Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CFF #3: All Is Bright by L.K. Killian

If you experienced a childhood that bordered on poverty, you will relate to this little Christmas tale by L.K. Killian about three sisters who had nothing much but each other. Read on and please leave a comment...


L.K. Killian

I’m so cold. Martha is my big sister and a teenager.  She tells me if I walk faster, I won’t be so cold. We are only half way to my school and we still have a long way to go. I feel sorry for my little sister, Debra. We can’t get her to keep up with us. Her little bird legs are going to be blue in this cold. 

Martha is carrying the two gifts we are going to swap at the Christmas party. She said it would be okay if we brought our deck of Old Maid cards. And Debra found one of Mama’s little bottles of perfume that didn’t have too much missing. We had to wrap them in brown lunch sacks. 

It is so cold and dark. The dark scares me. The wind pushes us backward. I’m glad Martha is with us. I have my coat on but my legs are cold. I walk and walk but we’re not there yet. Martha tells us to put our hands in our coat pockets, but Debra needs my hand.  She’s afraid she will get left behind. I’m afraid, too. I know Martha is mad because she had to bring us. Mama went out to a party with her friends. This is my first party. Mama goes to a part just about every weekend. 

I’m happy about the party, but I’m so cold. I ask Martha if we can just go back home. She’s mad and says no because there’s going to be heck to pay when Mama finds out we took her perfume, so we just better go on to the party. I like it better when Martha takes my side. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as brave as Martha.

We are late. The pasty smelling room is not big and now it is has too many people. We can hardly get in the door. The Christmas tree is as big as a house and goes all the way up to the top of the ceiling. The room is dark, but the bright lights on the tree are like a hundred stars in the sky. 

Martha wants me to come on and find a place to sit, but I can’t move. I breathe in the smell of the tree. Martha won’t like it, but the Christmas tree makes me cry. It is so pretty. 

She says to sit down and watch Debra. I watch Debra all the time. I don’t mind, mostly. Debra is like me. We can’t stop looking at the tree. I see Martha put our sacks under the tree. 

My name is called and I have to go up and get my gift. Nobody at school ever gave me a gift. I rip off the paper and find a heavy glass bowl with a glass top. On the top of that is a little glass deer. Inside the bowl is the best smelling powder ever. 

Martha is reading the name on the sticker. She asks me if I know a boy named, John. I tell her I don’t. She says to look around the room and see who gave me this nice present.

I don’t want to look. I know the presents we brought are not as good as this one. I feel sad that a boy got mama’s perfume. 

The party is over. We have a long walk home. I keep thinking about the Christmas tree and my present. I’m not thinking about the cold anymore.


I think a lot of us have a book in our hearts and heads that keeps us company and wants to be written. After years of procrastinating, I wrote Journey to Rome and Hadrian’s Rome, two novellas.

When I retired, instead of buying a new car I took a trip to Rome. While there, Emperor Hadrian’s name came up at the Pantheon. This temple to the gods had been built around the first century, and burned twice, but he had his architects rebuild it. I had previously visited Hadrian’s Wall in England in 2002.

It was as if Roman Emperor Hadrian took over the English romance novel I had planned and made it his own. But I’m not complaining. These novellas have been a joy to write. I hope everyone enjoys them.

I could never have done this without the help of everyone at Writers Village University I began by completing the F2K class twice, which is free. Another great help to those of us who wish to complete a draft of our novel is NANOWRIMO.COM. I just completed the draft of book 3 Druid Dreams at NANOWRIMO.

I would be happy to give anyone encouragement if you want to write your own novel.
You can find me at: K. Killian L. K. Killian


  1. Linda, this story touched me. As your children in the story, I remember giving "used" gifts the few times that we exchanged gifts at school and feeling shamed. Congratulations on your novellas.

  2. Sweet little story. Children of this age are so different. At least circumstances in your story toughened the children. No such things test them these days.

  3. Hi Linda, I enjoyed the story. As one of eight kids, I can sure relate to what these children went through.

    I love Emperor Hadrian's tale too. Can't wait for that third one.


  4. A lovely story. Very well-written


  5. Hey Linda :)
    That was a lovely story indeed and I'm glad the girls had a good time :) May you have a fine christmas and safe holiday season!

  6. Linda, I loved this story. Tender and sweet with a nice ending. Perfect for this time of year.


  7. What a beautiful story, Linda. Thanks for sharing it :)

  8. Hey Linda!

    Great story. You sure know how to stuff a lot of emotion into a small package. Well done.

  9. This was so poignant, brought back memories. A boy got my name for our 2nd grade, Christmas exchange. He gave me a broken bracelet and was so embarassed that I liked him for it. He was so far behind everyone else that I let him look on my test papers and cheat for the rest of the year so that he'd pass. Wasn't in my third grade, but I hope he did all right in life.

  10. Great story, Linda, and so different from your Hadrian stories! Have a wonderful Christmas.

  11. Hi Linda - This story tugged at my heartstrings - it was beautifully written and I felt for the children. Thank you for writing it.


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