The Tale of Santa

Once upon a time, in a land of ice and snow and reindeer, two twin boys were born to a broken mother and a caring father. Their mother was a sad figure, depressed, and full of sorrow; she neglected her children, feeling nothing but pity for them and disgust for herself. The death of her baby daughter a few months before the twins were born had cost her her soul. She would listen to them cry, bawling out in hunger, and she would turn a blind eye, looking out the window at the frozen, white landscape. Her condition became worse as the days went by, with nothing her husband could do to help reverse the sickly process of her mourning. He could only contribute by offering an alleviating substance, an amnesiac that made her forget her woe by stewing rare violet mushrooms he found in the forest surrounding their cottage. Yet in the winters, there were none to collect and the husband felt helpless to watch his wife on her bad days. Little consolation did he find in caring for the boys.

The one was fair, the other was dark, but the colour of their locks was not the only difference between them. As they grew the fair one became kind and obedient, while the dark one was mean and defiant. The dark one was a noisy little toddler, naughty not nice, he always created a riot in the house when their father was away, spoiling food or peeing in the fireplace or hitting his brother, and he paid for it dearly every time. His mother would go mad on him, beating him until he could shed no more tears, with the fair boy watching in fear. When the father was home, the mother would just sit and stare out the window, as if in a trance, completely detached of what was going on around her, even if the dark boy threw a tantrum. The father would coax him and tell him stories in order to make him stop. The boy soon became aware that he had some power over his father’s good will, and he hated his mother for not responding to his fits in the same way, but more so for the beatings she laid on him. His hatred boiled inside of him until he began having wicked, wicked thoughts.

The more malignant the dark boy became, the more compassionate the fair boy did. He revoked his brother’s cruel nature by helping his father with the household, reading to his mother and being affectionate, making her presents although she didn’t seem to care for any of it. Her neglect only made his desire to bring a smile to her face greater. His kindness even towards his cruel brother astonished their father who was seriously worried if and how the balances were kept in that house, when he was away, hunting or bringing back firewood. The catatonic mother, the fierce dark boy and the gentle fair one.

As the seasons went by and the boys grew into young men, their mother’s condition had worsened and the fair young man strived to warm his mother’s heart. The father returned from the one day bringing back only one mushroom rather than the usual handful. There were no more. The fair young man knew what this meant. His mother would not make it through the winter. In a split second he was out the door and into the cold sunny day in search for the salvaging substance. His father ran after him, knowing the fair young man was not safe unarmed in the deep woods, as creatures made furious with hunger by the frost would pounce without hesitation to claim a fresh meal. The dark young man stayed behind, in the cottage with his mother, a mischievous grin on his face. He went near her chair and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned her head round, and he stared into those dead milky eyes. He then looked down at her worn hands, the hands that had bruised his body so many turns in her sudden rages of emotion, and his eyes flashed. He walked away from her and threw the last mushroom into the fire and returned to the kitchen, stooping over the pot of stew his brother had been making before he stormed out.

The father and son returned shortly to find the dark young man stirring the stew. The fair young man looked at his brother in dismay. The twins sensed one another; usually when one was planning something horrible, the other would try to do some damage control if he couldn’t deter his brother from causing harm, or would do something nice to balance the scales. But in this case there was nothing he could do. His twin had done the irrevocable. The father searched the table where he had left the mushroom. The dark young man gestured it was in the stew that was brewing. But the fair young man knew this was a lie. And there was nothing he could do to reverse this, or save his mother. He felt sick for what his brother was capable of and came to the conclusion that violence only breeds violence. So much was the hatred inside the dark young man. He vowed that when his mother had passed he would leave this place and all the awful memories of his evil twin behind and make himself useful to as many people as his heart could hold; he could not stand malevolence any longer.

And so he did. When the time had come he departed on the darkest day of his life, determined to fight misery and unhappiness whenever it crossed his path. He dedicated his life to learning medicine and divine meditation, and his mission was travelling the world, helping strangers, the less fortunate, the elderly, children, animals. Children were his weakest spot of all. He was welcomed in every village, in every establishment, in every inn, in every home. He spent his days as a nomad, but in happiness for he knew the value of his work, and it was recognized by all. His reputation preceded him, being called a holy man, practically a saint, the man with the greatest heart in the world, the man who cared for each and every one. It was not long since news of this ‘Santa’ reached the ears of the Wickedest Man in the world. The evil brother had become an abhorrent alchemist, a man of lethal potions and deviant spells, a soul that exuded treachery and trickery in his every breath. His pride could not bear the thought that his brother’s actions would lessen the evil he brought upon the wretched world.

The Wickedest Man began to trace Santa’s journey until he was tracked down near the North Pole. There he challenged him to a duel that is known in folklore as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the overcast sky, where the forces of Good and Evil clashed and demonic spirits attempted to consume the angelic ones. The battle carried on for an entire winter, the demons in mad pursuit of the angels across the skies, along the ground or just above it. Then, the greedy demons were no longer content with chasing spectres and began to target humans as well. It is said that on the Eve of Christmas, Evil ambushed Good and Santa was thrown off of his mighty Pegasus and plummeted to his death, sacrificing himself to save the world of this feud and to spare the lives of mankind. The Wickedest Man in the world believed he had won and called the battle off, victorious, and this satisfied his hunger for power. However, the same night Santa fell, his own sacrifice became a gift that was beyond Evil’s victory. He rose as an eternal spirit, untouchable, invincible, impervious to Evil. He resides at the top of the world, in the North Pole, looking over the children from afar. He assigns an elf to each child that is born to protect them from harm, to act as their guardian.

And so it stands until today that each Eve of Christmas, on the anniversary of the night of his fall, Santa rides his sleigh through the midnight sky, led by a dozen reindeer, and visits all the children of the world, both the naughty and the nice, leaving all of them presents for he knew, that unkindness towards a child is the worst kind of evil.        

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting story about the evil and the good! The twist of suspense lives the reader to wonder,what will the end me? A happily ever after perhaps? xoxo ES


What do you think? x Ra-Ra