Christmas In July Day 10: A Story

This post is part of Teagan Geneviene’s Christmas In July blog hop. #Christmastime

#freeshortstory #ChristmasInJuly #writingprompt

This story appeared in the Southern Indiana Writers Group’s anthology, NOVEL INGREDIENTS, now out of print.


by Marian Allen

“Where is it?” My father roars from the living room. Good thing I’m not baking something that might fall.

“Where’s what, Daddy?” I call back. I open the oven; a spicy, rum-rich odor wafts out. Daddy thumps into the room.

“You know what I mean,” he says, in a tone closer to normal. “That bracelet your so-called boyfriend gave you.”

“He isn’t my so-called boyfriend, he’s my intended. It’s perfectly appropriate for him to give me an expensive present; we’ll be married as soon as I turn eighteen.”

“That won’t be for six more months. Until then, I say what’s ‘appropriate’ and what isn’t. Now, where is it?”

“I really couldn’t say.” I slip the red and green oven mitts I always use for Christmas baking over my trembling hands. “You must have put it somewhere.” Carefully, I lift the loaf pan out and onto a cooling rack. I take off my mitts and sprinkle the cake with rum. The cold liquor sizzles on the hot loaf.

“I know I put it somewhere,” my father says. “I put it in the hall table, and it’s gone. What did you do with it?”

I show him that I have no pockets in my sweatshirt or pants. I pinch the front of my bra through my shirt, hold it away from me, and jump up and down. “Nothing up my sleeve,” I say.

“I’m going to tear this house apart until I find it. Don’t think I won’t.”

“I know you will, Daddy.”

“What are you making? Fruitcake?”

“It’s for Aunt Doreen.”

“Doreen hates fruitcake. She’ll just keep it wrapped up and give it back to you for your present next Christmas.”

“I know,” I say, as I turn my gift out to cool. “I know.”




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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