I’m having fun with my December blog challenge. Catching up with characters I used to spend much time with, showing off new stories, and – most of all – getting my head into gear for writing the next Jack and Gareth book by playing with short stories and snippets… it’s a lot of work, but I’m loving it!
I’m challenged on the family front, which is why I’m having so much fun watching Jack, Gareth, Nico and Daniel build theirs. They all bring something different to the mix. Gareth’s memories from his time growing up are vastly different from Jack’s. Nico and Daniel had both known what it felt like to be loved before their lives took a turn for the worse. And now that they’ve chosen to be a family, they’re all trying to make this thing work. Did I mention they all bring something different to the mix?
So here’s a little set of shorts about them doing things together. As a family.
“This is stupid.” Daniel stomped into the kitchen and plonked himself into the window seat. The expression on his face was one that Jack equated with unexpected culinary disasters. “This is so stupid.”
“What is?” Jack set his slate down as concern tightened the back of his neck. Daniel sounded thoroughly brassed off and that was unusual. If anyone out of the four of them was easily riled, it’d be Nico. And Nico was suspiciously absent. Jack hadn’t even seen him when he’d come down to breakfast. He’d been late out of bed, admittedly, having worked until 4 am, but it was Saturday. “What’s stupid?”
“We have to do a challenge,” Daniel grumbled.
“Yeah. Create something Christmassy. Or wintery. With teamwork.”
“Shouldn’t be hard for you, should it?”
Daniel shrugged. “No, I s’pose not, but—”
“But what? You’re like a clam today. Do I need a password or something?”
“Have you seen Nico?”
“Daniel.” Jack let a little of his frustration seep into his voice. “Am I to assume from this utter non-sequitur that it’s Nico who’s stupid and not your challenge?”
Daniel flushed, and he didn’t look up. “Just… go up and see Nico. You’ll get it.”
Jack thought of ignoring the suggestion and going back to his work, but Daniel was upset, and Gareth wasn’t there to take the heat. Besides, he was curious to see what Nico considered a suitable challenge. He left his slate in the kitchen, took the stairs up to Nico and Daniel’s room and knocked.
“Go away, Daniel.”
“I’m not Daniel.”
Inside the boys’ room, something fell over. Nico swore and clattered around, but then he opened the door.
And Jack stood in the corridor, speechless at the sight of Nico, holding a ball of cornflower blue, fluffy wool and a pair of long, dangerous-looking knitting needles.
…. to be continued
Seasons of Cheer is my blogging challenge for this year. Every day during December I’m aiming to post a story, snippet or outtake. A moment to stop and draw breath during a month that’s usually crazy busy.
And here’s an extra treat for everyone who subscribes to my newsletter:
Midnight Tracks, a collection of shorts, snips, and outtakes from the first five Power of Zero books, including an exclusive Christmas short story you won’t find anywhere else – delivered to your inbox on Christmas Eve. 🙂