Chapter 1: Coal and Spice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 226

It is a cold winter night in the slums of old England. In front of a huge mansion’s gate, waits a little boy named Pumpkin Spice. He waits for his mother, Mommy Spice. Mommy Spice comes out of the front door and through the gate to meet her son. Together, they hurry through the light snow and chilly breeze. “Mommy, Mommy are you cold?” says Pumpkin Spice, looking up at his mother.

“No, deary. I am fine.” replies Mommy Spice, looking down at he with a reassuring smile.

Pumpkin Spice takes off his gloves and touches Mommy Spice’s hand. “Mommy, Mommy, your hands are cold. Take my gloves.”

“No, deary. I am fine.” She takes his gloves and put them back on his hands. “Let’s go and warm up our house, yes?”

Mommy Spice and Pumpkin Spice walk home quicker and reach their small little home. She unlocks the front door and Pumpkin Spice hurries in. Mommy Spice comes in afterward. She hurries to the chimney and lights a fire on the firewood. Eventually the fire builds up and emits a warm aura. Pumpkin Spice goes to add more firewood but notices that they only have a little firewood left. “Mommy, are you still cold?” ask Pumpkin Spice. “No no, not at all. Your little heart warms me more than that fire.” Pumpkin Spice begins wonders about his heart, and then tells Mommy Spice “Do you want it, Mommy? If it keeps Mommy warm, I don’t mind giving it to Mommy.” Mommy Spice begins to laugh and kisses him on his forehead. “Silly dear, give your heart to someone that you will love more than me.” Pumpkin lingers on the thought, “Someone I love more than Mommy...”

“Yep,” Mommy Spice holds his hands with her hands “Promise Mommy this, okay?”

Pumpkin Spice holds on to her hand too and shows a determined smile. “I promise.”

~~~~~~~~~

Early in the morning before the sun has yet to show his bright face, Pumpkin Spice and Mommy Spice are already up and moving about, even if it was Christmas Eve. Mommy Spice works in a fancy mansion as a maid, and Pumpkin Spice works in a factory like other young boys.

“Bye Mommy.”

“Bye, Pumpkin dear, be safe.”

Each head in their own direction and are off on another day of work. Pumpkin Spice works in the Cinders’ Coat Factory, shoveling coal into the furnace. He feels the warmth and heat of the burning coal whenever the furnace opens. He wished he had a little bit of this coal for Mommy Spice. When his shift is over, he rest outside on a bench. On his break, three children with much finer clothing appear before him. It is Tyler, Jim, and Chip, and they point their fingers at Pumpkin, teasing him in their snobbish tone.

“Ew! It’s the slum bumpkin Pumpkin.” says Tyler, pointing his finger.

“Gross! He stinks.” adds Jim holding his nose and waving his hand to make the pretend stench disappear.

“Go sit somewhere else, slum bumpkin Pumpkin.” continues Chip, pointing to a dirty bench.

“Stop being so mean. No one’s going to like you guys.” replies Pumpkin Spice with all the courage he can muster.

“No. We’re good kids Santa Claus’s going to give us presents.” retorts Chip.

Pumpkin Spice was surprised. He never heard of Santa Claus before. “Who is Santa Claus?”

“You don’t need to know Santa Claus is, because he going to give naughty kids like you coal anyways.” responds Tyler.

“Yeah, a DOI! Now get off our bench.” shouts Jim.

Pumpkin Spice quickly removes himself from the bench and allows Tyler, Jim, and Chip to sit on the bench. He walks away slowly but he ponders on the thought of Santa Claus giving coal to naughty kids. Maybe if I do bad things, I’ll get some coal for Mommy. He looks back at Tyler, Jim, and Chip. Maybe if I play a prank on them, I’ll get a piece of coal.

Pumpkin Spice goes behind the bench and begins to plan a prank on them, but he thought it was to mean. “Maybe I shouldn’t play a prank.”

“What! Why would you not play a prank on them?” Pumpkin Spice was shocked; he turned around swiftly and full of fear, but it was just a girl in a pretty, frilly dress. “I saw how nasty they treated you. Why don’t you want to play a prank on them anymore?”

“But it is mean, and I don’t want to play a prank on them because I hate them.”

“Then, why do you want to play a prank on them.”

“I heard that a person named Santa Claus gives naughty kids coal. I need coal so I am going to be naughty.”

“But Santa is coming tomorrow. How do you know that you will get lots of coal if you play one prank.”

“Oh no, really. I won’t get a lot of coal if only play one prank?”

The girl thought to herself. She showed a slight grin and handed out her hand. “The name’s Ardelia C. Nice to meet you.”

Pumpkin Spice stands up tall and polite. He shakes her hand and replies, “I’m Pumpkin Spice Sweet. Hey what does ‘C’ stand for?”

Ardelia smiles sweetly and giggles a little, “Nothing at all, but I like your name.”

Pumpkin Spice feels his cheek getting warm and his heart beating like the furnace back at his work. Ardelia then asserts. “I’ll help you do a lot of naughty things and then you’ll get a lot of coal. Do you want my help?”

“Really, you’ll help me?”

“Of course. It’s not like I don’t get anything out of it.”

“Oh.”

Together, Pumpkin Spice and Ardelia execute a prank on Tyler, Jim, and Chip. They both pour dirty black snow on them, and run away. Tyler, Jim, and Chip were so shocked by the cold snow, but they were even more shocked because their clothes got dirty. Next, Ardelia taught Pumpkin Spice how to steal a loaf of bread off a baker’s counter. Then, Pumpkin Spice learned to steal fish from a fisher’s bucket. Ardelia pretends to be a poor beggar and tell lies to get money. Pumpkin Spice follows her example and extorts more money from people. When Ardelia tells Pumpkin Spice about her next set of plans, he starts to feel guilty. “Ardelia, I think we should stop.”

“What? Why? These next pranks are going to be big.”

“But Ardelia, these pranks hurt people. I don’t want to hurt people anymore, even if it is to get more coal.”

Ardelia showed a frown, but then it turned to a softer more understanding expression. “Okay Pumpkin Spice. This is the last prank that I am ever going to do.”

His face brightened up. “Okay. The last one.”

Pumpkin Spice follows Ardelia to the back door of a large mansion . He knows immediately whose house this is.

“Ardelia,” he whispers. “This is the house where my mommy works. I don’t think this is a good idea anymore.”

“It’s fine. Beside something was stolen from me and I am just trying to get it back. Now come on slowpoke.”

Ardelia quietly leads Pumpkin Spice through the kitchen from which back door led to. The kitchen was full of chefs cooking and rushing to finish a perfect seasonal dinner. Then, up the stairs they went dodging the maids’ and butlers’ eyes as they focus on cleaning the house and decorating it for Christmas. When finally at the top of the stairs, Ardelia and Pumpkin Spice meet a hallway that extends left and right; Ardelia ran left. Pumpkin Spice became uncertain, but a little suspicious, “Ardelia, how do you know where you are going?”

Adelia hesitated before answering, “Umm...I...uh...I’ve been here before, because I already tried once to get it back, but it didn’t work.”

“Oh. Okay, but Ardelia,” Pumpkin Spice holds her hands with his “Promise me that you’ll be okay, okay?”

Ardelia blushes a little and averts her eyes from his. “Okay, okay. I’ll take care of myself. I promise.”

Ardelia stops in front of a door with its lights turned off. “Okay this is it. Keep watch.”

“Okay.” His heart beat increased with anxiety, looking around and making sure no one came by. He felt cold sweat run down his back and the quietest of sounds spooked him “Hurry, Ardelia. I’m getting scared.”

“Hold on. I can’t find it yet. I was so sure he put it in here.”

“Who is ‘he’ Ardel--Oh no! Ardelia! Ardeli--”

She hears the muffled screams of  Pumpkin Spice and rushes over to the door. “Pumpkin Spice!”

~~~~~~~~~

Both Ardelia and Pumpkin Spice were being heavily scolded for stealing and breaking into the mansion by the owner. Mommy Spice was there as well. His fury was so great you could see the veins on his head pop out and his words accompanied by spit.  Pumpkin Spice felt terrible, for have asking Ardelia for help to get coal from Santa Claus. After all, Ardelia was just trying to help him.

“Wait, sir,” Pumpkin Spice spoke up. “It’s not Ardelia’s fault. It’s mine, you see--”

“Shut it boy!” shouted Mr. Cinder, head of the mansion. He turned and pointed sternly at Ardelia. “I thought you knew better; you’re my daughter!”

“What!? Ardelia? Is he your dad?”

Ardelia looked down in disappointment. “Yes, he is. And this is my house.”

“Oh so that’s your last name, Ardelia ‘Cinder’. So that why you knew your way around the house. Why didn’t you just get it back on your own?”

“Because my dad took it away from me. It is my teddy bear, yet he took it and hid it.” she looked at her father angrily. “Its because you wouldn’t give it back, that why I had to ask Pumpkin Spice for help.”

“Of course, I would not give you back your teddy bear. You have been causing trouble and interfering with my work. I am a very busy person around this time I wished you would just understand how hard it is to raise you without your mother around.”

“I wish I was with Mommy, instead.”

Pumpkin Spice and Mommy Spice were rather shocked by the turn of events. There was a long silence, before Mommy Spice decided to ask Ardelia a question in a calm and gentle voice.

“Miss Ardelia, dear, where is your mother?”

Ardelia wipes away forming tears. “She’s not around anymore. She went up to become an angel.”

“How about your father?”

“Ever since Mommy left, he was always busy with work. He never talked to me in a long time and I only had Teddy Dear to play with. He used to read stories to me at night but now, its cold and dark and Teddy Dear is the only one who warms me up.”

“Why get into so much trouble, dear?”

The only time he ever talks to me is when I get in trouble. So I get into trouble so that he will talk to me...” She begins to break into tears and her father becomes heart broken only realising now that, he had been so selfish. He has been ignoring his daughter who had to cope with the mother’s death and the father’s grief; Ardelia has been sticking it out.

“Ardelia,” said Pumpkin Spice approaching her.

“I’m sorry Pumpkin Spice. I’m sorry I got you in trouble. Wah...sniff...”

“It’s okay Ardelia.” He tippy-toes and kisses her right on the forehead and she stops crying right away, surprised by it.

“Ardelia,” Pumpkin Spice takes both her hands and lead it to his heart. “I will give you my heart, so it will warm you up at night.”

Ardelia turns bright red all the way to her ears. “Silly Pumpkin Spice! You have to give your heart to someone that you love, so stop kidding around.”

“Its it okay if I love you?”

Ardelia looks down full of embarrassment and happiness, doesn’t say a word but nods instead. Mr. Cinder, who has been observing this whole time, decides to take action. “I’m sorry Ardelia.” He hugs her tenderly in the process. “I promise to spend more time with you, to make up for the time lost. But when I can’t be there for you, would one little man,” Mr. Cinder looks at Pumpkin Spice, “like to stop by every now and then and play with you?”

Pumpkin Spice’s face lights up and turns to his mother for the final. She nods in agreement and Ardelia too begins to glow with happiness.

And so, Pumpkin Spice and Ardelia went and apologized to Tyler, Jim, Chip, the baker, the fisher, and all the other people they played a prank on. Pumpkin Spice quit his job at the factory and played with Ardelia every time Mommy Spice went over to work at Mr. Cinder’s mansion. Mommy Spice got paid extra so it would make up for the money that would have come out of Pumpkin Spice’s pay check. Mr. Cinder has become more open and much kinder to his daughter and does his best have a dinner with her and read books to her at night. So everyone basically lived happily ever after.


Submitted: December 26, 2014

© Copyright 2021 storyair. All rights reserved.

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