Giftmas 2021 Blog Train: Help Those in Need & Enjoy a Story, Too!

Posted by on Dec 10, 2021 in Blog, giftmas | 2 comments

giftmas 2021

I’m taking part in Giftmas again this year, an annual effort coordinated by Rhonda Parrish for the benefit of the Edmonton Food Bank. I don’t need to state the reasons why helping food banks is more important right now than in past years. We need to help each other. We can’t connect in person, but we can connect with a few bucks that will help fill bellies and add warmth to the world through kindness. If you’re American like me, your dollars will deliver extra bang with each buck, too. $1 = 3 meals.

Please help.

This year, Giftmas is giving something extra to readers: a story: Eleven of us are participating in what is called an “exquisite corpse” story. One person begins, and each person adds another section in the sequence. There is no planning, no plot. The story zigs and zags with each new raconteur.

Begin with part 1, here.

Yesterday’s story segment was by Iseult Murphy. My contribution is below. The story will continue to grow and change over the next week! Keep reading, and please, donate.

Agnes certainly felt like a living person, her warmth muffled by her fuzzy woolen coat. “They said you headed off to the store, in a snow storm, to buy cheese. You were never found, but they thought…” Cherie’s stomach lurched with every incredible leap taken by the fox, snow crunching and squealing beneath his paws each time he landed.

“They,” scoffed Agnes. “The town police? It’s a wonder they can find a donut shop! At least I vanished for a noble cause. I did get that cheese, by the way, and it was far superior to anything found at that neon blight called Buy-It-Rite back on Earth.”

Right. She was most definitely not on Earth now. Cherie squinted her eyes shut as snow pattered her face. Septimus had landed in an especially deep bank. “Okay,” she said, spitting out some flakes. “You’re alive after all. Yay. You came through a fantasy portal for cheese. Yay to that, too. I might have come here more readily if I’d known that good cheese awaited me. But why do I have a bad feeling that those snowmen want to eat us?”

“You’re a smart girl, listening to your intuition,” said Agnes.

Septimus glanced back. “It helps when carnivores let it be known they are carnivores.” He flashed his own pointed teeth. They were icicles. “Now hold on!”

He advised such with a reason. Cherie’s frantic check showed the snowmen still trailed them all-too-closely, their rounded bottoms gliding over the snow. Cherie clutched Agnes impossibly tighter as Septimus sped up. Rather than lap, he plowed through the snow. Cherie grunted and held on as the world turned black with whiteness.

Then suddenly, they were through. His claws tapped on icy rocks as they climbed a slope–a slope to an incredible castle on high, its peaked towers threatening to puncture the very clouds.

“Oh.” The reaction escaped Cherie like a gasp.

“As you can see,” Agnes said with blatant smugness, “I have upgraded my domicile somewhat.”

“Lady A!” sang a voice from above. “You in a difficult spot today, love?”

Why did that voice sound familiar? Cherie craned up her head to see a pegasus. An honest-to-goodness flying horse with a shimmering white coat and faint gray dapples across the hindquarters. Broad wings flapped outward, fanning back Cherie’s hair as the pegasus dove low.

“Oh, it’s those snowmen again. They are always hungrier on colder–“

“Clover?” Cherie cried out. “Clover, is that you?”

Clover had been her so-called imaginary friend during her lonely, awful childhood. Together they had romped across field and fen and made everything into a grand adventure. Back then, Clover had been an awkward colt to match Cherie as an awkward girl.

He’d become the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

The pegasus’s hooves clattered as he landed beside them, keeping pace with Septimus’s continued run. “Cherie?” his voice cracked. “You’re real?

“I’m real?” Cherie sounded almost hysterical to her own ears. She wanted to glare accusingly at Agnes but had to settle for giving her an additional squeeze.

“I can explain,” Agnes said airily.

As heavily as Septimus panted, he managed an incredulous cackle. “Oh, this should be good,” he said as they pounded across the long drawbridge to the castle gate.

To be continued… by Jemima Pett tomorrow!


  1. I love that line where Clover says – ‘you’re real!’ Brilliant.

    Thanks so much for setting me up for an easy handover 🙂

    • Thank you! This was all so much fun. I love where you took the story from here!