LET IT SNOW! SEASON’S READINGS FOR A SUPER-COOL YULE is supposedly (or, as one of our kids used to say, “apposably”) free today and tomorrow for Kindle. Check the LET IT SNOW! SEASON’S READINGS FOR A SUPER-COOL YULE Amazon Kindle page. If it is NOT free, don’t let the price of a measly $4.99 stop you. ALL that money goes to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.
Meanwhile, here’s another excerpt from my story, “The Pratty Who Saved Chrissmuss”:
“The Pratty Who Saved Chrissmuss” – excerpt
by Marian Allen
As the book had predicted, the snow began once they were well out of town. At first the flakes feathered down, sparkling in the thin light that filtered through the clouds. Soon, though, the flakes turned to clumps and sheets, and only Holly’s driving skills got the hovercar safely to a posting inn.
A couple of bracing cups of tea and a plate of cake for two soon put the travelers right, as did the news that the inn had a snow-wagon and a pratty from Boonieburgh itself to pull it.
In the stable, Holly and the book admired the pratty, a four-legged beast both tall and stout, covered with curly wool as white as any snowdrift.
The prattler harnessed his beast to the snow-wagon, helped shift the luggage from the hovercar, and waved his quaint rustic hat in farewell as Holly and the book drove away.
* * * * *
“I’m trying to hold ‘er steady, Boss!”
Plugugly had never been in the country before, so had no experience driving on irregular surfaces and didn’t even know all the things that a heavy snowfall can do to a hovercar’s sensors. All the automatic gizmos that make a hovercar hover now made it try to climb into the air sideways.
“Just catch up to ’em! If a librarian can drive in this, so can you!”
“A head librarian, Boss!”
O’Henry saw the justice in the correction, but said nothing. He strained forward against the force field that protected hovercar occupants from any impact, peering into the snow as if he had laser beams in his eyes. He didn’t, just so you know.
Visibility was so limited, the car was upon the snow-wagon with no warning. The car’s emergency brake-and-bank assembly kicked in, the heavy snowfall garbled the signals, and the car zoomed past the wagon and went nose-over-fuselage, ending with a plumpf in a drift.
* * * * *
“That idiot!” Holly tugged at the reins, easing the complacent pratty to a stop. “Only Nittleigh Witterr would try to drive a hovercar at high speed in weather like this.”
“The call of family is strong at this blessed time of the year,” said the book.
“Yeah, yeah.” The head librarian sighed deeply. “I suppose I’d better make sure the fool hasn’t killed himself.”
Before she had to leave the comfort of the primitive force field that encapsulated the wagon against the falling snow and the biting cold, two figures emerged from the hovercar and staggered toward the barely visible road.
“Neither one of them looks like Nittleigh,” she said.
“Still,” said the book, “the spirit of compassion which makes this time of year one of tender feelings and elevated goodness behooves us to aid them, even — perhaps especially — if they are unknown to us. For who knows when we may entertain angels unaware?”
By the time the book had finished this speech, the figures had reached the snow-wagon, and Holly opened the force field enough to allow them to crawl into the back. As she had judged, neither was her cousin.
When the men had shaken the snow off themselves, the smaller of the two looked from Holly, in her trademark purple feather boa, to the book, in his swallow-tail coat and top hat, and asked, “Head Librarian Holly Jahangiri?”
“Yes,” said Holly. “And this is Living Book A COMPENDIUM OF CHRISTMAS CLASSICS, from the Living Library of Books of Old Earth.”
“I’m Bar and Grill Owner Dickens O’Henry,” said the smaller man. “This is my assistant, Humbug Plugugly.”
They all hooked thumbs with one another in greeting.
“I’m looking for your cousin,” O’Henry said, while Plugugly rummaged about noisily.
“So am I,” said Holly. “He was supposed to come with us, but he never showed up.”
O’Henry cursed, then apologized. Librarians are allowed to curse, but must never be cursed in front of. That’s the rule.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Get yer free copy. Then buy one and give it for a gift. Wouldn’t that be a nice thing to do? Head Librarian Holly Jahangiri would be so proud of you!
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Does your main character have a cousin he or she would turn over to gangsters? One he or she would shield from gangsters?