Ch. 3: Decorations and Preparations for the Friends Christmas

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"Standring's Christmas Wish", Ch. 3: Decorations and Preparations for the Friends Christmas, December 25, 2018 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1200c)

(An original fan fiction story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace 2018; All rights reserved); [(1) story cover, left]

[As is my custom, I will illustrate my story with myideal cast consisting of (and in order of appearance/mention in these chapters)of: asRalph John Standring, Hayley Atwell as Clara Saunders, and others as noted    

Authors story content and serializing scheduling note: My fan fiction short story here is based on the character of Ralph John Standring from the 2002 British mini-series "Sparkhouse"—with a new story arc. The tone of the chapters will be primarily PG to PG-13—for dramatic moments and/or romantic feelings. If you cannot or will not attend a movie with those ratings, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

And I will serialize this short story starting Christmas Day, December 25, 2018 with several initial chapter posts, and for a few days following after the Christmas Holiday this year. Please note that Chs. 2 – End will appear solely on my Wattpad site for ease of posting over the holidays. And I will write and serialize my story with daily chapters posts—a little challenge that I set for myself for fun—such as with my 2014 story, "A Magnificent Love", "A Christmas Carol Reimagined" in 2016, and others. And I hope that you enjoy Ralph Standring's holiday story this year.

"Standring's Christmas Wish", Ch. 3: Decorations and Preparations for the Friends Christmas (Post #1200c)

Later that same Saturday, December 22nd afternoon, Ralph Standring stands in the next larger town over's home improvement store checkout line behind Clara pushing her cart that is overly laden with Christmas decorations, gifts, and almond bark candy fixings. Ralph is almost hidden behind the tall spruce tree that they are also purchasing for her apartment. They inch forward, now being the next customers to check out.

Clara: "Are you alright back there, Ralph?" Clara darts her head around the tall and full spruce tree intended for her bay window, as she tries to see Ralph's facial expression. He has been a good sport the last two hours, not complaining at all. At least, not that she could hear, anyway.

Ralph: "Aye. Still here." He replies efficiently. For this Friends' Christmas activity preparation, he wonders when they will get to the fun part. And Ralph has no idea what gift to contribute to the small 5 pound gift exchange gift. Frankly, the idea sounds rather odd to him—buying a gift for someone, yet not knowing who will get the gift, since they will be randomly selected by each person at the Friend's Christmas. Ralph had eventually settled on buying size 15 thick above the ankle boot socks—which will fit himself in case this gift exchange thing doesn't work out.

Clara: "We're checking out next. So hold on."

Ralph: "That's what I've been a doing." Ralph sighs and darts his eyes to the open view of the ceiling's metal bracing. He is not quite rolling his eyes—a behavior which his late Gran frowned upon as being impolite. But some situations call for at least a partial eye roll—and this is one of them, in Ralph's mind.

Clara: "I know, I know." She rolls her eyes at him. Ralph thinks that Clara's Gran must have been more forgiving. "After we get this stuff back at my place and you set up the tree, you can rest and have some tea and biscuits that I made last night--while I trim the tree."

Ralph: "Riiight." He now fully rolls his eyes at her. "And I 'spose that you'll only be decorating the lower half of the tree?"

Clara: "Why would you say that?" She looks at him perturbedly.

Ralph: "This tree is nearly three feet taller than you--before it sits in its tree stand."

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