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    Valkyrie
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Our Christmas Songbook - 1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

“911, what is the nature of your emergency?”

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree,” a deep voice sang clearly.

LaShawn huffed out his breath and rolled his eyes. He moved his hand to disconnect the call. “Sir, this line is for emergencies only.”

His supervisor quickly strode over and stood at his shoulder. “What do you have?” she asked.

LaShawn muted the call. “It’s the partridge in a pear tree guy. Guess it’s my turn to deal with him now. Fifth time’s the charm?”

Shonda laughed. “Do your magic.”

“911 help.”

LaShawn instantly stopped laughing and sat up. “Sir, do you need help?”

The man sang the first verse of the Twelve Days of Christmas again.

Shonda frowned. “What’s going on?” She connected her headset to his station so she could listen in.

“I don’t think this is a prank. Look at the call log.” He pointed to his screen. “The calls have been coming every fifteen minutes for the past hour and a half.”

“911 help,” the man repeated in an even tone with no inflection.

“Why do you need help? What’s wrong?” LaShawn asked.

“Partridge. Pear tree. 911 help.”

“What’s your address?” The man was using a cell phone, which gave them an approximate location, but he needed the complete address in order to send help.

“Sherlock Holmes.”

Shonda pursed her lips and crossed her arms. “Still think it’s not a prank?”

LaShawn shook his head. “This guy reminds me of Joey. I think he’s legit.” He glanced at the framed picture of his autistic brother he kept next to his computer.

“In that case, go with your gut.” She squeezed his shoulder.

“Sir, what’s your name?”

“Kevin.”

“Okay, Kevin. My name is LaShawn. I’ll send help, but I need to know where to send them. What’s your address?”

“Sherlock Holmes.”

“That doesn’t help me, Kevin. I need to know what street you live on.”

“Sherlock Holmes.”

Shonda tapped on her phone, then stuck it in LaShawn’s face. “Look! Sherlock Holmes’ address is 221B Baker Street. Maybe he lives on Baker Street.”

LaShawn grinned. “That’s why you’re in charge!”

He pulled up his map program and searched for 221 Baker Street. “You’re right. It’s a real address.” He dispatched police and typed a note to approach without lights and sirens in case Kevin was sensitive to light and sound.

“Kevin, the police are on the way. I want you to stay on the phone with me until they get here. Christmas is only a few days away. Are you getting excited about it?”

“Christmas. Santa. Reindeer.”

Joey loved holidays, Christmas in particular. Starting December first, he’d wear ugly Christmas sweaters and hats every day. His favorite had reindeer antlers covered in Christmas lights that actually lit up. He wanted to start wearing them in November, but LaShawn made a rule about no Christmas clothes, decorations, or songs before December first. Joey loved Christmas music and sang his favorites loudly and frequently.

“What do you want for Christmas?” LaShawn flinched and turned down the volume on his headset as Kevin sang “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” at the top of his lungs.

“Well, okay! Kevin wants a hippopotamus for Christmas!” LaShawn had to chuckle because it was one of Joey’s favorite songs too. Going to work gave him a bit of a break from the off-key singing, although apparently not today.

Five minutes later, he received an alert and switched to the police frequency. “This is dispatch,” LaShawn stated, thankful to finally be done with the hippopotamus song.

“Police are on scene and calling for fire and rescue. There’s a man stuck in a tree here with a cat. And another man who won’t stop singing that stupid hippopotamus Christmas song.”

“Thank you, officer.” He went to switch over to Kevin’s line, only to find it had been disconnected. He sat back in his chair and smiled, grateful the emergency hadn’t been worse.

****

A couple of days later, Shonda approached LaShawn’s station. “I have a bit of an unusual request. Feel free to decline if it makes you uncomfortable.”

LaShawn groaned. “Well, that’s not a promising start to a conversation.”

“It’s not bad, I promise.”

“If you say so,” he replied.

“Remember the Partridge in a Pear Tree guy?”

“How could I forget!” Kevin had been on LaShawn’s mind ever since the call.

“Well, his father would like to meet you. His father and Kevin, that is. Apparently, Kevin can’t stop talking about you.”

LaShawn sat back in his chair. “Wow! I can’t say I’ve ever had a request like that before.”

“Every once in a while, I get a request like this. Most of the time, administration denies them; however, I spoke with the higher ups today, and they gave their approval. They may even want to turn it into a ‘feel good’ news story, due to the unusual circumstances, if all parties agree.” Shonda looked at him pointedly.

“I’ll have to see how it goes. It all depends on how Kevin reacts. You don’t suppose the higher ups would let me bring Joey, do you? I think he and Kevin have a lot in common.”

Shonda laughed. “I already asked and the answer was ‘yes’.”

****

“Go ahead and knock, Joey,” LaShawn said, pointing to the light blue door adorned with a Christmas wreath.

Joey wore his favorite Christmas sweater—red with a horse and sleigh with actual bells—and Christmas hat with antlers wrapped in blinking lights for the special occasion. He pounded loudly on the door, then spun in slow circles. LaShawn cringed. “Not so hard!”

About a minute later, a middle-aged man with gray hair opened the door. “Can I help you?”

“I’m LaShawn Davis, the 911 operator who spoke with Kevin while you were stuck in the tree.”

The man grinned. “So, you’re the famous LaShawn! You’re all I’ve heard about ever since the incident. Thank you so much for agreeing to meet us. Come in! Just give me a second to catch Partridge. We don’t need another tree incident!” He disappeared for a minute, then returned with a fat orange cat under his arm. “Come on in.”

LaShawn opened the door, and then entered the home. “Thanks. This is my brother, Joey. He’s really excited to meet Kevin. He brought him a Christmas present.”

Joey held up the gift bag he was carrying and proudly announced, “It’s a hippo. I like hippos too.”

“Joey, you’re not supposed to tell people what you’re giving them.”

“Oh. It’s definitely not a hippo,” Joey stated, shaking his head.

Kevin’s father laughed. “I’m David, by the way. Have a seat, and I’ll get Kevin.” He set the cat down and walked into another room. Partridge weaved around Joey’s legs, purring.

David returned a moment later, Kevin in tow. “Kev, this is LaShawn and his brother Joey. Remember when daddy and Partridge got stuck in the tree and you talked to 911? This who you talked to.”

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” Kevin sang.

“A partridge in a pear tree,” Joey and Kevin sang together, then continued on to the next verse.

David groaned. “Can I get you anything? Something to drink? We can sit in the kitchen, since I have a feeling this song is going to last a while.”

LaShawn laughed. “Sure. I could use a glass of water. And I’m used to it. It feels like Joey sings Christmas carols constantly. At least it’s not the hippopotamus song.”

“Don’t jinx us! Kevin loves that song!”

LaShawn held his fist out for a fist bump. “Finally, someone who understands my pain!”

David laughed. “All too well, I’m afraid.”

“So, what happened the other day? How did you get stuck in a tree?”

David opened a cabinet and removed a glass. “Sure you only want water? I have pop or juice.”

“Water’s fine, thank you.”

He filled up the glass, then handed it to LaShawn. “Well, you met Partridge, our cat. He accidentally got out and ran up the tree. He’s a bit on the plump side and couldn’t get down, so I got a ladder and tried to rescue him myself. I had to climb onto a branch to reach him and kicked the ladder away. Thank goodness I’d taught Kevin how to dial 911 in an emergency.”

“He did a great job.” LaShawn took a sip of water. “You named your cat Partridge?”

“Kevin did. He loves Christmas and also loves watching the Partridge Family. So the name fit perfectly. The funny thing is, that it’s really a pear tree he…uh… we got stuck in!”

“Man, you can’t make this stuff up!”

David grinned. “That’s for sure!”

Kevin walked into the kitchen carrying the stuffed hippo, Joey trailing behind. He held it up in front of David’s face. “I got a hippopotamus for Christmas.”

“Did you thank Joey?” David asked.

“Thank Joey,” Kevin repeated.

“You’re welcome,” Joey replied. “Can I see your Christmas tree?”

Kevin left the kitchen, followed by Joey.

“I think we have a budding friendship here,” David stated.

LaShawn smiled and nodded. “We do.”

“What are your plans for Christmas?”

“Well, we get up at the butt-crack of dawn to open presents, then I make us breakfast and a nice dinner. Joey loves ham. It’s just the two of us since our parents died. My partner left after I took Joey in. He couldn’t handle it.”

“Sorry to hear that, but I understand completely. My wife and I divorced when Kevin was six. It was too hard on our marriage. I ended up with sole custody.”

The two men were silent for a few minutes, listening to Joey chatter at Kevin in the other room.

Joey rushed into the kitchen and stood in front of his brother, dancing in place. “Can Kevin come over for Christmas?”

“Easy, bud. I know it’s exciting, but try to calm down.” LaShawn glanced at David. “I’m sure he already has plans for Christmas, but maybe we could invite them for dinner another time.”

Joey looked at David, full of hope. “Can we? I want to show him all my Christmas hats!”

David nodded. “I’m sure we can make arrangements.”

“I’ll go tell him!” Joey ran out of the kitchen, the bells on his sweater jingling and the antlers on his hat bobbing, to tell his new friend the happy news.

LaShawn grinned. “Looks like we all hit the jackpot. Two Christmases and new friends. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

I've had the hippopotamus song stuck in my head ever since I wrote this. Sorry for the earworm! Please leave a comment and let me know how you liked the story. We'd also love to hear about your favorite Christmas songs and memories associated with them. We hope you enjoy our journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas!
Copyright © 2021 Valkyrie, Cole Matthews, Aditus; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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  • Site Administrator
2 hours ago, Kitt said:

I absolutely love that  Partridge really was in a pear tree! Can't wait to see what you do with the other 11 days!

Thanks!  

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2 hours ago, Mawgrim said:

A very original take on the lyrics and a nice Christmassy feel good ending for this chapter. Can't wait to see what's in store next.

Thank you!  

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1 hour ago, Clancy59 said:

This was an adorable story!  I love that Partridge the Cat was stuck in a Pear Tree.  Too bad David was, too!

Sounds like Kevin and Joey have a new BFF, and so do LaShawn and David.

Kevin was quite clever in giving the clues to the problem and his location and Shonda was clever to have made the connection (and so was I.  I figured it out before Shonda did! 🤗) Kevin must be a real Holmesologist.

I’m looking forward to more of these stories.  Will different people be contributing?

Thank you!  It's amazing the connections people come up with to get their point across.  Yes, Cole Matthews, Aditus, and myself each wrote four stories for this collection.  Tomorrow you'll get to read Aditus' take on two turtle doves.  

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1 hour ago, chris191070 said:

This is adorable. Full of budding friendships.

Thank you! 

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1 hour ago, small mercy said:

I didn’t think a story that started with a 911 call could be so cute! 

Yeah, I think most 911 calls don't end quite as happily.  Thanks for reading! 

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1 hour ago, Mattyboy said:

🎄This is fun!  Looking forward to the verses! 🎄🎵🎶🎵🎶🎶

Thanks!  I hope you enjoy the rest :)

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Just now, astone2292 said:

This was such a fun read! Noah and I just finished watching Single All the Way, so when I saw the posting, I had to read it. Then I see a 911 scene and instantly uttered, "Uh-oh."

Brilliant work, Val! Can't wait to see more!

Awesome!  Thanks :) 

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5 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

With out a doubt, the song is one of my faves!!! That you could craft a tale such as this around that song is amazing!!!

I was gonna post the link but you beat me to it!!!

Great story and start, full of what the meaning of Christmas should be!!!

Thanks and looking forward to more!!!

Aww... thank you so much!  :blushing:  I love the end of the video where they show the singer now.  :) 

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