The Snow GlobebyTE999©
Hello and welcome to my readers. Thank you for your votes, feedback and comments on my submissions. I would also like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. In the spirit of the holidays, I offer this little tale for your enjoyment.
"Good morning to you, young lady. Would you like to purchase a Christmas ornament? I made them myself."
Leslie Stuart stared at the sweet faced old woman on her doorstep through eyes still wet from crying. She had discovered Mary Jo's favorite teacup in a kitchen cabinet and the tears had begun to flow again. Leslie's life partner had died eleven months ago, but the wound in Leslie's heart was still fresh and raw. She had almost welcomed the ringing of the doorbell to distract her from the all-encompassing loneliness she felt on a dreary Saturday morning.
"I'm sorry, my dear," said the old woman, shifting a large wicker basket from one arm to the other, "Am I disturbing you? I can come back another time."
Leslie realized she had been staring at the woman without speaking. "I, I'm sorry ma'am," she replied, "I just was thinking..."
"My child," the woman interrupted. "You have been crying. Is there something wrong?"
"My partner that I loved very much died almost a year ago," Leslie murmured, her eyes filling with tears once more. "I miss her terribly."
"Oh you poor thing," the woman replied. "I'm so sorry. I won't bother you any further."
She turned to leave and Leslie grasped her arm. "Please don't go," she said impulsively. "That basket looks heavy. Come inside and rest for a moment. Would you like some tea? I just made some."
"Thank you, child," the woman replied. "A cup of tea would be very nice. It has been a long, cold morning." She followed Leslie into the house, the hem of her dark blue dress trailing along the floor.
Leslie seated her guest at her kitchen table and placed a cup of hot tea in front of her. After offering cream and sugar, which the woman politely refused, Leslie sat down with her own tea and they began to talk.
There was something about the old woman's cherubic face, her iron-grey hair and her kindly manner that put Leslie instantly at ease. In no time, she was pouring her heart out to the kindly stranger. She showed the woman a picture of her and Mary Jo taken on their last vacation. Her slim figure and short blonde hair contrasting with Mary Jo's voluptuous body and long red tresses as they posed in their bikinis, smiling happily at the camera.
She and Mary Jo were so much in love that they had cultivated very few friendships, and those had dwindled away after Mary Jo's death; as they so often do when a couple becomes a single. Leslie's family lived far away, so she really had no one to talk to other than her co-workers and was lonely most of the time. The old woman's' visit quickly became an emotional release for Leslie's sadness.
Leslie found herself telling the woman how she and Mary Jo had met at a corporate seminar for advertising account managers eight years ago. How they had dated, fallen in love and become life partners, buying their first house together. How Mary Jo was so handy with tools and fixing things, while Leslie's domain was the kitchen.
She wept anew as she told how Mary Jo had gone to the hospital for a routine operation to have bone spurs removed from her heels caused by marathon running, which they both did for fun. Then, inexplicably, a viral infection had set in after the operation and a week later, her partner was dead.
The woman arose from her chair and hugged Leslie's shoulders as she covered her face with her hands and sobbed, once again overwhelmed by the memories. "There, there my child," she said soothingly. "I am so sad for your loss. Some times, it is good to talk these things out with someone else. Thank you for the tea. I will not bother you any further."
"Wait, please," said Leslie, wiping her eyes with a napkin. "You wanted to show me some Christmas ornaments you had made. I would like to see them."
"Very well," said the woman, lifting the basket to the kitchen table. "I have some lovely ones here that I think you will like."
Folding back the wooden lid, the old woman began removing the most intricate and beautiful ornaments from the basket Leslie had ever seen. She placed them one by one on the table in front of the astonished woman, smiling benignly as Leslie's eyes widened in wonder.
They were not the customary colored ornaments, but rather finely wrought figurines that seemed almost lifelike in their detail and complexity. Leslie was almost afraid to touch them for fear that they would break in her hands. Reindeer, polar bears, camels, donkeys, penguins, lambs and birds stood stiffly on her kitchen table; their eyes bright and looking for all the world as if they would move at any second. Leslie poked a tentative finger at a polar bear figurine and laughed with surprise as she felt warm fur. All the figurines had the same strange warmth as she examined them in turn, marveling at their almost sentient quality.
The woman then set out equally intricate wooden soldiers, nutcrackers and snow people; followed by a lifelike Santa Claus, delicate angels and children in pajamas. Leslie laughed excitedly at the display, feeling happier than she had been in a long time. 'How can she fit all these beautiful ornaments in that basket,' she wondered to herself. Then, yet another new figurine caught her eye and the thought crept away.
"They're all so beautiful," she exclaimed as the old woman stood next to her, smiling. "I don't see how I could pick just one and yet I can't buy all of them. How am I to choose?"
"They are all beautiful, my dear," the woman replied. "But I have one here that I think you will like more than all of these." Reaching into her basket, she withdrew a large snow globe and handed it to Leslie. "I think this is what you need most of all," she said sweetly.
Leslie turned the snow globe slowly in her hands. The scene inside was a cabin in the forest and the detail was incredible. She had not shaken it, but the snow fell slowly and gently inside the globe; coating the cabins roof, the trees and the ground with a blanket of gleaming white. She could see the grain in the cabins logs, the finely wrought scrollwork outlining the porch, the individual window panes rimed with ice; it all looked so real and somehow comforting.
"Is it not beautiful, my child?' said the old woman in a soft voice. "It is so peaceful and serene in the forest and it is cozy and warm inside the cabin." At her words, smoke began to curl from the chimney and the windows emitted a subdued glow.
'It looks so peaceful there,' Leslie thought. 'I wish that I was inside having a mug of tea or maybe hot chocolate.'
While Leslie was examining the snow globe, the woman placed the other ornaments back in the basket and closed the lid. "That one is yours, my dear," she said, lifting the basket and walking briskly towards the door. "It is my Christmas present to you."
"No, wait," Leslie cried placing the globe on the table and running after the woman as she walked out the front door. "I can't take this; let me pay you something for it, please."
"The happiness it will bring you is my payment, my child," the old woman replied as she moved nimbly down the front porch steps and down the sidewalk, "And a very Merry Christmas to you, Leslie."
"Wait, please," Leslie called after the receding figure. "I don't even know your name." There was no response. Leslie watched while the woman disappeared around the corner, moving rather quickly for someone her age. Shaking her head in confusion, she went back in her house to examine her ornament more closely.
Leslie set her laptop and briefcase down by the umbrella stand that Mary Jo had found at a garage sale and locked her front door. It had been a difficult day at Cort and Associates and she was glad to be home. Oddly, she did not feel the pang of loss that usually arose when she walked in the front door, instead she felt strangely comforted and at peace.
Ever since the mysterious old woman had visited her and left the beautiful snow globe behind, her sadness had abated and she once again felt hopeful about the future. Leslie was unable to explain it, but it came as a welcome change. She walked to the fireplace where the globe sat on the mantel and watched the snow gently falling on the cozy cabin.
She had examined the globe carefully numerous times in the two weeks since the old woman's visit and could find no openings for batteries or a winding key that would light the cabin or propel the snow. Finally, she accepted the phenomenon and enjoyed the quiet beauty the globe contained.
Suddenly Leslie noticed a line of glowing script along the base of the globe she had never seen before. How could she have overlooked it before now? "I am your hearts desire", she read aloud, "and I bring you peace." The words had barely left her lips when the snow began to fall harder, the cabins windows glowed brighter and the curl of smoke from the chimney became a black plume. She set the globe back on the mantel as a feeling of well being enveloped her. Walking to the kitchen, Leslie prepared her evening meal wearing a broad smile.
Leslie sighed contentedly as Mary Jo's warm body pressed against her back and her hand caressed her breasts. They loved the weekends when they could lie in bed and pleasure each other for hours. The week's pressures and aggravations melted away when they were together skin to skin under the cotton sheets and down coverlet of their big bed.
Leslie rolled on her back to allow Mary Jo greater access to her body and was not disappointed when her partners' soft lips enveloped each erect nipple in turn. She slowly caressed Mary Jo's back and buttocks as her lovers' long fingers teasingly entered her wet cleft, parting the engorged lips and gliding against the pink inner folds. Leslie's hips rose to meet her partners probing fingers as Mary Jo's thumb found her throbbing clit, rubbing it in time with her fingers thrusts.
"Ohhhh, baby, it feels sooo good," Leslie moaned as Mary Jo sucked and licked on her thick nippled breasts, increasing the speed of her fingers in her partners wet cunt. "Ahhhh, yes love, yes," Leslie cried as Mary Jo brought her to orgasm repeatedly until she fell back on the bed in a satisfied daze.
"How was that, lover?" Mary Jo purred, snuggling up to Leslie's still quivering body, "Neat way to start the weekend, huh?"
"Sure beats coffee and a sweet roll," Leslie giggled, reaching for Mary Jo and rolling her on her back. Then it was Mary Jo's turn to moan and gasp as Leslie licked and sucked her way down to her lovers' wet pussy. Leslie lifted Mary Jo's legs over her shoulders and buried her wiggling tongue between her partners' slippery outer lips.
"Mmmmm, you eat so good, sweetie," Mary Jo groaned happily, as Leslie nibbled on her erect clit and swiped her tongue along the wet pussy flesh down to her partners' asshole. Leslie eased her finger into her lovers' puckered anal ring, pumping slowly in and out and licking rapidly in her pussy. "Ummmm, do me, lover, do meee..." Mary Jo cried as her orgasms rolled through her. Arching her back she thrust against Leslie's finger and tongue until she collapsed, mewing with pleasure.
"And how was that, lover?" Mary Jo laughed, covering her partners trembling body with her own and kissing her hard on the lips.
"Oh God, I love you so much," Mary Jo whispered, wrapping her arms and legs around Leslie, returning her kiss with equal fervor. "Be with me always, or I think I shall die."
"I'm yours forever, my darling," Leslie replied, "And you are mine, forever."
"Forever," Mary Jo sighed, "forever."
Leslie awoke with a start. Instinctively she reached for Mary Jo to hold her tight, and then realized that once again she was alone. It had been a dream, a glorious dream, a wonderful dream; so vivid and so real. The crotch of her pajama bottoms was soaked with her juices and she felt the post orgasmic bliss she had experienced countless times with Mary Jo. She had never dreamt so vividly before and instead of sadness at awaking alone, she felt strangely comforted and fulfilled. She quickly changed pajamas, eager to fall asleep and dream again of her lovers' touch.
Leslie smiled and waved to her co-workers, wishing them all Merry Christmas as she left her office. Mr. Cort had allowed them to leave early on Christmas Eve, as he knew they were anxious to be with their loved ones on this special night. Several of Leslie's work acquaintances had invited her to their homes so she would not be alone, but she politely refused. She had not felt so desperately alone since the snow globe had been on her mantel and she was actually anxious to return home to be with it. Stopping briefly to pick up a prepared meal at a local restaurant, she was soon closing the front door behind her. Quickly finishing her dinner, she began brewing a pot of tea.
Changing into jeans and a sweatshirt, Leslie placed the snow globe before her on the living room coffee table. She tuned the stereo to a station playing Christmas music and sat down in the large armchair that she and Mary Jo loved to sit in together. Sipping her tea, she could almost feel her lovers' body against hers, her soft lips brushing her cheek, her warm breath in her ear. Suddenly feeling drowsy, she placed her mug on the table, settled back in the chair and closed her eyes. Before her on the table, the snow globe suddenly began to glow with increasing intensity until its light enveloped the room and the sleeping woman.
Leslie felt a cold wind on her face and she opened her eyes. She was in a snowy forest, the flakes blowing against her skin, gathering on her hair and lashes. She felt no fear, only peace and happiness. Then the snow stopped falling and she could see clearly in front of her. She gave a squeal of surprise; it was the cabin in the snow globe. She began to walk slowly towards it, feet crunching into the new fallen snow, wondering who or what lived inside.
Suddenly the door of the cabin opened and a figure appeared on the porch, silhouetted against the light from the interior. Leslie thought she saw a flash of red as the figure descended the steps, walking slowly towards her. All at once, she knew... she knew! She began to run as the figure ran towards her, red hair flying.
Then she was in Mary Jo's arms, laughing and dancing in the snow, exchanging passionate kisses and hugging each other tightly. "Oh my love," Leslie cried, "I missed you so. How can this be? What place is this?"
"It is where we will never be parted again my darling," Mary Jo replied, brushing the snow from her lovers smiling face, "where we will be together forever."
"If this is a dream, then I don't want to ever wake up," Leslie replied happily. "Please tell me it's not a dream."
"It's not a dream, my sweet one," Mary Jo replied. "It's a place of happiness for those who truly love one another. Let us go, I have made a pot of your favorite tea. We have to the end of eternity to be with one another."
Arms around each other's waists and Leslie's head on Mary Jo's shoulder, the lovers' walked into the cabin, the heavy wooden door closing soundlessly behind them.
Smiling contentedly, the cherubic faced old woman placed Leslie and Mary Jo's snow globe on a rough wooden shelf that, like the others above and below it, seemed to stretch into the infinite depths of time. "Eternal happiness unto you, my children," she intoned solemnly.
All the shelves contained similar globes depicting various scenes from the dawn of humankind, each glowing with their own internal light while the air rang with the sounds of music and laughter. Checking the contents of her wicker basket, the woman leapt nimbly into the seat of a large, rough-hewn wooden cart and whistled softly to her team of bright-eyed reindeer, donkeys and camels. Leaning into their harnesses, they pulled the cart smoothly into a cascade of multi-colored lights as they, the cart and the old woman disappeared.
Clear Lake City 'Times-Journal'
December 31, 2006
AUTHORITIES CALL OFF SEARCH FOR MISSING WOMAN
Local police have suspended their search for a woman missing since Christmas Day.
Ms. Leslie Stuart, 42, disappeared from her home at 274 Maple Avenue on or about December 25th and has not been seen since. A Senior Account Executive with the firm of Cort and Associates; Ms. Stuart's disappearance was reported by her co-workers on December 26th when she did not report for work and they went to check on her. After entering the house, police could find no evidence of foul play and no new leads have developed. Family members have been notified and any further investigation is pending.