Random Word Generator Story Challenge Part 1: The Heirloom
Updated: Feb 21
Merry Christmas to everyone out there who celebrates the holiday! This year I'm spending it with my parents while the rest of the relatives go about their festive days. Gifts aren't opened yet, but I'm hoping for some money- the same thing I've asked for every year since I was 8.
Christmas isn't my favorite holiday of the year but I do love giving gifts. I pride myself on my excellent gifting skills. So, for your Christmas present this year, I've written a Christmas Story just for you. Don't worry I won't be upset if you didn't get me anything in return;)
Why a Random Word Generated Story?
This is my first of many Random Word Generated Stories. An idea I came up with a few months back, but didn't know if it was something I would want to post on the page. After completing my 250 Word Microfiction Challenge (Part 1 & Part 2), I decided why the heck not?! I had so much fun the first time around might as well go for it.
So, like I said this is the first of many to come but, unlike the Microfiction Challenge, I can write in any genre I please while using 2 random words generated from the web. And guess what?! No word limit! YAY!
Let's get into it!
Random words: DISCOUNT and WORDING
The second the hot chocolate touched his tongue Thomas knew he wouldn't be tasting his dinner this evening as the hot liquid singed his taste buds. The abundance of rich flavor was worth it though. Taking another sip Thomas stared into the fire, content. Unlike the Christmases in the past this one felt magical.
The fireplace, a statement piece, comprised of dusty toned river rock towered over 20 feet in height, reaching towards the gigantic wooden beams splayed across the ceiling, was decorated to the nine with twinkle lights and fresh pine bringing a warmth to the room. The buzzing sound of fellow skiers filled the in the silence. There were only a few groups in the lodge this morning as everyone else left early to the mountain to catch some fresh powder after a blanket of snow fell overnight. What looked like little ants were actually skiers moving down the mountain side seen through the paned window which framed the looming peaks.
A loud eruption of giggles turned Thomas' attention away from the picturesque landscape. The two women hushed themselves while still laughing under their breathes. They were Thomas' type looking to be in their mid-twenties with prominent long black hair contrasted against porcelain skin. Three years ago, without hesitation, he would have confidently meandered over to them to strike up a conversation. Within the hour, he would have been bringing one if not both of them back to his room. No one could say 'no' to a rich Wall Street investor as handsome as him.
But things were different now. In fact, unbeknownst to anyone, he was no longer a rich investor who worked on Wall Street. Instead, he invested poorly in some stock losing his company millions of dollars in one big blow. The CEO, a close friend, pulled him into his office to tell Thomas the bad news. He needed to clear out his office...immediately. That was almost eight months ago.
Then there was Alexis.
Keeping up the ruse to Alexis had been a bigger feat then he ever imagined. At first, Thomas was going to tell her the horrible news, but couldn't ever find the right wording as he stumbled through imaginary conversations with Alexis only to see the disappointed look reflecting in her eyes. It was heart breaking. A month had gone by then two, and now it was too late to tell her the truth.
This was their third Christmas together and Thomas wanted to make it special for Alexis knowing she usually spent it alone in her younger years after her parents passed. Luckily, Thomas was friendly with the manager at the lodge who pulled some strings which included a large discount on their stay. The money he once spent freely was dwindling at a rapid pace. Thomas needed to find a job soon otherwise Alexis might start to suspect something was up.
Thomas flipped his wrist to check the time. Alexis was being pampered at the spa; a fun activity the manager had included in their stay amongst others. She wouldn't be done until late morning which meant Thomas was free to do as he pleased for a few hours. Thomas spied the women across the room and took the last sip of his hot chocolate. What Alexis didn't know wouldn't kill her.
Alexis let out a moan. The tense ball of muscle in her back was giving the masseuse some trouble. The past year had been stressful on Alexis but the overwhelming scents of lavender and chamomile seemed to be doing the trick.
For the last eight months, Thomas had been acting strange. At first Alexis was certain he was going to break up with her. Why would a gorgeous and successful man like Thomas want to be with someone like her? She was a hot mess when they first meet at the bar they both frequently visited. At the time, Alexis had been a horrible alcoholic often leaving behind unpaid tabs while searching for work on a constant bases due to the copious amount of times she slept through her alarms or showed up hungover or even worse still drunk. It all changed the night she meet Thomas.
From across bar, Alexis had spotted him. The next thing she knew her wobbly legs were pointed in Thomas' direction. Alexis' shoes occasionally sticking to the dirty dance floor made her already staggered walk more intense. She didn't know what force was drawing her to him but deep in her soul she had known him all her life. Thomas was supposed to be hers. Through her slurred words and smeared makeup Alexis somehow managed to pull it together long enough for him to ask for her number.
The next day, she went cold turkey and hadn't taken a sip of alcohol since then.
After Thomas announced they would be going to the ski lodge for Christmas Alexis went from the idea of a potential break up to a wedding with a flip of a switch. Thomas insisted on only giving each other one gift this year. Alexis prayed for an engagement ring.
Boy, was she wrong. Alexis glanced down at her wrist dangling off the side of the padded table. Even though the room was darkened to give a relaxing ambiance the small amount of light refracted off the bracelet clasped to her wrist. Alexis was pretty sure she now owned the ugliest bracelet anyone had ever seen.
The night before Thomas insisted they opened each other's gifts. In his family it was tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. Alexis closed her eyes in excitement but also nervous at how she was going to react to his proposal. On the count of three Alexis opened her eyes to find Thomas holding a black velvet box. He already had it propped open. Instead of a beautiful ring, Alexis was faced with a hideous chunky gold bracelet embezzled with oval shaped orange jewels she couldn't identify. According to Thomas it was a precious family heirloom.
The bracelet had been passed down for several generations starting with his great-great-great grandmother. As a child, he would often steal it from his mother's vanity and admire the way the jewels caught the light. When Thomas' mother passed away, a few years back, he had inherited the heirloom and was waiting to give it to the right person. He wanted Alexis to have it. Hearing the backstory, Alexis falsely smiled. The gesture meant Thomas wanted her to be a part of his family but the wedding bells would have to wait.
He clasped the bracelet onto her wrist smiling ear to ear. She thanked him and then handed over his gift, a limited edition of a New York Giants jersey.
That night she woke herself up twice by whacking her face with the heavy gold metal as she turned over in her sleep. Now looking at it, she tensed wondering how long she would have to leave it on? Alexis moaned again as the masseuse continued to work her magic.
Alexis spotted him from the top of the bunny hill. Thomas was late for their afternoon ski which was unusual for a business man like himself.
"Sorry I'm late. I was caught up speaking to a group of guys at the bar," Thomas leaned down to kiss her. The kiss was quick and unfamiliar. Alexis rubbed her lips together tasting a hint of floral. Before she could think to much into it Thomas pipped up.
"Wow you look great!" He said in a teasing tone while spinning Alexis around to evaluate her mismatched outfit as she giggled. Of course, on the way to the lodge, the airline misplaced Alexis' luggage bag containing all her ski gear giving the trip a great running start. Instead of being upset, she decided to rent out gear the lodge supplied. After her time in the spa, Alexis headed down to the little shop where some snow bunnies were chatting behind the register. Because of the snowfall the night before, and the lodge being packed with eager skiers, the selection was scarce at best. From the reactions on their faces even the snow bunnies felt bad as they hand over the gear. Hench, the ridiculous outfit.
"Shall we head to the beast today?" Thomas turned toward the chair lifts leading to the highest peak in the mountain range. Both Alexis and Thomas spent most of their childhood skiing and continued the sport through their adult lives. The Double Black Diamond was nothing she hadn't faced before.
"We shall," Alexis followed in pursuit. Once the chair swooped them up, she leaned her head against Thomas' shoulder breathing in the brisk air. Even with the mishap of the luggage and, of course, who could forget the atrocious bracelet, this Christmas seemed like something out of a movie. She couldn't explain the feeling but the snowcapped mountains, the warmth of the lodge combined with her love for Thomas, just felt perfect.
The view once at the top was breath taking. Alexis stood admiring the scenery.
"See you at the bottom!" Yelled Thomas his voice catching in the wind as he pushed off to start his journey down the mountain side. She watched Thomas for a bit rubbing her lips together in habit. The floral scent still lingered. Alexis glanced at her wrist and peeking out from the overflowing material from her gloves could see a glimmer of gold.
Not wanting to read too much into things Alexis pushed off. For the most part the mountainside was flat giving a straight shot down where it would eventually end up back at the lodge. Peeking out of the snow, rock ledges were scattered throughout causing Alexis to change speeds rapidly. As she slid further down the mountain her googles imitated her decent down her face. The rented googles where now crooked causing limited visibility in her right eye. If possible, Alexis would need to readjust at the next eligible ledge. Seeing one to her left Alexis pointed her skis in the appropriate direction.
Suddenly, a jetting rock hidden under snow bounced her off course sending her in an undesired path. Alexis held on to her poles as she flew trying to support herself. Before she started panicking Alexis spotted a point of rest. She just needed to slow down.
Guiding herself and trying as she might Alexis sighed with relief as she came to a halt. That situation could have ended disastrously. She took a breath to steady the adrenaline pumping through her veins. What a wild ride.
To be safe, Alexis would ride down the rest of the way without eye protection. Clearly the rented pair of googles, which didn't fit properly, were more dangerous than having them on her face. She yanked off her glove to adjust the misplaced googles and in doing so the family heirloom bracelet did the same.
"Shit!" Her voice echoed off the mountainside seeing the orange jewels gleam in the sun as the bracelet soared. It's final resting place on the snowy edge of the already thin ledge.
"Are... you... kidding... me?" the adrenaline now quickly switching over to frustration left Alexis annoyed. She looked around in disbelief. In doing so, Alexis noticed the awkward position she was in. The rock had bounced her severely off course and in a spot she and other advanced skiers would consider too dangerous to go. If she fell it would be game over for her. Getting back to a point of safety would take some time and hard concentration on her part. But first, she had to get the stupid bracelet.
Alexis slowly scooted her way closer to the edge. Before she could get over to the bracelet, what she thought to be a rocky ledge was, in fact, compacted snow, which gave away underneath her weight. The family heirloom bracelet was all she could see as flashes of white swept around her as she fell.
Two days had passed since Thomas had last seen Alexis. Ski Patrol had closed down the Double Black Diamond in hopes of finding her but so far there were no signs.
Thomas, unsure of what to do, sipped a whiskey dry, watching families from his seat at the bar, as they pulled their luggage behind them ready to check out. Christmas was over and so was the magic.
When Thomas first descended the mountainside he came to the conclusion he needed to finally tell Alexis about his termination. He wouldn't be able to pull off the lavish gifts or expensive dinners anymore.
After waiting for forty-five minutes Thomas started to worry as Alexis should have been down the mountain already. Over the last three years together they had accomplished worse Double Black Diamonds then this. Letting someone from Ski Patrol know his worries he took the lift back to the top of the mountain to search for her. It wasn't going to be easy. Thomas paid close attention to his surroundings because one wrong move might leave him in the same position Alexis might be in at the moment.
On the second go of the day, Thomas tried to take it slow compared to his usual speedy self. He recalled their meet up at the bottom of the mountain, but nothing was coming to mind as he tried to remember the colors of Alexis' gear. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a shimmer of light. There sitting on top of a snowbank was the bracelet he had given her for Christmas. He couldn't shout out as it might cause an avalanche so instead he started digging. If she was under the snow Alexis wouldn't be able to survive very long.
After what felt like eternity Thomas had gotten no where. He couldn't do this alone and he hadn't seen anyone else. He snapped a nearby branch spiking the sharp edge into the snow where the bracelet had been found. He ripped his glove off and slipped it over the branch so Ski Patrol would see it as an indicator.
Thomas, no longer taking any precaution, made it to the bottom of the mountain in an astounding time. He told Ski Patrol about his findings and that was the last time he was allowed on the mountain. A large winter storm rolled in and all trails had to be shut down for the rest of the day. His indicator most likely blown away in the storm.
Thomas pulled out the bracelet from his pocket. He glided his thumb over the jewels deep in thought. His plane home was leaving tomorrow and he wasn't sure if he should get on it.
"Hey stranger," one of the black haired women whispered in his ear sliding into the seat next to him. "Haven't seen you around here the last few days."
Thomas stopped to take her in recalling her name to be Rosalyn, "Oh, I've been around enjoying the facilities." He pointed careless around.
"It's a shame the trails are closed. Have you heard about the women who has gone missing on the Double Black Diamond?" Rosalyn looked out towards the bunny hills.
"Yes, it's quite a shame. I hope they find her," Thomas took a sip of his whiskey.
"I know it's so tragic. You know what's also tragic?" Rosalyn paused to see if Thomas would play along but when he didn't respond she continued anyways. "My friend left early and now I'm all alone in my room. Think you might want to keep me company? Just when we were starting to have fun the other day it was cut short." She rubbed her hand over his shoulder to his back the other across his upper thigh.
Thomas looked down at the bracelet thumb still rubbing the orange jewels. He turned to stare into Rosalyn's eyes seeing the excitement as she imagined what was about to happen. Thomas couldn't let Rosalyn down like he had let Alexis down.
"What's the room number?" He threw back the last of his whiskey.
"This way," she jumped out of the chair and without looking back sauntered in the general direction of the rooms. Thomas pulled out his wallet throwing a few bucks down to pay for his drink. He grabbed the bracelet and started after her. He stopped when he passed by a trash bin.
Thomas felt the heaviness of the gold in hand. Without hesitation he tossed it hearing the loud clank as it hit the metal bottom. The bracelet meant nothing to him. In fact, it was a piece of junk. Thomas had purchased the ugly thing for a few bucks, in the gift shop right before their flight. On the long plane ride to the ski lodge, while Alexis dosed on his shoulder, he crafted the entire heirloom story down to the last detail. What Alexis didn't know wouldn't kill her.
Phew! That was a long one guys. Hopefully you enjoyed it!
I know Christmas is supposed to be merry and bright but I sort of went a different direction with the story. It wasn't what I originally planned but sometimes you let the story take you where it wants to go.
If you liked it please let me know in the comments! You might read some dark gloomy endings with a few twists in upcoming Random Word Generator Stories here in the future.
Here are some of my other Random Generator Stories:
My Cup of Tea
For my other pieces of work click here to see updates on upcoming releases!