The Christmas Market

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Mr. Carlisle saves a girl's life

The Christmas Market

By Lea Sheryn

 

Every town has a grinch.  In the town of Mayfield, Mr. Carlisle was the grinch.  He lived in a little white house directly across the street from the field where the weekend flea market was held.  He hated that flea market; he hated the cars that parked along the street on a Saturday and Sunday; he hated the people who came to buy their fresh fruit and vegetables and the little pieces of this & that on sale in little popup booths; he hated the hamburger and taco vendors in their food trucks.  What he hated most of all was the Christmas Market held every year on the last weekend before the holiday. 

 

Mr. Carlisle was old and crotchety.  He sat on his porch and set his mean wrinkled face toward the field across the way making sure to glare at the families crossing the street in front of his house.  Their talk and their laughter irritated him.  Many times he had written to the city counsel demanding they do away with the market.  The weekends were loud; the street crowded with cars parked illegally across driveways.  And litter!  Cups and plastic bottles thrown onto his lawn drove him crazy.  Once he picked up all the garbage and deposited onto the driver’s seat of a shiny red convertible left idling in front of his house.  It gave him pleasure to see the expression on the smart young lady’s face when she returned to her vehicle to find the mess.  Served her right! 

 

The Christmas Market was even worse.  Jolly tunes blared from loud speakers while some fool dressed in a Santa outfit rang a bell announcing his presence.  Kids screamed and jumped all over the cheerful red clad elf as he boomed out greetings to everyone around him.  Worse of all was that tall Christmas tree that stood right inside the gates.  He hated it most of all.  Every year on the day it appeared, he shot off any angry letter to the counsel asking for it to be removed.  It remained tall and opposing directly opposite his front door. 

 

On Christmas Market weekends, Mr. Carlisle made sure he was front and center on his porch to keep an eye on the goings on.  He calculated every misstep he could find, preparing in his mind all the complaints he would have for his Monday sound off to the powers that be.  Snarling to everyone who passed by, he had his presence known.  Most people ignored him—as they should.  They were out for a good time, not to be annoyed by a poor unfortunate soul glaring from a nearby porch. 

 

When four-year-old Bethie Simpson passed by, she couldn’t help but stop and stare back at the old man.  Tentatively she waved in his direction before her father pulled her away.  Mr. Carlisle almost smiled back at the blonde-haired little gal.  Once upon a time, he had a little one just like her.  His had grown up, gone off to college and never came back.  His wife had gone off too ‘round the same time.  Years of heartache had made him mean.  Putting his meager half smile away where it belonged, his hard glare focused on a couple who strode by arm in arm. 

 

That damn market, he told himself as he swayed in his rocker, has to go.  Next year there won’t be one, he’d make sure of that.  As he enjoyed the thought of destroying what so many people looked forward to throughout the year, he looked across the way in time to see the tree sway precariously.  He also saw little Bethie Simpson reaching up her tiny hand toward one of the handcrafted reindeer ornaments.  As she pulled at the figure, the tree tilted further in her direction.  Mr. Carlisle realized the tree hadn’t been properly secured in its stand.  In another moment, it would come crashing down on the child. 

 

Mr. Carlisle hadn’t moved so fast in years.  He was across the street in an instant; the child was in his arms at a safe distance from the disaster.  Without realizing they were his shouts calling to passersby to get out of the way, he saved many from being hurt in the collapse.  Holding little Bethie Simpson tightly against his chest, a real smile finally crossed his face. 


Submitted: December 16, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Lea Sheryn. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Ian D. Mooby

This is a wonderful story I'm just sorry I didn't read it before Christmas.

Wed, January 6th, 2021 12:33pm

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