Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (95) The Christmas Surprise
In this noisy city he made his way through the darkness as the people rushed by at a frantic pace as a quiet hush fell with a fall of snowflakes and the holiday rush seemed to slow down if only briefly.
It was Christmas Eve, and he had been summoned, and as he had no other place to be, he went along.
Bay View House was a large detached Victorian House sitting on a two acre plot so he walked up the gravel drive.
He turned the key he had been given in the lock and stepped into the house of a man he didn't know.
The house was lit with an abundance of Christmas lights that twinkled against the red brickwork.
The door was stained cedar red and sported a fresh wreath bearing a banner that said “Ho, Ho, Ho”
The lights were on inside the house but it appeared there was no one home but it was warm and cozy and as he had walked the icy streets through heavy snow for twenty minutes to get to the house he welcomed it.
But he didn’t know what to do next, the letter he received at the hotel with the door key, simply told him to go to the house and let himself in.
He stood in the entrance liberally decorated with evergreens, and he drank in the nostalgia inducing atmosphere, but after a few minutes he slipped off his coat and walked towards the drawing room, as per the instructions he received, and pushed open the door and stepped inside and when he looked ahead of him he did a double take because standing at the end of the room by the Christmas tree was Angie, his wife.
“Angie?” he asked and she squealed and launched herself at him.
The reason that he was surprised to see her was that she was supposed to be in Alaska and she wasn’t expected home until Christmas Eve, which was four days away.
She was a geologist working for Transglobal Oil and Gas Exploration and she was supposed to conducting a survey and the trip was supposed to be for a month.
His contact with her had been sketchy, they skyped occasionally, more so when she was in Canada, not so much in Alaska due to the remoteness of the region she was working in.
They also exchanged email, which was also problematic, but she would record little video messages on her phone and she would send them to him whenever she could get a signal.
He really looked forward to getting them and the first thing he did when he got up in the morning was to check his phone.
But there had been nothing for two days, and he had been missing her terribly and he had been counting the days until she was home, which should have been in four days.
Which was when they were to spend ten days together, including Christmas at the Abbottsford Regents Hotel, before she would be off again for another month.
But there she was in his arms kissing him and although he didn’t care why, he asked anyway.
“Why are you home early? And whose house is this?”
“The house belongs to my boss, he’s been brilliant and his wife set up the surprise, the enigmatic message and the key” She explained “They’re in New York until Christmas Eve, and we can stay here before we go on to the Regents as planned” she explained
“Yes but why are you back early? Not that I’m complaining” he said and kissed her again
“Because I have a special Christmas present for you which had to be delivered as soon as possible” she replied enigmatically
“Ok” he mused looking around for a gift
“Following an in depth scan we made a seismic discovery which was so earth shatteringly important I had to share it with you face to face, and it couldn’t wait another four days” she continued “because the news will be in the public domain by then and you have to be the first person I tell”
“God it sounds really important” he said worriedly “So what did you discover?”
Angie looked at his worried expression and smiled, and after a pause she said