A Leslie Brown Christmas

“Put that wash cloth back over your eyes right now!”

Her mother dipped the white cloth into a bowl filled with cool water. She folded it in thirds, but before she could place it over Leslie’s eyes, she saw it. It was beautiful. It was forbidden, but who could blame an 11 year old girl for wanting to see the aluminum tree adorned with glass ornaments and bubble lights.

Leslie had been sent to the living room to sleep. The Rubella was burning her tiny body, driving her temperature up over 104 degrees. Leslie’s sister was safe in bed, far away from the germs.

Leslie had to share this room with a monster. Like the sirens, the creature whispered that she must look. It was Christmas. Why not behold her metal boughs? The doctor forbid light of any kind. The Rubella would surely blind her.

So, she listened to the gurgle of the bubble lights in their red-orange plastic. They cast hellish shadows on the wall. The thin aluminum branches rustled with each furnace blast as she sucked on a candy cane.

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