Tell No Tales
(picks up where Santa’s Flight ends)
The sleigh parked before that terrible wall
of color chased light, a screen of dancing
images, each scene a brick in the wall.
“My part in this tale ends here; seek the King
across yonder wall,” Santa held a hand
age-spotted out as his pow’r ebbed away.
“Christmas eve is ended,” he waved his hand
at dawn rising behind, turning all gray.
“The night departs, so must I ’till next year.
Your path continues through there if you’ve heart
to try, redeeming grace will see you clear.”
Sarn looked at that great wall–where to e’en start?
His sixth sense couldn’t even see a way past
it as his son took his hand and held fast.
Sarn glanced at Santa, who faded as dawn
rose in the east, melting both sleigh and rein-
deer both, until the ride here seemed dream-drawn,
not reality, but he was quite sane.
His sixth sense confirmed that he stood leagues from
Mount Eredren, too many to have crossed
in one night on foot, which meant he’d come
as mem’ry claimed, by a flying sleigh, lost
as Christmas eve ended without answer
to the question that had began this quest.
“We go in there?” his son asked; the answer,
a blinding array reaching the star’s nest,
waited as he picked up his son, held tight,
wrapped him in shields, then stepped into the light.
“God rest you merry, Gentlemen, let no
thing you dismay, for our Saviour was born
upon this Day,” Nolo sang and when no
words sprang to mind, he hummed as mass adjourned.
Smiling, he struck mass off his Christmas check-
list as he and his family left chapel.
A hush fell o’er the crowd as the late hour checked
their gleeful song and with yawns, they grappled
with stairs and impediments to their rest.
Nerule went straight to the tree for presents
when they entered their suite, ‘just one,” he stressed,
seeing no harm ’till he noted Sarn’s absence.
“Where is he?” Nolo asked as his search found
neither young father nor son on the grounds.
Of course there was no note left; literate
Sarn was not, but he still should’ve left some sign
of where he’d gone, when and why–not just flit
off to God knew where without any rhyme
or reason to this mad whimsy–not while
Nolo’s responsible for his e’ry action.
“Look!” Nerule pointed to hoof prints and smiled.
“I’ll bet Sarn caught Santa Claus in action.
Maybe he offered them a nice sleigh ride?”
Nerule hoped so–what a story to tell
and Ran would, he loved to talk and ne’er lied.
His father looked ready to chide as bells
tolled the hour, announcing the time for bed.
Dreaming of tales, Nerule lay down his head.
“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Inari shut cold
out and drew the shutters to hide the sight
that so vexed her husband, as morning bowled
its way through the remaining Christmas night.
“They’ll return soon,” she pulled from hiding spots
wrapped presents, save one gift, two sets of greens
cut down from Sarn’s to make one child, one spot
on copy for stuffed bear, which she now cleaned,
while imagining Ran’s delighted smile.
There was the green feathered cap he’d liked,
matching boots for father and son, in style.
No toys since Sarn couldn’t buy what his son liked.
Buying required money which Sarn didn’t earn.
So she’d stuck to practical gifts in turn.
The story continues in Brothers and Borders.
~ ~ ~