The Glass Ornament

Sarah’s hand felt like it had been stung by a handful of angry bees.

Which, interestingly, matched the loud buzzing in her head.

The buzzing noise started to fade and she could hear voices, but not enough that she could figure out what they were saying.  They sounded like the adults from the Charlie Brown Christmas special she’d watched recently with her neice.


Where was Chelsea?  

The last thing she remembered was tucking her in and then heading down to raid her sister’s refridgerator.  And then…


She tried to open her eyes, but was only able to open them a tiny bit.  They felt swollen and the light that came through made her flinch.  Her head started to throb, pulsating with the rhythm of her quickening heartbeat.  What in the world was going on?

Forcing her eyes open and fighting against the glaring lights – Sarah willed her head to look at her hand.

No bees… Well, that ruled out allergic reaction.

She concentrated and opened her fist.

Shards of glass cut into her palm.  It looked almost festive with the red of the blood and the reflection of the Christmas lights on the tree.  She took a minute to examine the sight and worked to push the fog out of her brain.

The glass was from an ornament her mother had given to her sister the Christmas before their mother died.

Fragments of memories appeared in her brain like a slide-show that was missing half of the slides.  She had come down the stairs and was about to wrap the presents she had hidden in the hall closet, but she’d stopped to admire the ornament.  Memories of her mother had flooded her mind and she’d taken it off the tree to feel the cool glass against her palm.

Their mother had been a glass blower by trade and had eventually been diagnosed with lung cancer – presumably because of her craft.  Sarah could still remember the day she told them that she only had a short time to live.  Ever the optimist, Sheila never seemed upset about the prognosis, but her daughters were devestated with the news.

Sarah was about to put the ornament back on the tree when she heard a noise and started to turn around –

And then pain.  Lots and lots of pain.

Someone had hit her in the head with something and it knocked her onto the floor.  Their boots connected with the soft flesh on her body repeatedly and during the assault she must have clenched down on the glass ornament, shattering it in her hand.

Bile rose in her throat as she fought back the panic at the thought that the intruders were still in the house.

Her thoughts immediately went back to her five year old niece sleeping upstairs.  She had to make her body work to get to Chelsea.

Had they gotten to her?  Was she okay?

Move, dammit.

 (Write about an ornament.)

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