Winter Lights

11 Dec

This week, Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting a holiday writing contest on her blog. The rules dictate that the story be about a holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanaza) mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster not to exceed 350 words.

You can read more details about the contest at

http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2013/12/ho-ho-ho-3rd-annual-holiday-writing.html

I’ve already read some really amazing stories submitted this week, but I’m going to see what my little holiday gem brings.  I’m taking a chance by not mentioning the holidays in my 346 word story, thereby allowing the reader to make inferences through the text.  That being said, I’m having trouble giving my little story a title.  After you read it, I would love to get some title suggestions from my astute readers.

snow-field-by-terry-banderas-from-fineartamerica-dot-com

Winter Lights

by Juliana Lee

Nico brushed the snowflakes off his shoulders.

Picking up his bundle, he hurried toward the barn.

Meow, Meow, Meow

The sound came through the icy air.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Nico’s whiskers trembled.

Meow, Meow

There near the holly bushes, Nico saw a large ball of fur shivering.

A tail twitched.  A head poked up.  Then two.  Then three.

How many were there? Nico wondered.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Nico stepped forward.

Meow, Meow, Meow

“Follow me,” he said.  “You can stay in the barn tonight.

Meow, Meow

Nico started off.

Eight kittens tumbled after him ears over tails.

Cow gave them fresh milk.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Donkey gave them dry straw.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Sheep gave them soft wool.

Meow, Meow

Nico searched the starless sky.

He saw only one light, shining in a window.

In the morning, the world was painted white.

Meow, Meow, Meow

The snow continued to fall.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Nico strung berries and leaves together.

Meow, Meow

The second night Nico searched the cloudy sky again.

He saw two lights shining in the window.

The snow continued to fall.

Meow, Meow, Meow

The world outside looked like a snow globe.

Meow, Meow, Meow

The barn was warm and smelled of evergreen.

Meow, Meow

Every evening Nico searched the dark sky.

Every evening Nico saw one more light shining in the window.

The snow drifted against the barn.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Nico mixed seeds and nuts.

Meow, Meow, Meow

The kittens played with thistle ornaments.

Meow, Meow

On the eighth night the snow stopped.

The moonlight reflected the snowy world.

Nico led the kittens out of the barn.

Meow, Meow, Meow

A ribbon of kittens trailed through the snow.

Meow, Meow, Meow

Tiny paw prints marked their path.

Meow, Meow

Nico counted eight candles in the window.

The light glistened on the frosted pane.

“What have we here?”

Meow, Meow, Meow

“A gift for a lonely old woman!”

Meow, Meow, Meow

“Come in, Come in.  You must be freezing!”

Meow, Meow

Nico saw the star in the sky.

It was a good night.

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47 Responses to “Winter Lights”

  1. juliekrantz January 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM #

    Nice to meet you, too, Juliana!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee January 9, 2014 at 4:01 PM #

      Hi Julie! So happy you found your way over here! I’m sure I’ll be seeing more of you this year!

      Like

  2. Robyn Campbell (@authorswrite) December 16, 2013 at 12:27 AM #

    Oh wow, what a great job, Juliana, with fantastic imagery. The repetition is so important to the kidlets. Excellent! Good luck!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM #

      Thank you Robyn! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it!

      Like

  3. Cecilia December 15, 2013 at 8:27 AM #

    how lovely. a string of kittens and a sky full of stars. I could imagine the snow. lovely word pictures.

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 15, 2013 at 9:05 AM #

      Thank you so much Cecilia! Hope you’re having such nice nights in your area!

      Like

  4. julie rowan zoch December 14, 2013 at 8:42 AM #

    Sweet ‘ribbon of kittens’! Good luck, Juliana

    Like

  5. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes December 14, 2013 at 8:18 AM #

    A magical story to reflect the magic of the season. Enchanting!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM #

      Thank you Michelle. It is a magical time of year isn’t it?

      Like

  6. Penny Parker Klostermann December 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM #

    This is adorable, Juliana! I love cats/kittens so you had me from the start! Nice job 🙂

    Like

  7. Joanne Sher December 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM #

    Just lovely. Love the imagery!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM #

      Thank you Joanne! So happy I’ve gotten to know you through PiBoIdMo. It’s been so much fun!

      Like

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill December 13, 2013 at 9:20 PM #

    Lovely original story, Juliana! I love how you shadowed the Christmas story with the details of the animals in the barn (the cows giving milk, the donkey straw, the sheep wool) and also the festival of lights with the 8 kittens, the 8 nights of snow, and the 8 candles in the window. The phrase “ribbon of kittens” is beautiful! And I’m glad that the kittens found a home with the lonely old woman – happiness for everyone 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the holiday contest fun!

    Like

    • Susanna Leonard Hill December 13, 2013 at 9:21 PM #

      P.S. – It looks like plenty of people are finding you anyway, but I did just realize your link was broken and fixed it, so hopefully it will work now!

      Like

    • Juliana Lee December 13, 2013 at 9:43 PM #

      Thank you, Thank you, Susanna! Your word count was a real challenge, but I’m glad I did it! And thank you also for fixing my link to your site. I’ve read all the other stories and I’m just glad I don’t have your job now of choosing the winners! Good Luck!

      Like

  9. megmillerwrites December 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM #

    Sweet story Juliana! What wonderful imagery, “a ribbon of kittens.” Love it. 🙂

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 13, 2013 at 6:22 PM #

      Thank you so much Meg! I can’t wait for ReviMo, I plan on getting to know you much better.

      Like

  10. lindamartinandersen December 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM #

    Juliana,
    I found you and I’m so glad I did. Your story pulls me in like poetry. Beautiful!

    Like

  11. schriscoe December 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM #

    This is beautiful! So peaceful and sweet! Well done!

    Like

  12. Kathy December 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM #

    A magical story! You are very talented. I love the imagery!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM #

      Thanks Kathy! Wishing you and John a Merry Christmas in your new home!

      Like

  13. Keila Dawson December 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM #

    Sweet story! Love the imagery. Good luck in the contest. Merry Christmas!

    Like

  14. Patricia Tilton December 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM #

    Such beautiful imagery. You surpassed your goal. It still has the feel of a holiday — especially with the 8 candles.

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM #

      Thanks Pat! Without an illustrator, I was afraid the evergreens, holly, star, and candles might be lost in the story.

      Like

  15. Cathy Ballou Mealey December 12, 2013 at 8:40 AM #

    Peaceful and lovely!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 12, 2013 at 9:06 AM #

      Two beautiful adjectives…. thank you Cathy!

      Like

  16. Nancy Tandon December 12, 2013 at 7:36 AM #

    This is really sweet. Nicely done!

    Like

  17. thislittlebirdie December 12, 2013 at 6:31 AM #

    Lovely story!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM #

      Thank you Little Birdie! I hope to get around to reading all the other stories before tomorrow!

      Like

  18. Perfecting Motherhood December 12, 2013 at 2:06 AM #

    This is the magic of the holidays right there, Juliana!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 12, 2013 at 9:03 AM #

      Thank you! I tried to do it justice in just 350 words.

      Like

  19. MichelleLynn December 12, 2013 at 1:28 AM #

    Just beautiful, Juliana! You are very talented.

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM #

      How nice of you to say, Michelle. I liked the Cookies for Papa Noel as well!

      Like

  20. cherylsec December 11, 2013 at 11:07 PM #

    This is beautiful, Juliana! I love the poetic rhythm and the repetition. It’s such a sweet story. Well done! 🙂

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 11, 2013 at 11:18 PM #

      Thank you Cheryl. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  21. teresarobeson December 11, 2013 at 10:57 PM #

    A magical tale…made even nicer with cats! 🙂

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 11, 2013 at 11:17 PM #

      Thanks Teresa! That’s very nice of you to say.

      Like

  22. Jane R Cooper December 11, 2013 at 9:58 PM #

    Wished I was an illustrator!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 11, 2013 at 10:05 PM #

      Oh, me too! I wonder if Santa can grant that wish for us!

      Like

  23. Cindy Schrauben December 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM #

    Beautiful!

    Like

    • Juliana Lee December 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM #

      Thanks Cindy. I liked your Dark Night Before Christmas too!

      Like

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