Furious Fiction – December 2019
The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—December 2019 short story competition was as follows:
- Each story had to include SOMETHING EITHER BEING SENT OR RECEIVED IN THE MAIL.
- Each story had to include the following words: JINGLE, CLICK, BUMP, SIZZLE (plurals or -ing variants are allowed).
- Each story’s final sentence had to contain exactly THREE words.
Christmas is definitely in the air.
Jingle bells are hanging up around the office, everyone’s looking forward to their holidays, staff members are leaving the company, and the end of year sausage sizzle is on, and really is the only reason why people have stuck around this afternoon.
“Bye now, Camille, take care of yourself!” I heard Bill yell out, bumping into and snapping me back to reality, and the sausages I was burning on the barbecue. It was my turn to cook this year.
I looked around the yard to see some of the staff typing away on their phones, the overly familiar ‘click’ sound of the phone keyboards echoing, while the rest of them were actually talking to each other and exchanging small gifts, which reminded me of the small gift I sent a few weeks ago.
My sister, Camille (not the same one that was leaving the company), had left the country six months ago. She’s 18 and was only fresh out of school when she left. Instead of going to uni like she promised our parents, she announced she’d take a gap year and travel, with the money she saved up from all of her high school jobs. My parents were angry at first, but then accepted her decision as soon as she proved she could fund it herself. I was pissed, but more jealous, as she got to travel and do what she wanted, while I had to go straight to uni and then take over the family business. No fun for me after I finished school. We had a big fight about it and she left, just as angry at me as I was with her and we haven’t spoken since.
I never stopped worrying about her though and I found the perfect gift for her while I was Christmas shopping—a gift basket filled with Aussie-brand food: vegemite for her breakfast toast, Tim-Tams to snack on (always her favourite), Shapes (another favourite), and so on.
Mum told me she’d be in France with our aunt for Christmas, so I’d sent it there. According to the Post app, it should be arriving today.
As I got my phone out of my pocket to check for any notifications, I heard its familiar chime. It was a text from Camille, “Thanks for the basket sis! I’m so sorry for what I said, I didn’t mean it, please forgive me. I love you and miss you x.”
I smiled as I put my phone in my pocket and breathed a sigh of relief at my sister’s forgiveness and breaking of our excessive silence. After putting my phone back, I picked up the tongs and got back to the barbecue, Camille completely on my mind.
“Merry Christmas sis.”