Winter Challenge Entry
"This is a contest entry. Only judges are asked to rate this story until after January 4th. Judges, please make Nick's job easier by remembering to leave a comment alongside your rating. Only rate a story and not individual chapters"
I am alone in the house. My parents have gone out to a party. It's to be expected, really: it is Christmas Eve, after all. But something stopped me from going, and I chose to remain here. So now I sit, alone, in the kitchen.
There is a storm outside: thunder and lightning, but with snow instead of rain. I used to hide under tables when it thundered, but I am not a child any longer. I stare into my mug of hot chocolate, thinking, and the lights on the Christmas tree twinkle, as though echoing my memories
The snow is still falling outside. I have been told that White Christmasses are very rare, but we have got one this year. It has been snowing all week, and the transport is down. The last time it snowed on Christmas Day in England was in the 1800's. I'm not surprised.
The doorbell rings. I put down my toast - It'll go cold! - and get up. Someone is at the door.
Carefully I slide the bolt across. I am only thirteen, and my parents forbid me to open the door when they are not in the house. But I have a feeling that this is what I need to do. The same feeling that stopped me going to the party.
On the porch stands a girl. She is shivering, dressed in summery clothes. The snow has stuck to her hair and her ears are red from the cold.
"Yes?" I say, not unkindly. At least, I hope not unkindly. She looks up at me, and I realise that she cannot be older than fourteen. She is half frozen.
"Please, may I have something to eat?" I have a dilemma. Do I ignore everything my parents have told me about homeless people, and strangers, and invite her in? Do I give her food? Or do I turn her away, on Christmas Eve, to starve or freeze to death?
There is only one choice I can make.
"Come in," I say.