Once upon a time, I wrote fairytales set in the future. They were all about how screwed-up our holidays had become. They were about humanity’s failures, but most importantly, they were about rediscovering truth.
I’m sharing with you this Sunday the second half of “The Truth About Tinsel.” Be sure to read Part 1 here first to discover what Christmas has become in the future, and enjoy!
The Truth About Tinsel Part 2
Tinsel gripped the bars. This was the worst Christmas of them all. The procession busied themselves in lighting candles for the resting, and before anyone could notice, Tinsel tip-toed a few steps, then took off after her precious candy cane, spiraling the twenty-five stairwells like a kid on a well-worn sled path.
The bottom floor of the mortuary was reserved only for the most respected souls in existence. The marble white floor was offset by jade-lined mirrors, reflecting every visitor that passed. Tinsel quickly located the candy cane lying in the halo of a heat lamp. Instead of shattering into a million pieces as she had predicted, the candy cane had been chiseled perfectly on all sides with new groves and dips. It had transformed into what appeared to be a key.
Tinsel took her candy cane key and slid it into the center drawer, decorated with gold filigree. Twisting the candy cane lightly, the cabinet popped open, a warm light illuminating the figure of the oldest man Tinsel had ever seen. Whitebeard frosted all sides of his face and his cheeks glowed like baked apples extending out from a kind grin.
Tinsel peered down at the man, growing warmer as she reached out to touch his majestic, red shroud. She just couldn’t help but touch the fuzzy white snowball on his hat as images of Christmas past flooded Tinsel. She saw for the first time a Christmas tree, presents piled underneath, holly hung with stockings above a fireplace, and golden star anise cookies.
It was then that Tinsel knew just what to do. She grabbed green buckets and started stacking them like a pyramid. Twisting silver instruments to form a star, she placed the figure atop the buckets. She used discarded syringes and medical tape to create strings of garland and piled empty boxes of antiaging supplies under the tree with a toe tag on top of each.
Tinsel carefully removed her stockings and used the greenery from the majestic man’s memorial flowers to create a garland around the central heat lamp with stockings hung in front. Still, her creation lacked something, and the Processional of the Resting was fast approaching.
The empty syringe bags crinkled in her hand, just like a candy cane wrapper, and then she knew just what was missing. She took a pair of scissors from a side silver tray and shredded the bags quickly, making thin strips of plastic. Taking tiny fistfuls, Tinsel sprinkled her creations all over the tree, covering the lower buckets and the ones on top, until all sides glittered with tiny strips of white.
“What’s this? The mortician and all of the procession arrived just in time to see the Christmas scene constructed from bits and rubbish.
“It’s tinsel,” giggled Tinsel tossing more shards into the air.”
And the strangest thing happened. The Procession of the Resting broke their silence that Christmas Day and became a sweet processional, singing the Christmas carol, “Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree.”
There was emancipation that Christmas day in the morgue basement. A release of more than just man, memory, and tradition. Hugging her family, Tinsel realized that holding on to the things of the past was just as important as letting them all go.
© khartless 2021, All Rights Reserved
love the imagery in this esp ‘cheeks glowed like baked apples’ and the strange setting: a mortuary —
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Thank you, John. Christmas future is place where “resting” means trying to live forever. I think the baked apple cheeks may be my favorite line as well.
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Love the message in this story K. (And the very inventive Christmas tree)