This is from an untitled novel which won’t be on your Kindle shelf for a long time, but it’s something to look forward to, eh?
“Sometimes when he was almost asleep; when the night was all around him, and thoughts stopped being relevant to the moment, tangenting off into softer places in memory, Sam would think of that Christmas when he went walking in the snow.
He must have been a little past fourteen at the time. He’d never really thought about it in detail, because the story only happened when he was minutes from dreaming, and the end was always forgotten by morning.
It was a real thing, this thing that happened. He had got a games machine from his parents; second hand, of course. When they had first come out, his mother had said no. They couldn’t afford it. His father’s death had left them without most luxuries. But that year, thanks to a fickle cousin, and some serendipity, the little grey box had been waiting under the tree for him. Still in time for it to bring joy. The age when he would tire of such childish things, still a year or two away.
There was a friend- more of an acquaintance, really- called Dave. David Chapman, from school . He lived in the nice houses, a couple of bus rides away. There were no buses on Christmas Day, of course, so he had walked. Even now, when he remembered the scene, wrapped cosy in his duvet before sleep came, he recalled how cold his hands had been. It was only maybe six in the evening. A White Christmas, rare in his part of the world. It was the only one he could remember.
The houses glowed with yellow light and blinking trees as he made his way there. He wasn’t sure which way the numbers went, just that he was looking for fifty six. The avenues were named after flowers: Fuchsia, Cherry Blossom, Marigold. After a while, he realised he had been circling. He walked through his own footprints in the crisp white, cursing that he hadn’t paid attention enough when Dave had described the place.
Christmas was a day for families, not for visitors who weren’t kin. He knew that, but he carried on. The grey box was just a grey box without games to play on it, and Dave had told him he hardly ever used his anymore; that Sam was welcome to pop round and borrow a few any time he liked. He probably hadn’t meant the twenty fifth, but it felt like as good a day as any. There was nothing for him back home. Mum was hard to deal with on Christmas, since the accident.
Sam never got to number fifty six in the dream, if he could even describe it as a dream. He just went in circles through the snow, passing the same houses, with their gaudy lights and tinsel, all the while getting colder hands and wishing he had brought gloves. The feelings were there; as palpable as if the dream were real. Sadness, anticipation, a little shame. And the hope that once he finally found the right door, it wouldn’t matter that his feet were wet and his hands red-raw. But he always fell asleep before he got there, and he never thought about it again until the next time.”
In the meantime, here’s a book you CAN buy. Go read the reviews!