Stories

Christmas Gift

** This one's a bit late, but that's life. **

The box is maroon; I LOVE maroon! And this velvet gift wrap is so expensive looking! And the tag on it says “Especially for you, Melanie.” I have no idea who it’s from but I can’t wait to open it!

But I have to. Christmas isn’t for over a week. You’re only supposed to open Christmas gifts on Christmas, right? Well, maybe Christmas Eve. I’ll open this one Christmas Eve.

I hold it up to my ear and jostle it. I’m not really shaking it, just, you know, if something inside is loose it might shuffle around a bit. Or if it’s gold and crystal with dangly bits it might tinkle a little. You never know.

It scritched! There’s something alive inside this box! It’s too small for a cat but maybe a kitten or a puppy, or a ferret! I heard ferrets make great pets. But that settles it. I can’t let whatever little critter is inside starve for a week. And the nasty person that gave it to me didn’t even poke any air holes! Unless… they want me to open it!

I carefully open the package, taking care not to damage the silvery ribbon or the velvet paper.

Inside is an ornate box, like a jewel box with little inlaid geometric designs on it. The inlaid gems are gorgeous; this thing must be worth a fortune! I’m really starting to warm up to whoever gave me this!

But the scritching is coming from inside the jewel box. Whatever’s inside really wants out badly. I take the little gold key on the long silver chain and put it into the lock. I hope it’s a ferret, that would be fun to have.

It IS a ferret! I look into its cute little ferret eyes. They’re staring back at me and I feel a little dizzy.

***

I look in the mirror and do a double-take. Melanie? Melanie Armitage? The most beautiful and stuck-up girl in school? How on earth did I end up in her body? The last thing I remember was opening that strange present that somebody left under the tree…