I Heard Tell

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. A blackened, despicable excuse of a guardian that abandoned their duty in silence. No words were said. No witnesses were found. Once there as a surety, now forever more cursed into oblivion.

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. A creature, once known for their songs and indomitable spirit. A melody followed it, at first soft and tender. The closer the beast came, a pulsating vibrancy filled the tune. Nature and the elements would shift to its rhythm; nymphs and satyrs would gather on hearing one note. The music’s voice was unrivaled, and mirth was showered in its wake.

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. A shy and somber being of jovial light. Its habitations filtered through wood and stone, into nooks and crannies where light so seldom goes. The forgotten animals and faerie, which when cast out purge themselves with debauchery and sadness, and seek out the lonely quarters, would for a moment brighten at the benevolence of such radiance.

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. Born of cold fire and nurtured under love’s distant gaze, at first it transcended the lot it was given. No one stood to instruct it, and no star shed its light to soften the chill. Prevailing against myth and science, it adopted regal bearing without foreknowledge or understanding. If it desired, it created.

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. Hesitant to engage, and complacent to exist, it avoided contact with arrogant resolve. Content with the consequences of its passive presence, it forgave the world for siphoning from its natural song and personal light. Few were the interlopers to abide by a moral code and respect its magnificence. Few are there remaining who can read the signs of its silence. It had overcome desolation to now be bombarded with ignorance. Where would the line be drawn?

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. An emissary was sent from where joy congregates; where stars compete for recognition as the most radiant, and warmth expands in the heart. An emissary was sent, bearing all of these gifts but without intent to share. The creature met these gifts, and for the first time sound reverberated in its bones.

The sound came out shrill; raw, untempered, and perfervid. The creature had no compassion, no peace to comprehend. Where gifts had been withheld, and then so selfishly harbored, for once the beast fell victim to thought and reacted without instinct.

Born anew with a voice of razors the creature shredded the emissary, only to discover the gifts couldn’t be retained. Once it had lived taciturn to the influences of the world, but now adorned with knowledge, the creature felt a fresh fire stoking behind its eyes. And now it knew it had a voice. A voice it had no shame to use.

I once heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. They were new to betrayal and equipped to succeed. The north burned at its will, and sound retreated for fear of misuse. Damp stillness settled through rock and slate, saturating the water, and bringing a heaviness to the heart of the faerie. Joy had to be hidden, and laughter divvied up for survival. Fallout spread like a disease from the creature, who crouched over its treasure in languishing irony. For the first time it had taken voluntary action against another, and for the first time, consequence weighted it down like granite chains.

The smoke never settled, and the faerie fled to find peace in obscurity. Joy was saved in small doses, spread out to the world in precise amounts. Careful, for concern of acquiring too much and risking the ire of the creature. A creature who departed from the north into a weak, everlasting solitude. Back to its origin of cold fire and distance. Back to the place it discovered identity.

I heard tell of a traitor to Christmas. A story founded on firsts, and beginnings. A story ended if only to provide it some measure of peace. A traitor without equal, or at least, without a rival to assuage it.

But Christmas has returned. So who, in this new world, now carries news of the traitor?

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