Paris, 1829. Victor hastened along the snow-covered street.  A warm fireside awaited him. Soon he would be surrounded by dear Adèle and his children, no doubt excited by the late snowfall. 'Excusez-moi monsieur, a few francs for a veteran?' The beggar held out his hand. Victor drew back, revulsed at the sight of the disfigured … Continue reading HUGO


The Departure Lounge was rammed with people. The sensible ones carried everything essential in backpacks, others insisted on dragging large suitcases behind them, adding to the gridlock. Sea-Tac Airport expected the last weekend before Christmas to be busy - it always was - but even the additional check-in staff and baggage handlers were unable to … Continue reading THE GREAT CHRISTMAS GETAWAY


Agnes loves Christmas. As soon as they finish forking out a small mountain of sweets to the trick-or-treaters at Halloween, Agnes starts her Christmas build-up. It starts small. A few 'extra' items in the supermarket shop: a decoration here; a little snack food there. Then wrapping paper, cards, presents. Before November is out, Archie is … Continue reading FIRST SNOW


Wind blew through the trees, blowing the snow up from the ground, gusting around Guy's face. He pulled his collar up further. Across the park he watched Madeline, her bright green umbrella luminous against the white background. Their daughter, Francis, gleefully skipped around her. 'She's moved on, married someone else, she's happy. Leave them be.' … Continue reading THE UMBRELLAS OF NEW YORK