Joy, a short story by Angela Huskisson at



written by: Angela Huskisson


Joy sits right at the top of one of the tallest trees in the forest, having fluttered down with the utmost care. Joy is bright leaf green –she springs straight from the heart- she is also a tad overweight. She knows, as she knows every year that she will not be chosen; the other child fairies are so much prettier and daintier and look quite splendid atop their trees. The branch beneath her bows slightly as she shuffles her feet, but she’s glad it’s a pine and not one with crispy leaves. She stares straight ahead to steady herself and that’s when she spies Hope. Hope is raspberry pink and beautiful and looks a bit like the Princess Kate with her shiny hair and painted sugary smile and she’s also very high on a branch, swaying in time with its motion. Hope is the golden girl to whom they all aspire. Joy looks down at her feet whilst marvelling at her petticoats which are resplendent in shades of forest green within layers of tulle. She looks like a 1950s movie queen and just as sassy, shot through with pure sparkle. In her dreams she’d like to be Monroe.

Then she hears Blessing singing one of her Protest songs and she is practically blown away as the melody whisks her to distant lands far beyond the confines of her own imaginings. And the tune winds itself towards her as it snakes its way through the forest. And Blessing laughs as she shakes out her long corkscrew curls which gently gather at her waist. Now that the sun has fled a crescent moon begins to rise so that Joy can begin to make out all of the others from shadow. Every tree, as far as the eye can see is alight in a dance of shimmering light held fast within a pop of colour. She feels quite giddy at this moment and she presses it tight to her memory. Now she can spy Honesty and Prudence and the twins Grace and Favour, as Honesty also rings out in strong voice, with a timely carol. The forest is alive with sound as Joy lifts her head to catch at the steady refrains while she thinks: how beautiful they all are. But lost in such reverie she loses her foothold and slowly descends. She spirals gracefully to the earth alongside the snow which has been falling all day.

Something then halts her fall mid-air as a gruff but friendly voice rolls past her ear.

‘Come,’ he says. ‘You are much needed in the world right now.’ And so Mr Claus and Joy begin their long journey into the evening sky.

And at that very moment Joy feels very, very wanted.

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