Christmas Sweater

Following is a fictional piece I wrote last evening at my “Write Now” group. We begin with a writing prompt, including bonus points for incorporating some random phrase. While coming up with the phrase, we usual have a rejected phrase which would be too easy to incorporate into the prompt. We are given 20 minutes to write. The works are always sloppy, but I like the intention of producing just for the sake of writing.

Writing Prompt: “Girl sells clothing on Pinterest.” Bonus Point: Yellow Rivers. Rejected Bonus:  Angora

Alicia needs money for Christmas presents. Even though she does not believe Jesus was the son of God, she finds solace in the traditional American festivities surrounding his birthday.  Thank God (of whose existence she is also skeptical)  she set-up that fashion sell page on Pinterest.

Looking through her closet, she’s torn about what she could do without. Many of her sweaters, which sell well in Minnesota winters, were knitted lovingly by her maternal grandmother. Her favorite gray Angora sweater was given to her the Christmas before her grandmother’s death. At the center of the sweater is an intricately embroidered Balsam Fir Tree, with knitted yellow rivers on either side, colors ranging from lemon to dark sunset yellow, converging at the roots of the Christmas tree.

Three main roots are at the bottom of the tree, which were embroidered with the names of her Grandmother, her mother and herself. Each root represented the maternal influences feeding into this tree of life.

Before today, Alicia had not thought much about the sweater’s tree. She assumed it was merely a Christmas tree, like others you find on Holiday sweaters. Taking the sweater off the shelf in her closet, she gently unfolded the fluffy sleeves to lay it flat upon her bed. Upon the beautiful Balsam, were stars composed of the same yellow threads within the two rivers. Made of various bright yellow shades, Alicia counted ten stars. She thought about the children her grandmother had, combined with her siblings.

Alicia’s grandmother produced six, five sons, two dying in childbirth. Her mother had five children, herself and her four brothers. Looking at the tree, Alicia realized there were branches bare of stars, and roots at the bottom without names. They sat awaiting the stars that may or may not be in her future, and roots to be fed by the yellow rivers of her mother’s Chinese heritage.


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