While trudging through the thick snow with her team, Judy Morrison’s mind was in overdrive. For years, she’d been trying to solve the puzzle of the thirteenth day of Christmas, something mankind had mistakenly taken for granted, and was now almost on the verge of solving the riddle.
Everybody thought that Christmas had twelve days, yet why did the twelfth night of Christmas fall on the thirteenth day?
Jonathan, Judy’s boyfriend, had given her twelve gifts: one on each day of the twelve days of Christmas. On the night he gave her gift number eleven, the night of January 4th, Judy had visions that the team were being watched by a mysterious force. As the clock struck midnight, and the twelfth day of Christmas arrived, Judy woke screaming from a terrible nightmare.
“What’s wrong,” asked Jonathan, rubbing his eyes, as the cold winds battered their tent.
“We’re all going to die on the sixth day of January,” cried Judy.
“What? Don’t be silly. Go back to sleep. It was just a nightmare.”
Several minutes later, Judy found herself counting backwards to December 25th, the first day of Christmas. It still didn’t add up why ‘Twelfth Night’ was on the night of the 6th of January, still over a day away.
The following evening, Jonathan gave Judy the last of his gifts, an engagement ring. Tomorrow, they would celebrate with the rest of their group when they arrived at their final destination, the mysterious village of ‘Twelfth Night,’ alleged to only appeared on January 6th.
As they waited patiently for ‘Twelfth Night’ to appear, Judy Morrison finally solved the riddle. As she turned to Jonathan to reveal the secret of Twelfth Night, the hand of a mysterious force that had been watching them since the first day of Christmas, froze the group in time.
Its secret was safe again from mankind, a species which, one day, it would conquer.
Written in response to the Monthly Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt, from Diana, at Myths of the Mirror. Click here for full details.
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68 thoughts on “The Riddle of Twelfth Night”
Dropped by from #BloggersPitStop today but always, always gald to be here, Hugh, cool short – shared! 🙂
Hope the week ahead treats you kindly. 🙂
Thank you, Donna. I appreciate you sharing the shorty too.
Have a great week.
What a fun little story. Its the perfect beginning of a longer story as it really hooks the reader. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for reading it. Hooking the reader at the beginning can be a difficult task, so I’m glad this short story hooked you straight away.
Great picture and ending, Hugh. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, Stevie.
Hugh you spooking us? A great write and response to a beautiful picture.
Thanks, Ellen. You know how much I like to ‘spook’ readers.
I may have caught that trait from a writer I once met … oh that will be you Hugh 😃🤣
It was an honour to meet you, too. I hope our paths cross again.
I am hoping to be at the bash this year (fingers crossed).
Wonderful. It’ll be great to see you there and to have a chance for a catch-up, Ellen.
I hope so.too.
Clever story, Hugh. You always know how to hook your readers at the end. Now we will wonder forever about the 13th night. LOL! You are in your element, my friend! 😘🤗
Thank you, Janice. I had great fun writing this short story, but the ending took over three weeks to come to me.
Clever premise. I enjoyed the read and look forward to your entry in February on this challenge. nice dropping in here..
Thank you, Violet. I’m looking forward to seeing the prompt for this month’s challenge. I just need to remember to get my entry in before the deadline.
Brilliant ending, Hugh!
Thanks, Rob. It took me three weeks to come up with that ending.
Wow. Good job!
Love the story, Hugh, though that photo is too much of a reminder of what’s outside these days..:)
So I hear, George. Stay safe and warm, and thanks for reading my riddle of Twelfth Night.
LOL… Hugh… (shakes head) Well done. You are in great “Hugh-vian” form. There. Now you have entered into the ranks of Teaganism words! 😉
Hugs on the wing.
Oh, I like that very much – ‘Teaganism’ words. I guess it’s our calling card, Teagan.
Thanks so much for reading my riddle of Twelfth Night.
I always thought that Christmas didn’t count as the first day, so counting the 12 days starts on December 26. But your intriguing story stirs up lots of mystery around the 13th night. Please, don’t freeze us in time! I’m encouraged that January is nearly over! Though plunging in the deep freeze for the next few days is not reassuring……
That could be the reason, Molly, but isn’t the first day of Christmas the 25th Dec? If they call it Christmas Day, then it has to the first day, doesn’t it? Now you got me wondering if we’re celebrating Christmas on the wrong day. Should we be celebrating on the 26th? But that would then mean we’d have to wait a whole day before emptying our stockings and opening the gifts under the tree. Thank goodness it’s only another 48 weeks away. Plenty of time to solve the riddle.
Maybe we could get a government grant to do a study of this Christmas date dilemma. Actually I’d like to propose legislation that we change Christmas to the 4th Monday in December and do away with any worries of what that date is. That way workers always get a 3 day weekend. And the 12th night would be totally in chaos. Scary thought, right??
Well, if Easter can move dates, I can’t see any reason why Christmas can’t? If the Easter Bunny always gets the delivery date right, then so can Santa, yes?
Really mean aliens, Hugh 🙂
Aren’t they always, Aimer? It’s about time we got our own back.
Wow! Great story and creepy to think about too. 🤔🤔
Glad you enjoyed it, Debbie. Don’t think about it too much. I don’t want to give you any nightmares.
😂 Hugh, my nightmare is it’s -7° and winds are 20+ mph. That makes the wind chill factor -30° outside in Centerville, Ohio!! Yikes I’m on my way to work soon. Stay warm!
I heard about the extreme weather in your part of the world, Debbie. We only need one snowflake to fall on the UK, and the whole country comes to a standstill. Stay safe.
😂 thanks after living here all my life you kind of get used to it.
Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.
Brilliant ending, Hugh. Although I do need to remind myself to read your posts in the daytime….not right before I go to sleep! 🙂
I should issue a warning at the beginning of my posts, Donna. I hope you slept well and that the mysterious force from the story didn’t bother you…too much.
I have no idea but this was very cool. (no pun intended…well maybe a little.)
Thanks, John. Your pun fits perfectly.
Not only do I know very little about 12th Night, Hugh, now I have to wonder more about it! What a great story! Love that image from Pixabay!
The riddle of 12th Night falling on Day 13 of Christmas has always had me puzzled, Terri. If you count the 25th Dec as the first day of Christmas, then Jan 5th is the 12th day. It’s either been overlooked by mankind or is a big plot hole in the story of Christmas. Either way, I’m glad you enjoyed my little attempt at trying to find an answer.
Excellent as usual 😀😀
The image caught my attention first but your story kept me reading to the end. Enjoyed! 😉
Thank you, Irene. You don’t know how much I love hearing the words ‘your story kept me reading to the end.’ That tells me I got the story right.
Yes, the story is great!
Great story Hugh! I’ll not guess the secret, I don’t want to be frozen ☃️
From what I hear, your part of the world is still frozen, Elizabeth. I hope it has nothing to do with the unknown force from this short story. Stay warm.
Yes Hugh, today is supposed to be -35C, I’ve to go out soon. I’ll try not to think about your story! 🙂
A very good story, Hugh. Well done.
Ha! So what’s the secret, Hugh???? Great build up to the mystery that we shall never know… until we’re conquered, of course. Thanks so much for joining in. I closed the prompt on the 24th, but I’m so glad that you went for it anyway. Your stories are great fun as always. 🙂
Apologies for not publishing this until after the closing date, Diana. The story has been in my draft folder for over three weeks waiting for me to come up with a good enough ending that I liked. It only came to me yesterday. I think my creative cogs have been frozen by the plummeting winter temperatures. I wanted to join in with your challenge because I loved the prompt image you gave us.
No problem, Hugh. I had over 40 responses, so I’m trying to stick to the deadlines (to keep some control and sanity. Ha ha. But I have you in the roundup tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll get visits 😀 I hope you play along again. The Feb prompt is coming up. ❤
That’s a big success for the first month of the challenge, Diana. I look forward to next months prompt and will promise to stick to deadlines. 😀
Enjoyed this, Hugh! I’ve been reading these on Diana’s blog. Loved the ending.
Thank you, Teri. My entry was after Diana’s deadline, but only because it took me ages to come up with the ending.
A terrific story Hugh and a very creepy ending.
Thanks, Brigid. It’s been sat in my draft folder for nearly three weeks with no end. Then, earlier today, the ending came to me. I missed Diana’s deadline to get entries in, but I couldn’t resist publishing it.
Nope I still have no idea, but I’d rather not know if that’s going to happen 😳
Thanks, Ritu. I agree with you.