Christmas at Carpathia's

From the Story Arc: Green and Red: A Christmas Story

Previous Story in the Arc: An Afternoon at the Library by Bestial Boy (Tuesday, December 21, 2004)

Next Story in the Arc: A Very Thorny Christmas by Bestial Boy (Monday, December 27, 2004)

(posted Friday, December 24, 2004)

After many long days and nights of attempting to cook, Carpathia stood in her kitchen and looked around at the remains of her kitchen in dispare. How in the world could she even begin to think she could cook for Zach and Dr Night? She'd been fooling herself. Mrs. Murphey had tried several times to help, usually leaving the house in a fit of laughter over that day's disaster in cooking. And each night after her failed attempts, Car would shower and scrub her kitchen clean, once again, from top to bottom. She'd gone through 3 mops, 2 brooms, 6 washclothes, 4 scrubbing pads, and 3 bottles of a degreasing kitchen cleaner. She felt like she was trapped in some twisted Christmas song.

On the 12th day of Christmas, Carpathia had to use,

12 rolls of paper towels,
11 large trash bags,
10 lbs of sugar,
9 cans of pumpkin,
8 lbs of apples,
7 different turkeys,
6 pack of washclothes,
5 giant carp!!!
4 scrubbing pads,
3 bottles of Lyson,
2 industrial brooms,
and Mrs. Murphey laughing all the way home.

She finally gave up. She'd done her shopping, wrapped it, and placed the gifts under her tree waiting for her guests. She sat down with a bowl of microwaveable popcorn, one of the things she could make, and a cup of mocha coffee to watch "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby. She'd made it halfway through the movie when her doorbell rang. Sighing, Car rose and walked to the front door. She'd long ago gave up trying to bend down to see through the peep hole, so she simply opened the door. There stood a half dozen of her neighbors.

Mrs. Murphey, grinning ear to ear, stepped forward holding a large platter with the most beautiful stuffed turkey Car had ever seen.

"Child, we've all watched for the past 3 weeks trying your best to cook. You're just not a cooker. You're our protector and we all love you for it. So we made you Christmas dinner for you and your friends."

They all but pushed past Car and traipsed towards her kitchen. Mrs. Murphey had always been amazed that each day her kitchen had been so clean. She sat the turkey on the stove and quickly exited, soon returning with a platter with the carp on it. The single mother and her daughter had made side items of mashed potatos, green bean casserole, and baby carrots and peas, the single man down the hall had bought an apple and pumpkin pie and baked them, adding in a large tub of Cool Whip to go with them, The newly wed couple from 3 floors up had 2 large baskets full of fresh baked rolls and a gallon of iced tea, and Sam, the doorman, had a bottle of nice wine and a bottle of champagne. She stood as they bumrushed her kitchen with tears in her eyes. She'd never had anyone be so kind and caring towards her.

Jessica, the little girl from down the hall held up 2 teddy bears to her, "I looked online for traditions in your country and since you can't have your Bear Festival here, I bought you 2 bears as a kinda, sorta Bear Festival."

Car took the bears, stunned speechless by her neighbor's care and concern, hugged Jessica tightly and places the bears on her mantel. "Danka. So very much. I am not knowing what to be saying."

Sam, blushing and stuttering, "W-w-we love you, M-m-miss Carpathia. Y-y-you take c-c-care of us."

The others nodded in agreement and started shuttling out. Mrs Murphey stopping a moment to give her a hug, "Now there is a note on the counter with directions on how to heat everything up tomorrow. If you need help, just give me a buzz and I'll come up and help. Merry Christmas, Carpathia."

After closing the door behind her neighbors, Car stood there, stunned. She was still in shock when she sat down on her sofa. Wow. That is what Christmas in America was all about. Friends and loved ones helping and loving one another. She grabbed her ever ready box of Puffs and bawled her eyes out.

Finally, she walked into her kitchen and put everything into the fridge and got everything ready for tomorrow. After making herself a fresh cup of coffee, she stepped out onto her balcony with a sigh and looked out over Steel Canyon and yelled,

MERRY CHRISTMAS PARAGON CITY!

To her utter suprise and amazement, she heard the voices of some of her neighbors reply in kind. She smiled, content. She was home.