Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Christmas Card Mystery-Gift Four

Photo Courtesy - Gift Four

Here is gift four of the Christmas Card Mystery. You can read gift one by clicking here. Gift two here.  Gift three here

The story is posted as separate gifts for you on Mondays and Wednesdays during the advent season. 

May your Christmas bring a ray of shining hope and love to you and your family as you celebrate Jesus' Birthday.

Merry Christmas,
Mary Vee

The Christmas Card Mystery
By Mary Vee

Gift Four

Photo by Mary Vee
Anna held the card out for Jessica and Em to see. "This is going to be a fun adventure."

"I'm driving." Em's car keys jingled when she pulled them from her pocket.

"The town is small and the final Christmas card mystery destination can't be that far. Let's walk." Leave it to Jessica, the hometown girl, to suggest a power walk through a foot of snow.

Anna and Em eyed each other and shrugged. "Okay," Anna said.

The key ring slipped back into Em's pocket and the three set off like Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Tin Man, arm in arm through the snowy path. 

"Where do we go first?" asked Jessica.
Photo by Mary Vee

Anna opened the card again. "Let's see--Mermaids swimming in the pond."

Em pulled them to the right. "This way. We need to go to the fountain at the water park in the middle of the city."

"That's right," said Anna. "There is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid in the center of that fountain." 

Snowflakes tumbled from the sky as if the faucet to a storehouse of Christmas fun had been opened. They left the Disneyland woods and scrunched together to walk side-by-side on the walk for half a mile before reaching the park. 

Crossing the street, they met Mrs. Finchley and waved. She raised the collar of her coat and shivered. "Looks like we'll have a long winter this year, girls. Stay warm."

The weather didn't seem so cold. It had more of a festive joy with the sprinkling of snowflakes and laughter with friends. All they needed was hot cocoa. "We will, Mrs. Finchley. Merry Christmas," said Anna.

The snowplows had piled the snow from the street into the park for the kids to sled down. A towering heap blocked the short cut. "I'm not going try this way. Let's walk around the hill. It'll only added a couple of minutes," said Jessica. They dodged sleds and tires sailing past them on the way to the fountain. 

Em sat on the rim where only a thin sheet of ice lined the pool. "Where to next?"

Anna opened the card. "It says to circle around then to the second star."

She closed the card. "I know this one," said Anna. "Peter Pan. We need to turn right on Main Street, which is the next street then walk straight."

"How far do we walk straight?" asked Em. "Didn't the next line give a clue?"

"Yes. Here it is." Jessica pressed the card back open and pointed to the next line. "The number of lost boys is one block too far. All right, Peter Pan expert, how far?"

Anna had read the book and watched the movie a zillion time as a kid. Wendy, John, and Michael figurines lined the shelves in her patients' rooms back at the office. "There were six lost boys in Disney's version. So we need to go five blocks."

Their boots punched through unshoveled snow only a short ways when Anna burst into laughing. "Do you remember the day my brother Ray whined until my mom said we had to let him play with us?"

"The time he used the oak branch for a bed?" asked Em. "He must have been a good fifteen feet off the ground. And Peter Pan popped out from behind the birch shouting, 'Who wants to go to Neverland?'--"

"Right. And he stood up, ready to fly away with Peter--" Anna dabbed a happy/sad tear. Happy because Ray really did look funny. Sad because Jess made the best ever Peter Pan. 

"But tumbled down into the snowy fort we'd made." Jessica laughed. "We were lucky the fully loaded snowball artillery in the fort padded his fall."

"Then he ran home crying to Mom that Peter Pan left him behind."

"Poor kid," said Em.

"Poor kid nothing. That same poor kid short sheeted my bed and TP-ed my bedroom." Anna smirked. "I got Tom and him back, though."

Photo Courtesy from Disney's movie Tangled
At block number five, Anna pulled the card out and read, "Tangled, Terabithia, and Treasured Island is the next line."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it," said Jessica. "Tangled is the hair salon right there." She pointed.

"Next we need to cross the bridge for the Terabithia clue," said Em.

The bridge's walkway to the right left plenty of room to stop midway and look at the frozen river below. They threw snowballs down, but didn't break the ice. "On the other side is Fredricksen's Jewelers, the answer to the Treasured Island clue. Did you two get your engagement rings from there?"

Jessica held up her left hand and smiled. The sun reflected sparkles from the surface. "Brian wanted it to be a secret, but the ring was loose. He took me there to have it sized. Carl, the owner, put a rush on the order and had it done in two days."

Em ran her right hand over her bare ring finger. "Ryan and I shopped there, too. The one we picked is simply gorgeous. White gold with diamonds laced to snuggle around the big diamond."

Times like this Anna could have been jealous. Of course she wished for a wedding date. Not today, though. Not this Christmas season. In her own little corner of the world, in her own hometown, she could be whatever she wanted to be--proud, happy, and thrilled for her friends. And no one would take that away.

Standing outside Fredricksen's Jewelers, Anna held the card up for them and read, "The last clue is: Charlie Bucket's prize will delight and satisfy."

Em had puzzled brows. Anna didn't know it either. She looked at the card and read the words out loud again. They turned a 350 looking at the businesses around them. 

"What's that delicious smell?" Em closed her eyes.

The three said together, "Chocolate."  

Photo Courtesy-site to buy Wonka Bar
Jessica pointed across the street. "In Willy Wonka, Charlie's chocolate bar wins the prize. Was Charlie's last name, Bucket?"

"It must have been," said Anna. "The next clue is in the Chocolatiers."

When the traffic cleared, they ran across the street and into the Chocolate shop. The cocoa aroma held them prisoners with the most delicious bonds. The sweet scent was so intense Anna could taste the confection.

"May I help you?" the store worker asked.

Anna reached in her pocket for some cash. "Yes. One Wonka Bar, please."

Jessica whispered, "How do you know the clue is in the bar?"

"I don't. I didn't know the other clues would be where they were either. So, I'm guessing. Do you have a suggestion?"

"Not really. But were gonna share the chocolate three ways. Right?"

Be sure to come back for gift five 
which will be posted Wednesday.

And feel free to invite others! This gift is for everyone :)


Deborah K. Anderson said...

Ahem . . . tapping my toes. :-)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I have learned the awesome benefit to writing the mystery. The inside scoop!!!!