Hoo boy. Well, this started out as a little musing on the discomfort of holiday social interaction, but it clearly took a left turn somewhere inside my subconscious. NO aspersions intended, of course. Holiday humour, eh?
Hannah Can’t Handle It
The room sign said “How To Handle It”, so Hannah slunk inside.
Her humiliation was tempered only a little by the number of other people sitting in the room. They all looked as humbled as she felt.
Hannah hated hugging.
Honestly? It was only holiday hugging she hated. She was perfectly happy hugging her husband. And she hugged her horse every day. But hugging acquaintances and colleagues? Ugh. This December at work, things had gotten so bad her boss had signed her up to learn ‘how to handle it’.
She’d rather handle a hot iron.
“Tell us your name and what you need our help with,” said the group leader.
A young man stood up. “Lance,” he said. “I need help with s-s-spiders.”
“Felicity,” said the next woman. “I’m afraid of the dark.”
“Name’s Cameron, and my problem is fear of flying.”
It carried on round the circle. Beside Hannah, the last woman stood up.
“I’m Jo,” she said. “And I’ve an unhealthy hankering for the letter H.” She smiled hesitantly. “First it was Harry. Then Hagrid, and of course Hedwig and Hermione, and then Hogwarts, and well, hahahahaha…”
Her laughter held a hint of hysteria.
The group leader patted her arm. “Perhaps we can help for the next book,” she whispered, and looked over at Hannah.
“I’m Hannah,” she began, “and I hate…” but before she could finish, Jo hooted happily and wrapped her in a huge hug.
And all Hannah could do was howl.
For the month of December, my goal is to post a piece of festive flash fiction here to the blog every day. Twenty-five stories, each 250 words or fewer — a little fictional festivity to brighten the darkest month of the year. For readers, I offer these stories as a moment of peace within a hectic month of busy. And writers? If you’d like to join me, I’ll feature any flash fiction you’d like to share!