A Surprise Package

The Continuing Story of Maddie-Rose

(Read more about Maddie-Rose in my stories: “Singing in the Rain” and “The Surprise of The Fallen Leaves)

Maddie-Rose was a typical seven-year-old little girl. She loved playing in the rain and jumping in piles of leaves. Her mother, Kelly would sometimes join her. She had two best friends, Lynn and Lauren. They were twin sisters that lived across the street with their father, Jim.

Maddie-Rose had only been home after being abducted by her father for about six months.  

She was adjusting well, especially after Jim moved in across the street with his twin daughters.  

They were inseparable since the girls met. Maddie-Rose loved sharing the secret room she had just discovered with them.  

They worked hard on getting their parents to go out on a date. They thought it would be cool if Lynn and Lauren’s father married Maddie-Rose's mother. Then they could all be sisters. 

Halloween came and went. Maddie-Rose, Lynn and Lauren all dressed as princesses. They sat in the secret room planning on how to get their parents together while sharing all of their candy. 

They had a plan in mind for Thanksgiving. Maddie-Rose asked her mother to invite Lynn, Lauren and Jim for Thanksgiving dinner.

So, that's what happened. Kelly invited Jim, Lynn and Laruen for Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner the girls went up to Maddie-Rose's secret room so it would give their parents some privacy.  

Later, Maddie-Rose snuck down to peek in on Kelly and Jim. She smiled to see them sitting on the couch together. She ran up to report what she had seen to Lynn and Lauren. 

Christmas was coming and the girls were making plans to go see Santa at the mall. They were going to ask Santa for his help.  

But Maddie-Rose knew exactly what else she wanted for Christmas. This she kept a secret even from her friends, she told no one. 

One week after Thanksgiving, the girls and their parents headed to the mall to see Santa.  

They all waited patiently in line. First Lynn and Lauren sat on Santa’s lap. They told Santa they each wanted a new bike and sleds.

Then it was Maddie-Rose’s turn. She too wanted a new bike and a sled. She then whispered something in Santa’s ear.

Then the three girls all took one last picture together. They then told Santa that they wanted Kelly and Jim to go out on a date, get married and all move in together so they could be sisters. 

Kelly and Jim overheard but pretended not to.  

Over the next few weeks Jim and Kelly took turns having dinner at each other's house so they didn’t have to pay for a babysitter. The girls would just hide out to give their parents privacy.

Soon it was Christmas Eve. Kelly and Maddie-Rose had dinner at Jim, Lynn and Lauren.  

The plan was that Lynn and Lauren were going to spend the night at Kelly and Maddie-Rose because they had a chimney for Santa to come down.

Jim had three bikes and three sleds hiding in the basement at his house. He was going to sneak over and put them under the Christmas tree at Kelly’s

“Are you sure Santa knows where to find us?” Lynn asked.

“Absolutely,” Jim answered. I called him and told him that’s where you would be.”

“Okay,” Lauren said. “But if there are no presents for us, I’m going to be VERY upset.”

“Don’t worry,” Jim said, kissing his daughter on her head. “I promise. Santa will find you. I will leave a note for him under our tree.”

Kelly and the girls returned home to find a large package sitting on the front porch.

“Who is it from?” Maddie-Rose asked.

“I don’t know.” Kelly answered. “The card just says, ‘For Maddie-Rose: Do not open until Christmas’.”

“I wonder what it is.” Maddie-Rose said.

“We will have to wait until tomorrow.” Kelly said as they brought the package in the house. “Now, you girls need to go upstairs and get in your pj’s. There are new ones on Maddie-Rose’s bed for the three of you.”

“The three girls ran up the stairs. Kelly could hear them giggle as they raced up the steps.

Kelly picked up the phone and called Jim to tell him about the package.

“Could it be from your ex’s family?” Jim asked.

“No,” Kelly said. “They made it pretty clear that they wanted nothing to do with Maddie-Rose and me after he died.”

“So,” Jim said. “Is everything still as planned? What time do you want me to come over with the bikes and sleds?”

“I’ll give you a call when I know they are fast asleep.” Kelly said.

“I’m going to read them ‘Twas the night before Christmas. Maddie-Rose never makes it to the end of the story.”

“Okay,” Jim said. “I’ll just wait to hear from you.”

Kelly hung up the phone and headed up to Maddie-Rose’s room.

The girls had just finished getting in their pajamas. She grabbed her phone and took a picture of them in their matching pajamas and sent it to Jim.

“Okay, girls,” Kelly said. “Climb into bed and get ready for the story.

Maddie-Rose had bunk beds in her room. The bottom bunk was a futon that opened to a full-sized bed.

All three girls jumped into the bottom bunk.

“Okay, Ready?” Kelly asked as she opened the book.

“Twas the night before Christmas,” Kelly read. “When all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

Kelly read on. Before she got halfway through the story all three girls were fast asleep.

Kelly took a picture of the girls sleeping and sent it to Jim.

‘So beautiful’ he texted back.

Kelly headed down to call Jim to let him know it was safe to come over with the presents.  

It took Jim three trips to bring over the bikes and sleds. Kelly offered him some hot chocolate while they wrapped the bikes and sleds, but he refused.  

“The girls will wake up bright and early.” Jim said. “I want to see the look on their faces when they see their bikes and sleds.”

“You are free to sleep on the couch here if you would like.” Kelly said.

“I need to go home and take care of a few things first.” Jim said.

“Here is an extra key.” Kelly said. “Just come back when you're ready.”

Jim took the key and left, and Kelly headed up to turn in. About an hour later she heard Jim come in.

Early the next morning Kelly was awakened but three little girls screaming it was time to get up and see what Santa brought them. 

“Come on Mommy,” Maddie-Rose yelled. “We want to go downstairs to see if Santa came.”

“Okay,” Kelly said, climbing out of bed. “I’m coming.”

The girls headed out of Kelly’s room and down the stairs led by Maddie-Rose.

Jim was already awake when the girls came dashing in the living room.

“Daddy,” Lauren yelled “When did you get here?”

She didn’t wait for an answer because they spotted the gifts under the tree.

It took the girls about ten minutes to tear open the bikes and sleds and the few other gifts. They kept jumping up and down with each gift.   

Then Maddie-Rose spotted the large package that was left on the porch the night before.  

“Can I open it now?” She asked

“Okay,” Kelly answered.

Maddie-Rose carefully tore open the package. It was a large box. She carefully opened the box.

“Mommy, look.” Maddie-Rose cried. “It’s a dollhouse.”

Jim helped Kelly lift the dollhouse out of the box.

“It’s exactly what I asked Santa for.” Maddie-Rose said.

The dollhouse was something amazing. It looked like it was handmade.  

“There’s another box in here.” Lauren said, pointing to the large box.

Kelly picked up the smaller box. Everyone stood around as Maddie-Rose opened the box.

Inside were five dolls. Two adult dolls and three little girl dolls.

“See,” said Maddie-Rose. “This is what I asked Santa for. Now we can each play with one. We can pretend that we are all sisters and live in that house.”

“See,” she continued. “We can pretend that this is you, Mommy and this is Jim.”

“This is exactly what I asked Santa for.” Maddie-Rose said.  

(To find out what happens with Kelly and Jim, stay tuned for my next Maddie-Rose story)

(‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ from the story: A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore)

December 04, 2021 02:56

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03:07 Dec 09, 2021

Hi Lisa, Nice story! You've got some sweet moments that we can all relate to. The girls being read to, the excitement of Christmas morning, the trips to the mall, ect... Dialogue also matches what you would expect to hear from a child. Very believable and shows you write the character well. Watch out for POV violations. If the story is told from Maddie's perspective, how does she know what Jim and Kelly are doing in the moments when she's not present in the story? Good job!


Lisa Neuvelt
16:04 Dec 09, 2021

Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. Please read my other Maddie-Rose stories and let me know what you think. (Singing in the Rain and The Surprise of the Fallen Leaves). Trying to write a series of short stories about Maddie-Rose.


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Kossiwa Logan
15:44 Dec 06, 2021

I thought you began with too much backstory that could have somehow been woven into the story or the dreaded prologue. To me the actual story started with Santa Claus. I love Maddie-Rose and always look forward to reading about her. The story flowed nicely once the girls visited Santa.


Lisa Neuvelt
15:51 Dec 06, 2021

Yeah I know. I kept writing trying to find a place for the package but didn’t quite work out as planned. It was getting late and I wanted to submit it. But thanks for the feedback. That’s exactly what I’m looking for. Positive or negative. I need it.


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