Monday, December 12, 2011

Write A Holiday Short Story - Special for the Season by Alison Bruce

Happy Monday!

Time to post next Write a Holiday Short Story Contest story! Today I would like to welcome author Alison Bruce who is part of the Imajin Books publishing. Alison has been visiting my blog earlier with guest post and I have reviewed her book Under a Texas Star. Below the story you will find more information about her.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Alison Bruce!

Special for the Season

By Alison Bruce

I have an ornamental pear tree on my front lawn. I planted it the first spring after moving in. It replace the broken trunk of a vandalized service berry tree. The vandalism was one of the reasons the previous owners accepted my low offer on their house. It also explained the spiky, wrought iron fence around my tree.

Naturally, to make it special for the season, I found an artificial partridge and frosted pears to put in my tree come December. That, and a wreath on my door, was the extent of my holiday decorations. My neighbours made up for my lack of lights with coloured floods, icicle strands on the eaves and light nets over every bush, lighting up the neighbourhood like a prison yard.

After some friendly persuasion and despite a couple of nasty anonymous letters, I put a garland swag with twinkle lights across my porch rail. I stuck a couple of turtle doves in my wreath and sought out a bird book so I could discover what french hens and calling birds looked like. Spirit of compromise, that’s me.

When the first invitation to a neighbourhood Christmas party arrived, I thought, “Good. I’m accepted now.”

Three spiked eggnogs and an hour of vapid conversation later, I walked home to find a

huge Frosty the Snowman on my lawn. It was the inflatable kind with a light inside to make it glow. Resisting the urge to shoot it, I pulled the plug on Frosty, took two Advil and went to bed.

Frosty was up and glowing in the morning, joined by an inflatable Santa. The partridge was knocked down and someone chalked a target on my turtle doves.

On the way home from work, I made a few stops for supplies. Now I had floodlights too. Frosty and Santa were packed off to my garage. The partridge was repaired, the two turtle doves cleaned up. Three life-sized French hens sat on the lawn and four calling birds decorated the garland. I made myself a coffee nog and waited.

It was almost midnight when someone tripped the wires between the French hens. The calling birds started squawking and the floods lit up - pointed away from the house. I came to the door with my paint-ball pistol.

Whoot, whoot, whoot. Two teenagers and their father tagged in less time than it took to write this. Another father and son team squealed like babies when the garage door flipped up and a red glowing Frosty sprung out and Santa popped.

A cacophony of complaints, accusations and excuses followed until I gave Frosty one between the eyes. It was an awkward shot and made a point about my skills as a marksman.

“Look at it this way,” I told them, “I could have brought out my service pistol. It would have been the devil to explain, but with the threatening letters and vandalism, I would have been able to make a case for self-defense.”

My audience looked genuinely shocked.

“What? You didn’t know I was a cop? Guess you weren’t listening when the realtor introduced me as Detective Bonnie Nadal.”

There was an embarrassed shuffle of feet from the adults and a mixture of belligerent posturing and chagrin from their kids.

“Go home. Have a happy holiday. Let it drop,” I suggested. “Or next time I’ll have five sets of golden handcuffs waiting for you - I’m spray-painting them special for the season.”

Author Bio:
Alison Bruce writes the kind of books she likes to read. Since her tastes are eclectic and tend to cross genre boundaries, so do her novels. There is almost always a mystery and a romance in her stories - whatever else is in the mix. Her heroes aren't perfect, but they are persistent and they have the ability adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity. /

Under A Texas Star
Under A Texas Star, Imajin Books, 2011 - Mystery and Romance in the Old West.

Disguised as a boy, Marly joins a handsome Texas Ranger in the hunt for a con man and they must bring the fugitive to justice before giving up the masquerade and giving in to their passion.

I have reviewed Alison's Under A Texas Star. You can find my review here:
and her guest post is posted here: where she wrote about The Evolution of a Character.

Thank you so much, Alison for writing a Holiday Short Story! It is highly appreciated!

Dear readers, let's give some feedback to Alison in the comments!

Happy reading!


  1. Alison, you're a very entertaining writer and someone I would like to know in person, which is a compliment. I often think about authors, would I like to know this person if they sat down for coffee with me? I think your book Under a Texas Star is the second book I reviewed ever (the first was Caregiver's Guide for Canadians by my friend Rick Lauber). Good luck with the French hen.

  2. I know Alison very well, and she is indeed a wonderful gal to know in person! Ali, this is a wonderful short story! I love the chalked targets on the turtle doves - just the right 'brand' of humour! Loved this. And man, can I see you doing it. :)

  3. Alison, thank you so much for writing a short story! I was giggling while reading it!

  4. Thank you for the kind words and giggles.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy, best-selling new year.