Sunday, December 04, 2011

Oh Joy!

Written for Sunday Scribblings and Carry on Tuesday

Joy Grimes was shopping. She hated shopping. The day was grey, the darkness of winter weighed heavily on her shoulders. The main street was busy; far too busy for Joy. There were too many people, too many screaming kids and that annoying greengrocer shouting about fruit and chestnuts and holly wreaths from behind his stall. She mumbled and grumbled and cursed and swore under her breath. The windows in the shops to her left and her right where a blaze of multicoloured light, and stuffed with Christmas gifts and party frocks. Christmas should be banned muttered Joy. Right in the middle of the street was a grotto, Santa’s grotto. What a stupid place to put it, right in Joy’s way. As for those grinning gnomes trying to drum up business from passing parents; words failed her.

In the distance she could hear boom boom boom. Quietly at first but getting louder with every beat. Then the sound of screaming trumpets and groaning tubas. How Joy hated marching bands. There was enough noise in the street without them adding to it. Suddenly the Salvation Army band rounded the corner and all around her stopped and watched. Why was everybody smiling?  It was loud very loud. Joy clasped her hands over her ears. But try as she may she couldn’t blot out the sound of the carol the band were belting out; Joy To The World. A girl dressed in a black and red uniform topped off with a little black bonnet  rushed up to Joy rattling a collecting tin. She looked so sweet with her rosebud mouth and flushed cheeks and little red nose; far too sweet to be a teenager. ‘What do you want?’ barked joy. ‘Bringing you joy with our music, and joy to those less fortunate this Christmas’ the sweet girl said.

Quite what happened to Joy that minute, I have no idea. Perhaps it was all those references to her name. Maybe it was the look of innocence in the sweet girls blue eyes. Possibly for the first time in her life she got carried away by all the joy that surrounded her. Whatever it was, for the first time in living memory Joy’s downturned mouth showed a slight glimmer of a smile. She didn’t put any money in the tin, but she did touch the girl lightly on her shoulder before shuffling off down the street. At that moment the darkness of winter lifted from her shoulders as the sun broke through the clouds.

That was a year ago, and Joy died on Christmas day . A couple of weeks later there was an article in the local paper about a large donation having been given anonymously to the Salvation Army.

'Rest in peace Joy Grimes' said old Joe Grimes as he drank his first hot drink of the day at the drop in centre. 'You weren't such a heartless old cow after all'


  1. nice story looking into the mind of a person totally absorbed in herself and her own world

  2. what a heart-lifting story!

  3. I think you might have been the only post to create a Joy..not write about the feeling..although you did that as well! Brilliantly at that..Jae

  4. Interesting twist .. you had me from the beginning to the end ... Nicely done!

  5. Hello.
    lol...this is like the 2011 version of Ebeneezer Scrooge! The humorous twist at the end was perfect.
    Very nicely done!
    Thanks for sharing & visiting. I appreciate your comments.

    For ref:
    Our Candlelight Of Love

  6. I like this little story. Joy had a lot of trouble being joyful, but finally caught the spirit of the season. Very well done!

  7. Joy had a bit of Scrooge in her and like him got caught in the beauty of the season...great piece

  8. Hello, you win perfect poet award for week 56, hope that you have enjoyed it.
    It has been a delightful experience with you supporting Thursday Poets Rally, we have enjoyed your presence and talent very much, thumbs up!
    fabulous poetry along the way, keep those gems coming.
    Always, you are more than welcome to join our biweekly rally.
    Happy Holidays!



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