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Christmas tales to warm the heart

Pique writers offer up a selection of stories to enjoy over the holidays.

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Time went so fast. One moment it was Halloween — Linus didn't stay up to await The Great Pumpkin any longer, and Charlie didn't stumble around the neighbourhood as a ghost in a contour sheet, but it was still something he looked forward to with a bowl full of candy. The next it was Thanksgiving, and the first snowfall of winter — something else Charlie loved, though it wasn't nearly as fun as it used to be. Nobody was up for pickup games of hockey on the frozen pond or for making snowmen.

Charlie was glad to have a younger sister because it meant he could do all of those kid things a little bit longer with her. Then Linus and Lucy had a younger brother, and for a little while Charlie was doing all those things with Rerun. Now Rerun was in high school, and had other things to occupy his time.

Both Lucy and Rerun were at the engagement party, and Charlie spent most of the night listening to them argue good-naturedly about the wedding. Friends that Charlie hadn't seen in years were in and out of the house all night, but Charlie couldn't seem to get past exchanging pleasantries with anybody. He wasn't much good at social functions.

Lucy had flowered into a beautiful young woman, but remained as hard-headed as ever. She, like Linus, was also becoming a doctor, and next year planned to branch off into psychiatry. While she was always more than willing to share advice and constructive criticism, soon her professional services would cost considerably more than a nickel.

Charlie loved her, and for a while he thought he was in love with her. At the same time, she was in love with Schroeder, but Schroeder loved music and the road too much to be tied down. He led a jazz band in New York these days, and had shows booked through the New Year.

Lucy was currently dating another medical student, a practical choice, and Charlie knew the first time he saw them together that it was probably forever.

Also at the party was Franklin, someone Charlie had become very close to over the years. Franklin was a gym teacher at the high school, and came into the Brown's barbershop every few weeks for a trim and a chat with Charlie. He would come at the end of the day, and they would go out afterwards for dinner and a beer or two in front of the baseball game.

Franklin was married to a veterinarian he met at Teacher's College, and when she was on the night shift Franklin and Charlie sometimes hung out.