Jessica set the candle carefully on the bathroom counter. “I can’t believe we’re trying this. I feel like a kid.”
“Don’t wimp out now.” Lauren pushed Jessica toward the mirror. “You said you’d do it.”
Jessica stared at her reflection and took a deep breath. “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.”
Mist swirled up in the mirror, drifting out over the counter. Slowly, a shape solidified—a highball glass filled with red fluid, green garnish jutting from the top.
“Oh my god, it worked!” Jessica whooped and high-fived Lauren before picking up the drink. “Now you try it!”
Author’s Note: This is still a horror story because tomato juice is a terrible thing to do to vodka.
Sophia and Mason collected the household pets together in the living room. Grandpa had assured them that at midnight on Christmas Eve, the animals would speak to them. They sat in the glow of Christmas tree lights, waiting for the appointed hour.
Finally, the mantel clock chimed. The kids looked breathlessly at their pets.
The parakeet was first. “Mmmmelon!”
“Sausage!” insisted the dog. “Sausages, please!”
“Tuna for me,” the cat said, between licks of her paw.
Sophia frowned at Mason, then got up and headed to the kitchen. No wonder Grandpa hadn’t wanted to stay up for this.
Author’s Note: I still try to get my dogs to talk to me every Christmas Eve, even though I’m pretty sure that conversation would probably be about food and how I should get some for them.
Evan sat down, examining his scraped leg. It wasn’t bleeding much, but it stung. He glared up at the tree. “That branch hit me when I jumped down. On purpose.”
Ava knelt beside him. “The trees do that sometimes. Here.” She scooped up a handful of soil. “Rub some dirt on it.”
He took the handful and hesitantly tried it on the scrape. It tingled. The scrape slowly faded, leaving dirty, healed skin.
“I learned that from the frogs at the pond.” Ava grabbed his hand, pulling him up. “Just remember, the frogs aren’t princes, no matter what they say.”
Author’s Note: Coaches must be from a magical place where this solution to injuries makes some kind of sense.