The People’s Friend Magazine
D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd.
Home for Christmas
A Short Story by Author Teresa Ashby
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Illustration by Gerard Fay.
……Claire had been ordered to rest by the doctor. The last few weeks of her pregnancy had been far harder than the previous two. He thought of their children, Alice and Cameron and how excited they were not just about Christmas, but about their new sibling who was due to arrive in the New Year. He’d just pulled on his coat when the phone rang and he stared at it while a voice in his head told him to ignore it. But it could be urgent.…..
THE ILLUSTRATION BRIEF
It’s Christmas Eve and Luke is about to lock up his garage, go shopping for Christmas dinner and head home. But he gets a call from Mrs Taylor, one of his usual customers. Her car won’t start but she’s arranged to go to her daughter’s house for Christmas. Luke tells her not to worry.
He drives over and luckily it’s just the battery which he replaces easily. He sends MrsTaylor on her way, telling her that they’ll sort the bill after Christmas. When he gets back to the garage in his van, George Humphries, the community bus driver is waiting for him. George explains that the bus has broken down and he won’t be able to get his passengers, who all have mobility issues, to the farmer’s market.
Luke sends a text to his wife to let her know what he’s doing – he feels bad because he said he would do the shopping and be home as soon as he could. His wife is pregnant and he wants to be with her and his two children on Christmas Eve. But he drives George back to the bus and quickly finds the problem – another easy fix. He tells George that it’s free and a cheer goes up in the bus. Embarrassed, Luke heads back to the garage, only to find Ray waiting there.
Ray manages the food bank and Luke knows he gives a lot of time to help those less fortunate. Luke changes Ray’s tyre and doesn’t charge him anything. On his way to the shop, he passes a broken down car with two young girls sitting in the front. He asks if he can help and they explain they’re waiting for a recovery van but have been waiting over an hour. They’re very upset. Luke realises that the passenger is pregnant and she says she’s going to have her baby any minute.
The driver can’t get a taxi as they’re all booked. Luke realises it’s the radiator – not a quick fix. He drives the girls to the hospital and goes back to the car to take it to the garage to be fixed after Christmas. Finally he gets to the shops, but to his horror there is nothing left except bad veg. He drives home in shame and apologises to his wife for being home so late and not even getting the shop done.
She tells him he has nothing to apologise for and shows him the kitchen. All of the people he’d helped had brought over bits and pieces – there’s a Christmas cake and fresh veg from the farmer’s market. Luke is embarrassed and says he doesn’t know why they would do that. His wife says that’s why she loves him.
Luke: Late 30s, car mechanic, kind, selfless, generous, modest, loves his family, wearing a
coat and hat.
Luke standing outside his garage. A bubble could show his family waiting for him at home – his pregnant wife and two young children, Alice and Cameron. (No descriptions of them).