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Red Ribbon Bows: A Christmas Short Story

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People passed by the blue house on the corner of Leland Road every day and thought little of it or its inhabitants. An outside eye who could see only the neat flowerbed, the clean blue paint, and the cute curtains that hung in the windows would think the house small, comfortable and well kept. They might expect it to be a home shared by an elderly couple, downsized from the one where they'd raised their two children together. They wouldn't be surprised by grandchildren or great-grandchildren running in the yard or pressing their sticky faces against the front windows. That outside eye would only be right about a few things.

In the living room there was a couch, old and well worn, but clearly appreciated at one point in its life. The indentations in the cushions were permanently worn into the ancient piece of furniture, not left by a recent occupant. The curtains were drawn across the fogged windows, keeping sunlight from reaching the furniture to fade it. In front of th…

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