Short Story – “Distance”

I wrote this as a response to the December challenge on Valley Sun Sims forum. The prompt was, well…Christmas.

Christmas used to be a special time for my family. Even if the rest of the year was not good to us—and it rarely was– that day was always our time to celebrate. One Christmas stood out in particular, mainly because it was the last time a Christmas could ever be considered ‘merry’ or a holiday could be considered ‘happy’ in our household.

I can still smell the scent of fresh cinnamon in the air and feel the warmth from the open fire in its hearth. The lights on the Christmas tree were blinking rapidly to jaunty holiday tunes and there were plenty of presents under the tree for the taking. Dad always bought everyone plenty of gifts as a way to apologize for his antics during the year even though he said he did it purely out of love.

Mom and Dad weren’t yelling at each other and had begun to make up again. This was a yearly tradition—they would argue with each other throughout the year and would ‘make up’ for Christmas’ sake. It wasn’t the best thing, but I enjoyed any time where name-calling and fighting weren’t daily rituals.

Alice was still a know-it-all, always trying to teach me about something or another. It usually annoyed me, but it was strangely endearing that day.

Dinner was probably the best thing. We usually ate out or had someone cook food for us on Christmas, but Dad insisted we prepare everything ourselves. Mom even let us lend a hand in cooking.

“You’re both big girls now, and it’s time you started helping out in the kitchen.”

Alice and I were chatting about the presents we wanted for our birthdays at the dinner table. We were both turning 13 soon and were eagerly looking forward to putting our toys away in exchange for the world of boyfriends and cell phones. Mom and Dad were talking about how pleasant the day had been and how we were going to become a “real family” again. They made the same promise every year, but something about this one seemed genuine.

After dinner, Dad and I left to go to the house we were renting on the other side of town. Mom offered to let us stay with her since the roads were terrible that night, but Dad was very stubborn and insisted we go on.

In light of what happened, it would have been best for Dad to have taken her offer.

The years flew by in their world, but time stood still in mine. With time comes change, and the changes that took place were devastating. The grand house was replaced by a tiny apartment, the joy in their hearts was replaced by loneliness, and Christmas had lost its significance. Instead of being a day full of cheer, it was a day filled with lost dreams and regret.

Mom was always crying and Alice had exchanged her childhood dreams for taking odd jobs to support the family.

I wanted to reach out and tell them Dad and I were okay and there was no need to cry, but my words fell on deaf ears. The distance between us was significant and there was nothing I could do to close the gap.

People always used to tell me that “death is painless”, but it doesn’t explain the pain of being helpless to ease the suffering of the ones you love.

I’m sorry.


I think I’m physically incapable of writing happy stories. I actually cried a bit while writing this since I can understand the feelings of the holidays just not being the same after the loss of someone close to you.

And yes, this is one eloquent 12 year old. : p I tried to tone down my usual writing style, but it still sounds kind of wordy for a kid.


10 Responses to “Short Story – “Distance””

  1. 1 Rad December 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Awww 😦 Sadface.

    How on earth did you get the girl to become a white ghost?

  2. 3 TheLunarFox December 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    The painting should work with the new patch. He’s updating it for WA I thought. As in, going to add new stuffs. (I hope!) But it works for me right now, so it should work for you.

    Beautiful. I loved the very last pictures. Just heart breaking.

    Considering it’s a 12 year old looking back as a ghost and saying goodbye, I think it’s perfect. Very ethereal and haunting considering the ending.

    I know what you mean about not being able to write happy stories. Me either. It’s very difficult, but hey, whatever works. XD

  3. 4 laura December 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Followed over from VSS…

    Awww, this was so sad! The most heartbreaking thing, I think, is seeing that little girl in the Christmas dress, and imagining her still in it, year after year while her mom and sister try to move on 😦

  4. 5 DB loves her Mac December 12, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Wow. Pass the tissues, please. How exquisitely sad!

    I find it most interesting and revealing that the child still uses the term “our” in looking back: “it was the last time a Christmas could ever be considered ‘merry’ or a holiday could be considered ‘happy’ in our household.” She still thinks of the family as “us.” Poor little ghost thing.

  5. 6 missplumbbob March 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Wow! I liked it a lot! (I just randomly popped up here… and I liked it a lot! So come and read mine if you wish…!)

  6. 8 moondaisy101 June 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    This is amazing.

    The second time I read it, it was even more sad then the first time. Because I then noticed that at the dinner table the father looks at the surviving sister and the mother at the little one that will die.

    Her little face, when she is finally ready to move on and the first sparks start to fly, is heartbreaking and all this time the father is patiently waiting. I was glad they had hugged before they finally passed over toghether.

    Very creative and perfectly executed!

    • 9 lhasa June 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      Woah, I didn’t even notice that! Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂 It really does add another layer to the picture.

      Thank you so much for your compliments. 😀 I do plan to write something else with these same characters later on.

  1. 1 Merry Christmas! « Rad's Sims Stuff Trackback on December 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm

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