I just love participating in these contests. They help keep me motivated throughout the year. So here is ENTRY #1 for the holiday contest. Word count needs to be 250 or less with the theme of holiday helpers. This year I have two entries, because hey, I’m not going anywhere!
A COMFORTING CHRISTMAS
by Lori Himmel
Oliver sleeps in room 245.
The hospital blanket tucks under his chin.
And while he dozes, his parents set up the game Monopoly on his hospital tray.
When Oliver wakes, he helps set up all the properties.
Equipment beeps and medicine drips, while they play.
Nurse Jocelyn checks the machines and takes Oliver’s temperature.
This is Oliver’s new normal since he was diagnosed.
He wishes he could be home for Christmas.
To wake up in his own bed.
To wrestle his sweet dog.
The noises in the hospital are far from the quiet he loves in his bungalow on 6th Street.
To try to raise spirits, Oliver’s parents buy matching pajamas and Santa hats.
They decorate the room with lights that reflect off Oliver’s sunken cheeks.
He tries to smile through the pain that runs through his body.
On Christmas morning, Oliver has little strength to walk to the window.
The floor is cold.
The grass dusts with snow, and the trees frost with white.
Oliver hears rustling in the hall—jingle bells and scratching.
“Ooo, maybe it’s Santa!”
Suddenly, a black nose pushes open the door.
A large dog, wearing a Santa hat, prances to Oliver’s side.
He jingles and jangles when he shakes.
“Merry Christmas, Oliver,” says Nurse Jocelyn. “This is Luca. He’s works at the hospital.”
Luca jumps on Oliver’s bed and licks his face.
“Whoa! Hi, big boy!”
Oliver’s pain disappears for a brief moment while he cuddles his new friend.