I am super excited to officially kick off this year’s Giftmas Blog Tour/Train to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank. It’s been my pleasure to organize these fundraisers since 2016. Every year we try something a little bit different and this year my friends and I are writing a story together to share with you.

If you’d like to read a little bit more about why I do this every year, click here, and you’ll go to a blog post I wrote about exactly that yesterday.

If you’ve already read that, or you’re just here for the story, please get comfy and enjoy this, the first installment of our story, and consider supporting this worthy cause. 

Cherie had often heard attics referred to as being hot and stuffy, but this one was the opposite of that. Pinpricks of sunlight peeked through the ratty roof to illuminate her clouds of breath. Two of the holes in the roof were big enough for her to stick her finger through, and little drifts of snow were piled up beneath them.

She clapped her hands together to warm them, glad she’d put on mitts for this ostensibly indoor excursion, and tugged another stack of boxes out of the way to see the ones behind. Her great aunt Agnes — may she rest in peace — might have been terrible at home maintenance, but she was awesome at labeling. Each one of the boxes had its contents clearly labelled with big block letters on the side of the box that was facing out. It meant she only needed to quickly scan them to find the one she was looking for. If it had been there, that is. It wasn’t.

Pushing further into the depths of the attic, Cherie found herself surrounded by more shadows than light as the number of boxes between her and the single bare bulb which was lighting the area increased. She was tempted to pull out her phone to use its flashlight, but that would require taking her gloves off and she was loathe to do that. Then she found it. The box marked, ‘GIFTMAS DECORATIONS’.

“Oh thank goodness,” she said to herself as she grabbed the box and dragged it across the floor to the attic entrance. Getting it down the stairs and into the living room was a loud and awkward affair but, eventually, the task was accomplished. Now, though she’d still be spending the holidays alone in this great empty house, at least she’d be able to put up some decorations — a little light and colour to distract from all the sadness and shadows.

As she opened the box a plume of dust erupted out and she felt her optimism diminish. If the contents were this disused and dusty, who was to say they weren’t rat-eaten as well?

As the dust cleared, she was surprised to see an ornate door knob perched on the very top of stacks of garland and strands of lights.

“What the?” she breathed. The knob was heavy, much heavier than it looked. It was a globe of solid glass with a snowflake etched into its front.

Overcome with an urge she didn’t understand, Cherie confidently placed the knob against the wall beside the fireplace.

The wall began to shimmer before melting away like cotton candy in a rain storm to reveal an open doorway. Through the doorway, Cherie saw a snow-covered world with leafless trees, some of which leaned over a small wooden bridge spanning a frozen creek. A handful of black metal lamp posts lit a path through the trees and over the bridge. She could hear winter birds calling from the trees. A cold breeze swept through the open door and into the living room despite the snapping fire which danced in the fireplace, and she shivered.

To find out what happens next click the forward arrow up there *points*. But, I should warn you, that blog post won’t be live until December 8th. Because I like to make you wait 😉

While you wait to be able to read more, please consider donating to our fundraiser. No matter how much or how little you can share, every bit counts. In fact, because of the magic of the food bank every dollar turns into three meals — three meals.

If you can’t support this Giftmas Blog Tour/Train financially perhaps a signal boost? Tell a friend? Share it on social media? As with the monetary donations every little bit helps and we really appreciate it.

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