Authors: Clare Revell
Tags: #christian Fiction
A Mummy for Christmas
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
A Mummy for Christmas
COPYRIGHT 2015 by Clare Revell
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or Pelican Ventures, LLC except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
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Contact Information: [email protected]
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.â¢ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
Cover Art by Nicola Martinez
White Rose Publishing, a division of Pelican Ventures, LLC
PO Box 1738 *Aztec, NM * 87410
White Rose Publishing Circle and Rosebud logo is a trademark of Pelican Ventures, LLC
First White Rose Edition, 2015
Electronic Edition ISBN 978-1-61116-525-8
Published in the United States of America
For Mum and Dad. For always being there, from when I was small, and still being there now. And for the wonderful memories the word Christmas evokes.
What People are Saying
Aussie Christmas Angel
Do you like to visit new places? Do you like Christmas themed stories? Do you enjoy a sweet romance? Then you might want to check out this tale, based on a condensed version of a true story as explained in the author's note at the end of the book. The major take-home value of this short story is a great one! God can use anything and all circumstances to bring about His purposes. ~ JoAnn Carter
Fairytale of Headley Cross
I love being swept away through Revell's writing. She expertly sucks you in and allows you to fall in love with each character as God's love and grace shine brightly. I really enjoyed this short read. It includes romance, excitement, humour, a slight thrill and most importantly, God's word. Great Christmas read. ~ T. Suckoo
Season for Miracles
Cassie's Wedding Dress
Kisses from Heaven
After the Fire
An Aussie Christmas Angel
Fairytale of Headley Cross
Shadows of the Past
Battle of the Flowers
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Stan Fuller looked at Mrs. Johnson in despair, desperately praying he'd heard the woman wrong. “I mean, there must be someone more suitable. I'm really busy in the run up to Christmas, and I've always made it perfectly clear to Haley-Jo that there is no such person as Father Christmas. So having me portray the bloke would be more than a little hypocritical, don't you think?”
Mrs. Johnson, head of Baxter Street Primary School, shook her head. “She doesn't have to know it's you. And you'd be getting me out of a huge fix. Our normal Father Christmas, Mr. Franklin from over the road, had a heart attack last week. He's done every Christmas party for years, and this'll be the first one he's missed. And when I discussed our dilemma with the staff, your name came up several times as the best man for the job.”
Stan shifted on his chair. This really wasn't what he'd been concerned about when he'd found the letter in Haley-Jo's book bag summoning, well, inviting him to a meeting in the headmistress's office this morning. He'd imagined Haley-Jo was in trouble. Admittedly she wasn't an easy child. She was eight and precocious, whilst he was a single parent, having to utilize both breakfast and after school clubs to fit in with his day job. Not to mention a succession of holiday clubs over the summer when his mother couldn't look after her.
His job as an airline pilot wasn't really conducive to childcare. He only did one or two international flights a month, sticking mainly to the domestic routes, so he'd be home each evening. His mother did a wonderful job on the occasions he was away, and Haley-Jo didn't appear to mind too much. Gifts eased things considerably.
He gazed up at the headmistress and realized that Mrs. Johnson was waiting for an answer. He cleared his throat. “Well, maybe just this once.”
“Thank you. The party is the day after tomorrow, and we'll have the costume here ready for you.”
Stan nodded. He'd been railroaded into this, but the school needed his help. What was a bloke to do, but agree? “What time do you need me?”
“Half-past one. That will give you time to change.”
He rose to his feet. “I'll double check with the flight schedule and let you know for sure later today. Now, if that's all, I really do need to be getting into work. I have a flight this afternoon.”
Mrs. Johnson stood and held out a hand. “Thank you again for agreeing to do this.”
“You're welcome.” He kept the smile plastered on his face as he took her extended hand.
“I've arranged for the local newspaper to cover this. The parents like to see pictures of our activities in the paper, and the kids always love a Christmas party. The photos will also be up on the school website.”
“That's great.” The last thing he needed was his face in a Father Christmas suit plastered all over the evening paper and the Internet. The flight crews would tease him for a year and a day over it.
He followed the head teacher down the hallway, hoping he wouldn't see Haley-Jo as the classrooms began to empty for playtime, because that would only cause more questions.
“Daddy?” The enquiring voice rang above the other voices.
Stan sighed. So much for that idea. He turned and made sure the smile was still on his face. “Hey, sweetheart, fancy seeing you.” He hunkered down and hugged her.
“What are you doing here?”
Stan looked at Mrs. Johnson for a way out. She'd gotten him into this mess after all.
“I needed your father's help,” Mrs. Johnson said. “I had an important question to ask him.”
“About airplanes?” Haley-Jo asked. “He's a pilot. He knows a lot about airplanes.”
Stan kissed her. “You go off and play, and I'll see you tonight. I should be home before you go to bed. Don't forget Gramma is collecting you this afternoon.”
“I won't. She's promised to make toady hole, mash, and sketti for dinner. Shall we save you some?”
“Yes, please.” He stood as she ran off with her friends, stifling a grin as a teacher told them to walk in the corridor. Nothing changed over the years.
Five minutes later he was in the car. Making sure the phone was on hands-free mode, he hit the speed-call button as he headed out of the car park. “Ray, it's Stan,” he said as soon as the call connected. “I need to rearrange my flight for Thursday. I have to be at the school in the afternoon.”
“Have you any idea how hard it'll be to get someone else at short notice?”
Stan ignored the irritation in his boss's voice. “Yeah, well, this isn't my idea of fun either. Tell Frank I'll do his London to New York on the fourteenth, if he'll do my domestic on Thursday. It'll mean missing the Sunday services the following day, but he's been trying to swap for a while. It's his wedding anniversary, and he wants to spend it with his wife rather than a plane full of strangers.”
“I'll ask him. Are you on your way in now?”
“Yes. Traffic permitting, I should be there in half an hour. I'm not due to take off until two, so there is plenty of time.”
“Don't forget Chrissie Anders starts today. She'll be your co-pilot. We thought we'd break her in gently.”
Stan stifled a groan. “How come I always get the newbies?”
“Because you're the best there is, Stan, you know that. Drive safe and I'll see you when you get in.”
Carly Jefferson pushed her chair away from her desk. She needed coffee and lots of it. What was it about Christmas that brought all the crazies out of the closet? She thought she'd seen the last of that when she left Cardiff for somewhere more provincial. Apparently not.
Bramley, a tiny little village in the middle of the English countryside, seemed to have as many nut jobs as anywhere else. The only thing it lacked was murders and burglaries. The most exciting things that happened around here were cheating in the bake off at the village fete, the ongoing theft of garden gnomes, and the recurrent issue of dog poop in the wrong places.
Today's front page consisted ofâ¦well, nothing she'd written. As always her stuff was confined to page seven or page fifteen. Page seven was a thrilling article on the history of the local library. And page fifteen was what her mother called the hatched, matched, and dispatched. Or births, marriages, and death announcements.
For once she'd like a story she could get her teeth into. Something dramatic and heart rending like finding the child she gave up for adoption. That was why she'd become a reporter.
But who was she trying to kid. She stood the same chance of finding her daughter as she did repairing the shattered relationship with her mother, which was as likely as an asteroid strike. She just needed to get on with her life as it was. Single. Alone. But with a career she could be proud of. Well, kind of proud. A career, at any rate.
Carly refilled her cup and leaned against the counter. Her gaze roamed around the newsroom. Everyone sat busy at their desks, trying to make their deadlines.
She jumped as the chief editor, Marc Delfraitus, appeared beside her. Was the bloke omniscient or something? “No, just a quick coffee. My articles are both done, early as it happens, and in your inbox on your desk, and in your e-mail.”
“Good. I have another assignment for you. The primary school is having Father Christmas visit on Thursday. Take a camera. I want lots of photos and a nice write up. And see what the kids want for Christmas. Maybe we can make one of the wishes come true.”
“I don't know. See what the kids ask for. We can't grant everything, but see what happens on the day. The budget might run to a bike or princess dress or something. Make a note of their names and what they ask for. Or get them to write letters to the big guy in the red suit. Bring them back here, read them, and make sure you get photos of the ones we might be able to help.”
He nodded. “Start by doing some background on the school, get an interview with the head teacher, that kind of thing. We run that tomorrow and then the big article on Friday. You might even get center spread if it's good.”
Carly's heart leapt. “Really? Center pages?”
“It might even go to four pages. Just get the story and photos.”
She nodded, barely able to contain her excitement. “Sure.” She hurried back to her desk, feet not even touching the ground. This was big. No, more than big. This was huge, with a capital
. The school often used the paper to cover eventsâharvest festival services, summer fairs, and so on. If she did a good job now, then maybe the school would use her again.
Bringing up the school website on her computer, Carly browsed quickly and then picked up the phone. First port of call would be the head teacher for a background story and photos of the Christmas decorations and so on up in the school already. Then prepare for her
piece de resistance
. The Christmas party.
What kinds of things did kids want for Christmas anyway? She wouldn't know.
Dolls or bikes maybe? Computer games. The latest in CDs or DVDs or clothes. Mobile phones probably.
Carly closed her eyes. The child she'd never seen and never held would be eight by now. She pressed her fists into her eyes, determined not to cry. There was nothing she could do about it. She'd lost her husband and daughter without a chance to say goodbye to either of them. And once she'd found out her mother's part in the whole sorry affair, she'd effectively lost her, too. They hadn't spoken in the years since and never again would be too soon for her liking.