Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 -

One Last Christmas

by LSF Publications
Published: Nov 29, 2013
Words: 34,082
Category: xmas
Orientation: M/F
Click HERE for further details and purchase options.
One Last Christmas
by Eric Essex

There was only a dusting of snow on the ground, but David Hammond took his time as he made his way through the private little cemetery. He would probably be able to get back up on his own if he slipped and fell, but with not a single living soul within earshot it seemed prudent to be careful all the same. The sun was going down and there was a sharp wind blowing in from the north. Now that he was in his eighties, every winter seemed colder than the last. And longer too. The heavy overcoat and authentic leather gloves he wore protected most of him from the wind's bite, but his face was numb before he even reached her grave.

Grateful that he was still spry enough to do it, the old man knelt down and tenderly placed a wreath of lilies against the marble marker that read:

HELEN McCOY Aug. 29, 1935 - Dec. 24, 1988 "I never met a man I couldn't learn to like."

That was it. That was all she wanted. No mention of the dozens of films she appeared in, nor even the three Oscar nominations she had earned. Just that one line from Harriet's Secret, the one everyone always remembered her for. And of course her stage name. On her death certificate she might have been Helen McAllister Hammond, but to her fans and the world at large, she would always be Helen McCoy.

"It's that time of year again," her husband sighed as he adjusted the wreath so that it was sitting just right. What he wouldn't say was Merry Christmas.

Never that.

Not once in all the years they had been apart.

The walk home was not a long one. That was the compromise they agreed on as she lay on her death bed that long ago December. She would keep her stage name and she would have her famous line, but she would be buried in the little graveyard that was less than half a mile from their home - and half a continent away from her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Good thing, too. At his age, Hammond was in no condition to be making a longer journey than that to pay his respects. His last visit had left him short of breath and with a pain in his side that hadn't wanted to go away. No such problems now though. In fact, he felt as good as he had in months.

The brisk air, he told himself. That was what had him feeling like a new man. Had to be.

All thoughts of this sudden improvement vanished when he was coming up the drive to his house though. "It can't be," he muttered as he squinted his eyes and kept on walking. There were lights in the front windows, tiny lights that blinked red and green. Christmas lights!

Scowling the kind of scowl that only old men - and particularly cantankerous old men at that - can scowl, David Hammond trudged home.