December Prompt: Reindeer Games
“We’ll have to talk about it eventually.”
He turned onto a quiet residential street and parked in front of a house with lights strung along the eavestroughs.
She touched his arm. “Don’t beat yourself up. The doctor said there could also be a problem with me.”
He grabbed the bottle of wine from the backseat and stepped into the cold.
“We can have more tests. Get a second opinion.” She followed him to the front door. “At least try to have fun tonight.”
Ryan opened the door. “You’re just in time.” He hugged Claire as she stepped inside. “Pin just took the good appetizers out of the oven.”
He hung their coats as they entered the kitchen. Rachel stepped off her stool and waddled towards them.
“My goodness, you’re huge.” Claire leaned over and hugged her.
“Right?” Rachel cupped her hands under her belly. “I hope this one doesn’t also come late. I can’t do another two months.”
“Me neither,” Rachel’s husband, Reggie, laughed at his own joke. She smacked his arm.
“Wine, anyone?” Mike opened the bottle and searched for an empty glass.
“None for me,” Pin said loudly, watching the group’s reaction.
Rachel screamed and rushed at her.
“Wow, again?” Claire answered. “Ajay is only twelve months.”
“I know. It took us by surprise.”
“Yep, batting a thousand.” Ryan had returned to the kitchen and nudged Mike’s arm.
“This is great,” Rachel spoke between bites of mini quiche. “You can join me at prenatal yoga.”
Ryan pulled champagne from the fridge and began pouring glasses.
“None for me thanks.”
“Not drinking either?” Rachel and Pin eyed Claire.
“Not tonight,” she crossed her arms.
“We can handle the bottle, right fellas?” Reggie clinked glasses with Ryan and Mike. “It’s not every night grandma can babysit, need to take advantage.”
Mike downed his champagne.
“Who’s ready for reindeer games?” Pin led them to the living room, where a set of plastic antlers sat on the coffee table, beside some wooden rings from a child’s ring-toss game.
“I’ve already taken the liberty of choosing teams. Mike, we’re first.” Pin placed the antlers on her head and handed him the rings. “Try to get as many as possible to land on my antlers.” She stood in front of the fireplace, beneath a family photo of her, Ryan, and Ajay. Mike aimed.
“The baby just kicked.”
Rachel grabbed Claire’s hand and placed it on her belly. “Can you feel it?”
Mike threw the ring. It soared above Pin’s head, striking the family photo. Shattered glass rained onto the mantle.
Scott Pieschel is an investment analyst in the renewable energy industry by day, aspiring writer by night. An AWCS member since 2019, he became Treasurer on the Board of Directors in 2022.