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Homeless On Christmas: response to the writing prompt
Posted by Sylavash, Jan 19, 2008. 2281 views. ID = 513

Homeless On Christmas

Posted by Sylavash, Jan 19, 2008. 2281 views. ID = 513
This post was written in 0 minutes.
A happy ending to a sad beginning, hope is the greatest gift of Christmas.
This post has been awarded 28 stars by 8 readers.

She stared out the window and shivered. The snow was leaving a pure blanket upon the dead grass, and filling the world with a small piece of hope. As she turned away from the window Nadia smiled as she watched her son and daughter curl up underneath a blanket sharing the warmth.
It was Christmas in the outside world, yet today it was just another cold night.

She had nothing to give them this Christmas, she barely had a roof over their head, and she looked around again. An old barn, hopefully no one would find them until after the holidays, staying here for a few days would be the best gift she could give her children. Knowing they were safe she curled up next to them, taking comfort in the shelter of the barn.

Somewhere round along midnight the side door to the barn slid open and someone slipped in and the door slid closed. A little face appeared over the sleeping family, and with wide eyes and bright smile the figure disappeared back out the door.

Half hour later the door slid open again, and a bundled up snow man walked through and clumsily fumbled to close it again, waking the young mother from her doze. The snow man approached and slowly and unloaded from its shoulder a quilt and a couple blankets. Then he removed a pair of gloves, then another, and finally a third. It then proceeded to fumble to unzip coat, taking it off revealed he wore another. Again he fumbled and removed another and then a third.

By now the mother was confused yet only slightly scared. Fore before her stood a child, just a year or so older then her own two sleeping kids.
The snowman noticed she was awake and smiled, "hello," he said slightly shy, "the barn is cold at night, would you like to come into the house? I could warm up some of the leftovers if you are hungry" he offered.

Awe struck Nadia couldn't think what she should do. Her kids were cold she knew, but this boy, did his parents know she was in the barn? Would they turn her in to the police? She started to cry.

The boy, scared he had done something wrong, fled from the barn. Why was this woman crying? He should ask Daddy. He ran into the house flinging the door open with out care. His dad jerked his head out from beneath the chimney, dropping a few things from a red sack in his hands.
“Daddy!” the boy cried running to his dad’s arms, “I made her cry!” he wept, “did I do something wrong?”

Shocked his father tried to unscramble his son’s words, “who is she? Who did you make cry?”

Regaining slight composure the boy bit his lip to not let his dad see his tears. “The woman in the barn... The one that brought my Christmas presents. I thought she might be cold so I took out some blankets and a coat, but she started crying.” He started to sob again into his fathers shoulder. His dad smiled and patted him on the back.

“Let me get my coat and I will go talk to her, you stay here and watch the fire ok?” the dad soothed picking up the boy and setting him on the couch. The boy only nodded, and fought the tears back.

His dad walked to the porch and found his coat missing, He must have given her my coat, he thought, laughing to himself. He put on his boots and hurried out to the barn, with lots of things running through his head. A woman in the barn? Why was there someone in the barn? And why would she cry when his son talked to her?

Quickly when he got to the barn he slid open the door and slipped inside careful not to let any heat escape. A woman stood in front of him, her eyes were dry but hadn’t been long since she had cried. She wore only a light sweater and an old pair of blue jeans.

“Hello” he said to her, not sure what to say or where to start.
She did her best to smile at him then turned her face away, “I’m sorry, I only wanted a place out of the wind for the night, Please let me stay till morning, I will leave then, Please let me stay” She pleaded, her voice verging on begging.

“You may stay,” he said looking around the barn, then he spied in one of the stalls several blankets, and two heads peeping out from beneath them. He smiled, “would you like to come in? I have an empty room with an old bed and a couch. It isn’t much but it will keep you warmer then the barn.” He offered. “Tomorrow we can talk more, but my son is scared that he said something wrong, please accept his hospitality.”
The woman began to cry again, tears of joy ran down her face. “Of course I will accept his hospitality; I hope I did not scare him.”

“Let me help you carry them in, they look tired and cold, no need to wake them.” He offered, and she looked scared momentarily but he did not approach them. She wrapped the blanket around her boy cradling him in her arms, she lifted him and set him in his arms, and then she turned toward her girl and wrapped her up and picked her up also. He stood by the door and opened it letting her get out then let go of the door letting it swing closed behind her. Quickly they hurried to the house whose lights glowed in the distance. He opened the door and brought the boy in and set him next to the fire. His mother followed closely cradling her daughter, whom she set next to the fire.

The man turned to the couch and spied his son fast asleep. He looked at the woman and nodded to his son. She smiled at her little savior. She sat in a chair next to the firs and looked upon her children. Even if we have to leave early in the morning, this is a nice Christmas. Quietly she nodded off to sleep.

The father stood there and just stared. How he wished this was his family. He had always wanted to have a house full of children and a wife standing by his side. Yet when his son was born his wife had given everything to bring him into this world, and had left the two of them to keep each other safe. Eight years had passed and his son had grown into a fine boy, with a heart as big as his mother. There he slept, with three strangers he welcomed into their house, what a great man he would grow into.

The father went to the closet and pulled out a couple extra blankets and draped them over the mother, and his son. Then went and prepared the guest room, there was no way he could turn them out to the cold.

In the morning Nadia woke to the smell of someone cooking. Her eyes darted to where her kids rested peacefully on the floor, then drifted to where the young boy lay on the couch.

She explored her surroundings with her eyes, the embers were glowing warm and there was a bag of gifts spilled onto the floor next to the fireplace. A top the mantle there was a picture of the father and a pregnant woman, smiling and hugging, Surrounded by countless pictures of the son and the father. She turned and saw out the window that the snow had stopped, and that the sun was glowing across the field waking a new day. She pulled herself out of the chair and looked towards the kitchen and saw the man from last night doing his best to flip some pancakes. She walked to the doorway and stood watching him, unsure what to say. “Thank you” she said softly.

He turned in a hurry having not heard her approach. He smiled “My pleasure.” He said simply, unsure how to continue. His brain had worked all night at what he should do, what he should say in the morning, but nothing came. “Won’t you spend the day with me and my son?” he blurted out, and then bit his tongue unsure of what he should do.
She smiled seeing the man’s fumbling with what to say. “I am Nadia,” she said, “my son is Conner, my daughter is Desire.” She introduced herself.

“I am Henry, my son is Tristan.” Awkwardness had left them, names made things easier. He sighed, having made it through the initial introductions.

“Umm…” she pointed behind him, “your pancake is burning”
He quickly turned and picked up the frying pan trying to save the pancake. Yet it was no use, burned completely. He turned, opened the door under the sink and slid the pancake into the waste basket on top of several other failed attempts. “Eh…” he stumbles over words, “my cooking isn’t that good,” he paused, “but I have coffee and toast that I didn’t burn” he said pointing to a plate of toast and a coffee pot.

She laughed, and he saw a faint glimpse of hope return to her eyes and he laughed. Somewhere deep inside she knew that this was going to be a good Christmas, and that everything was going to be fine.

Copyright 2008 Sylavash. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 28 stars by 8 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Homeless On Christmas
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version


Jan 19, 2008
This is a wonderfully sweet story, and I've added it to the featured gallery. Just a couple observations for you. I don't know if anyone has mentioned this to you (usually it's the first comment new writers get!) for reading on the internet, a double carriage-return (line space) between paragraphs makes it easier to read.

Also, occasionally I got hung up reading a sentence because of missing commas - here's a good example: The boy scared he had done something wrong fled from the barn. This really should have a comma after "boy" and after "wrong", to set off "scared that he had done something wrong" as a separate phrase.

Very nicely done.
   ~Posted by Douglas, Jan 19, 2008

Kenzie Fell Down
Jan 19, 2008
That's really good. And would probably make a good start to a movie. But something that confused me a little. About in the middle, when the father asked himself why the woman would cry when she met her son, and I don't know, but I think you meant his son. Just saying.
   ~Posted by Kenzie Fell Down, Jan 19, 2008

Jan 19, 2008
Thank you for liking the story, I edited it slightly to make it easier to read.
I was inspired by your true one so I had to try to write one. Never would have tried to write it with out such an inspirational prompt.
   ~Posted by Sylavash, Jan 19, 2008

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