It always snowed at Christmas. It was one thing Fiona hated because it was the last bit of magic the festive season still had, something she needed to get rid of once and for all.
Witnessing the arrival of the angels every Christmas Eve had helped keep the magic, but last year the angels seemed different; different from how they had always appeared. Last year, the first Christmas Fiona hadn’t believed in the magic of Christmas, the angels had refused to show their faces to her.
This year, she hadn’t even helped dress the tree. She’d insisted that her daughters were too old to be hanging stockings up, and the table she always laid on Christmas Eve, for the following day’s feast, could wait. Christmas Day would now be like any other day; days where no magic existed.
On the stroke of midnight, as her daughters and husband all slept, Fiona made her way out into the garden where she watched the warm globs of light around the angels appear as they made their way to the only part of the garden where untrodden snow lay. It hadn’t snowed for two days, yet the footprints she and others had made in this part of the garden were no longer visible. Another piece of magic Fiona had to get rid of.
As the angels reached the untrodden snow, Fiona did something she had never done before. She confronted them.
‘You’re not real! Why don’t you show me your faces anymore? There’s no such thing as the magic of Christmas,” she shouted, as the angels touched the undisturbed snow and started to melt into it. As the winter air chilled Fiona’s bones, the last angel turned around and beckoned Fiona towards it.
Screaming in terror at the hideous face before her, Fiona did all she could to stop herself moving towards the creature. For a tiny moment, she thought about the magic of Christmas in the hope the creature would melt into the untrodden snow. By the time she reached it, the magic seemed to have worked, as the terrifying face of the angel melted away.
For what seemed like a long time, Fiona stood frozen to the spot, before she turned around and looked back at the house. Now, before her, the whole garden was full of untrodden, virgin, snow, yet it had not snowed.
As she took her first step towards the house, Fiona was stopped by a hand that grabbed her ankle from under the snow. As Fiona’s screams went unnoticed, the warm hand pulled her into a world of non-believers.
The last view Fiona had, of the magical world she once lived, was that of a stout figure, dressed in red, with a long white beard, standing on the roof of her house.
“Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas,” laughed the figure, as the last trace of Fiona melted into the magical snow.
Written in response to the #writephoto challenge, Untrodden, hosted by Sue Vincent at the Daily Echo.
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