Nothing stirred but something crept. Past ghosts came to bear, rising on the night of nights, with the jolly fat man riding sleigh and somewhere, someone ate the cane of Christmas past.
Ghosts rose never ascending from boxes carefully wrapped and tucked neatly away, hidden in corners overgrown with trees and weeds. Tied bows shook the dust from memories that writhe in the stink of must and decay. Knockers wailed names of those chosen to witness repercussions of unclean deeds, done in the stale silence and dead cold of ancient eves. Mice steeled themselves away in the glow of a nose that sought life for its own sake, ending the clank of monkey chimes and stopping the toots of trains as decorated bulbs quietly dim and fade to darkened colors of frozen glass.
The lights are off. No one is home. The house is dead.
Carolers do not sing songs having long departed deserted lanes. Footprint impressions fill with snow to cover jagged impressions with perfect sheets of white fluff, and hide the sharp edges in ice. Muddied prints tell tales of those passing on streets and footpaths leading to back doors locked and closed. Dwellings without lights of invitation are forced by the scavengers of Christmas present to aid the bells toll for occupants in residence, and release their last visage of frozen smoke into the air.
Grown out of fear on the eve, the crunching of boots signal danger and warns of an unfriendly approach.
It forces its way through locks and barriers of innocence once torn and left; now scarred and tarnished with the rot of a sacred trust betrayed. Faces rise, hidden behind wreaths of tinsel while the pine scratches away tears with needles that leave permanent lines.
It comes disguised and cloaked as memory both real and imagined, once upon a daydream vision of a nightmare happening. Splitting the frozen earth that trembles in the quake, it rises. It digs itself up with finger-nailed claws covered with the dirt and grime of the future gatherings, already contaminating past and present for all times.
And in the aura of its heat, children cry and bleed.