By: Gwen Fifield
From: Live Free or Die
Author: Jessie Crockett
Series: The Granite State Mysteries
Most years I adore Christmas. I love the decorating, the cookies, finding the perfect gift for a special someone. But not this year. Not only have I found myself participating in a murder investigation, I managed to sprain my ankle. But with so much to do, I couldn't let that slow me down. No matter what you might have heard at the general store, I'm sure it was wildly exaggerated. Here's what really happened when the case led the fire marshal's investigator, Hugh, and me to Chris and Trina's house.
A twelve-foot inflatable Santa waggled in the wind in front of Chris and Trina's house. Another Santa and the reindeer parked on the roof. In fact, every square inch of the front lawn lit up, moved or blared music. The only thing missing was a path shoveled to the front door.
"I think you should wait for me," Hugh said.
"I'm fine. I've gotten used to these things by now." I confidently swung my crutches across the crusty snow. I squeezed between a hard plastic camel and an oversized elf. "See?" As I bore my weight down on the crutches, they punched through the crust on the snow. The top of my body lurched forward as my feet slipped out behind me. I whacked the elf with a crutch. He toppled onto Mrs. Claus in a manner that was sure to get him fired. She in turn knocked over Frosty, who leveled the Grinch. Before I could stop myself, I upended the manger and sent Baby Jesus skittering into the street just in time to be crushed under the tire of Ray's police car.
Ray flipped on his lights and got out to inspect the scene. The commotion brought Trina to the front door. Her two kids, Krystal and Kyle, peeked out around her. Krystal started to wail. Ray poked the crushed Christ Child replica with his boot. It was doubtful this doll could be resurrected.
"Would you like to file a complaint?" he called to Trina. "Looks like assault and battery to me. It might even be a hate crime."
Readers, have you ever had a holiday mishap or misunderstanding? Have you had holiday plans pushed aside by a crisis? Leave a comment by midnight EST tonight to enter the Seasons Readings Contest. One lucky winner will win a copy of one of Jessie's books.