Novel Title: One Small Wish
Time Setting: 2017–2018
Minimum Word Goal: 90,000
Timespan: November 25–January 17
Location: Portland, Oregon
Main Characters: Vaughan Ashbaugh, Fancy Maple, Eirenna Maple
Born the middle child and youngest son of three, Vaughan has lived a generally privileged and incredibly Christian life including downright impeccable Sunday School, VBS, and Bible Camp attendance.
Being something of a quiet child, especially in comparison to his highly outspoken siblings, he's not really received much for attention from his parents, except when he took baseball for a few years, when things turned on their head and he was put under immense pressured to perform well, prompting him to give up baseball at the age of thirteen.
As he got older he took on a much more intellectual interest: an interest in criminal law that has led to him being regarded by some as a prodigy, in a way, due to his knack for logical argument.
He did so well in law school that he actually graduated ahead of the grandson of one of the senior partners in Portland's most prestigious criminal law firm which, in spite of this, hired him, although not without some animosity developing due to the senior partner's resentment at his grandson's being outdone by Vaughan.
Recently, however, Vaughan has caught the eye of that very same senior partner's granddaughter — sister of the very grandson he outdid — and hopes that a favourable relationship with her will win him favour in her grandfather's eyes.
Even more recently, his brother, who was diligently pursuing an acting career, got his break in Hollywood, prompting him to move there, which wouldn't really have bothered Vaughn all that much, except that it left an opening at his parent's church.
Annually the church invites children from the community to come visit with the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas of Myra, with the added perk of the children having the opportunity to win their Christmas gift.
Because St. Nicholas was a Grecian man, much less one who undertook the gift giving with which he is associated at a young age, Vaughan's brother played the role. In order to maintain a similarity of appearance, the church has asked Vaughan — who has no interest in acting — to take on the role of St. Nicholas for the program.
At the behest of his parents, Vaughan has conceded, although he's not particularly looking forward to what the role will entail.
Born the only child of her parents because of her father's being killed in combat in Afghanistan when she was four, Fancy has lived nothing short of a difficult life, especially considering that her mother quickly became unfit to care for her due to the shock she experienced at her husband's death, which caused her to become the ward of her father's mother.
Her father's family had always been struggling financially, with her father being the only person from the household who succeeded in getting a good and steady job, so money was tight, preventing her from having many of the things other children took for granted.
As a result, she took a job at the age of twelve delivering newspapers after school before moving on to several waitressing jobs.
While walking home from work at the age of fourteen she was attacked by a man she couldn't identify and ended up conceiving a child as a result. She quit school to raise the child, but then finished her schooling by way of correspondence courses, as well as taking a job at a florist's shop as soon as her daughter was old enough to be left with her grandmother.
Diligent and hardworking, Fancy has full intent of giving her daughter the life she never got to have because of her father's untimely death, but so far doesn't seem to be making any headway in said endeavour.
Eirenna, Fancy's daughter, is still rather young and innocent, but she's acutely aware that her life could be better, and that her mother puts a lot of effort into giving them what little they have.
As a result, her mother is often serious, which distresses Eirenna more than anything, and she wishes that somehow she could do something to make her mother happy. She also wishes that, one day, she might be able to have a Christmas just like all the kids on TV in shows or advertisements, as well as in movies have, but she fears that her mother will be unable to provide such a thing for her.