The House on the Snow
There was a house in the middle of a large sheet of snow. There was not a soul outside. The windows had been boarded up and the lights were out. The roof was in disrepair now as broken decorations littered the ground below. The chimney had not lasted despite its valiant attempt to hold strong. Even the icicles looming above the door seemed to creep down upon anyone who dared to visit. The darkness of night seemed to loom over this home like a shadow cast from the scythe of the Grim Reaper himself.
Inside there was a family of ten all huddled together next to a fireplace. There was no furniture inside and, despite the fire’s efforts; it still looked cold and forlorn. There were no high spirits in this home as they knew this day was one they had dreaded for weeks. Fear was plastered upon the face of each family member, the resemblance uncanny. This was their end, and they knew all they could do was stay together before the angels of destruction reigned upon their poor little cottage.
That was when the earth began to shake. The youngest, a little boy, tripped and fell alongside his uncle. It was fortunate that they could not afford a chandelier for it surely would have fallen and littered the room with glass, shattered and lost in the nooks and crannies. In every corner of the room the same sounds echoed and echoed; “creak crack, creak crack.” That was when the roof above them was torn off.
This family was now facing judgment before their very god. The first was grandmother who ascended to meet the malevolent creator. Her head was chopped off as the rest of her body was casually tossed aside, landing right next to the little boy. There were no screams, no tears shed from any of the family. All they showed was the expression of fear as they each, one by one, crumbled before the wrath of god. This was the genocide at the Gingerbread house.
The Peace of God
Renald ran his hands through his hair, sending his mail coif falling to his shoulders and leaving his head uncovered. It was early morning and snow was softly falling into the silent and dreary camp. A smile lit the knight’s features, despite the rest of his body beginning to shiver at the unexpected cold. He drew his mantle around him, huddling against a bale of hay next to his tent. Ahead of him the bulk of the castle the army was besieging loomed, silent and still, majestic despite the inroads the attackers’ artillery had made. He supposed that if he could send his eyes closer, he could spot the sentinels walking along the ramparts, no doubt quickening their pace to keep out the cold.
The Peace of God. He had heard much of it; the chaplain of the castle talked about this new idea frequently, and he had even heard the bishop preaching it. Right now, in the quiet stillness of that winter day he began to wonder whether or not it was truly a good idea. Certainly people were saying it was being pondered by the Pope himself, and that it might end up imposed on all Christendom.
But could it not be made voluntarily?
The knight sighed, wondering what the day would bring. The baron who led them was a harsh man, and even his own men at arms claimed that he feared neither God nor man; some even went so far as to say that he was excommunicated. All in all, his commander stood in sharp contrast to the Supreme Commander who had descended from the heavens over a thousand years ago to partake in the miseries of humanity.
It was quiet and peaceful on that Christmas morning, as the knight sat in silence, while all around him men slept while guards watched. Softly he began to hum, his eyes closing as he imagined the festivities of years ago, the high masses celebrated so solemnly in the small chapel of the castle, the feasting, it was as sharp in his memory as the peaceful bitterness of the silent camp.
That was not all, he knew. He could remember less earthly joys, so closely associated with the humble infant whose birth was acclaimed that they needed no riches or feasting to convey. Those, although less often desired were the most lasting, and the most piercing. Those he let dwell in his mind’s eye and in his heart now.
He sighed, a single tear running down his cheek as he opened his eyes. This was a part of Christmas he had often missed; the silent morning, sharp and clear. There would be no celebrating this day, but he had been given his fill of rejoicing here.
Perhaps he could not observe peace on the day of his Lord’s birth, but he could keep it in his heart all the same.
The Kinds of People Who Shouldn’t Exist
He shook the present near his ear, trying to guess what it might be. It was a box with things that shook inside. Peanuts? He ripped the paper off. A box of treats. He dared let his hopes rise.
The second was small and oblong, like a pencil case. But when he peeled it open, it was a collar with a nametag in the shape of a heart.
His eyes lit up as he turned to the largest box. It was almost half as tall as he was. It was loosely wrapped, with holes along the sides for air holes. And only one kind of present needed to breathe.
“We got a puppy!!!” He squealed, grabbing a fistful of shredded wrapping paper up in the air, and it snowed down around him.
He shredded off the wrapping paper of the last box, and the stood stocks still, hardly daring to breath. Slowly, very slowly, he reached out and placed a shy hand on the lid.
“Go ahead, son. Open it!” His mother beamed at him. Beside her, his father nodded encouragingly.
Taking a deep breath, he flipped the lid of the box off and saw…
“ITS EMPTY!!!!!” He wailed.
His own cry woke him up. But he breathed a sigh of relief. It was only a nightmare.
He reached for his glasses on the night stand, and saw the time. 6:23 AM. Conflicted, he sat in bed for thirty seconds. Finally, he decided he couldn’t stand it anymore. Usually his mother and father opened presents together, after breakfast.
But this Christmas, it had to be different. So much was at stake. He had to know if his nightmare was a reality. It was really eating at him. And besides, if there really was a puppy, it might be awake already, and very scared, wondering why it was in a box. He had to save it.
He galloped down the stairs and saw a modest pile of presents at the foot of the tree. It wasn’t until he turned on the lights that he saw what he was looking for. A large box, in snowflake wrapping paper, that was almost half as tall as he was.
But first, he dug through the other presents. He found the box that rattled, and opened it. Treats!
Shifting through the pile, he found the oblong present. Except it was a roll of socks for his father. Embarrassed, he shoved the opened present under the sofa. He picked out the only other oblong present.
It was a collar! Small and adorable, and just right for a puppy. It had a square nametag, though, not a heart.
And finally, he turned to the large box that was half as tall as he was. Without any of the hesitation of his dream-self, he ripped the lid off and reached inside and pulled out…
“A kitten!?!” He wailed in dismay.
Dropping the kitten back in the box and slamming the lid on top, he began to cry. Not just little sniffles either.
“What? Tony, what are you doing awake so early?” His father looked at the opened presents. “What happened to our tradition?”
Tony was too distraught to answer any of his father’s questions. Between sobs and gulps of air, he howled, “This is the worst Christmas ever!!”
I really like Christmas. It's full of joy and happiness and stuff that involves lots of joy and happiness, as well as the screams of icky little children who sneeze all over their presents and demand more and more, emptying your already dead wallet and sending you into debt.
Of course, that doesn't happen to me, because I'm still too young to get a job, and I don't even own a wallet. Well, I think I do, but it's probably floating around under my bed with my library cards and a few dollar coins. I don't really need it anyway; I just store my money in my pockets because they're much easier to get to than a wallet.
But that's not really the point. The point is that it's nearly Christmas, which means I get my new Doctor Who episode with the new companion and hope she's a good one and can impress me, which will be hard seeing that they killed off the Ponds, who were really, really awesome, especially Rory, because Rory is cool.
Did I just compare Rory to a bowtie? He does sorta hang off Amy, so he sorta is one.
Other than the new Doctor Who episode, there isn't really anything for me to care about on Christmas Day. I don't really need any presents anyway, and I'm not one for celebrations, but I just like the 25th because of the atmosphere, and all the money made to keep the economy rolling.
I am getting a present though; only one of course, but it's an expensive one present which I really require for my next year of schooling, especially because my current laptop (which is technically sorta my dad's) is terrible, and does not have the required specifications for the subjects I'm doing in Year 9.
Windows Vista is terrible.
Although I do wonder why they want us to get a computer with Windows 7 Professional. It's nearly impossible to buy computers with Windows 7 these days, especially with the release of Windows 8 and all that. And besides, Home Premium seems a bit more useful than Professional, which just sticks in some extra stuff that seems rather unnecessary.
Oh right, Christmas.
So yeah, I'm pretty much doing absolutely nothing for Christmas because I have absolutely nothing to actually do, other than buy a laptop for next year, which I'm probably going to do on Boxing Day anyway. But then I won't be able to go watch the Hobbit.
It's such a hard choice.
Of course, I've already gone completely off the subject, because I'm supposed to be talking about Christmas, but I always go off topic. It's like I'm designed to rebel against authority and commands and what-not.
I have no idea what I'm talking about any more.
Hopefully Christmas Day is cold though, because even I can't take another 40 degree day.