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Christmas Fiction Speculative

23 December 2019


Hold on…please hold on….just a little farther…


By an Olympic second, she managed to sprint past the closing glass doors and ran headfirst into the most luckless random stranger of the day. The New York subway was jam-packed, disappointingly without any literal jam in it. If she’d been Gretel right then, she was fairly certain she would’ve eaten the witch along with her gingerbread house. Nudging her way through the crowd, armed with “Coming through!”, “Sorry!” and “Excuse me”, she stumbled to an empty seat. Settling into the seat, she promptly teared into her burger to celebrate the obstacle course win. Lost in ravenous hunger, she was lucky to have realised that she was just a stop away. Dusting off the remains of the burger, she looked out the window. Radiant stars seemed to have descended below, creating heaven amid the earthy lair…Christmas was just around the corner. So was home…just a little farther...

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Down the memory lane…


22 September 2014


She unlatched the door and threw it wide open…willing the sunlight to wipe out the dregs of sleep from her mind and the clinging darkness from her room. As her pupils protested against the blazing whiteness of the star, she blew out the remainders of slumber with a huge yawn. Stepping into her little shady balcony with a stretch, she feasted her groaning eyes on the golden green perched atop the block of concrete. Vying for her attention, Freddie’s leaves whooshed with the wind. Yep…Freddie…the massive, beautiful Sugar maple that was currently as red-headed as the Weasley she’d named it after. She’d literally lived underneath the tree since the day she’d been born. Her Freddie though was not even hers technically. The tree was rooted on the other side of the fence. Thus, officially belonging to their grumpy old neighbour, who’d recently been frowning a lot at the sight of Freddie. Just as though, it wished to wash the worry from her face, a few of its leaves danced in the wind, mesmerizing her.


Swathed in tendrils of breeze, she breathed in the cozy aroma of warm caffeine and let out a heavy sigh echoing with deep satisfaction…the kind that spreads a lazy smile under dreamy eyes. In that golden moment, she knew she'd found paradise. “What more could one want from life?” she wondered, only to be reminded that people did constantly want more…She knew for a fact that content was not the natural state of the human mind nor peace the nature of the world. To even think that she’ll never experience such mornings here again soured her mood immensely. As fate and her dad’s new promotion would have it, she would be leaving home for the ever bustling New York in a week…just seven days to bid adieu to all she was anchored to....home…Would she ever think of New York as home one day? Will time just pack all these memories into a dusty box labelled “Before NY”? Would she remember this version of her? The girl that had found paradise in her little balcony? …As she glanced up seeking or rather dreading answers from the Almighty stationed in his cloudy attic, she lost her miserable train of thought. The eggs had hatched! She could see tiny bobbing heads of the bird babies! “Bird babies?” whispered the judgy voice - relentlessly drilled into her brain by education, for the sake of survival. Her heart ,however, couldn’t care less about the intricacies of literature as she stood engrossed in the miracle of life peeping out through the leafy web…transfixed by the poetry in motion.


“Of chitterings, and a tremor of wings, and trillings —

The whole tree trembles and thrills.”


A voice from the living room hollered for her, effectively breaking her stupor and hauling her to the reality set in stone. “Until tomorrow” she promised Freddie and the bird babies.

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24 December 2019


Seated in the subway again, she glanced through the window. The scenery that greeted her was breathtaking to say the least. It was snowing again. The ground was caked in white icing and embellished by little smiling snow men and tall, beautiful trees donned in snow and mistletoe. Christmas season in its ineffable glory. It had been a while since she last stopped to simply admire a beautiful tree. She missed bearing witness to nature’s miracles. She missed watching birds in flight. She missed playing with falling leaves. But most of all, she missed Freddie. She let out a deep, involuntary sigh as she ventured down the memory lane. She still remembered the morning she last saw Freddie. Until tomorrow she’d promised. Had she known then that her heartless neighbour would’ve had the tree felled she would’ve never left the house. She would've done everything in her power and everything beyond to save Freddie. But ever meddling fate hadn't willed it so. She remembered coming home to a naked balcony. She remembered the overwhelming sense of shock and her sudden inability to breathe. She remembered going speechless. She remembered someone telling her the whole story. She remembered the pat on the back, the false sympathy in their voice and the pity in their eyes. She remembered the hollowness and the rage that replaced it. She remembered the fury and hate that coursed through her veins. She remembered hating that vile man and his damn obsession to win the Best Kept Suburban Lawn Competition. She remembered looking at the fallen leaves...as red as blood.. She remembered the gut wrenching grief that had her gasping for air. She remembered the Sun beating down on her face, blinding her. She remembered the utter devastation...outside and within...She remembered the moment she couldn’t bear to live there…the moment she hated the whole world for letting it happen...the moment she wished she'd never loved the tree...the moment when she'd known there was no hope left...not anymore...the moment she'd realised how cruel helplessness was...the moment she'd pleaded to God...the moment she would've offered her soul to the devil if she could...the moment she'd realised what haunted truly was...the moment when memories had raced through her mind's eye...the days spent underneath the Sugar maple.. raking leaves...the times she'd hid behind the tree during Hide and Seek...the times she'd crashed into the tree while trying to ride her cycle...the way the leaves had rustled in the storm...the day she'd seen the little bird nest...the weeks she'd spent in anticipation...the joy of seeing the bobbing head peeking through the leaves...She clearly remembered the moment when the house...the one she'd lived her whole life in... ceased being the home she knew…the moment she'd realised she would never see Freddie again…the moment she'd realised the bird babies were dead…the moment her heart had shuddered and broken beyond repair…the moment she'd lost paradise…


She looked out the window as she wiped the tear tinged with salt and bittersweet memories. Underneath her wistful eyes, a sad smile spread across her face as she rued...Tomorrow never comes afterall.


April 24, 2021 03:54

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4 comments

Daniel Kumar
16:00 Apr 25, 2021

Memories...don't die and this is the ever lighting note one can lit his/her pages of life..captured every instance and those words breathed the mood and delivered the feeling completely..vocabulary was awe inspiring!!! Hats off writer!!

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Jaithri K
14:58 Apr 26, 2021

Thank you!!

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Subhiksha P S
17:06 May 09, 2021

"Content was not the natural state of the human mind nor peace the nature of the world" ,well said and beautifully written.Hats off to u d ..waiting for ur works..

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Jaithri K
04:58 Nov 10, 2021

Thank you d!!

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