This Christmas was not like one another. In all the years, I’ve spent in that small town with the crisp, frost-bitten trees lining the road to a palace beyond, I never thought the day would come that the snow would be the colour of red. The red that wasn’t a meadow of poppies lined across a beautiful green hilled landscape with the sunset resting on a far-away strand of grass; a red that was browning with every second ticking by.
This Christmas took a turning point and felt like a boulder rolling down a steep hill towards a nearby village with one target in mind. My body touched the burning cold snow and I felt myself sink in to the ground, and I felt myself fall into the sky of the day that this happened. From the wool-white snow, I felt warmth. The warmth from the anger rushing through the mind. The smashing of glass and watching the shards draw warm blood from your cracked skin. The feeling of her warm lips kissing your cheek. I felt the snow around me melt into a puddle of tears created by the village people.
As a child, I used to wake in the night and wish for the sun. The darkness worried me; my imagination supplied me with many beasts with jaws and horns to lurk beyond the range of my vision. Now, I embrace the dark. The night provides cover from the flesh and blood of the day; the ones with their guns and official badges; the ones who judge and revoke freedom. It’s the dark that separates us from reality and make-believe. This Christmas, I wanted to be in a make-believe. I wasn’t.
It started with a morning that started with a sense of absence. Waking up felt like there was no pleasure in seeing the bright sun glow through your curtains and a sliver seeping through the small gap you forgot to close last night. My eyelids that were drooping closed with sleep snapped open as violently as if I’d been woken up by a nuclear invasion alarm. There wasn’t a sound to be heard.
As I rose from my heavy slumber that abruptly stopped, I was aware that the ground didn’t feel right. It felt as if the ground had been reduced to rubble after a natural disaster had consumed the village whole. I half wondered if I was still dreaming as I looked out of the window and the sun seemed to have a darker tint to it than it usually did. The rooster that woke me up and the birds that sang their song were singing in silence and in the silent melody, I felt a sense of evil was approaching.
I layered up with my woolly coat; strapped my winter shoes onto my cold feet; slipped my fleecy white gloves and hat on my head and opened the door and felt a sudden chill flow throughout my body. It didn’t feel like the winter chills you get on a Christmas morning but a sense of black that wrapped itself around my soul.
I had a conversation with the village chief and he seemed to act differently. I thought it was because he was still mourning his wife’s death so I let it go. Wrong choice. A real friend would’ve talked to him about his feelings. A real friend should’ve shared a...