It's the season for sharing - here's a little Christmas story pubbed in a small anthology last year and presented here since the rights reverted to me after publication....happy holidays!
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
The Wings of Christmas
Every morning she watched them, the four collie birds who swooped in to feed on the leavings of her garden. They ate the seed heads she’d left them and Anna admired the grace of their motion. Blackbirds, some would call them but she preferred the old name, collie birds because each appeared as dark as colliers from the pit, from the old days when they still mined beyond the village. In her girlhood she’d admired the men, so brawny and strong, never minded their faces grimed with coal dust, their hands permanently blacked. Anna enjoyed the ripple of their mighty strength and the aura of manhood each wore. She’d married one, too, a fine man, Willie, son and grandson of colliers. They’d been happy, so in love until a pit collapse took his life and left her widowed at the age of twenty.
She’d never found another man but now, aged past her prime, hands wrinkled, hair frosted like a December morning. Anna watched the birds in the winter dawn and wondered what they’d be like if they could become men. She dreamed about it in the long nights, sometimes now, if the birds could fly in, then land to shift into men, colliers all.
As the days shortened and moved toward winter solstice, nearer to Christmas, Anna thought more about the collie birds. They haunted her dreams and consumed her thoughts by day until one morning she stood at the window, frosted with cold and stared. The collie birds came from the east as usual with their wings spread out wide and landed. Few seeds remained in the barren winter garden and as they lit each one began to twirl and swirl. Anna watched with fascination as each collie bird’s form shifted and changed. Out of the spinning she saw four men emerge, one by one, colliers all, dressed in their work clothes but they didn’t head toward the long closed pit but walked in unison toward the house.
Anna smoothed down her hair and sighed. If she could, she’d wipe away the years to be young so maybe they’d desire her. Maybe, she thought, if she could borrow a little scrap of the Christmas magic the collie birds used to become men, her face might smooth away the wrinkles and her hair might regain color again. She put on the kettle and opened the door to them.
“Morning to you, Missus,” they said as one.
“Come out of the cold,” she said, “I’ve put the kettle on for tea if you’d like.”
Before long her table loomed full with the men and she loved their presence. As she poured another round of tea, Anna caught sight of her reflection in the mirror above the kitchen dresser and gasped.
“What’s the matter, love?” one asked, the man reminding her most of her lost Willie.
“Naught,” Anna said. Her face no longer looked old, her hair renewed to burnished copper. She looked prettier than she remembered from youth. “I’m just surprised.”
“Well you might be,” the same collier said, “It’s not every day a bird becomes a man now is it?”
“No,” Anna answered with care. “I’ve never seen it before and I certainly can’t understand why.”
“It’s a gift,” he said. He turned his head from side to side and the others nodded. One by one they rose from the table and moved as if in flight out the door, back into the garden. Anna didn’t look after that, afraid she’d see them shift back into collie birds. “It’s a Christmas time gift for you. You’ve been kind to us and we know it so we wanted to give you something back, Missus.”
“Anna,” she said, “Call me Anna. What’s your name?”
“Call me as you like,” he said, “Willie will do.”
“I will,” she said, “but what will you give me?”
He smiled, the happiness behind it lighting his eyes and softening his face. Now he looked enough like her own Willie to be his twin. “I’m here to give you what you want, what you need, Anna.”
Her body quickened at that. Before she could protest or agree, Willie kissed her, his mouth as rich as her remembered husband’s, his lips warm and soft. Her mouth answered his kiss. She’d almost forgotten the kind of sweet fire such a kiss sent scurrying through the veins and the way her body readied, eager for something more. Hunger for what she’d long been denied, yearning for what she lost as a young widow encouraged her to put her arms first on his shoulders, then around his neck. One hand strayed upward into his hair, locks as dark and fine as her man’s were once.
This Willie’s hands touched her without any shyness at all. His big fingers caressed her breasts through the fabric of her dress and then undid the buttons with deft skill. As he fingered her nipples, they rose to his touch with the speed of rising bread dough but hardened like biscuits. His touch made them tender and Anna moaned with the delightful torture he delivered. When Willie reached inside her dress she adored the feel of his work worn hands against her flesh and before she could think, they moved out of the kitchen and into the bedroom where she’d sleep alone for decades.
In one swift motion she stripped off the dress, removed her camisole and her drawers so she stood naked before Willie, her collie bird, her body restored to youth, to the beauty she once offered her husband. Anna never saw him undress but Willie stood nude, proud and erect before her, his body like chiseled marble in the morning light. Like her husband’s, the coal dust blackening stopped at his hands, at his neck, and his body glistened white as fresh milk.
Anna raked over his body with her eyes, afraid she’d forgotten just what to do but instinct replaced doubt. Because he stood taller, she barely had to bend her head to take his nipple into her mouth and did. Anna suckled it, his groans of pleasure fueling her growing desire and when she stopped, he buried his face against her bosoms. His tongue laved over each breast with a combination of adoration and desire she enjoyed and then he nibbled, his mouth sharp as a bird’s beak, leaving little purple love bites over the soft tits. As he did that Anna grasped his cock in her hand and stroked the shaft of it. Although it already felt hard in her hand, it tensed tighter as she caressed him. His need stirred hers and without words they reached her bed.
He took her there, his proud erect cock plunging deep into her depths and filling the emptiness of years. Anna took him, tightened her passage to caress him and drive him deeper still. Willie, this Willie, worked in and out of her, powerful as a river surging through her body and she gloried in it. Her first spirals of physical delight morphed into an urgent need for release and he delivered it. They climaxed, body to body, with a wild rush of delight and she came back to earth, moon struck and sated.
“Merry Christmas, love,” Willie said and when she looked, he was her own Willie, her first and sole love she’d lost too soon. A wild joy erased the lonely years, leached out the bitterness of widowhood but still, Anna asked, “How, Willie? How?”
“Don’t question Christmas miracles,” he said, his voice as familiar and fond to her ears as it ever was. “Just accept them, love.”
Her young arms embraced him, stroked his dear face and Anna no longer cared if this might be real, a dream, illusion or fantasy. Whether or not they’d been restored to youth didn’t matter and should they be dead, this heaven, it didn’t make any difference at all. They were together and she celebrated it with all the joy of the season.
From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Blog: Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I