Advent 2021 – December 14

December 14 – Luke

After the Station Master retreated, another one of Molly and Drew’s friends stepped up. Luke Travers worked at the Gate Station with Drew and Mal, and they were waiting for he and Sue to finally set a date to tie the knot. Now, Molly wondered what he would bring to put on the tree.

Do you have any thoughts about WHY the Snow Queen is doing this? Besides the fact that it’s cool? Schrodinger asked her.

“I’m starting to possibly understand,” Molly said, and the others looked at her. “You all know how the Ball fuels the protections around the Cove every year, right?”

Drew and Schrodinger nodded, while Tim and Doug looked puzzled. “What protections?” Doug asked. “And why?”

“Because we have two Gates here,” Molly said. “And because there’s something about the Cove that’s different from any other Gate town I’ve been in. You said it yourself – Carter’s Cove is unique.”

“So maybe the wards need an extra boost this coming year?” Drew scratched his chin. “If that’s the case, I wonder what’s coming down the pike.”

Maybe it’s something that can be deflected by something like this. Schrodinger said. So this is just a precaution. The world hasn’t been as happy as it should be lately.

As if that isn’t the understatement of the year. Molly made sure to keep that thought very private. Out loud, she said, “What do you think Luke has?”

“A snowmobile,” Drew said, and Molly laughed. Luke adored his snowmobile only slightly less than he adored Sue, and Molly had taken many a ride through the snow on the back of the machine.

“Probably,” she agreed.

What Luke pulled out, though, was a guitar, with what looked like holly berries and ivy leaves wrapped around the neck of the instrument. As he handed it to Jade, the scene went grey.

When the clouds cleared, Molly and Schrodinger were in a house that she remembered from years ago. Past-Molly and the Terrible Trio sat in a circle around a woman strumming a guitar, along with Past-Luke and Past-Tom, another gate tech that had been part of their group. There was a Christmas tree decorated with brilliantly blinking colored lights illuminating the room.

“Please, Mom, play Silent Night!” Past-Luke said, clasping his hands together. “It’s my favorite!”

Mrs. Travers smiled and her fingers danced along the strings. Her voice wasn’t professional, but it was warm, and it wrapped around them as the children sang with her.

“I’d almost forgotten this,” Molly said. “Luke lived two streets over from us when we were all little, and we’d go over every year to have Mrs. Travers sing carols with us. Sometimes, we’d go over the nursing home where she worked to sing for them.”

Like we did last year?  Schrodinger said.

“Yes, like last year.” Molly smiled. “You guys were much more in tune than we were. But I see why this ornament would mean so much.”

She blinked and they were back in time for Luke to say, “I can’t imagine a tree without one of Mom’s instrument ornaments on it. This one always reminds me of her, because her guitar was similar.” He handed it to Jade. “She shared so much with the Cove, I couldn’t choose any other ornament.”

“Thank you,” Jade said. “We will take good care of it.”

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