Kathi Macias’ 12 Days of Christmas – Volume 10 – Her Best Worst Christmas
by Anne Baxter Campbell
As Wendy waits for a bus after having been fired from her job just a few days before Christmas, she hears a noise in a nearby trashcan. When the noise turns out to be the weak cries of a newborn baby, Wendy’s focus turns from herself to the infant as she wonders what to do next.
This short story hooked me at the first paragraph and didn’t let go until the final sentence. The writing flows, allowing a conversational tale of trouble and hope to emerge. I was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters with their strengths as well as their weaknesses, the dialogue easy and natural.
Much thought has obviously gone into the plot as well. The inclusion of a romantic thread between Wendy and EMT Gabriel is a delightful counterpoint to the serious incident that prompted the initial action.
Although the story is brief, all the necessary information is woven in smoothly, and this backstory adds some of the constant tension that keeps us reading, along with the unanswered questions that pop up from the beginning. Why was Wendy fired? Who will stand by her as she works through this situation? Why was the child abandoned? Why is Wendy alone at this time of year?
I especially like the curious names that add color to the story, a unique method of pacing and tension/relief to keep the horror of the baby’s situation from becoming overwhelming.
Even though the tale is told from a strong moral stance, it is not preachy, including the basics of the gospel with brevity and clear simplicity. The story ends on a note of hope that all things will work out for good in the lives of Wendy, Gabriel and little Merry. A most pleasant read, especially at Christmas time. Thank you, Anne Baxter Campbell.