Guest Blogger: Conda Douglas

Swoop’s Zippy Gift

Swoop flew through the corridors of the closed Sprite Mall. She paused and hovered at every display window, then shook her head and flew to the next. Nope. Nothing there for a one-winged fairy in the next store either. She bit her lower lip and flapped her white wings in slow arcs. It’d been easier when they were first Toddle Wings and their folks got the little toys for them to exchange. But now she and One Wing were both thirteen years old. And last year One Wing got her a gorgeous flying jacket in Flight Instructor Green. She’d gotten him a pencil. Okay, it was tough to find one of those tiny, tiny pencils, usable for a five-inch fairy, but still—lame.

She stopped at the Tiki Hut Travel window. The humans in the Idaho mountain town of Sprite loved to “get away” to warmer climes after the holidays. They spent the holidays selling stuff to other humans, those who loved to come to snow country. Swoop would never understand humans. Huge posters showed the various warm destinations. She stared at the central one while synapses sparkled in her mind. Now, she knew the perfect gift.

* * *

Swoop dithered. While she waited for One Wing, she checked her construction once, twice and again and again. Checked the line where it stretched from the second floor balcony around the central court, past the two story poinsettia display, down to the bottom of the support pillar on the first floor. Checked the eyelet and string handles she’d spent the last few nights making. It would work. But where was her best friend? Much later and there’d be no time for his gift. The Toddle Wings would be getting up and racing to the bottom of their Christmas trees to see what Santa had brought. Days ago, she’d told One Wing to come to the second floor balcony before dawn for his Christmas present. She’d gotten up an hour earlier. She yawned.

“Don’t you know Santa won’t come if you don’t sleep?” a familiar voice interrupted her mid-yawn. One Wing.

She snapped her mouth shut as a horrid thought came to her. What if he hated his present? What if he thought she believed him a cripple and was taking pity on him? So not true, One Wing got around the vast-to-fairies mall a lot better than the rest of the fairies. Often Swoop forgot he was missing a wing and couldn’t fly.

“Since I got up so early, where’s my gift?” One Wing asked.

Worried and unable to think of what to say, Swoop pointed at the line.

“This is it? Um, great,” One Wing said. “What is it?”

“It’s a zip line,” Swoop said. At One Wing’s blank look, she explained, “You grab the handles,” she picked up the handles in either hand, “and leap off the balcony and then you’ll zip on the line down to the first floor.”

She looked over at her friend, whose mouth stood wide. “Um, I didn’t mean—” she started to apologize when he snatched the handles and leapt on the balcony railing. He looked over his shoulder at Swoop. “Best Christmas gift ever, thanks!” Then he jumped off the railing, single wing held straight out. He laughed the whole way down, so loud it echoed.

So happy it made Swoop’s heart sing. Best Christmas gift ever.

= = = = = = = = = =

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I grew up in the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho and that meant we celebrated Christmas to the max! Snow! Lights! New skiers falling off the mountain! Many of my writings are based on that fun and crazy childhood, including STARKE NAKED DEAD, a cozy mystery that will be released in summer of 2012 by L&L Dreamspell. Swoop's Zippy Gift takes place in the world of my 'tween fantasy THE MALL FAIRIES:EXILE, the first book in a trilogy to be released by Muse It Up Publishing on February 24, 2012. Since writing two novel series doesn't take every second of my time, I'm also an eTalent Scout for the new eBook publishing company Barbarian Books Follow me on Twitter @Conda_V and read about my writing life at Conda's Creative Center and please become my friend on facebook I love new friends!


irishoma said…
Very nice Christmas tale.
Linda G. said…
Aww. Such a sweet story -- I love it! :)
Joanne said…
Christmas is one of my favorite times too. I like to read a Christmas-y book each year at this time, one that captures the spirit of the season in a heartwarming way.
L.G.Smith said…
I think I might have fun with that zip-line myself. Thanks for the story. :)
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the warm feel good story Conda!
Janet, said…
Neat story! My sons have went on zip lines before at the New River Gorge, they had a blast! Congratulations on your books. I'm on my way to friend you.
Anonymous said…
Aww, great story!!!
Carol, thanks so much for the opportunity to do this--it was a blast! And so useful for me to get back into the world of the Mall Fairies as I'm working on the second in the trilogy, since the first is released February 24th.
Donna, Linda G, Stephen, Cynthia and Ibdiamond, glad you enjoyed it!
Joanne, I always read at least one Christmas mystery story at this time, you're right it adds to the spirit of the season!
L.G. and Janet, they have zip lines here in Idaho, hence the idea. I, too, want to try one sometime! Too much fun. And Janet, thanks for befriending me!
That was really clever!
Pat McDermott said…
Very sweet, Conda. Swoop is a thoughtful friend. Good luck with those Mall Fairies!
Alex and Pat, thanks! And Pat, I've fallen in love with my characters, too much so, I have trouble making their lives tough and tougher...ah well, right now I'm killing off a few pixies, so that's good :)
Carlajo said…
Fun story. Thanks!
hotcha12 said…
Kathy McIntosh said…
What a fun story. Swoop came up with a great gift for the athletic One-Wing!
Donna Hole said…
Adorable ;)

Nice to meet you Conda.

Hi Carol . .

Thanks Carlajo, hotcha12 and Donna, and Donna, nice to meet you too.
Kathy, my goodness, I hadn't remembered that One Wing is athletic...oh, oh, it's bad when you can't remember the attributes of your own characters...
Anonymous said…
This was a great Christmas tale, Conda. Thank you, Carol, for having her over.
I love this Christmas story, Conda. Oh and I love your name!

Thanks, Carol. (I love your name too.:)
Thanks Medeia and Journaling Woman! And Journaling Woman--I was named after my mom who was named after a small town in Idaho. I love my name too!
Nezzy said…
Me too! (hand wavin' frantically in the air) Christmas is my favorite time of year!

Want a wonderful Christmas story. I seem to be obsessed with 'em.

I just wanted to thank you for your visit and hoppin' on my blog.

Please visit often, the door of the Ponderosa is always open.

God bless and have a glorious day sweetie!!! :o)
Mark Noce said…
Neato, thanks for sharing:)
Nezzy, Cow Patty Surprise is a hoot of a blog!

And both Mark and Nezzy and all you who are reading my little tale and enjoying it, thanks! It's such a pleasure to add to the holiday season!
Clarissa Draper said…
Very nice to meet you and very nice story.
It's nice to see Conda here. We were both published in Fangtales!
Lydia Kang said…
Welcome Conda! This was a fun post. :)
Thanks Clarissa and Lydia! Carol's blog followers are such a great bunch!
Theresa--yes, we're both in Fangtales and your story rocks!
Carol Kilgore said…
Conda - Thanks so much for guest blogging with me. I hope you had fun. I know everyone enjoyed your story.

Waving to everyone!
LynNerdKelley said…
What a sweet Christmas story, Conda.

Thanks, Carol!
Carol, this was great fun!
Elizabeth said…
Cute blog...great post.

Stop by my blog if you like for an e-book giveaway.


I love this story, thanks for sharing. I admit I tend to be partial to fairies, even those with one wing...
Carol Kilgore said…
Elizabeth - Thanks for the follow!

Jo Ann - Thanks for visiting and commenting.
LR said…
Very cute story, enjoyed reading it. ;)