Letter by the Bed by Karen Maeby, fictional piece originally posted 2/10/2012.

Letter By the Bed, a fictional piece
by Karen Maeby © 2/10/2012

A loud bang on the roof and then at my window startled me enough to wake me up from my slumber. My heart was jibber-jabbering from being awoken so suddenly and a jump nearly ten feet off the bed wasn’t that groovy, either. While rubbing my eyes trying to gain my eyesight to see what happened, I noticed I was not in a familiar room, nor was I in familiar clothing. 

If you could imagine early 1850s, you would be right. A stiffened bed with real feather pillows and feathers floating in the air above me. An old wooden chair and desk to my right, a large sized treasure chest directly ahead and a small nightstand to my left. The nighstand bore a candlestick. I was fully clothed from head to toe of ruffles, buttons and lace. I had the original bedclothes on! 

The air in the room smelt musty, I coughed. As I pulled on the off-white covers, an envelope with a letter bounced out from underneath it. I took a look at the envelope and glanced out the window. The sun beamed on the grass outside, trees swaying back and fourth and some wild animals running along the green pasture. I looked at the envelope again, almost hesitant to look at it. 

Finally, I opened the letter but to my discouragement… I couldn’t read it! The writing inside was in some language that I didn’t speak nor understand. Not knowing what to do because I didn’t know where I was at, I took a look around the room to find some day clothing. I found some and put them on then decided what to do about leaving the house to find someone to read the letter. 

Even though the letter was only a few sentences long, it had my name on it, and I needed to find out what it said. Walking nearer the window, I saw there was a ladder outside it. I opened the window, put the letter inside my coat pocket and simmered to the other side.

“One foot on the ladder, turn the other, almost down, made it!” I said to myself. 

I walked around the house and down the street in hopes to find some shop or something where I can get my letter in correct translation. In one shop, out the next, to the other and another. Finally, someone was able to read it. 

The letter said “Your time will come in May. Treasures there will be. Happy is your face, I know I’ll be able to see.”  

The guy behind the counter hands it back to me and says, “Well, you’re lucky May is tomorrow.” 

“I guess I am,” I reply back to him. 

I take the letter and walk back to the house, climb back up the ladder and sit on the bed dreading the next couple hours of wait for the treasure. 

“It’s still too early to go back to sleep.” I say to myself. I then get the urge to want to open up the treasure chest. I walk on over to it, give a look at the lock and fiddled with it enough to try to open. It wasn’t coming open without a hard budge. 

“What day is today?” I ask my friend, as we were making our way into a large known thrift store.

“March 1st.” She replies.

I stop dead in my tracks, trying to reason with the thoughts going through my head when we came across this gorgeous and old vintage treasure chest! “Wow, look at this thing. Where have I seen this before?” I ask myself out loud. I stand there trying to remember where I had seen it, deja vu all over again.

My friend just stares at me and then looks around while I am all kinds of occupied with this chest.

I walk near the treasure chest, bend down and opened it without issue! Lo and behold, it is full of everything I could ever want in my life. All kinds of treasures! From vintage books to maps to pins to just everything you could even remotely think about! Everything. It had everything. I lean over and look at the price tag. I scream out, “$1,000!? I can’t afford that!”

“Can I help you with anything?” The shop owner responds to my squeal.

“Maybe….”

“Eh? Eh?” He says in question.

“I don’t have the $1,000 but this treasure chest is perfect for me! Can we do some trade or something?”

“Are you —-?”

I look at him sideways, he said my name – he KNEW my name but didn’t know me! My friend nor I had mentioned my name while in that store.

“Yes…yes, I am.” I stutter.

He pulls out a letter from his coat pocket and gives to me. “Don’t worry about the treasure chest, it’s yours, and so is this letter.”

I didn’t say a word. I was speechless. My friend stood there idle, not knowing what to make of the situation that just happened.

The owner helps us put the treasure chest and I thank him a million times over. The car ride back to my house was so silent.

When I got back to my house, I struggle to get the treasure chest in my house and up the stairs to my room. After all was said and done, I went through the chest. One by one, I took out each item and carefully studied it.

In the very bottom of the chest, it had a map attached to it. I unfold it and there I am looking at my very own address marked on the map. It says “treasure – attic”.

I ran upstairs to the attic, following the rules of the turns and hidden places in there. Suddenly, I come to the very spot.

And, you would not believe this: there was a picture of someone who looked just like me, standing by the treasure chest, dated from the 1850s.

Christmastime, The Story

Christmastime, The Story
Written by Karen Maeby © 12/4/2010

2019: I found this hidden among my several blog entry downloads from over the years and thought I would repost it. The photos displayed throughout the story are of real ornaments and nicnacs that I still have. I’m also not quite sure what I was on when I wrote this because my imagination sure was a lot more active (and weird?) at that point. Or maybe I was just really happy and trying to relax after achieving that 50,000 word count for NaNo. Either way, enjoy….and I deeply apologize to all crabs everywhere (especially my sweet hermit crabs that obviously will never be able to read this nor will I ever read it to them… once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand, too).

x

Once upon a time there was this girl named Summer Mistletoe. She wore a little green dress in the summer, and the hot heat always found a way to reflect off of her, for she was, after all, Summer. She was walking about in her yard, minding her own business when…

A mistletoe, out of no where, fell on her head.

“OUCH!!” She screams out, before she drops to the ground, unconscious.

Something pokes her to make her wake. When she opens her eyes, there’s nothing there, only a fireplace poker laying on the ground beside her.

“Did you have a great FALL?” The voice yells in question, as it continues tapping its fingers at high speed.

She whips herself around looking for the voice but then gives up. “Where are you voice? Why won’t you show yourself?”

“Ah but I can’t show myself.” It replies.

“Why not?” She asks.

“For I am fall, you have been knocked into fall.”

“What?” She asks, trying to make sense of what all just happened. “I’m still confused. Why am I here?”

“I’m fall. I’m here to send you to Christmastime, where you need to gain your Christmas spirit.”

“I see. And, how are you going to do that?” She asks.

Out of the tree, held by string, falls a mistletoe.. .the same object that knocked her out.

“THIS ISN’T WHAT I WAS DRESSED IN BEFORE!!!” She screams, as she looks into the mistletoe that supports a mirror on the opposite side.

“That’s right, young lady. Your time has been sped up, you’re in Christmastime now.”

“WHAT is going on?” She screams, but no one replies. The voice is gone and the mistletoe mirror disappears. She only hears a dog howling, the wolf crying at the moon, a couple of ducks quacking, a cow mooing, a mouse squeaking. She takes a few minutes and gains her nerve to get up, reestablishes herself, and starts walking north. She doesn’t notice the world around her, it was different.

It was a snow-capped city, something she had never been in before. Little tiny castles all around and one giant one. Soon enough, she reaches the gates of the unfamiliar giant castle that has a soldier ‘working’ (more like sleeping) at the gates.

As she approaches, the guard wakes up from his bore slumber and yells, “WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE?”

She studies him for a slight second and instead of asking what she should’ve asked, she spat out, “Sir, why do you have a mouse sticking out of your mouth?”

“WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE?” He yells again.

She looks around to the side of her and behind her. She takes a step closer to the soldier. She pokes the soldier and the mouse moves.

“WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE?” The soldier says yet again, as she found out he was a robot.

She leans closer to the ground to get a look at the mouse and the mouse spits in her face. As he did that, she screams and lets out, “I don’t appreciate that at all! Who are you?”

“No questions.” The  mouse says, “move on, you have caused an uproar.”

“WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE? WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE? WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE?” Shouts the robot soldier over and over again.

“That’s the uproar?” Summer mumbles to herself as she gave up and walks on past the castle to the next village-like of houses. This time, this village of houses included an almost frozen lake where several ducks and geese were hanging at drinking water out of large containers shaped like mint packaging.

“Hello?” Summer says to the duck.

The duck replies back, “Hello? What do you want?”

“Could you possibly tell me where I’m at?” She asks.

“Christmastime. You’re in Christmastime.” He replies, so very nonchalantly.

“What is Christmastime?” Summer asks the duck.

The duck asks in a serious monotonish voice, “You do not know of Christmastime?”

She shakes her head. “Come sit,” he replies, as he looks up from drinking water. He points at a frozen log for her to sit on and she sat.

“Christmastime is tis the season, time to be mine, mistletoe, holly jolly, good king winceles…” He continues, Summer just stares at him. “You mean to tell me you don’t know of any of this?”

She shook her head. “By the way, what are you drinking?”

“I’m drinking mint water.”

“Mint…water?”

“Yes. I am trying to make myself minty fresh for when the humans decide I’m plump enough for them to eat.”

“Okay…. and why would you do that?”

“The tastier the duck, the happier the human.”

“Duck, why do you prepare yourself to be eaten? I mean, really? You’re just giving yourself up… just like that?”

“Oh silly humans….” He huffs. “If you were our food, we’d be munching on you too.”

“Um.” Is the only thing that Summer replies with before saying goodbye and walking away.

She walks a couple more blocks and runs into a reindeer with a tuba around its neck.

“Hello.” He barely muffles out since he was out of breath from running.

“Can you tell me where I’m at?” Summer asks the reindeer.

“You’re in Christmastime.” He replies.

“That’s what I’ve been told, but why? Do you know why I’m here?”

“No? The reason I know why anyone is anywhere is because they put themselves in that place.”

“Well, that’s not really helpful to me!” She exclaims.

“I’m sorry?” The reindeer says, hastily.

Summer then asks, “By the way, why do you have a tuba around your neck?”

“I really can’t say.”

“Oh come on, you can tell me… I don’t even belong here.”

He looks me up and down. “Alright, you look trustworthy enough. I stole it from a donkey who wouldn’t quit being mean and yelling ‘you have a red nose! you have a red nose!’ He plays this stupid tuba every day and every night, annoys the poop out of all of us.”

“Rudolph?” She spits out, not thinking.

He looks her up and down. “See? I should’ve never told you that, you apparently know me!! Somehow.”

Summer says, “Um, there’s a song about you. You have a red nose?” She says in question.

“Go join the donkey. I’m done talking to you people and your name calling!” Rudolph says, as he rushes by Summer and leaves her question still unanswered.

She continues walking until she runs into a very grumpy frumpy looking old goat.

Summer says, politely, “Excuse me sir?”

“What?” He says, sounding like he has a cold.

“Are you possibly looking for something?” Summer asks him.

“How did you know?” He asks.

“You…you just look like you’re searching for something. If you’re looking for a tuba, he went that way.” Summer points behind her in the direction that Rudolph galloped off in.

“He? Tuba?” He muffles through his nose.

“Rudolph has your tuba. Go now.” She points again and he walks off without thanking her.

“Hm. I could see where Rudolph got the whole ‘donkey’ name from…” She thinks to herself, as she continues down the snowy path. She spies an open shop and decides to go in.

“HELLO, ma’am. Would you like to buy a STOCKING?” The little Christmas mouse store worker asks.

“Maybe. Let me look around.” She says, as she looks around. There were little stockings and big stockings. She gave the store a good look and didn’t find anything. “I don’t see anything that I want. Maybe later?”

“HMPH.” The mouse groans.

“Excuse… me?” Summer asks the mouse.

“I don’t think I broke air?”

“Um. That’s not… what.. I was.. uh, yeah…” Summer replies, half speechless.

The mouse turns red in embarrassment. “Excuse me then for totally misunderstanding you. There has not been a single person in here in over one thousand years.”

Summer scratches her head. “One…thousand years? Then, how are you still here?”

The mouse shrugs. “Beats me. So why are YOU here?”

“I don’t know. It was like… it was like I was hit upside the head or something and I had fallen into this world.”

“Oh the fall fact? Christmastime.”

“Everyone has been saying that, so why? Do you know why I’m here?”

“Nope. Don’t know why anyone comes around Christmastime.” The mouse says to Summer.

“But, where I live, Christmas is a glorious holiday, we celebrate for various reasons.” Summer exclaims.

“I wouldn’t know. It’s bittersweet here. Cold, frigid, no people, nothing.”

“You say no people, but how come I talked to a few animals coming in?”

He stops what he’s doing and stares at Summer. “You TALKED to a few animals? Just today?”

“Yes. Just today, earlier.”

“You must be dreaming.” The mouse shrugs her words off.

“I don’t think so, pinch me. I’m awake.” Summer says.

The mouse pinches Summer, “OUCH!” She yelps. The mouse steps back and says, “Then, YOU MUST buy something from me! You must tell everyone that this store is open for business.”

Summer agrees to buy a huge stocking, for she may need it later. She pays the mouse and then leaves to continue the way. On her way, she was greeted by a very crabby crab.

“YOU CAN’T GO PAST HERE UNLESS YOU PAY ONE DOLLAR. ONE DOLLAR TO PASS HERE.” The crab yells, as he protects the entrance way with his body.

“Okay? I have one dollar. Somewhere. Let me find it for you so I can get on my way.” Summer tells him.

“If you have more than one, I’ll take two dollars.” The crab throws a laugh in his sentence.

Before Summer continues looking for her dollar, something catches her eye. “Why do you seem to be guarding a ball with Santa on it?” Summer asks the crab.

Crab gets a seriously worried look on his face, “Ermmmm… no reason.” He covers it over with an evil laugh again.

“Alright then. Here’s one dollar fifty for you.” The crabs face lights up when Summer hands over the cash and he lets her through the gates. She continues, again, down a much snowier path. It was getting even colder than before.

When she comes to a fork in the road, there’s one for Santa and Not Santa. Summer picks Santa and walks about ten minutes until she sees a toy-like castle full of Christmas cheer on the outside of it. She continues walking until she is greeted by Santa himself.

“HO HO HO! What kind of business do you have with me today?”

“All I really want to know is why I’m here in Christmastime?” Summer asks Santa.

“Well, ho! ho! ho! The only thing I want to know is why I lost my ball and to find out where it went.”

Summer looks at him so strange, “Your… ball? But, sir… um…”

Santa raises his eye brow, “Oh dear, I have an ornament… an ornament ball that looks exactly like me! And, it’s powerful. I thought EVERYONE knew that and EVERYONE knew that it was missing?”

Summer squeals, “Wait!!! I SAW IT! I SAW IT A FEW MILES THAT WAY!”

“Calm down! Now what? Tell Santa what you saw.” He exclaims.

“There is a crab that has your ball. He is at the gate a few miles back. He’s the one that keeps asking for money!”

“Oh really now?” He asks. Summer nods. “Well, if this is true, come on then… lets go back and find the crab.”

Santa takes Summer in his sleigh and goes back a couple of miles to where Summer had last seen the crab.

“SANTA?” The crab yells in question.

“It is I, Santa. I see you have something of mine behind you.”

The crab turns white but doesn’t say anything nor does he turn around to look at the Santa ball.

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to return it to me or be punished,  Mr. Crab.”

Mr. Crab acts like he’s going to hand over the ball but falls on his face and breaks a leg, the ball went up in the air and Summer caught it just in time before it hit the ground.

“Good job!” Santa exclaims, as they hop back in the sleigh and ride away back to his house. “Let’s just leave this mean old crab here to rot. He should be good to eat shortly afterwards.”

When Santa and Summer get back to his castle, he has a talk with her.

“You saved my ball!” Santa tells Summer. “I’m very appreciative that you did that for me. Here, I’ll tell you want I will cast you as a princess and whenever you are here, you are to be treated like royalty.”

“Thank you! I don’t know what to say, Santa.” Summer exclaims, as she is being changed from regular Summer to Princess Summer. He even showed her her reflection in the mistletoe mirror. She was extremely shocked at how she looked so different than before.

Furthermore, as you can see, Summer – as her excellence – was extremely surprised to be given the gift of being a princess.

“Princess Summer, how would you like to go take a ride in the  carriage? I will properly show you around Christmastime and then, if you wish, you can go back home.”

“I would like that, sir Santa.”

“Good.” He says, as the jolly man he did laugh.

And, with that, he lets her onto the carriage.

Santa then hops in next and they drive away, revisiting each place once again and having a different experience. This time, Summer sings Christmas tunes and helps Santa deliver happiness all around him.

“So, Santa?”

“Yes m’dear?” He asks.

“Was it you that knocked me from summer into Christmastime?” Summer asks Santa.

He clears his throat. “I can’t answer that right now.”

“But sir, why not?”

“This is the land of figuring it out for yourself.”

“Okay, so if I had to figure it out…. this whole trip to Christmastime was to make me have Christmas spirit? Or, for you to find your voice again, Santa? Since you lost your ball and I found it for you.”

Santa doesn’t say anything.

“Ah, she has finally seen the light; I see.” Says this mysterious voice, when suddenly, Summer was awoken by a plush Santa being thrown at her.

“What the…” She barely gets out, before she looks up to see her boyfriend poking fun of her for the voices she made in her sleep. “That isn’t nice.” Summer exclaims.

“How about helping me put up the tree now? I’ll turn on the Christmas music and we can have a ball.” He says, grinning very big.