This is an original holiday short story, written for a 2012 Christmas blog event on the theme “A wallflower makeover on Christmas Eve.” In the past, I’ve written a Christmas wallflower novella (Once Upon a Winter’s Eve) and greatly enjoyed writing a quiet, reserved heroine who comes into her own. But with this story, I thought it would be fun to give that well-loved trope a few twists. Enjoy!
“Now, Hugh. Do promise me you’ll try tonight.”
“Try?” he echoed. His tone was willfully obtuse. “I don’t understand. Try at what?”
Juliet sighed. Visibly. The December air took her frustrated breath and made it into a tiny thundercloud.
She jammed her hands deep in her toasty, fox-fur muff. “You know what I mean. Every year my family hosts this Christmas party, and every year you travel from godforsaken Cornwall to attend it. And then you spend the entire evening skulking in the shadows.”
His laugh was low but warm. “I am sorry to disappoint you, but I do not make the yearly journey all the way from Cornwall to Hertfordshire for a neighbor’s party. I come to visit my aunt.”
Juliet tried to hide the twist of her lips. Didn’t Hugh come to visit her, as well? He surely wasn’t out trudging the woods with his aunt. Not that Lady Hortense could trudge the woods, frail old thing.
Perhaps that’s all Juliet was to him now. Not a friend worth the journey to visit, but merely a … Read More »