by Sharon Giltrow
by Sharon Giltrow
Peeking through the key hole of the old painted wooden door, Joy wondered what the door under all that paint looked like; was it a light wood or a dark wood? It seemed that her Dad painted the door a different colour every year. The door had so many layers it had become difficult to close. But it was only ever closed when one of her older siblings returned to the farm on holiday and she had to sleep on the fold out couch or like now to keep prying eyes out.
Tonight it was closed up tighter than a port hole on a submarine, leaving the perfectly formed key hole the only way to see into the lounge room. Where had the key gone? The thought flashed through Joy’s head as she stood on tip toes to see in. She could see a large present wrapped in red Christmas paper leaning up against the couch. “Could that be it?” she whispered to herself excitedly, “my new bike.”
Joy had been pestering her parents for a new bike all year, a new anything would be great. Being the youngest of eight children, the chances of ever getting anything new were slim. Luckily she loved old things, including her parents. But a new bike was what she wanted more than anything else in the whole world and it looked like Santa had brought it for her.
Joy squealed with delight, which she quickly quashed; it was the middle of the night she didn't want to wake anyone up. She felt torn; a part of her wanted to turn the handle, creep into the room, and pull back one corner of the wrapping paper and peek inside. But she knew that would take away her parents delight at seeing her look of surprise on Christmas morning.
With one last look, a big sigh and with her hand covering her mouth to hold back the escaping excitement Joy tip-toed carefully up the hall. She avoided the creaky floor boards. She crept silently past her brothers’ room. Past the antique hall furniture, including the rattly china cabinet, past the newly installed phone on the wall, past her parent’s room with her snoring father and trusting mother, until she finally reached her bedroom.
Carefully climbing back into bed, she glanced at her older sister and pulled the covers over her head. Hugged herself tightly and with the biggest smile ever creeping over her face she fell into a deep sleep, filled with dreams of riding her bike on Christmas day.
This story is part of the 2014 Story Advent Calendar, with stories written by a variety of authors.