A Gift Named HollybyVaginalpuppetry©
This is my submission to the 2016 Winter Holidays Contest. Self edited because I waited until the last minute to begin writing, so please forgive any mistakes! This is listed under Science Fiction but other themes include First Time, Anal, and Romance. All relevant characters are 18+.
The airport was busy with holiday travelers, including myself. There were many reasons why I chose to attend a university on the opposite side of the country, but the major downside was that I rarely found the opportunity to fly home and see my family, other than special occasions or holidays. The Christmas trees and festive music were a welcome reminder of why I was home today.
I made my way through the terminal, grabbing my modest luggage and checking my phone to see if I had any messages from my younger sister. Chloe was always the one to pick me up from the airport, a tradition I certainly welcomed. I'd never made many friends growing up, but when friends are hard to come by, a loyal sibling will work just as well. I was having trouble unlocking my phone with the gloves I was wearing, despite their claim to be smart phone compatible. I was ready to give in and take one of them off when I heard her voice.
"Elliot! Forget the phone and use your eyes!"
I looked up to find Chloe smiling back at me, just a few yards away. I would have found her easily enough had I not been preoccupied with my gloves. I laughed as I stowed away my phone and she rushed over to me. I barely managed to get my arms up before I was embraced in one of her welcoming hugs.
"Welcome home big brother!" she said as I caught my breath.
"Glad to be home little sis," I replied.
Chloe and I are practically twins, though she is actually a full year younger. Her hair is the same chestnut brown as mine, and her eyes a lighter shade of green than my own, but not by much. The boots she wore today have a slight heel, bringing her up to my height almost exactly, and thanks to years of morning runs together the two of us are in identical health. There was, of course, one noticeable difference about me today.
"You know I almost didn't recognize you with all that scruff on your face," she said after finally letting me go. "Mom and Dad are going to give you hell when they see that, you know."
I ran my fingers through my goatee and shrugged. "Probably, but don't worry it's only temporary."
"Ran out of razors did you?" she asked with a smirk. "Don't worry, you can borrow mine, but you'll have to find your own shaving cream if you don't want to smell like lavender."
I sighed. "I'm good on razors. Just didn't feel like taking care of it for a while. I'll explain in the car, but we should get out of there before we get trampled."
Chloe didn't press the issue. I pulled my pea coat tighter around me as I prepared to leave the warmth of the terminal and encounter the cold winter of the Southeast. As I mentioned before, the West Coast had its benefits. Luckily the snowfall had been relatively light this year, and her Kia Soul was parked close enough that my socks remained dry. I stowed my bags in the rear and climbed in as she turned up the heat.
"Look at you, you're shivering. I suppose three years out in California will do that huh?" Chloe asked as she watched me climb in.
"You definitely get used to it," I replied as I kicked snow off my boots and closed the door. "You should come visit sometime you know. You'd love it out there."
"Maybe I will one day. You can show me around Hollywood and help me get that acting job we always talked about."
I laughed. "Wrong city. It's weird. In a way, the cold is kind of comforting. Reminds me that I'm home."
"Is that why you've got the facial hair going on? Think it'll keep you warm while you readjust? Oh, wait, don't tell me! This was Brittany's idea wasn't it? It seems like the sort of thing she'd go for. How is she, anyway?"
I stared out the window, calculating my answer as the Christmas lights passed by. I knew the pause was a bit too lengthy, and that Chloe had probably already assumed that my words weren't going to be cheerful, but she waited for me to speak all the same.
"Brittany and I split up. Three weeks ago."
"Oh Elliot, I'm so sorry! I had no idea, you never mentioned...are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Really. I mean, I guess I'm as okay as a guy can be after he finds out that his girlfriend of two years is fucking some other guy when she's supposed to be studying."
Chloe looked beyond surprised. "Holy shit, are you serious?"
"Afraid so. We all had our exams before winter break so I wasn't surprised when she started texting to say she'd be in the library studying all night. Then one night I figured I would surprise her by bringing coffee and snacks, but she wasn't in the library like she said she was. I went over to her apartment and found her straddling some other guy. I don't even know who he was."
"That's really fucked up," Chloe said. "I know I only met her that one time last year, but I never thought she'd be the type. What did you do?"
I shrugged. "I left. It was the only thing I could do. She called me a million times and blew up my phone with texts but it was too late. I haven't seen her since, and I hope I never see her again."
The silence that followed lasted for longer than I expected. I could tell that Chloe was beyond sympathetic for me. I could only imagine the hateful things she must have thought of Brittany at that moment. Chloe was the artist in the family, which came with a certain degree of creative vision.
"That's why you haven't shaved isn't it? You stopped caring after that day?" she asked as the silence grew uncomfortable.
I nodded in reply. "Like I said, it's temporary. I'm home now, and I can get my mind off of it."
"Say no more! I'm a master at changing the subject. You'll be pleased to know that all of the gifts you ordered have arrived, and they're still in the same gift wrap they came in."
I raised an eyebrow as I looked her direction. "I wasn't really worried about it before, but now I'm suspicious. You didn't peek at your gift, did you?"
"A lady has her secrets."
"Tell that to our mother, the biggest gossip in the entire state. Either way, I guess I can't blame you if you did. Just act surprised when you open it anyway."
"Speaking of mother and gifts, she did ask if you had anything for Zoe?"
I turned to my Chloe with a confused look. "Zoe is going to be here this year?"
She nodded. "I called you about it a few weeks ago, don't you remember? Aunt Liz is staying with us this year which means I get to share my room with my six-year-old-cousin."
"Oh, right, I think I do remember that now. Sorry, I guess that was around the time the breakup happened and I was a bit distracted."
"Right. Sorry, didn't mean to bring that back up..."
"It's okay, really. But this does present a problem because I definitely did forget to buy something for Zoe. I should probably get something for Aunt Liz too. Fuck, it's four days until Christmas. What am I going to do?"
Chloe thought for a moment. "Well, you probably won't be able to order anything online and have it shipped in time. It's still pretty early, so if you're not too tired from the flight we can always stop by the mall on the way home?"
I sighed. The thought of searching through a crowded mall for a last minute holiday gift wasn't all that appealing, but waiting wasn't really an option this close to Christmas. Besides, it would allow me to stretch my legs after a cramped flight, and I could use the extra time to prepare myself for the questions my mother was sure to throw my way once I told her about my breakup.
"Okay, I guess that's really my only option. It's not Zoe's fault I'm so forgetful."
"Shit happens. Come on, we can go shopping and I'll even buy you a pretzel. Consider it an early Christmas present!"
I laughed. "A whole pretzel, for me? I'm starting to feel guilty about spending so little on your gift."
The mall wasn't far, and Chloe kept the ride cheerful by telling me about her own studies. Unlike me, she attended a college that was in-state, though still far enough from home that she maintained a sense of freedom. Mostly she talked about the various places she would visit when she wasn't trapped in a classroom or studio, though she was never shy about her social or love life with me. I knew she was avoiding those topics on purpose today.
"Fuck me, I've never seen this place so crowded, even during a holiday!" she exclaimed after we finally stepped through the glass doors of the two-story shopping center.
The sight of so many shoppers made me groan. Most of the stores would be picked over by now, but I couldn't leave here empty handed. Grudgingly, I stepped forward and began my search, keeping in mind that the mall would be closing in just over two hours. Luckily I had Chloe to help me formulate a plan as we walked.
"Okay, what did you get Aunt Liz this year?" I asked, hoping her answer would offer some much-needed guidance.
"I bought her one of those nice leather-bound journals from the book store. She's been writing again, so I figured she could use it for one of her next projects."
"Not a bad idea. What if I got her a fancy new pen to go with it?"
Chloe smiled. "That would work perfectly with my gift, and I bet she would love that! She never was a fan of typing. Follow me, there's an art shop on the second floor where I buy all my supplies. They'll have exactly what you're looking for!"
My sister dragged me up the escalator and into one of her favorite shops where I quickly realized how expensive a decent writing utensil can be. She helped me choose one within my budget and I paid the cashier while it was being wrapped. I briefly wondered how this pen might be different from any of the normal ball-point pens I use at school, but came to the conclusion that it didn't really matter regardless. Aunt Liz would be happy with this gift, and her smile was definitely worth the price.
"That's one gift down," Chloe said as we made our way down to the food court. "Funny, I kind of imagined that Aunt Liz would be the harder one to shop for. Zoe is only six so that shouldn't be much trouble at all. Any toy will do."
"Is there anything specific she likes these days? I don't really follow the trends of children," I said as Chloe paid for two pretzels and a large soda to share between us.
"I'm not really sure. I know tigers are her favorite animal so I did this really nice painting of one for her. She can hang it on her wall until she becomes an angsty teenager and replaces it with posters of emo boy bands."
"You never know. She might replace it with crucifixes and bible quotes like your friend Laura did."
"Don't remind me," Chloe said with a sigh. "Anyway, finish your pretzel and let's find a toy store. There's bound to be something in there she'll like."
I did as she asked and we continued on. Surprisingly enough, there aren't many toy stores in this mall. There was a larger chain store not far up the road, but neither of us felt enthusiastic about dealing with the crowd this close to Christmas. We finally managed to nudge our way into one of the less popular stores along the aisle. I didn't even catch the name of it before Chloe dragged me inside.
"Think we'll find anything Zoe would like in here?" I asked as I glanced around at the shelves. This wasn't the kind of store I was used to, with video games and action figures. Instead, everything had a distinctly old-fashioned look to it. There were wooden trains and wagons, and over by the window I could see a collection of board games that mostly consisted of chess or checker boards. In a way it reminded me of the storybook version of Santa's workshop in the North Pole, though perhaps a bit more updated.
"I don't know, but it can't hurt to look around can it?" Chloe replied. She was already pushing her way down an aisle ahead of me, but I decided not to follow. My attention was drawn to the right where an attractive woman was inspecting a table of snow globes. For a brief moment I forgot about my mission and decided to get a better look.
I made my way over to the display and began to casually look at the globes like any other customer would. Before I could make any form of conversation, however, we were joined by another young man. The woman greeted him as he approached and it was immediately apparent that the two were a couple. It may have saved me some embarrassment, but I still felt a bit awkward now that I was looking at snow globes for literally no reason. I watched from the corner of my eye as the pair walked away, and to my surprise I began to feel loneliness creeping into my heart.
Chloe's voice startled me back into the moment. "Dude, I thought you were behind me?"
I nearly dropped the snow globe in my hand. The white flakes inside became a blizzard as I fumbled to keep it safe. When I regained control I carefully put the item back in its place as I took one last glance at the girl leaving the store. Chloe must have noticed my glance before I turned back to her.
"You're still thinking about her, aren't you?" my sister asked as she met my eyes.
"It's not really something I can help. We dated for so long, I guess I just got used to having someone there. I know it's silly.
"It's not silly. What she did was terrible, and I can't imagine how that must make you feel. Nobody wants to be alone during the holidays. At least you have family," she added with a gentle touch to my arm. I gave her a weak but genuine smile in return.
With nothing left to say, I turned my attention back to the snow globes. I wasn't seriously considering buying one for Zoe, but I needed to distract myself for a few seconds, so I picked up the nearest one and stared into the glass. As I studied the scene within, I began to notice the reflection on the surface. Something stood out against the snowy backdrop, and I turned to see the reflection with clearer eyes. Chloe turned with me.
"She looks so lonely, sitting there by herself," Chloe mused as we stepped toward the wall where a single doll remained for sell. "The others must have been sold. I wonder why this one is still here?"
I reached out and took the doll from the shelf, already convinced that I'd found a solution to my problem. She was made of porcelain, like so many of the dolls that Chloe had owned when she was little. Her hair was black as night, and the hand-painted eyes were a cool shade of grey more gorgeous than any gemstone I'd ever seen. The dress was red lace, and the stockings were striped in red and white. It all felt so delicate between my fingers, but I held her carefully while Chloe looked beside me.
"I remember having dolls like this as a little girl," she said. "I see now why she's the only one left. Poor thing has a stain on her dress."
I saw it now, the blotch at the bottom of her dress. My heart began to sink, but on closer inspection I realized that the stain was small and not too dark. I could probably remove it myself using little more than warm water and mild cleaner. It occurred to me that there were probably other toys in this store that would suffice, but I knew that if no one else bought this doll she would likely end up in the garbage somewhere. It felt like the right thing to do, saving her from that fate.
"Do you think Zoe would like this?" I asked, handing the doll carefully to my sister. "I think I can get that stain out on my own."
Chloe looked the toy over. She seemed just as infatuated as I. "Well, I would have loved a doll this beautiful. Sometimes I miss being a little girl. Christmas was really something else. I'm sure Zoe would be thrilled if you gave her this."
As if I needed further encouragement, the voice of a tired mall employee resounded from the PA above. "Attention shoppers, the mall will be closing in thirty minutes. Please make all final purchases before this time. Thank you."
That was all the convincing I required. I checked the price listed on the tag to make sure it wasn't super expensive. It was well within my budget, and I realized that with the stain on the dress the store might even give me a discount. Chloe and I proceeded to the checkout line and waited for our turn.
Ten minutes later Chloe and I were warming up in her car and heading home to the rest of the family. My sister did most of the talking along the way, filling me in with the details I'd missed out on for the last couple of weeks. She complained about having to share her room with Zoe, but I knew Chloe well enough to see that it was a façade. She loved children, and Zoe was always happy to play with her older cousin.
When I did speak it was mostly about my studies. So much of my social life had revolved around Brittany that I hadn't had much time for anything else. Even as I made casual conversation about my plans to study abroad next year, my mind drifted to thoughts of my ex. It suddenly made sense why the last few weeks of our relationship had been practically devoid of sex. Up until that point Brittany had been the pinnacle of my sexual prowess.
Now my thoughts drifted into enemy territory, and I tried to deflect, but the slide was inevitable. I imagined the way she would straddle me in my desk chair, wearing nothing but a pale college t-shirt that gave me a teasing view of her hard nipples as they hovered inches from my lips. My fingers would trace slowly up her waist, gently lifting the fabric as she rocked back and forth with me inside of her. When she came she would always pull my face to her chest while she moaned, and when the orgasm began to fade she would slide off of me and finish me with her mouth. I came wherever I pleased, so long as it was never inside of her, but I didn't mind. I would usually cum on her chest, covering her shirt so that she'd have to take it off soon after.
I realized then that I'd stopped talking aloud. The silence had probably been awkward, though not as much as it would have been had Chloe been able to spot my erection in the darkness. If she noticed, she didn't say. I began to focus on the Christmas lights as we passed homes in the suburbs where we live, and my cock slowly began relax. Still, I knew I'd have to masturbate before bed tonight if I wanted to completely be free of this torture. I would have to find some pornography online though. Jerking off to my ex didn't seem like a healthy option.
"What did you ask the parents to get you this year?" I asked when the silence became uncomfortable.
"Mostly just some stuff for my camera. A new lens and a carry case. What about you?"
"I'm planning a trip soon, hiking in the mountains. Figured they could get me a decent hiking pack, and maybe some other supplies. I left it pretty open for them. I'll have everything ready regardless."
Chloe then proceeded to ask details about my hiking trip, but there wasn't much to tell. Originally it had been for Brittany and I, but now I figured I would ask my roommate to tag along. A few days sleeping in a tent and enjoying nature were always my favorite way to relax.
The first thing I noticed when we finally pulled into our driveway was that our house was lit up like a sparkler. Dad had really outdone himself with the decorating this year, and it looked like there were some new purchases I'd been unaware of. There was the usual tree positioned in the second floor window in the center, as well as a wreath in all the others, but there were also lights strung through each of the oak trees in the yard. It was simple yet beautiful, and it made me smile. I grabbed my luggage while Chloe took the shopping bags and we made our way to the door. It opened as I stepped up and my mother was there to greet me.
"There's my boy, finally home to see his mother!" She said as she stepped out, but then the light hit me and she noticed my beard. "Oh, Elliot, what have you got going on there? Did you run out of razor blades?"