Always Winter, Never Christmas – Writing Contest #90

In honour of our Summer Challenge, this writing contest is appropriately themed to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Even as we experience summer on this side of the wardrobe door, imagine what it was like for the Narnians to have only one season for one hundred years. How did they conduct themselves during this time? The floor is open for any variety of entries: serious tales about everyday struggles or rebellious Christmas parties, fun stories of playing in the snow or general family-and-friend bonding time, long-winded pieces or short ones, whatever strikes your fancy!

Example: “Redder Than Holly”
Mother was not doing well. Fifteen years of straight winter had taken its toll on her: she was near-bedridden most days and half-delirious more often than not. Tumnus worried for her. She was not gone, not yet, and he had to take care of her as best as he knew how. What recourse did he have? Even if Father — no. It was no good thinking about Father now. What was done was done. Mother could not live on hours of knitting and dozens of flute-songs. She needed these precious packages of food.
Tumnus shivered in the cold. Father was not here. Mother need not know. Mother may not even notice. Much as he wanted her to recover, this much worked in his favour: Mother would not suffer a broken heart over his broken promises.
At last, he reached home and thawed his fingers over the crackling fire. “It’s cold out there today, Mother,” he said with forced cheerfulness. She didn’t respond, but he hadn’t expected her to: she hadn’t spoken in such a long time. Keeping up a stream of chatter for the both of them, Tumnus prepared lunch: tea, bread and butter, a slice of ham, and, from the new provisions, a handful of dried cranberries. “Here we are, Mother,” he announced as he approached her bed with the tray.
Mother turned her eyes from the fire to smile at him. Her hands pushed something — a package — toward him. On top, in neat and careful letters, were written the words “Merry Christmas”. Tumnus’ heart froze. Ill as she was, Mother had remembered Christmas. And after what he had done — what was he to do? He fought the urge to check over his shoulder for the Secret Police. Instead, he set down the tray and unwrapped the paper. The scarf inside was long and bright red, redder than holly. “It’s lovely, Mother; thank you.” He wrapped it around his neck. “And it’s warm too!”
Mother smiled again and they tucked into their lunch. Tumnus relaxed when Mother did not question the new fare. However, when they had finished and he began to clear the dishes, he noticed that she had not touched the cranberries. He bit his lip without meaning to. So she knew after all. She knew of his betrayal. She knew he had gone to the White Witch. Tears sprang to his eyes and shame filled his heart. Mother’s hand cupped his cheek and wiped at one of his tears. When he finally met her gaze, he saw unshed tears in her own eyes. But behind those tears, beyond the spark of rebellion in the face of endless winter, he saw the one truth he had always known: “I love you.”

 

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