Winner of the 2017 Writing Holiday Contest
Staff Writer By: Mucks19
The night before Christmas
It was the night before Christmas, when Peter walked down to the end of the road and looked to the left. There it was - in the gloomy light of the cold winter night - the old house with its closed shutters and barred windows. Nobody has lived in it, after Mr. Scrooge - not the one of the famous Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - but a similar character, vanished from it the same night 40 years ago.
Peter's mother had told him never to enter the old building, because it was not safe with its broken floor boards and wet ceilings. The children in his class recounted stories over haunting in the empty residence. But tonight he had to enter for his father.
His father was a Marine and missing in action since Christmas last year. Peter never believed he was dead, but his mother asked him to accept the fact that the father would never return. But last night Peter had a strange dream. A spirit entered his bedroom and told him to enter the empty house to meet with his father this very night or his father would be lost. He could enter through a broken window an ground floor level. He left also a warning that Scrooge's Ghost would try to frustrate his plans .
This dream was so vivid that the boy did what the spirit has told him. Peter found the broken window and crawled through. A damp smell surrounded him. He landed in dusty hall with broken furniture and a big staircase. There at the bottom of the steps he saw the spirit from his dream in a bright light.
The spirit directed Peter to follow him up the stairs to a long corridor with many doors. At one of them the spirit stopped and walked through the closed door. A howling sound disturbed the silence from somewhere deep inside of the house, hurried up to open the door where the spirit vanished.
He stumbled into a big bedroom, where - on a four poster bed - a man laid. In the light of the spirit, which moved closer to the bed, saw that the man wore a uniform. He has found his father in the end. All of a sudden the dark figure of an old man appeared, who offered Peter a lot of riches if he left right away, but Peter never would have traded his father for money. So he prayed and the spirit drove off the old ghost.
Peter heard his father mumble a row of numbers and he understood that he should memorise the numbers. Peter than ran fast out of the house - and woke up.
He was in his bed. It was still the night before Christmas. He woke up his mother and told her what has happened. She didn't believe him at first, but as she heard the numbers, she recognised GPS-coordinates. She contacted her husband's superiors. One of them found out that the coordinates belonged to a little village in the mountains of Afghanistan close to the place where Peter's father went missing.
There was Peter's father found without any memories. So Peter's greatest Christmas wish was fulfilled.
Other winners can be found here.