Ripe Romance

On the center of the long oak dining table sits a rectangular cake with silver-tinted words that read, “60th Anniversary.” Pam runs from the kitchen to the table to put the finishing touches to the already overflowing spread. The doorbell is ringing and someone is also knocking on the front door. Her mother, Mabel, calls out, “I’ll get the door, honey. Hurry and get your father so we can quickly sing and put him back to his room.”
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Christmas Eve

(Conclusion to A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 13; see Part 12)



The Bedfordshire Inn was busy with many people. They came from all over to take part in the Annual Christmas Festival, an event for which the town was fast becoming known as each year passes. Horace stepped inside the Inn to seek inspiration for his final gift to Elizabeth. He looked around for familiar faces. A particularly raucous crowd caught his attention. They were a large group of white bearded men and a mix of young and older women. They seemed like a merry group. He walked toward them. Continue reading

2 Days before Christmas

(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 12; see Part 11)


Silas heard about the commotion that took place yesterday at Elizabeth’s house. He had to find something to top that since today was the last day of his gift giving. Something more spectacular than men leaping like frogs. As a man of the arts and music, Silas decided to appeal to his musician friends to win Elizabeth’s heart once and for all. Silas hoped the musical group would make for a strong show.

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3 Days before Christmas

(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 11; see Part 10)

Leaping lords

Ebenezer welcomed Horace into his house. As they walked toward the drawing-room and sat down, Ebenezer explained to Horace that he had taken Aunt Maisey to stay with another aunt for a fortnight with the pretext that there was a hole in the roof that required repair. With Christmas coming so soon, Ebenezer had told his aunt that it might take a little longer than usual to get it fixed.
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4 Days before Christmas

(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 10; see Part 9)

music box

“What a clever contraption. I’ll take it,” Silas said. He was entranced by the musical box with an image of nine ladies dancing. He could picture Elizabeth being equally charmed. He asked the watchmaker if he could carve something special on the base of the box.


“I love it!” Elizabeth said when she wound up the musical box.

“What a wondrous object,” Lily said. Since Horace had been asked to stay and chat more than a few minutes of late, she had volunteered to stay in the room and be their chaperone to show propriety.
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5 Days before Christmas

(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 9; see Part 8)


Ebenezer was back in the market, looking around for the peddler with the luscious daughter. He learned from Horace that Elizabeth’s household needed some help. He spotted the peddler hawking the same line. So much for thinking he had a bargain the other day. He approached him nevertheless, so he could also chance a glance at his daughter.
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6 Days before Christmas

(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 8; see Part 7)


Silas marked the day in his daily journal as halfway through this wretched plan. He had slept fitfully and woken up early. His only thought was of how he missed Elizabeth’s laugh and their repartee. He was utterly besotted with her. His appetite had also been weak of late. He decided to sketch to distract himself. After some time had passed, he realized again how deeply enamored he was with Elizabeth. The sketch before him were of three pairs of swans, inspired by thoughts of Elizabeth’s own long, slender neck. Each pair formed a heart. Above the column of the six swans was a lone swan twisted into a heart shape.
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