Christmas, it’s supposed to be a time to believe, a time for the darkness to let go of the children for just one night, just one day. Though the darkness may leave the children be, there is still that bleak and deep shadow that resides in us all even in times like this.
Into The Magic...
Children who find themselves alone may feel trapped, may feel that the dark is chasing them, but not this child. This one, she felt free. She clutched a match in her hand, her clothes dirty, her skin blue, but she was warm. She finds her eyes gazed at a big door, it was decorated in Christmas lights, but these looked different. She felt the magic slip off each one “Knock, my dear” a voice familiar to her whispers in her ear. The young girl knocks without question and the door slowly opens, she gasps as she sees a lobby filled with decorations, but she also saw the magic. The magic, only the In-Between could conjure.
“Beautiful isn’t it” she gasps again but this time in shock “No, need to be scared we’ve been waiting for you” it was a man clad in black. He smiled at her, and she felt somewhat at ease. She noticed his hands smooth and brown, his skin brown and smooth.
“Is this the last guest of the night?” a woman clad in red smiles at her, the young girl felt a different type of magic from this woman, and her striking eyes made her once again feel safe. It was as if her eyes were the beautiful side of the night and it was given a purpose and only the woman in red knew what it was.
“No, Allante we have two more” another man walked in, he was clad in green, had a long robe, like a cape. He was letting out beautiful magic, the young girl could see it and it only made her smile.
“Beautiful, well come on in and enjoy the party. Uncle Romell and Mr. Nathan went through a lot of trouble to make this happen” the young girl marveled Allante’s curly hair and her perfect, flawless, sweet, dark brown melanin skin.
“It wasn’t a lot of trouble, just a flick of the wrist” Romell flicked his wrist and candy, presents and baked goods appear all around a large table, but then Romell looks at the young girl in her dirty clothes. “We’ll have none of that” he grins and snaps her fingers and the young girl is in a wonderful party dress smiling. Then he blinks his eyes and presents appear all around the Christmas tree as the lights lit up by themselves.
“Nothing less for perfect bundles of joy” Nathan sits down and smiles at it all. The young girl looks at the room filled with children, children she feels a connection with. She feels they all have lost something too, but gained something else in its place. She looks back at Nathan, Allante, and Romell.
“Go on sweetie play, open as many presents as you can” Allante smiles at her and she goes to enjoy the party with the other children. “This never gets easy does it?” Allante asked them as someone phases in out of nowhere, like a ghost.
“What is it, Walton?” Nathan asked him.
“Gwen is here,” he said as the doors open and a gentle light touches all over the room as a woman clad in white steps out of it.
“Nice to see you, Gwen” Nathan greets her, while Romell hugs her.
“Hi Gwen, nice to see you, always making an entrance” Allante hugs her.
“A lot of children this year I see,” Gwen says as they continue playing and opening the presents.
“Yeah, after doing this for so many years it still doesn’t get any easier,” Romell said as he smiles at them. The young girl watches them, she sees magic everywhere. Different kinds of magic from them all, the man in black, the woman in red, the man in green, and finally the woman in white. She could see the magic and it was marvelous to her.
“I know you see it” she hears a voice and looks up to see Nathan smiling at her. “Go and keep on playing, the real gifts are coming” she smiles and drops her match and Nathan opens his hand and the match flies into it.
“What can we do, but give them something they should have had on this night,” Gwen said as she sits down in her white long dress.
“Exactly” Romell waves his hand and four wine glasses appear on the table.
“Red chocolate wine, my favorited” Allante sipped.
“Traditional for me I hope” Gwen winked at Romell.
“As always Gwen, I know people in your line of work can’t drink...at all” they all chuckle and grin.
Nathan looks at the clock which is about to hit midnight. “Christmas Day is upon us,” Nathan said as his eyes glow like a star on a tree.
“That means it’s time to say goodbye, but also means that the ultimate presents are coming” Gwen jumps up and she could not hide the excitement on her face.
“Children” Romell gets their attention and they all stop, “It’s time for the best gift,” Romell said as Gwen opened the door and all of the children’s eyes light up and fill up with tears. All that is heard is mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, friend, and more. Which only bring Nathan to smile, he looks at the little girl who looks around for a familiar face. Nathan goes to her and points her in the right direction, in the direction of an old angelic woman.
“Grandma!” the little girl runs up to her and hugs her crying, Nathan taps on her shoulder and hands her the match.
“You can see the magic, but I need you to guide other’s just like you until the spirit of true Christmas is no longer able to keep them safe” Nathan smiles at her, and she just nods her head yes. As she and her grandma walk out of the room and vanish into a peaceful white light a group of doves flies out of the light as the door closes. They watch as the doves glide over to a bird feeder and begin to feed.
“Merry Christmas” Romell says as he takes a deep breath and smiles. “So, shall we join Walton and the others in the club for the real Christmas Party?” Romell says as Gwen and Allante just smile.
“Just another Christmas at the Arrived Boarding House” Allante smiles as she takes her wine.
“Never a dull moment around this time of year,” Gwen says as she and Allante leave the room, but Nathan just admires the room and the doves.
“Little brother, are you coming?” Romell asked him as the doves fly all over the room.
“I’ll be there, you forget my job is not done” he smiles as Romell just nods his head, grins and closes the door. Nathan closes his eyes and they burst wide-open his dark brown eyes now filled with red, filled with darkness. He looks at the doves, he goes to the bird feeder and grabs a handful of seeds he clutches them and they turn black as coal. The doves one by one, come and eat the seeds out of his hand, and slowly they each become engulfed in darkness and become crows.
“You know how this goes” he looks at the crows, their eyes now red. A window opens by itself and they all fly out, but Nathan stops one, “I have a special job for you” he opens his hands and the match is there. The crow picks it up and flies out the window. “Merry Christmas, Little Match Girl” he smiles as he leaves the room, both doors gently close behind him.
The crows fly into the holy night, fly into the darkness he paved for them. As they go search for the guilty souls, he will come to claim in the dawn before the new year.
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