Saturday, December 24, 2011

Claire's Mother, by Donald Koozer

Since this is Christmas, Dear Readers, allow me to give you the gift of a story. My guest author today is part of the family, my husband Donald Koozer. His short story Claire's Mother first appeared in a literary magazine called Bellowing Ark back in 2009.

This is a mystery story indeed, though there is no murder. But if you are a believer in such things, at Christmas time a mystery story can easily become a mystical story. Following is an excerpt to get you in the spirit. Professor Kozloff offers ride to a young lady standing beside the road on Christmas Eve and ends up somewhere and with someone he hardly could imagine existing. To read the rest, click on the link after the excerpt and let it carry you away to a snowy wood.

From our house to yours, and from all of us here at Type M 4 Murder, peace and blessings for a wonderful holiday season.

It was the Eve of Christmas and the beginning of the long holiday between semesters. As I drove out from the campus and pulled onto the highway, small, dry flakes of snow had started to blow lightly in the breeze. They were beginning to cling to the trees and dried grasses as I rode the first few miles of pavement that would take me into the panhandle and to a warm ranch house and old friends.

Christmas for me had become just another holiday. The numinous and the magical had no place in my life. I knew what lay before me on the road, and what the years ahead would bring. I had taken care to insure order and security in my life. Having achieved tenure at the university, my life fell into a pattern of classes and lectures that left no room for the miraculous or the mystical. All of that was far behind me now in a distant,
nearly forgotten childhood. I saw myself, besides being a man of letters, as a realist. So I never could have expected the surprises that waited for me as I drove that Eve of Christmas down the snowy rural highway.

When I saw the young woman standing beside the road I determined to pass her by. I didn’t want to take on a rider, especially an immature one. I had barely left the campus environs, and I didn’t want to talk anymore. Another year of college teaching was wrapped up and I was fleeing the busy schedule of classes and counseling. I was burnt out; dead tired of lecturing and listening to the chatter and callow thoughts of the current year’s class of young people who possessed all the same misconceptions about life as previous classes going back through my seventeen years at the university. There was nothing new in my world. I was weary of it all, and did not wish to face more tiresome talk from the company of the young woman who stood by the highway stamping her feet and patting her crossed arms against the cold.

But the situation was hopeless. I could not leave her to stand in the freezing weather...
Click here to read on.

Snowy photograph by Donna A. Casey. Photograph of Don Koozer by Donis Casey.


Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Thank you. I enjoyed the story.

Donis Casey said...

Merry Christmas, Frankie