Five-year-old Rachael had fallen asleep in her mom’s lap in front of the fireplace. Bing Crosby- Grandpa’s favorite- played in the background. When silence crackled from the old record, her mom sniffled and nudged the girl awake. “Time for bed, kiddo.”
She slid off her mom’s lap and shuffled her slippered feet all the way to her room; her mom’s footsteps close behind. She climbed into bed and let her mom pull the covers to her chin. “Love you, Mommy.”
“I love you, too.”
Rachael giggled when the kiss tickled her cheek. “Sweet dreams.” Her mom paused at the doorway before shutting off the light.
An Ariel nightlight cast a glow from on the wall across from her bed. She stared into the shadows around the illuminated rocking chair and waited. Finally, her eyelids grew heavy and sleep took over.
A warm breeze like fingertips brushed Rachael’s cheek and her eyes fluttered open. She smiled when she saw him sitting in the rocking chair.
“Lil’ one, you’ll never guess who I saw today.” He moved to the edge of her bed.
“Let me tell you how it happened. We were roasting chestnuts over the open fire. No, wait… I think we were riding on a one horse open sleigh pulled by none other than a certain red-nosed reindeer. Yes, I believe that was it…”
He rubbed his chin and shook his head. “Anyway, we were laughing all the way and there he was, dancin’ like a circus clown all through the meadow!”
Rachael’s eyes widened. “Who?”
He laughed. “Wants to think he’s Parson Brown, but he’s Frosty the Snowman, of course! Why, he frolicked about until Mrs. Frosty pulled him inside.”
“Tell me more! More!”
“Dear, it’s time to let the child sleep.” The white-haired woman touched his arm.
“You’re here, too!” Rachael squealed.
He leaned forward and whispered, “Mrs. says it’s time, so I’d better go.” He winked.
She reached out to hug him, but grasped air instead.
“Are you okay?” Her mom asked from the doorway.
Rachael sighed and flopped back into her pillow. “Grandpa told the best stories.”
Her mom sat on the edge of her bed. “Yes. Yes, he did.” She ran her fingers through Rachael’s hair.
“He told me a silly Frosty story tonight.”
Her fingers paused. “Sometimes dreams feel real. I just woke from a dream where I saw him waving from a sleigh pulled by Rudolph. Silly, right?” She followed Rachael’s gaze to the rocker swaying in the corner.
Rachael wiggled her fingers at Grandpa before Grandma pulled him away. She yawned. “I think heaven’s a winter wonderland, an’ Grandma’s Mrs. Frosty.”
Warmth spread throughout the room and Rachael watched as Grandpa smudged a tear from her mom’s cheek.
She gasped. “Dad…”
“Grandpa says g’night, Mommy.”
This is my response to this week’s Speakeasy writing prompt, which is to write a piece in less than 750 words using “Grandpa told the best stories” anywhere, and make some kind of reference to Bing Crosby’s Winter Wonderland.
The prompt is open to anyone, so if you’re inspired to write, click the badge below to check out the complete guidelines. On Tuesday, we’re open to post the link to our stories, so you have some time to write away 🙂