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Dec 18, 2012

The Car Antlers (Short Christmas Story)

“What are these, exactly?” asked Bill.

“Antlers for your car!” said the checkout lady. She wore a red Santa hat at a jaunty angle.  She wiggled her fingers on top of her head. “To make it look like a reindeer.”

He laughed. “Does it make it fly over rush hour traffic too?”

“Of course!” she smiled. “But only once, and only at just the perfect time. One miracle per antlers.”

“Why not?” Bill added the antlers to his other groceries.

He could use some Christmas cheer. Since his son had gone off to college and the beloved family dog, Mitts, had passed on to Doggie Heaven, the house had been quiet. Bill and the Misses didn’t even have a tree this year. The antlers would be his token decoration.

He fastened them onto his car in the parking lot.

The wind was bitter and brutal that night, and Bill had a long drive home. Suddenly, on an isolated road lined with trees, a branch dropped in front of the car. The car ran up it like a ramp, and literally jumped into the air, landing hard on the far side of the branch.

Shaken, Bill stopped the car as soon as he had control of the wheel again. He stepped out of the car to make sure there was no damage. One of the antlers had become askew.

“Hey, you made my car ‘fly’ but almost killed me in the process,” Bill complained to the antlers. “I don’t call that much of a miracle!”

Behind him, Bill heard a whimper. Startled, he turned around and found a puppy quivering in the center of the street. Bill looked at his car and then back at the puppy. He realized that if the branch had not made the car go flying r
ight over the puppy’s head, the dog would have been hit.

“Hey you,” said Bill, kneeling by the puppy. “Where do you belong?”

The puppy licked his hand. She had no collar and her fur was scraggly. It was clear she had no humans of her own. She nuzzled Bill. He picked her up and cradled her in his arms.

“Nowhere, huh? Well, I guess I’ll have to take you home with me. And you’ll need a name too. I think I’ll call you…Miracle.”

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