The Christmas Monster
A faint echo of brass urged me forward. "Hark the Herald Angels" It was getting nearer, my sodden shoes trudged in time. Peace on Earth and.."
It was so very bitterly cold. The thawing snow had once again frozen making it treacherous for driving and walking alike. I found patches of thick snow to walk in, only now it resisted my shoes just slightly, due to its icy composition.
Trudge, trudge...'Glory to the new born child' Trudge, trudge........... I stopped.
There stood before me a great figure. It blocked the light from the town behind, it even seemed to block the sound of the brass band, though I don't know how.
The thing exhaled hard emitting what appeared to be smoke. Of course it was cold and the smoke could only be frozen vapour from its warm lungs.
"Can I ....help?" I muttered, suddenly feeling very vulnerable.
The creature did not move, and though I studied it hard, it was difficult to determin what it was, the back light of the town gave me only clue to its supernatural size. It seemed to collect itself and crouching to the height of a man, it proceeded to put its great hands together as if in prayer.
Sensing danger, I began to back away, although this was difficult due to the ice underfoot, with my arms flailing I landed hard on my backside and so hurt myself that I could barely move, only groan feebly. Oh misery, I put my arms across my face to sheild me from whatever was to come.
Nothing has come, only a streak of light about my foot where the creature has moved away. I look about me and squint further, yet can see only mist and darkness punctuated by occasional street lamps. I gingerly test my weight and finding that I have no serious injury clamber up to a standing position. I hear my breaths short and rhythmical, the surge of adrenaline makes me tremble in anticipation.
I begin to hobble towards the light of the town, the pain is beginning to subside and I'm gaining power. The town is upon me and I gladly enter the bustle of people, shops and music.
The brass band strikes up again, its jolly rendition of 'Rudolf' eases my fear. A sea of bobbing woolly hats shows me that a children's choir is next to perform, they giggle excitedly.
Looking behind me into the mist, I see nothing but darkness.
I begin to think that I must have been mistaken, my encounter must only have been with a vagrant perhaps, or a drunk. The immense size of the creature must have been a trick of the light, well I'm sure my slipping on my arse act gave him something to chuckle about as he wandered home, if he had a home.
The children are organised, hot faced adults bustle about. "A one, a two, a one two three four...."
I adjust my weight and can feel the sharp stab of pain up my left buttock, it really hurts and I grimace. Stepping back from the crowd that has gathered around the children's choir, I find myself on the edge of the mist again. The snow has only been cleared up until the grassy area and my feet begin to slide again, cursing my ridiculously slippy shoes, I decide to call it a day and head home.
Squinting into the darkness, I see nothing, though I know where I am, I just have to get across the park and then I'll be at my road. An uneasiness takes me, I would rather not walk alone. I make a phone call. Mick doesn't answer. I curse him. In fact no one answers, they're all with family enjoying Christmas Eve. I wonder whether to call my dad, but decide that it would be more stressful to have my 72 year old dad fending off drunks and snow monsters for me than to face them alone.
Taking my keys in one hand and my mobile to act as a torch, I begin the journey.
The snow is as high as my shins in some places, where it has drifted. My ridiculous shoes have exposed my socks to much of the snow and my feet have become numb with cold.
Forgetting my fear for a moment, I focus my energy on picking my way through the drifts and icy patches. The park trees outline the path I must follow and in the distance I can see the street lamps on my road.
As if from nowhere, the great figure again appears before me, this time it is not motionless, it strides towards me. I freeze on the spot.
It strides faster, elongated arms swinging, its long jacket flapping behind it. The moonlight shows me its face. Oh what a face, I can only think of Frankensteins monster, a cruel line for a mouth, its eyes narrowed, its hair swept back into a tail. But the height, the height is that of 2 men.
I leap out of its way, it seems not to see me, only it continues to stride gaining momentum, gaining wrath. It puts its hands together and as if stretching out to dive, the creature falls unto four legs, like an ape it gathers even more speed, charging at the town, charging at the light.
I watch in horror.
The choir sing on, unaware of the devilish ape lunging towards them. All of a sudden, what seems to be a crack in the night sky appears, a line which opens into a gaping hole, a beam of immense light pierces down unto the creature a great bearded figure of a man climbs out between the golden clouds and strikes the creature with a bolt of electric lightning.
It arches its back and howls at the heavens, its arms raised and fingers crooked. Slumping to the ground, it appears to melt into the snow leaving nothing but a patch of grass. The sky closes once more as the bearded man climbs back into heaven.
I stand motionless. Staring at the night sky and then back to the patch of grass. Rendered dumb by the spectacle, I turn from it and continue home.
No one could ever believe what I saw.