An Unexpected Return


Since many of my classmates are writing Christmas themed posts, I was inspired to give this Monday’s Minute Challenge a Christmas spin.  I wish I could have edited this more, but it happened to fit exactly in the 300 word limit.  I used the word prompt. (meaning I had to incorporate the words old house, winter hat, and skeleton key).

There are words left better unsaid, secrets that should remain hidden, and ghosts of the past that should not be revisited.  Those were the rules which governed Holly’s entire life, although she was coming dangerously close to breaking the third one.

“Just a short trip,” she muttered to herself, approaching the old house where she had spent her childhood.  “Go up, hide it, and leave.  That’s all.”

It was nothing but a remote wooden cabin laden with snow and twinkling Christmas lights.  Nothing that would intimidate anyone, especially someone like her.  So why was she nervous?  Taking a deep breath, she scaled the side of the cabin, easily finding every familiar foothold until she reached the attic window.  With nimble fingers, she picked the lock and slipped inside.  No one had noticed her yet.  Good.

Using the light of her flashlight, she tiptoed over to the closet and pulled out the long skeleton key.  There are ghosts of the past that should not be revisited.  No.  This was necessary.  Ignoring her urge to run away, she turned the key.  Click.  The closet door swung open, revealing a small collection of memories.  Dusty supplies, Rudy’s kite, even her old winter hat…

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Holly grabbed a small box in the corner and hid an object inside.  There.  No one would find it now.

“Holly?” a voice asked from behind.  Oh, no.  She turned to find Rudy standing in the doorway, a look of disbelief on his face.  “What are you doing here?”

Holly desperately tried to think of a response, something that would explain why she couldn’t stay.  “I…”

“You came home!”  He rushed forward to give her a hug.

“Yes,” she finally answered.  Because there are words left better unsaid and secrets that should remain hidden.

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