Gill glanced out the window. White everywhere and more fell from the sky. The outside thermometer show minus five degrees. Inside behind him, a fire roared. Phil and his crew toasted marshmallows prepping them for the smores Chloe and Miss Ellie asked for. The children sat near Vernon who entertained them with shadow puppets and tale tails from his youth. No matter the temperature outside inside the mayoral mansion, warmth, love, and acceptance abounded.
Chloe hadn’t blinked an eye when the weather turned worse as the adults played cards and the children watched television. Somewhere into the first twenty hours of the storm, his wife turned into a hostess that gave and took without problem. Gill smiled watching Miss Ellie set out the bowls filled chocolate and graham crackers. A stack of dinner sized paper plates sat close by as well as a stack of napkins. A pot of green tea and mugs occupied the table too. Smaller mugs sat next to a pitcher filled with warm milk. Bedtime snacks were about to commence.
Seregi’s loud singing filtered down the stairs as he showered. He’d romped with the children making snow angels and tossing snow balls at each other for almost two hours. The petite mixed breed shapeshifter traveling with Phil and family caught Seregi’s eye. Her wolf and timber fox mix caused most to shun her according to her. In the Peak, folks accepted people for who they were. What their hearts and values said about them. If they walked the talk about what they said, short of those who sought to hurt and took delight in it—not BDSMers–well they could find another place to call home.
“See the bright star in the sky?” Vernon asked, pulling back the curtain, motioning the children to him.
“Yes, Mr. Vernon,” one of Phil’s youngest said.
“Know always where that star is. It will lead you home.” Vernon dropped the curtain and faced the children. “Many of us chose this spot to claim as home. The one place where we love and help each other because we all matter.”
Miss Ellie walked over to Vernon, holding out a plate with two smores on it. She leaned toward him, lips puckered. Vernon ducked his head and came up with his lips puckered too. Their lips met.
“Dad, Miss Ellie and Mr. Vernon are at it again.” Gill looked over at his son sticking out his tongue and making a face.
“You don’t think your mother and I do that?” Gill asked, walking over to Chloe. He slipped his arm around her waist, hugging her close. “Shall we show them?”
Chloe laughed. She pointed toward the fire. Phil took turns kissing each of his wives. They faced the kids. Arms spread and lips puckered, they moved toward the children making exaggerated kissing noises. Phil followed them calling out. “Hug Monster on the loose. Kissing one too.”
Giggles erupted. Laughter flowed. Tickling matches started. Soft ‘love you’ sounded followed by ‘love you mom’ or ‘love you dad.’ Minutes passed as the joy of love enveloped everyone.
“I’m in the mood for love…” echoed down the stairs followed by Seregi’s growls. The children giggled more as they ran to hide under the table.
“I see there is chocolate, marshmallows, and crackers. All this will give me a large bellyache. Who will help me eat this?” Seregi poured himself a mug of tea. He sipped and waited.
Trina, the mixed breed shapeshifter, rose from her place close to the fire. She moved toward the table, pointing at it. “I’ll help. I think these mice under it will help too.”
The children popped out one by one calling out. “I want to help.”
Soon smores and mugs along with glasses littered the table as all ate and shared their favorite joke.
The grandfather clock in the hall chimed ten times drowning out the laughter filling the room. Gill held out his hand to Chloe who in turn held hers out to Miss Ellie and she to Vernon until all present formed a circle holding the hand of someone next to them.
Gill cleared his throat, drawing everyone’s focus. “Earlier we learned snow is one of those four lettered words.”
Gill continued as the gaiety died down. “I think we learned another four letter word tonight. Love. The love of friends, family, community, and for ourselves too.”
He raised his and Chloe’s joined hands. “All together now. Here’s to love and us.”
Other joined hands raised repeating the words.
The warmth and love filled the room and mayoral mansion heating it in a way that those present understood and cherish. Cherished very much.
Happy Weekend Gang!
You can follow the adventures of Talbot’s Peak at Shapeshifter Seductions.
Cold got you down? Put on a warm blanket, cuddle up with your spice and share a good book or two together. We at the Spice Homestead are. Spring is a few weeks more off.
I hope you enjoyed today’s flash fiction piece. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.
Until next week, keep warm–share a book or two along with a warm blanket with your spice and loves. It creates a lot of lovely warm feelings and nurtures a linger heat deep in the heart.