Wordy Wednesday - Excerpt from my Christmas in July short story
*gasp* Another free short story?
Yep, there's another one on the way, this one for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's Choose Your Own M/M Story event. The GR group came up with a great set of prompts, and I had fun writing this :)
Buford is Santa's right-hand elf, and he knows Christmas success hinges on one thing: his yearly pre-sleigh-launch good deed. This year, though, he's not having any luck finding a deed that needs doing.
Santa's son Michael works at the mall while he studies business management and the cute cashier he manages. The cute cashier doesn't seem to even notice Michael, making Christmas less bright than it could be.
Buford decides matchmaking will be his good deed. Can he get Michael and the cute cashier together and save Christmas?
Walking the shop floor, Buford greeted the workers. He knew all three hundred by first name, and he made sure to talk to as many as he could. They were all working feverishly to finish the last minute items for all the new babies added to the list. It was the elves’ favorite part of the job.
“Hey Buford!” A rotund elf waved over a stack of rattles.
Buford smiled. “Hey yourself, Thomas. How’s the rattle business today?”
“Oh, you know how it is. Busy, busy, busy.” Thomas dramatically wiped his brow. “You still having everyone over for black-eyed peas and hog jowl on New Year’s?”
“You know it. Got to make sure everyone starts the year with good luck.”
Underneath the smiles and waves, though, Buford was worried. His first Christmas as CEO, he’d helped one of the elves with a huge problem (that year it was spending all night helping to repair a collapsed roof), and Santa’s trip went off without a hitch. Buford had immediately decided that his good deed had brought them luck, so the next year he’d helped another elf (this time by anonymously providing the elf’s mother with a hover chair). With two days to go until Christmas, Buford still hadn’t found someone to help.
As it was every day, Buford’s first task was to get a new to-do list from Santa. This morning, as most, he walked into Santa’s office as he was finishing up a video chat with his son Michael, who was studying for his MBA at the University of Alabama (a Claus tradition).
“Of course I can make sure to deliver that package. It’s not like I won’t be in Tuscaloosa already.” Santa’s hearty laugh vibrated the glass walls of his office.
“Thanks, Pop.” Michael’s voice was unusually somber. “I just want him to have a good Christmas.”
“I know, Son. Don’t worry. I’m sure it will all work out.”
Michael huffed. “Don’t be so sure. He doesn’t even know I’m alive.”
“Now Michael, don’t be so grim.” Mrs. Claus’s voice, bright and clear, echoed from the speakers. She often joined the chat from home. “How could he not?”
“It’s complicated, Ma.”
As Buford listened, it suddenly occurred to him that this was his opportunity to help. Michael might not have been an elf, but he was family. He quickly retrieved the day’s list from Santa and was happy to see it was very short.
He had plenty of time to take the sonic sleigh down to Tuscaloosa.
Can't wait until everyone gets a chance to read it! It will be posted on Goodreads and my website (both free) in July.