Advent Calendar Event - The Spirit of Christmas
Hello and welcome, Rainbow Advent Calendar followers! I've got a little story from my Haunted Hollywood Ever Afters series for you, "The Spirit of Christmas." This is from Stephen's point of view. If you read Medium to Well, Stephen was the ghost who played matchmaker for Ash the doubting marine biologist and Kenny the late night talk show medium. Without further ado ... enjoy and happy holidays!
The Spirit of Christmas
A Medium to Well short from Stephen's point of view
I watch my men from all points at once. Space. The ceiling. The corner. Inside their heads. I feel the love they have for each other, and I am glad. I did this. I brought them together. I pushed Ash toward Kenny, and I knew Kenny needed Ash to ground him as much as Ash needed Kenny to help him fly. They complement each other in a way Ash and I never did. I'm not sad that I've moved on to being their guardian ghostie, as Ash calls me. I'm glad they listened when I brought them together.
I've been watching less lately. There is more foot traffic along PCH these days, so I spend time directing traffic with random bursts of wind and cold spots that make people hesitate before stepping off the curb to their doom. As loud as the trains are, you'd think people would know when they're coming, but with earbuds and video streams, they're not always paying attention. I've helped all sorts steer clear of danger. Most people don't know what I've done, but some are like Kenny, more open to my spirit essence. They can see me. They sometimes even say thank you.
Even though I've been watching Kenny and Ash less, it's rare when they get the drop on me this way. It's Christmas morning, and Kenny wakes before Ash to pull a tiny white box from his underwear drawer. I don't have to wonder where he went -- it says on the box -- but when?
Ash stirs in his sleep, and his hand slips from beneath his pillow with a similar box in his grip.
My spirit swells to fill the room, rattling the walls like an earthquake and ringing the little bell Kenny keeps for me by the bed. He looks to the foot of the bed and winks, and I'm there, more fully in my spirit form. It's not enough for Ash to see me when he rolls onto his back and sits up, but he knows Kenny can see me.
"Merry Christmas, Stephen!" He gives me a little wave with his free hand. He's looking off toward the corner, but I don't mind. It's enough that Kenny can see me and Ash believes I'm there.
"Merry Christmas, Stephen." Kenny turns his body slightly and pulls his legs into his meditation pose. "Merry Christmas, Ash."
He's tucked the box into the opening in his boxers, because my men sometimes play like 14-year-old boys.
"Is that a box in your boxers?" Ash giggles.
"Maybe." Kenny smirks. "Wanna see what it is?"
"Only if you open mine at the same time."
Kenny's eyes go wide when Ash hands him the box. "I didn't think you'd be ready."
"Open it. Might be cuff links," Ash teases.
Kenny counts down from three, and they open their boxes at the same time. The bands aren't the same, and I'm glad. They're as unique as Ash and Kenny are. Ash's is a platinum band inlaid with precious stones the colors of a rainbow. There's a second band, too, of plain platinum. "They're a set, so you don't worry about losing a stone in the ocean."
"I love it!"
Ash reaches in to pull them out, but Kenny takes them instead, his box carefully balanced on his foot.
"Ashley Barrett, I am so grateful Stephen brought you into my life." Kenny looks right at me, and my spirit swells again. "If I knew how, I would turn spirit matchmaking into a business and make us both rich. As it is, will you marry me?"
Ash laughs at Kenny's joke, but there are tears in his eyes when he nods. Instead of speaking, he picks up the box on Kenny's foot, plucks the Onyx and tungsten carbide ring from inside, and holds it out toward Kenny's hand. "Only if you'll marry me, too."
"Of course I will!"
This is the proposal I never got to make, but I'm not sad. I'm so grateful Ash has moved on without me. I feel nothing but love for them. Kenny has given Ash permission to live again. He's living his life to the fullest, even more so than when we were together. Kenny pushes him to take chances I never would have approved. Every time he proves me wrong about Ash, my spirit grows, too.
They're laughing, and then they're crying as they try on their perfectly fitted rings. The sight fills me with so much joy and love, I can no longer be contained within their walls. My spirit soars high above them as the sun rises, lightening the foggy west coast Christmas morning. I'm not the spirit of Christmas, but I am a spirit, it's Christmas, and I'm filled with the joy, peace, and love of the season.
I love my men. I'll stay if they need me, maybe even go into the matchmaking business with them, but soon, it will be time for me to move on. There's a universe of universes out there waiting for me to explore.
Stay tuned for more Haunted Hollywood Ever After shenanigans in 2023! If you missed Ash and Kenny's story (and Stephen), read Medium to Well today! Don't miss the rest of the Rainbow Advent Calendar stories! Masterpost OR Facebook Group
If you're looking for more holiday goodness from me, I have an angsty enemies to lovers romance, New Year Not You. If you love small town political rivalry and huge misunderstandings, this book is for you!
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