Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. The theme for this Write It Your Way competition was "New Beginnings" and entrants were allowed to take that theme in any direction they liked.Click here for a list of upcoming Writer's Digest writing competitions.
Dawn was giving a faint rosy glow in the eastern sky on New Year’s morning. There was a fresh three-inchblanket of snow over the landscape. The air was crisp and cold. It promised to be a beautiful, clear winter’s day. In their upstairs bedroom, Marvin and Susie snuggled cozily and snored softly in deep and peaceful slumber. Theywere happy for a breather following their first hectic Christmas holidays together. No alarms were set, no more “To Do” lists, and no hurry to do anything in particular. So far they were doing a good job keeping their first New Year’s resolutionto sleep in as long as possible.
In his sleep Marvin reached over and drew in his pregnant wife. Her rounded tummy was just big enough to require elastic waistbands and loose tops. Susie was beginning to show, but not quite big enough for what she considered real maternity clothes. They had inherited this old farmhouse from Susie’s grandmother. Most of the time they loved it, –the quaint architecture, the high ceilings and hardwood floors, and having a little land and privacy without being more than a few miles from town. However, they were still not used to not having central heat. They hadn’t figured out yet how to bank the fire in their bedroom fireplace and it always went out around four a.m. Consequently they ending up sleepingunder every quilt and comforter they owned. At this early morning hour it had not yet become too chilly and their accumulated body heat was sufficient.
Marvin was having a dream about his courtship days with Susie, shortly before their May wedding. In his dream they were sitting close and talking about their then future wedded life together. In his sleep, Marvin hugged Susie even closer. Then his dream took a strange turn. Two complete strangers began to play badminton in Susie’s parents’ living room. The badminton players moved closer and closer to where Marvin and Susie were sitting, trying to have a private and intimate conversation. Marvin’s dream self was becoming increasingly annoyed and was about to say a few irate words to them when his consciousness was forced awake and he realized someone was throwing snowballs at their bedroom window.
Grumbling to himself he carefully withdrew from his sleeping wife and went to the window. Parting the curtain cautiously he saw their friend Linus throwing another snowball. Marvin waved, then involuntarily drew back as the snow connected with the glass only an inch or two from his face. Linus waved up at him excitedly. With a deep sigh, Marvin opened the window. Marvin whispered loudly, “Linus, what are you doing?!”
Linus called out with a booming voice, “Hi Marvin! I wanted to be the first to wish you and Susie a Happy New Year! Isn’t this a glorious morning?”
About this time the frigid blast reached the sleeping Susie. She snapped awake. “BRRR! Who opened the window?? Marvin! What are you doing?! It’s freezing out there!”
Marvin sighed again. “It’s Linus, Honey. He came over to wish us a Happy New Year.”
“I’m going to ‘Happy New Year’ him! What time is it?!” She reached a hand out from under the covers, looked at the clock and shrieked. “Is he crazy?! Get rid of him!”
“WHAT DID SHE SAY?”
With a completely straight face Marvin called down, “She said, ‘Happy New Year’.” Then under his breath he mumbled, “and a few other things.”
Susie wrapped herself in all theblankets androse like a column from the bed. She waddled to the bathroom. Marvin was disappointed she hadgiven up so easily, but then again being pregnant did make her have to go more often. Herefused to stifle a yawn as he asked, “What are you doing out so early, Linus?”
“ARE YOU KIDDING? IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF A BRAND NEW YEAR! A FRESH START, A NEW BEGINNING, A CLEAN SLATE JUST WAITING TO BE WRITTEN ON. WHO CAN SLEEP ON A DAY LIKE THIS??”
“Well, actually, a lot of people could, at least for part of the morning.” Marvin heard the water running and hoped she’d come back to bed when she was through. He turned back to Linus, “Besides, it’s awful cold out …”
“COLD?! JUST ENOUGH NIP IN THE AIR TO MAKE YOU FEEL ALIVE! JUST BREATHE IN THAT CLEAN AIR.” Linus leaned back his head, spread out his arms and took in a big breath to prove his point.
In his peripheral vision Marvin saw something jelly like and bright blue rolling down the roof, gaining momentum as it went. He heard the bathroom window close as recognition set in, and nanoseconds later the large water balloon landed squarely on Linus’s upturned face. Marvin bit his upper lip to keep from laughing out loud.
The column of blankets waddled back into the room and plopped back on the bed. Susie’s muffled voice gloated from within, “I’m no physics major, but that gable gave a perfect trajectory.”
Marvin looked out at his wet friend with a mixture of humor and sympathy. “Are you okay, Linus?”
Linus remained very still, trying to keep his composure while his body adjusted to the blast of cold water. “She’s not a morning person, is she?”
Marvin allowed a little smile. “No, my friend, she’s not. But she’s all mine.”
Linus paused, thinking things over. “Nuff said. I think I’ll go home now.”
“Sorry to dampen your ‘New Year’ spirit!”
“What was that? I’ve got a little water in my ear, don’t think I heard you.”
“Happy New Year, Linus! Go home and get dried off before you catch cold.”
Linus’s voice trailed off as he walked away, somewhat less enthusiastically, “Right. Happy New Year to you too.”
Marvin shut the window and closed the curtains. “That was very naughty of you, my dear!” They both burst out laughing as he dived in under the covers with her.
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