Yuletide Ritual - Chapter 1

Home » Writing » Yuletide Ritual » Chapter 1

Yuletide Ritual

by Zantheros

Libraries: Drama, Family, Fantasy, OriginalFiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

Updated on

Sometimes, a season of celebration can be somber and heart-tugging. Such is the case for Zan'theros. Entry for holiday season prompt.

Long ago... It was long ago indeed that this village had been burned to the ground. Or at least, it felt like that. Only a few shriveled husks of a handful of buildings remain standing where it once was, and most of them have already been partly reclaimed by nature, with some patches of rubble providing excellent footholds for mosses and vines to grow. Though at this time of year, everything is cold and dead, hearkening back to the aftermath of the marauder attack.

Every Christmas, Zan'theros visits the ruins of his childhood village. He has no one to enjoy it with, so he returns to this depressing place, to make it a little less depressing for a short time. He unsheathes his greatsword from his back, and plunges it into the ground at the center of town, releasing a wave of golden fire magic. This special flame, he found he's only able to conjure at these ruins, thanks to unique latent energies present.

The flame forms a ring around him in a ten-foot radius, not quite far enough to touch any remains of the buildings, but large enough to fit plenty of people within. The dragon stands, face to the sky, palms upward, and wings outstretched.  His eyes are closed as he takes a moment of silence.

"Chestnuts roasting... on an open fire," he starts to sing, in a deep and melodic tone. "Jack Frost nipping at your nose..."

As the lyrics roll off his tongue, he slowly starts to feel the spiritual presence of the villagers entering the golden ring of fire. While inside this ring, their phantoms just barely become visible. Zan's head lowers back to the area around him, eyes opening as he scans over the specters.

"They know that Santa's on his way. He's bringing lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh."

Progressing through the carol, he sees the villagers singing along, their mouths moving in time with his. Though he can't hear them, he can FEEL the warmth in what they're doing. Slowly, he turns himself around in a circle around his blade, seeing many familiar faces around him.

"And so I'm offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two..." As he reaches the climax of the song, he can finally hear their voices, like a soft melodic buzz around him. "Although it's been said... many times, many ways..." His green eyes finally land on one particular shade. As tall as him, and looking pretty similar to him, but female. A tear glides down one cheek as he recognizes his mother. "Merry Christmas... to... you."

With the song over, the villagers' shades start disappearing one by one. Zan's hands lower and his wings furl, while his gaze remains fixed on his mother's ghost, wanting to see her for as long as he can. She meets it with a patient smile, and though he isn't able to hear it, he can read her lips: "Thank you, my son. I love you."

Finally, her image fades, and he's left all alone. A tear streams down his other cheek now, and he whispers, "I love you too." Gripping the handle of his greatsword, he pulls it out of the ground, the ring of golden fire rapidly closing around it, torching off the dirt and grime once it meets the metal. The freshly cleaned blade gets sheathed on his back, and he slowly walks away from the village. He places a hand over the harness pocket holding his bone heart talisman, and sighs softly.

Post your thoughts

Adding/editing comments on comics and legacy writing comments has been disabled. Please see the announcement for more details.