‘Twas: A Christmas Mystery Part IX

And here continues the Christmas Saga of 2020. Like the days of yore when newspapers published anxiously anticipated serialized stories, here is my annual version, Hidden within the words is a secret message. Find the secret and send an email to me at joe.broadmeadow@hotmail.com with the subject line, MAGIC. First five to discover the secret wins a copy of every book I publish this year.

This story is as old as the legend of St. Nicholas, handed down over years and years. Told to Christmas Elves as they rested from their work, there is magic within if you’ve the heart and eyes to see it.

But don’t look for it, feel it in your heart. Speak the words to learn the secret

Part IX

Roses for some odd reason, came to mind. His telling me he wasn’t afraid were like the thorns on a rose, if you look past them you see just the beauty. Like a barking dog who really just wants to pet them, not bite.

“A better way to think of what I did is I was just trying to be nice,” I said. “Cherry soda makes me happy, how about you?”

His eyes grew more fiery and the cold air swirled the room. “Droll ssssspeeches ssseldom sssucceed with me. Little man, sssoon you will join me in my misssery and held me sssrpead it everywhere.”

Mouth lost communication with my brain, and I was speechless. Was this my fate? Drawn by a yearning to know where I came from, now might lead to my never returning to Christmas Town.

Up rough-hewed stairs I went, drawn along behind the demon. Like a child’s toy he dragged me, and I could do nothing to resist him

A moment later, we stood high in a turret, like those I’d seen in books about castles.

“Bow to my power, boy, or face my wrath,” hissed the demon. And with those words I knew what I must do.

“The thing is,” I said, pulling myself up to my full if unimpressive height and smiling. “Beard is no reason for me to fear you.”

Of the look he gave me, I could tell the nonsense confused him. His eyes narrowed, trying to scare me, but still showed a bit of fear.

“Chin is still beneath the nose,” I smiled as his confusion grew. Was there something here for me to learn?

As the demon continued to stare at me, a strange feeling overcame me. White swirling mists closed in and the cold bit right through me.  

As the demon faded in the mist, I heard a soft whisper, a child’s voice, calling my name. The voice seemed to come from where the demon once stood.

Snow swirled in to tower and a small boy emerged from the shimmering cold snowflakes

The little boy smiled and reached out for my hand.

“Stump the demon, very clever,” he said, leading me back down the stairs.

Part X Tomorrow!

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