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  • Anita Crawford Clark

The Belltown Miracle

My entry for the 10th Annual Holiday Contest organized by Susanna Hill, and must feature a holiday helper.





Each Christmas Eve, a small box was left on Henry Horbuckle’s doormat.

In it, a small sleigh bell. This year, he opened his door - no box.

Perhaps the wind whisked it away.

He searched the woods.

Sleigh bells jing, jing, jingled.

Clip-clop, clippity-clop.

A bell plopped atop the snow as a horse drawn sleigh glided by.


Gnarled fingers took hold of the fallen bell.

Henry slid the bell in his satchel,

trudging languidly back the way he came.


Belltown rarely set eyes on Henry

since a sleigh accident took his wife and children.

Without sleigh bells jing, jing jingling

no one saw the sleigh until it was too late.

Henry, the best bell maker in Belltown,

never fashioned another bell.


Henry polished the found bell til it shimmered.

“She’s a beauty, huh boy?”

Bong!

Henry jumped to his feet.

Bong!

He flung the door open. That sound. That awful sound.

Bong!

“Come on boy. There’s trouble.” Henry hitched Gallo.

Bong!

“Hurry, boy!”

“Hornbuckle, it’s you. Train’s stranded. Little Ellie needs Doc.”

“Ellie?”

“Yes. Elenor. She’s named after…

“My wife.”

“I’ll fetch Doc.”

Henry set off. The night turned to day, and then night again.

Far in the distance, a thousand bells jing, jing jingled on Henry’s sleigh,

shinning bright like the star of Bethlehem.

Bing. Bing. Bong.

That sound. That beautiful sound.

Belltown’s Christmas bells rang out.

Henry and Doc rushed to Ellie’s bedside.

Next to her, a small box. Henry shook it. Jing, jing jingle.

Ellie's eyes blinked.



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© 2020 by Anita Crawford Clark