Tag Archive: holiday

No crying over broken cookies

The tension was a palpable solid thing that was slowly filling the room forcing even the oxygen out. They stood locked in place unable to look away slightly out of breath. Maybe it was ice forming between them, crystalline enough to break but too rigid to allow for shifting, she thought. A lot had cooled recently so ice made a poetic kind of sense. He shifted his weight and broke eye contact to look at the door. More specifically the shattered plate of cookies littering the floor just in front of the door.

“What do you want me to do?” He asked slowly, almost defeated.

Stop, she wanted to scream, honestly she wanted it all to stop. Even though she knew it would never happen, never could, that’s what she really wanted.

“People depend on me you know,” as he said the words she could hear his jaw tightening. “If I don’t go… well I don’t even want to think about what could happen.”

“To you or your people Chris?”

His head shot up and his mouth open and closed but no words came out. She walked over to him, eyes bright with unshed tears crunching cookies and platter as she went, and handed him a card. “I’m done Chris. I just, I just can’t do this anymore.” She paused for a moment unsure how to continue. “There’s a way to stop it.”

He looked at the card.

“There’s a clause for it.”



Let’s get one thing straight, I might need you but you need me too. So let me just start with a what the hell! You have got to be kidding me … right? This cannot be real. I mean, are you serious?!? What more do you want!?! Okay now that that is out of the way let’s try for full disclosure.

I am a Nisse and my very existence is now threatened, once again I might add, because so many of you with your oh so fact driven mindsets do not believe in Santa. This is getting old folks. We dealt with this issue way back in the 1500s, originally that is, and then again in the 1800s. I mean really;

Is there a Santa Claus? Does Santa really deliver all those presents? How does Santa visit all the good boys and girls?

Your incesent disbelief has become like a school yard taunt, unoriginal and repetitive. We have heard these questions with increasing frequency over the last 50 years, and I, for one, am tired of having to watch adults stumble through explinations. However, and perhaps more troubling, the questions have now reached critical mass. They have become a threat to our lives.

Before you dismiss me out of hand allow me to explain how you and your questions are slowing killing me. See Nisse are actually lesser fairies, by which I mean we walk not fly, and like our sparkling June-bug sized kin we require your belief. It sustains us like water to a flower; without it we slowly wilt and fade. 

I know that outside of Scandinavia few know our true names therefore it might be hard to imagine that enough people believe in us at all for us to still exist. You’re not wrong. We first faced this issue back in the 1500s when fairy lore was slipping into mythology. We transitioned from doing helpful deeds to delivering gifts. It still was not enough. The population was growing but sadly belief in us was not. Around this time we heard tell of Father Christmas a genial and jolly man keeping the works of Saint Nicolas alive in England. We immediately saw him as the answer to all of our problems. You see here was another population who already believed in a gift giver who even had his own holiday. So we fashioned ourselves after him going door to door handing out gifts of food requesting only that the recipients hold on to these yuletide feelings year long.

We spent years toiling away spreading Father Christmas’s brand of cheer but all it did was build his fame. Gift giving by a magical being on Christmas was happening all over Europe, thanks to us, but everyone was forgetting the ground work we were putting in. So in the 1800s when Father Christmas was busy becoming Santa Claus, thanks to the up and coming Americans, we made an executive decision to unify the two endeavors. We, the Nisse, would be the work force helping to make the gifts, now small toys, and the deliveries, now done secretively via chimnies, and Santa Claus would be the face of the operation.

And what a hype man, I mean everyone knows about Santa Claus and his hard working elves. His involvement has been key to our continued survival, but it’s a two-way street. His noteriety lends us the credability we need, even if you use the wrong term, what’s in a name anyway. Without us he would have been a failure, no man is an island including the jolly Mr. Claus.

So I would like to take this moment to make an official statement. 

Yes, S.A.N.T.A. exists, and yes, S.A.N.T.A. delivers all the presents in one night. The Secret Aggregrate of Nisse for Toy Aqusition makes sure of that. So save your cookies and milk what we want as a thank you is a little faith and a little gratitude, you know if you’re feeling generous, or you will be stuffing your own stockings. Warning to the wise.

All rights to the owner whom I thank

The killing season


All rights to owner

I am afraid…and as the red banners are raised my fear deepens. This is the killing season and I already feel the pull like some moth towards the promise and warmth of a flame.

I am Umma. I and my brethren existed before humans traisped into the picture, but much like ore buried in the earth our purpose was only existence without a human touch.

But humans are foolish. Always thinking themselves the inventors of the universe rather than merely inhabitants therein. They did not invent or discover me I am just as I have always been… a circle never ending.

It is true human love drew us out of our self imposed stasis, irresistible and euphoric. A magnetic force, rolling off them in tangible waves. It was a thing too strong for the naive to control. They sensed it, of course, how could they not. We could see the impact it had upon them; eyes dilated, pulses quickened, breath harshened, they all but vibrated with sensation, but for us it was more.

It wasn’t physical, strictly speaking. It was guttural, pulling and pushing from our very core, a part of an inescapable path. The love seeped out of the humans and we lapped it up, hooked. In an instant everything changed.

I was the lightning which sprung between Daphnis and Chloe, the sin which passed from Juliette to Romeo, and that which Byron so eloquently described as kindled from above. I Umma die on the breath of love, a sacrifice not completely free in the giving, and am reborn as that love is spoken lip to lip.

Over enamored by your adore I reach out to touch the perfection which is true love, but the story never ends well for the moth. The beauty and purity of the flame always proves insurmountable. It is the moth which is extinguished… but I am likened to the phoenix and my cyclical path spirals ever on.

I watch as the funeral pyre, fueled by loves passionate fire, alights in their eyes. Valentine’s day draws near, the killing season is nigh, and as always I am as fearful as I am intrigued.


I apologize if this story comes off as vague or worse incomprehensible the thought behind it is simple. What is in a kiss and perhaps more interesting why do we kiss? There is one “school of thought” which claims that this is an instinctual or intuitive act, but for me this rings of “why…because”. So, for all who love questions such as why is the sky blue or what came first the chicken or the egg I ask you if kissing is instinctive what drives it?

PS in case you are curious we see the sky as blue because of how the light reflects through our atmosphere, and amphibians which evolved before birds lay eggs 🙂 (sorry the science geek rears her ugly head)



Lila sat in the old abandoned road, at the corner, among the broken asphalt and weeds while her family searched in vain for food.

Dwade who had been digging silently in the dirt, apparently in deep thought, asked no one in particular, “What did turkeys sound like?”

Dad froze.  “Guess you wouldn’t remember would you?  That was…God I don’t know back in ’93 maybe.  No, had to be ’97?  Mara, when did we lose Jase?”

Mara’s head never moved as she silently tabulated, counting backwards in her head, she didn’t even move her lips just her hands.  Lila winced knowing that Mara was reading the scars that littered her left arm.  To Lila they appeared as nothing more than a gruesome reminder of some horrible accident involving sharp mechanical parts.  Not so for Mara, the unofficial historian.   To Mara each line had a story complete with location, date, and time which only she could interpret.

“Jase was in 2898 in the December ice storm before dawn,” Mara’s lank brown hair jerked sharply indicating her unease as she brushed her fingers over the blackened tip of her left pinky.  She had barely even touched the nearly perfect circle behind her elbow before continuing, “and it was three years earlier that the Walton’s were reported to be serving the last true Thanksgiving dinner.” 

“That’s right!  I remember it being headline news, something real catchy like…Walton gobbles while economy wobbles.”  The far away look in dad’s eye caught everyone’s attention.  He almost smiled.  Then reality slipped back in, over his lowered guard, and he resumed his search for unopened can goods in the rubble that must have once been a house.

Dwade’s eyes danced between Lila and Mara still hoping for an answer.  “Dad already told you D they gobbled,” Lila finally said, “it was kind of like screaming and coughing at the same time.”  Her shrug said to leave it there and so he went back to his digging.  With the addition of his attempt to imitate a sound he’s never heard while gouging the earth with his stick.

“Well the Walton’s can kiss my succotash,” dad proclaimed as he turned to face us with the rusted dented can of Libby’s held proudly in the air.  “I know what I’m thankful for this year, even if its not a turkey…to the feast,” he said and he meant it.

Lila and Mara made the briefest of eye contact.  Thankful.  The word sounded wrong in this context.  They could both remember what thankful use to mean, back before the pandemics jumped the species barrier and nuclear destruction of the ‘hotbed areas’ was deemed necessary, and this was not that

The Battle for October

          Deep in the forest past the point that the dark swallows the light was a clearing that was surrounded by large old growth trees, giant sentinels in this a very sacred place.  It had been quite a long time since the clearing had last seen any visitors but still the round table stood as it always had, expansive and clean of ornament.  It was ringed by stout chairs two placed together at regular intervals with each setting backed by one of the sentinel trees bearing the crest of chairs inhabitants.  Many of the seats were already filled while others sat empty, ignored, the same went for the coat of arms behind the seats few gleamed new and fresh while others were faded or battle scared.  Pulling the attention of most of the table’s guests were the pair seated before a great orange and black crest, it was crowned with a black bat and the body was that of a large sinister pumpkin with crossed bones at the foot separating the words trick and treat, the woman was Hecate Queen of the Witches and with her sat Jack the Pumpkin King.  The anger emanating from them was palpable and seemed to cause black night to seep out of the woman in thin tendrils. 
          To their direct left was seated an elderly Puritan and his wife who cautiously eyed everyone more often then not looking at their neatly fold hands.  Next to them sat two empty seats before a crest of crimson with a pine tree dead center with the phrase “You Better Watch Out” written in gold around the edges.  With the sudden sound of sleigh bells everyone seemed to quiet, then from beyond the ring of trees emerged the Kringles.  Everything about him was broad and heavy both his beard and hair fell past his shoulders, which brought to mind those of blacksmith’s not a delivery boy’s, the way he walked and sat suggested that he did not suffer fools or disagreements well.  Sitting together they looked every inch the warlord and shield maiden.
          Though the table was round the fact that to his left the chairs of Imbolc sat empty and to his right sat only the diminished presence of faded Thanksgiving it gave the appearance that he and his wife were at the head of the table, a position which gave him a dangerous advantage.  The silence felt heavy in the early dawn air.

“Why…why have we be called here,” the one of the leprechauns asked in a shaky voice.

“The Kringles have once again over stepped their boundaries,” was the Pumpkin Kings response.  No emotion could be seen on his cared face but the fire inside danced high and with a malevolent glow.  “What have you to say for your self?”

          The man in red may have smiled but none could see it as most all expressions were masked by his beard.  In answer his wife laid a battle weary musket on the table.  An audible gasp escaped the Puritan’s wife as they both pulled back from the table and studied the ground. 

“We well not be forced,” Hecate said through clinched teeth pulsing night, “we are still desired and relevant.”  Without meaning to she glanced at the empty seats directly opposite her where the dancing bone fire on a field of midnight blue stood neglected. 

          She was pulled from her revere by the sound of Kringle’s voice, “No my lady you are mistaken, we are desired,” he said gesturing to his wife, “and we shall have what we want.”

“Not without consequence,” Jack said his eyes never leaving the faded Puritans.

          As his massive fist slammed to the table the Kringle sprung from his chair “To the field then,” he said with a sneer.

          As the flags and pinions snapped in the late afternoon air the clearing’s guests stood among the trees waiting and watching as ghouls, goblins, and other assorted monsters filed in to the right and elves, Yeti, and polar bears to the left.  The break in tension as the two side charged together was almost a physical sensation.

“…Jessica…Jessica Margaret, have you heard a word I’ve said?”

          The girl stood blinking and shaking her head facing the store isles which sadly held only close out priced plastic pumpkins and boasted more Christmas filled ornamentation than anyone could stand. 

“What in the world are you thinking about, Jess?”

“Mom was there ever a time when Christmas was only in December,” Jessica asked, but as she turned she could have sworn she saw a gleam in the toy Santa’s eye.

Forty-eight hours of being trapped in the air conditioner soaked house had finally gotten to Lucy.  Unsure if it was the forced close proximity to her family or the mindless drone of the constant weather updates played to the unending hum of the overworked a.c., she found her self standing at the plate-glass sliding door contemplating her options.

The front door opened and closed quickly followed by yet another round of “Is it hot enough for you” the glass door shut with a sucking sound behind her.  Lucy took a deep breath and instantly regretted it.  The heat seared her lungs, her lip cracked and split, and sweat beaded her hairline.  “Shit its hot,” she told the sky shading her eyes as she searched for a cool dark spot uselessly.  Turning to her left Lucy saw the faded red cooler that had always been a beacon of refreshment on trips to the lake and said a silent prayer of thanks picturing ice and frosty bottles of soda.  However, the burning sensation she felt as she lifted the plastic latch had Lucy seriously reconsidering he initial mental image of a beloved childhood object.

Just as disappointing were the can of tea and the popsicle floating in tepid water.  She snatched them both and started walking.  By the time she reached the swings and sat down Lucy felt that she had swam the two blocks not because she was cool but rather due to the dampness of her clothes.  Careful to avoid the metal chains winking evilly in the sun light Lucy opened the popsicle tossed the stick and downed the Kool-Aid that recently had been in the shape of Donald Duck according to the wrapper.  The playground was eerily quiet, as she was the only brave soul out facing the heat, and as such the buzz of a yellow jacket over by the wilting marigolds easily carried to her.  In an attempt to ignore the fact that she and the rubberized swing seat were slowly melting into each other Lucy split her time winding and unwinding herself in the swing and watching the very large bee make its way toward her abandoned popsicle trash.

Then it happened.  An actual breeze rustled the tree tops, the harsh glare off the playground equipment dimmed, and the cicadas and lightning bugs started up their nightly serenade.  Lucy popped the top on her hot lemon flavored ice-tea and touch tested the swing chain while she drained half the can’s contents.  Happy that she no longer would sustain third degree burns by brushing the metal, she place the can between her knees and pushed off.  Lucy went as high as she could leveling off parallel with the bar before swinging pendulum style back down.  Positive that the momentum she had would require little effort to maintain Lucy looped her arms around the chains, tea can in hand, leaned back, and watched the sky explode.

Over the tree line clearly visible at both highest points the inky sky filled with multi-colored starburst and loud whistling reports.  “Totally worth it” Lucy said into the night with little thought of a.c. or over crowded sleeping conditions as she soared through the air below a heaven filled with rockets.

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