Family History

Alex’s nose burned and his eyes stung in the frigid air. Spruce and pine filled his nostrils. Still, he thought, all this was worth it just to see their faces.

He pulled the axe from his backpack and cut down the best looking tree he could find.

It was early evening by the time he returned home. He had just set the tree in its stand and poured the treated water into its basin when his parents knocked on his door.

“Mom! Dad!” he said, flinging the door open. “What do you think?”

Brad looked around. Karen looked around. She nodded toward the decorations and tree. “It looks great, sweetie.”

“I wanted to give you one like you gave me when I was a kid.” Alex beamed from ear to ear. “You always told me you got one from Frank’s, so I went up to Frank’s Hollow and cut it for you.”

He took their coats and went into the other room to hang them up.

Brad looked at Karen and whispered, “Should we tell him?”

“Not on your life,” she said. “Wonder what he thinks the grocery store was called.”

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