A Hallmark Christmas Thriller

In the Twilight Zone

My wife and I took the van to get a state inspection this weekend. In the waiting area, they were playing Hallmark Christmas movies. But! Disaster! The car was finished before the movie ended! The plot was: a girl from a small town returns home from the big city. She’s got a boyfriend at her job in the big city. But it turns out that her OLD boyfriend in the small town still has feelings for her! Whoa! Plot twist! She helps out at the local food pantry by putting on a magical Christmas Eve festival. At the end of the festival, she and her old boyfriend are suddenly interrupted by her new boyfriend who drove all the way from the big city to surprise her! I know right?!?!? Oh! I forgot to mention, her old best friend still lives in the town. She never really saw a reason to leave she said. And she seems really happy. That REALLY made lead girl rethink her priorities! OK, so then it turns out the boyfriend tells her that she’s been offered her dream job back in the big city! And that’s when our car finished.

Come on guys! Has anyone seen this movie? How will I know what happens? Is she going to go take the job in the big city, or rekindle the romance with her old flame and not let the poor people in her town starve to death? What happens?! Probably another O. Henry or M. Night Shyamalan plot twist, eh?

Here’s the plot twist I imagine at the very end.

Montage of her getting married. Having children. Having grandchildren.

Cut to scene of her, now as an old woman at a Christmas eve dinner with her family. Everyone is laughing around the table. Suddenly, she clutches at her heart.

Family members:

Man 1: Mom!?”

Boy: “Grandma?”

Quick fade to black.

Next shot shows an ambulance rushing toward the hospital.

Inside the hospital we see a gurney being rushed through the ER.

Then we see the face of the woman on the gurney. It’s not the old woman, it’s the woman when she is young. However, her clothes are ragged. Her hair is unkempt.

Camera remains focused on her face as two doctors talk.

Doctor 1: “We need to get her temp up quickly.”

Doctor 2: “When was she found?”

Doctor 1: “About an hour ago.”

Doctor 2: “Family?”

Doctor 1: “I don’t think so. I’ve passed her before on the street. You know…begging.”

Doctor 2: “Right…I thought she looked familiar.”

Doctor 1: “She’s suffering from severe hypothermia.”

Doctor 2: “On Christmas Eve. Hm. Seems like tonight of all nights might be a good chance to take in a woman who is looking for shelter from the cold.”

Doctor 1: (pauses) “She’s going to need more than just help tonight. She needs clothes. Food. Shelter. For months. Someone to help her back on her feet. Not to mention, insurance.”

Doctor 2: “Christmas Eve special. We’re her insurance tonight.”

Doctor 1: “Ha. OK. Huh. Look at that. She’s smiling. No way she could hear us?”

Doctor 2: “No. She’s dreaming about something. Might be the first good dream she’s had in awhile.”

Camera cuts to doctor 1 whose face we see for the first time. It’s the boyfriend from the big city.

Doctor 1: “I wonder what it might be about?”

Camera cuts to doctor 2 whose face we see for the first time. It’s the boyfriend from the small town.

Doctor 2: “Maybe the thing she wanted most. One person’s kindness.”

The camera slowly pulls back from the doctors around her and goes all the way down the hall of the ER.

Narrator: Presented for your consideration. One Jane Doe. At least, that is how the world knows her. Just an unknown woman looking for a stranger’s kindness on a Christmas Eve. It’s a story you might have heard before. It’s been said that one kind act can instantly change someone’s entire life. But sometimes, just sometimes, an entire life can be lived in an instant. That’s the life Jane Doe lived, for one instant, one Christmas Eve, in the Twilight Zone.