Hello fellow bloggers.  First of all I'd like to thank all of you for all your well wishes and emails.  You are all too awesome for words!!!

Now on to the blog hop.
Jenny from  Jenny's Imaginary World is having this blog hop.  I'm posting this a little early.  It's not till the 15th.  250-words of a cute holiday story.  I cheated, couldn't get my top muse to shut up.  And I try not to butt heads with Helen.  Anyway, I'm close to 500-words, which kinda disqualifies me, but this is for fun, to meet new bloggers, and to encourage everyone to check out Jenny's blog.

Anyway, nothing spells warm and fuzzy like family, friendship, and kids.  And because I just couldn't help myself, I tossed in a fantastical twist.  Hope you all like it.

Devin leaned against the window sill while fingering the rim of his baseball cap, his sole focus the sound of the children outside.  There were three girls about his age, playing hide-and-seek.  One of them laughed, and the sound evoked a similar bubbling in his throat.  Her two friends ran and hid as she counted.  He held his breath, waiting for her to give chase and aching to join them.  More than anything, he needed a friend.

"Dad, why did we move?"

The older man fussed with the pages of the morning paper before setting it down on the table.  "Devin, you've asked me that question every day for a month.  And my answer is still the same.  You're ten now, and that means you're starting to show.  We have to keep the secret.  At least here we have a chance at a fresh beginning, with new people."

"But we're so alone."

"Just give it time, son.  Look, the season is changing.  Soon we'll see snow on the ground and the holidays will be upon us.  They celebrate something called Christmas here.  You get presents and..."

Devin tuned out the rest of the conversation because the redheaded girl laughed again, a musical sound that reminded him of his big sister--before she was captured.  He had to meet her.  Placing the baseball cap on his head, he crammed down his antennas.  Then he hurried outside, running smack into the girl and sending the baseball cap flying.

He watched her lips part with surprise.  A million thoughts raced through his head, but no excuse or lie could cover the dangling proof of his ancestry.  Maybe they could make her forget like they did the others.  It was a simple procedure.

"Oh, you're one of us," the girl said.

"What?"  He searched her head for signs of antennae, but there were none.  "You look nothing like me.  You're not even green."

"But I am like you."  With delicate fingers she brushed fine crimson locks aside, revealing a set of pointed ears.  "After a year we transform on this planet.  This is all that's left of my antennas."

"You're a darkling too?"

She smiled, revealing two rows of pearly-white teeth.  "The natives call us fairies." 

A knot formed in his throat.  "I'm Devin," he said, lifting his hand to touch her. 

She reached out her hand and brushed the tips of his fingers.  "I'm Ivy."

The other two girls came out of hiding.  They studied the pea-colored boy on the ground and sent their friend matching inquisitive glances. 

Ivy laced her fingers with Devin's and said, "These are my sisters, Axia and Nola."  To her sisters she said, "This is Devin, my new friend."

They bunched around him.  Their proximity enveloped him like a cozy blanket, reminding him of home.  Ivy hugged him.

And his heart grew wings.

Happy Holidays to all my blogger friends who help give my heart wings!