Sneak Peeks

Readymade Xmas

Chapter 1

LIANNE

***

 

I smiled as I heard the wind knocking against my windowpane. I love days like this, when the snow begins to fall gently and the boughs of the old birch tree hang low enough to scrape against my windows and the vinyl siding of the house.

A quick peep from beneath my lashes showed the fire in the gas furnace still going strong, the orange and blue flames dancing merrily, as if they too knew it was the season.

It’s my favorite time of year. When everything and everyone seems shrouded in a light of joy and nothing dark can creep in. I know my friends and family get a kick out of my Susie Q attitude once the holidays roll around, but I just can’t help it.

No matter what disappointments or setbacks I’ve faced throughout the year, the smell of pumpkin pie, the twinkling of lights in my neighbor’s windows and the sweet strains of holiday music on the car radio always seems to wipe it all away.

I rolled over onto my back and I looked up at the plain white ceiling in my bedroom. My aunt Clarisse had died a few months ago and left me her home. At twenty-three it was a big move. Graduating college and moving into my own place in the space of two months was like a windfall

I heard the sound of a chainsaw starting up and huffed out a breath. If there was one thing that was bound to put a damper on my day it would be the egomaniac next door. I flung the toasty warm covers back and climbed out of bed, going to my window to see what the pain in the ass was up to now.

My mouth hit the floor and I almost jumped out the window to stop him. “That fiend.” I grabbed my old ratty robe from the chair where I’d thrown it the night before and shoved my feet into my bedroom slippers that had seen better days and hotfooted it down the stairs and out the backdoor.

He didn’t even hear it slam over the noise of the chainsaw which he wielded from the top of the ladder he’d climbed to assault my damn tree. I was tempted, sorely tempted to knock his ass clean off his perch, but the thought of jail held me back.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Our houses were literally five feet apart and though once inside we had our privacy, there were some things that were shared between the two properties.

My beloved tree which I’d skinned my knees on more times than I could count as a child visiting my aunty, was one of those things. Though the gargantuan trunk was on my property, some of the branches reached over to his.

He looked down at me through the protective goggles he wore, so I wasn’t sure where he was looking exactly. Knowing his lecherous ass he was probably trying to look down the neck of my robe.

Though I know a guy like him would never go for someone like me, it didn’t stop him from salivating over my tits the few times we’d met. I’d come to believe that he only did that to unnerve me. I’ve seen the skinny skank brigade he has sneaking out of his bed in the early morning hours.

“I told you about this tree. Since you don’t see fit to do anything about it, I figured I’d take care of it myself.” He raised the saw again and I slapped the ladder with my palm. It shook and he held on before glaring down at me. The goggles were now sitting on top of his head and there was fire in his eyes. “Are you fucking nuts?”

“Don’t you call me crazy. This tree is a hundred years old, you cannot cut it down.”

“I’m only cutting down the part that keeps knocking against my damn window when I’m trying to sleep. You can keep the ones on your side but this shit’s gotta go.” I gave him my sternest look…

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