The Riddle of Twelfth Night

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.

Image credit: Pixabay

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.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights


68 thoughts on “The Riddle of Twelfth Night

  1. 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! 😘🤗

  2. 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……

    1. 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.
      Stay warm.

      1. 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??

      1. 😂 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!

    1. 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.

  3. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

      1. 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. ❤

    1. 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.

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