The ghost of Christmas Past…
Tifanny gains courage from a visit by the Ghost of Christmas Past to reunite with three important people from her past.
Tiffany's alone and lonely again this Christmas until the Ghost of Christmas Past takes her to revisit her cousin, her best friend, and her lost love, Dax. Although she's not sure it wasn't just a bad dream induced by an overload of Christmas movies and spiked Eggnog, she still tries to make things better with the people she lost long ago.
But her mission's tougher than she'd hoped and she's only got till the Epiphany before real life reclaims her and she has to return to the day job a thousand miles away.
General Release Date: 15th December 2008
Tiffany Davis stared at her ornately decorated tree tied up with fancy, blue and silver ribbons. It was absolutely perfect. The built-in, multicoloured lights merrily twinkled at just the right intervals. A gorgeous angel with serenely flowing blonde hair topped the tree.
Beneath the tree, beautifully wrapped gifts were piled high, also in blue and silver to match. Only she knew they were empty, merely for decoration and affectation.
They were as fake as the pine scent she’d sprayed on the metal monstrosity, as fake and empty as she was.
She snorted. Who was she kidding?
This year, like many of the previous ones, she found Christmas depressing. An only child of deceased parents, divorced, childless, she was alone in the world.
Oh, sure, she had a lot of friends. Go-to-lunch kind of friends. None had invited her to join them for their Christmas celebrations.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Her cousins had invited her, but they were a day’s drive away, and she couldn’t justify travelling so far with the astronomical gas prices when she only had a three-day weekend off work. Besides, it wasn’t like they were close. She could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen them since her mom had died ten years ago.
Thoughts of her mother rumbled in her mind. Tears pricked the back of her eyes, and she choked on a sob. God, she missed her mom like hell. And she felt guilty she hadn’t spent more time with her. But Tiffany had been too busy building her career. She’d always thought they’d have plenty of time.
Her mom’s favourite Christmas CD by Elvis filled the empty apartment. Then the AC whooshed on, and a dry chuckle tickled her throat. AC—on Christmas Eve? That and hurricanes were what she got for living in Southern Florida. It was nothing like the white snowy Christmases she used to love in Cincinnati.
She thought about attending midnight mass and hearing the beautiful bell choir, but voted against it as she’d feel even more alone in the crowd of families and loving couples. Instead, she turned on the TV and landed on a station that was having a Christmas marathon, starting with a Jimmy Stewart tear-jerker.
Although she was on a perpetual diet, she felt sorry enough for herself to open the box of iced Christmas cookies a co-worker had given her and pour a glass of eggnog to sip as she watched the show. Curling her feet beneath her on the couch, splayed her Christmas skirt over her knees then dipped her cookies in the drink. She wondered if the world would miss her like they had Jimmy Stewart. She had no husband. No kids. Not even a dog. She wasn’t a humanitarian like Jimmy was in the movie—she sold socks for a living. Not cute, frilly socks. Just plain white socks.
Maybe she should get a dog, she mused. At least, she’d have a warm body to cuddle, and someone who would be eager to see her when she got home from work. She’d always had a dog as a kid, usually a big, lovable husky.
She sighed as reality decked her square between the eyes. She worked and travelled way too much. It wouldn’t be fair to a dog to leave it alone so much.
In a fit of self pity, she downed the rest of her eggnog in one gulp and flicked the TV to another station. She didn’t need any more tear-jerkers tonight. She felt sorry enough for herself as it was.
Again it was a blasted Christmas movie, but at least it was a funny one with Bill Murray getting the snot kicked out of him by a pissed-off angel. Much more in keeping with her style and her mood. She dimmed the lights, stretched out on the couch and laughed despite herself as the miserable wretch got himself Scrooged by the three ghosts of Christmas.
At the stroke of midnight, she sat up long enough to lift another glass of eggnog. “To me. To Christmas,” she murmured ruefully. She couldn’t wait for the holidays to be over so she’d stop feeling so wretched.
Word Count: 21,367
Book Length: NOVELLA
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.
She's been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
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