A dream woke Hank Jessup. He’d been a kid again, imagining Santa’s sleigh jingling overhead. Sad that it wasn’t real, Hank took a flashlight and stepped onto his deck for fresh air. Dark pines walled his house. The moon painted his yard in shadows.
December in southern Louisiana. Christmas Eve. The air hung heavy, humid, warm. He’d lived here thirty years, seen two feeble snows that melted faster than boiled ice. He missed winter; no one should have windows open at Christmas.
Snow cleanses the world.
Something winked, catching Hank’s eye. He looked up. Hundreds of fat white flakes descended through the moonlight.
Snow! It’s too warm. But what else could it be?
A smile tugged Hank’s lips. He flashed back to childhood Christmases, his last happy times. Snow sledding. Warm soup. Shiny presents. Maybe this snow would cleanse his life, his soul.
Something like tiny voices caught Hank’s attention. He frowned. Hundreds of flakes had settled to earth now. Another landed on his deck railing. He reached to touch it, pulled suddenly back. It was no snowflake. He turned on his flashlight.
A tiny being cut away its white parachute, then drew a silver tube from its belt. Hank wanted to laugh, and shriek. It was a tiny elf, with yellow eyes and pointed ears. And sharp, sharp teeth.
“Wait!” Hank said as the creature pointed its tube and shouted:
“Merry Effing Christmas!”
A wintry blow stunned Hank. He dropped as if axed.
All over the earth, the same strange snow began to fall.
∼ Charles Gramlich
© Copyright Charles Gramlich. All Rights Reserved.