This is the last Fiction Friday of National Blog Posting Month, and it’s also a sneak peek of a little project I’ve been concocting. Beginning Monday, December 8, I’ll be posting parts of a serial Christmas story. I finished a similar project last year, inspired by one of my writing partners — Cameron D. Garriepy — and I’m excited to play around with it again.
A tiny gold box welcomed her on Monday morning, tucked in the space between her computer monitor and keyboard. For less than a moment, Poppy’s stomach fluttered, a moment she sternly stifled as she reached for the glittered cardboard. Two pieces of dark chocolate rested on crimson tissue paper, and the block print announced it was a Jingle Bell Swap gift.
Poppy dropped the box onto her desk, glitter landing like a starburst around the little gift.
“I’m not doing stupid Jingle anything this year. I need to go talk to Brett about this,” she said.
“Of course you are. I told Brett to toss in your name,” Poppy’s cube mate and close friend laughed.
Poppy spun around to see Laurel’s eyes sparkling above red lips she’d only started wearing at the beginning of December. Laurel hopelessly fell into the trap of holiday advertising every year and tried her best to drag everyone along with her.
“I just told her to add your name when they did the drawing,” Laurel said.
“When were you going to tell me about it? I mean, it’s an exchange. I need to get a name to buy for, and what were you thinking anyway? I don’t want to participate!”
“Sure you do,” Laurel said. “It’s a fun way to get to know people in other departments.”
“You have to remember what happened the last time I got to know someone in another department,” Poppy said.
Poppy delivered the statement with what she hoped was a withering glare, but her attempt fell short. The sparkle in Laurel’s eyes increased.
“Of course I do! In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s why they decided not to use anything even resembling mistletoe in the lobby this year,” Laurel said.
Poppy craned her neck around the cubicle wall to make sure Mary Grace hadn’t arrived in the next cube.
“Not funny, Laurel. Talk about a humiliating holiday. Seriously, though, I’m not in the mood for skulking around and delivering gifts to people in the accounting department.”
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with the accounting department! Besides, you don’t have to do that. You’ve got Dot. I think Brett rigged it, just in case.”
See you December 8th to find out what happens next…