Christmas Wars Banner © TJ Edson
Doom Is On The Loose On Christmas Eve
There is light, they tell you, only it’s dark outside. They feed you hope and love and joy. They give you presents and food, they take you to carousels and parks, they dress you up in heavy jackets, heavy like armors, like you’ll go to war, they leave the fairy lights on all night, they play happy and carefree to escape the void.
Your ghost friend says the void sulks light in and makes it vanish, like black holes, like abyss, like winter. She says the void grows, when there is no future, and it grows big, expands like darkness, if you don’t fight it. You take a step, to feel her close, but she steps back, won’t let you touch her.
There is music, they tell you, but you hear silence. It gets worse, this festive season, until on Christmas Eve they make you sing to break the silence, and you sing at the top of your lungs, happy tunes and Christmas carols, until the night falls. On silent night silence wins, and when the clock strikes midnight, your ghost friend comes.
It started here, she says, shows you her heart, then sighs, like she can’t breathe, like she ran out of air, or words, or time. A little black hole, but it grew big, swallowed her heart and she still walked, until the void grew bigger, and it devoured her, little by little, piece by piece. She shouts, but you can’t hear her, you read her lips, and she screams silently, urges you to run, you try to hug her, but you fall right through her, onto the ground. Now is your turn, the void is after you, to eat your brain, eat you alive, swallow you whole, leave but a shadow of you behind. Unless you’re cheerful enough, or fast, or lucky, you won’t wake up.
On Christmas day, they will look happy, having survived another round. But doom is on the loose on Christmas Eve and this, nobody tells you. Nobody talks about sad, inconvenient truths, or stolen futures, no living creature speaks of the void, except ghost friends.
Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, from Athens, Greece. A Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction and Best Small Fictions nominated writer, her work can be found in many journals, such as New World Writing, Citron Review, Lost Balloon and others.