Winner of the Friday Flash Fiction Christmas Competition 2017
Ruth fled north, escaping her first widowed Christmas. Traditions were the last thing that she wanted. She’d chosen a luxury Lodge offering a gourmet menu and organised activities.
Ice cracked under boots as they climbed and exhaled breath formed a cloud. The group leader yodelled. Nothing, the hills seemed bare. Another yodel and then shapes began to appear; silver-grey, approaching down the hillside. Closer, and antlers became apparent. Ruth’s offering of pellet food on up-turned palms was nuzzled up gently. The reindeer gazed at her as she stroked its warm, luxuriant fur and Ruth’s petrified heart thawed just a little.