CHRISTMAS DOOR – a winter tale

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Bianca was tired walking home from work on Christmas Eve. She had lost her Christmas spirit after her grandmother had died five years ago, and now hated that her way home through the city square was filled with the smell of chestnuts, the sound of Christmas wishes and her sight tainted with Christmas trees, candy canes and baubles. Her colleagues had already called her a Grinch three times today. Her mother had also called her twice to ensure she was coming tomorrow.As she loomed into the square an elderly woman waved her down. She handed Bianca a little box. She wished for Bianca to help her deliver it to the penultimate door inside Lake Mansion. The large house was remotely situated and no one had witnessed anyone’s presence there for decades. It was an odd request, yet Bianca hoped this could be her excuse for arriving late at her mother’s house and miss some of the madness.ianca was tired walking home from work on Christmas Eve. She had lost her Christmas spirit after her grandmother had died five years ago, and now hated that her way home through the city square was filled with the smell of chestnuts, the sound of Christmas wishes and her sight tainted with Christmas trees, candy canes and baubles. Her colleagues had already called her a Grinch three times today. Her mother had also called her twice to ensure she was coming tomorrow.

The following morning, Bianca pranced down to the Mansion and knocked on the door. There was no answer. The door was open so she poked her head in and shouted ‘Hello!’ No one answered. The entrance was confusing with a staircase that lead straight up to the next floor, and finished by leading into a wall. There was nothing else in the hall except for a door: ‘No. 1’. She entered and found another room with a sole pedestal in the centre. On the pedestal there was a single chocolate. It was her favourite, a crisp chocolate coating with hazelnut filling. She looked around in the room. It had no rugs on the wooden floorboards, no tapestries on the walls and no windows. Was it here she was to deliver the gift? Eventually she couldn’t resist consuming the chocolate and as she did another door appeared: ‘No. 2’. Bianca felt slightly frightened, yet more curious and entered through the second door. There was a glamorous dress hanging from a clothes hanger in the middle of the room. She quickly changed into it. Door ‘No. 3’ appeared. There was matching jewellery. Door ‘No. 4’ had a hairdresser’s chair that styled her hair fit for a party. Door ‘No. 5’, shoes, door ‘No. 6’, bag, and a look in the mirror behind door ‘No. 7’ applied her make-up. Through door ‘No. 8’ she had to top the star on a Christmas tree, door ‘No. 9’ place gingerbread men into an oven. Door ‘No 10’ through to door ‘No 22’ presented a variety of Christmas activities her grandmother used to do with her. Her heart was filled with happy, holiday feelings, which she hadn’t felt since she was a child as she carried each of them out.

Door ‘No. 22’ had a photo of her grandmother on it. It was a beautiful photo that reminded her of joy. She really missed her. Behind the next door she found bags of presents with her family’s nametags on. Stunned, as she opened into room 24 she found her childhood crush Kevin, who had to move away from her when young. He asked for the gift the old woman had given Bianca. He kneeled and opened the box to display a gorgeous ring. He slid it onto Bianca’s finger and then he held out his arm to lead her to the last door. Of all the items Bianca had been blessed with thus far to recall the spirit of Christmas this must be the best. As she opened it she stepped into the hallway of her mother’s house where all her family greeted her with welcoming embraces.

WINTER TALE BY THERESE CARUANA