 'er gone!

Run that baby, Ron, run, run, run!"

More laughter and even a few "aahs" escaped the mouths of the surrounding staff, and Ron rolled his eyes. It was no secret that Ron was recently divorced after his wife was found unfaithful, and he had been coping through his predicament with a newfound love in mechanical engineering and maintenance. Though Ron didn't appreciate the reminder, however indirect it was, he let it pass. He was still interested in what Charlie was going to say next.

"Juan, our janitor, our cleaning man,

You mop and you scrub as best as you can.

So pardon my confession, I'm sorry my man,

But I spilled a-spaghetti sauce on the floor again!"

Juan nodded at Charlie, and looked around the room; while everyone else was distracted with laughing and looking at each other, Juan flicked his fingers from under his jaw toward Charlie's direction in a rude gesture. Charlie merely gave his "my bad" pose, which had Juan smirking. Out of everyone else here, Juan had worked in the building the longest, and had exercised patience in regard to both his profession and his Italian heritage. Still, he and Charlie shared a bond of understanding, and he tolerated the jokes that came his way. Juan was a man who could give as well as he could take while showing no hard feelings either way.

Shelly Clarkson the programmer was up to bat!

"Shelly Clarkson, debonair,

Struts about, 'My Lady Fair',

Or sits complex on an office chair,

We know now why Benny-Boy doth stare!"

Benjamin Stolkman's eye's popped open as a loud "Oh!" echoed around the room. The sales representative shook his head at Charlie as he constantly denied the act, his large eyes flicking every now and then to the beaming Shelly. Charlie avoided Benjamin's accusing finger, his own eyes coming to rest upon the human resources very own Cody Dawson. Charlie smiled wickedly; Cody had been quite a thorn in everyone's side, and always with that moniker, "For the betterment of all, we must rid ourselves of bad habits and worse routines." The idea was good on paper, but Cody's execution was reportedly invasive, almost unbearable, and Charlie wondered if Cody should be included in this toast-roast considering that he was in everything else. Charlie sighed:

"Cody, bro-dy, outside of your hut,

You run a tight ship, every bolt and nut.

Your relationship with us hits

Like a bowel to the gut.

You know what? I can see

That we all agree

You are a pain in the..."

Here, Charlie raised his glass and his palm upright, signaling the entire crowd to finish the sentence: "BUTT!"

There was applause on that last one, and Charlie couldn't help but giggle while Cody grimaced and shook his head. Throughout all of this, Charlie still had not spilled a single drop of the red wine, but he suddenly stopped dancing around. There was still one person left in the office that had not been given the roasted treatment, even though that person deserved it the most:


He was staring into his own eyes via the reflection of the window, and he remembered what he was, where he was in life, and where he almost went. This feeling of hopelessness came for him even after he had been interviewed a second time at this company, and it almost destroyed him to the point of no return. He would find solace in two things: the first was the word of God.

The second was standing around him, listening to him, watching him act like a fool. But that was it; this whole roast-toast was an act, a mask of smiles and cynicism to cope with a life where a young man thought that he would have no future, and he nearly made that a reality. He was saved, and this - these people, this job, this newly founded life - was the best gift he received.

He wiped away a tear and turned back to the crowd. "And your bookkeeper, your Charlie...", he paused to breathe, and commenced:

"I was called 'rabbit', sometimes 'hare',

For I was jumping everywhere.

As a kid, I won't sit still

And I nearly fell out the windowsill."

"As a preteen, with hobbies galore,

I was jumping subjects, core to core,

While the rest of the youths would hit the store.

But my exuberance was never a bore. "

"As a teenager, my biggest jump

Was when my voice took one big bump.

During the rough change, I'll admit to all...

It was fun scaring my mother in the hall."

"High school graduation left little care

When I leapt and threw my hat to air.

Had I not kept my eyes turned straight up there,

I would have not landed on the ear of a chair."

"Early adult years had me stopping

For a drink at each place in my bar-hopping.

I rack, and my pack, all rabbits too,

Skipped out and I paid for them, true!"

"Certificates, diploma, and a degree or four,

And many a job of companies before,

Upon my resume, many open doors taper,

In the end all that I had was paper."

"The...the drink that made senses dull,

Was consumed like food 'til the belly's full.

Emptying itself by a great upheaval,

T-to give way to destructive...evil..."

"...uh...This...hare...had his silver lining,

Outside this very business, its windows shining,

And this hare stared, a desire pining,

With a dream of dreams entwining."

"But those dreams seemed to be unwinding,

As even a job left him still finding,

That desire of drink that felt sublime,

That had the hare nearly jump one final time."

Charlie then raised his glass, smiled, and concluded:

"To the boss, who gave me another chance

To perform for all here my little dance.

To this crowd, to every facial part,

Their professional appearance and heart.

To those we serve, we are here to say,

'Merry Christmas to all, we hope you'll stay!'

Most of all, to God, raising me from the dark,

To stand, alive and well, your very own

Charlie Lark."

December 25, 2022 10:33

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15:59 Aug 02, 2023

Love the story, especially love the rhyming. The first line made me expect more of a traditional Christmas story... As much as I love traditional Christmas, I love the turn this story took better.


Steffen Lettau
01:27 Aug 03, 2023

Thank you, I appreciate the feedback and I am glad you enjoyed the story!


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Mike Rush
16:38 Feb 24, 2023

Steffen, I'm late here, but I like to find submissions with few comments and add another. Right off the bat, you wrote a line I wish I had: The red liquid danced with its partner That's great description! And I always like learning new words, and you helped me out there with, "addressment." I'm no poet, so I was quite impressed with Charlie's rhyming lines. Another commenter mentioned a sadness in Charlie, but I didn't see that at all. His is a story of redemption, of second chances. I think you did a good job teasing out his gratitude...


Steffen Lettau
18:24 Feb 24, 2023

You are an insightful person, I, in turn, express my gratitude to you for reading "A Day of Lark", and thank you again for your feedback!


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Gregg Punger
03:11 Jan 07, 2023

Great story! Your rhyming is great, which I know is hard to do. And, I really like how sweet the ending is.


Steffen Lettau
05:16 Jan 07, 2023

Thank you for your review! After my dark stories of "Double Walker" and "Plaga Iuventae", I figured a turn to the light was needed especially during the holidays, during these dark times today. Thanks again for reading my story!


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Celeste Marion
21:31 Jan 06, 2023

Thanks for sharing this story, Steffen. I enjoyed reading the rhymes! It adds a bit of “oomph” to the storytelling. There’s an underlying sadness in Charlie that everyone faces. I hope he continues to fill his life with gratitude.


Steffen Lettau
00:46 Jan 07, 2023

Thanks for the review! I appreciate your perspectives and thoughts on the characters, especially Charlie. And thanks again for reading the story!


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