Father Yule Cometh

11Dec15

xmas1Jenifer Jackson looked out on the street with despair. At 30 she was of passable looks with chestnut brown hair that hung straight to her shoulders and was finished off with a fringe. She lived in a small apartment with a few acquaintances and an endless shifting of their friends. It was all so predictable and boring. It was certainly no life for any self-respecting witch.

Look at all the pretty lights, she sneered so that the thoughts echoed around and around in her head. The fools are so happy, buying shit they don’t want for people they don’t like. She heaved a sigh and indolently snatched up the book again.

‘The True History of Christmas,’ ran the title. Not a word about baby Jesus, she noted, no peace and love man. No, just dark tales of pagan deities who really knew how to mark the years’ passes. If she were a powerful enough witch she would cast a spell to rock the world and bring back the old times.

Just then some insipid jolly song about an anthropomorphised reindeer found her ears from the street and she wanted to vomit.

“That does it,” she cursed sitting up, “That flipping well does it.”

She may not be able to cast the world into darkness but she had enough pizazz to give this little town a true Christmas.

“Where’s my cauldron?” she said gleefully as she began scrabbling under her bed.

There to was an older book, a darker one that tingled to the touch; a legacy from her grandmother who had a true gift.

“You have got to be kidding me?” she giggled when she found the spell she had been looking for… Eye of newt, web of spider, blood of frog… This was going to be fun.

*

The storm was a strange one. Usually mid-December saw more clement weather before winter proper came and never in the history of the town could anyone remember a thunder storm that brought snow.

It took three days to blow itself out and by then the power was off, the water was intermittent and every store and house were under six foot drifts insuring that no one went anywhere.

Jenifer was beside herself with pleasure, not least because at least the loathsome twee music had stopped.

“Now what happens?” she mused as she consulted the book. The passage was obscure and hard to read but she just made out… “The Dark Lord comes bearing justice and vengeance on…” she read aloud, adding “Oh goody, a Dark Lord, they are always fun.”

Jenifer did not have to wait long. For once the wind died down a distinct sound of ominous bells could be heard above the low grey sky. Soft at first and then deeper in tone like the lower register of a church knell.

The faithful were indeed about to get gifts, something wholesome and appropriate like fruit, Jenifer sniggered. As for the rest, she eyed the book… it wasn’t clear, but the engraving showed a dour parody of a traditional Santa with a dark visage and holding a nasty looking whip thing.

“This is going to be fun,” she laughed with a self-hug.

It was about then that she noticed the fireplace. It was a grand affair with imps and old natural scenes carved in white stone and bordered with heavy red-brown wood. The fire was vigorous and with sturdy dancing flames that threw up shadows onto the ceiling.

The mantle was hung with holly and other gifts from the forest, although from which woodland, Jenifer did not know. For not only had she not placed these treasures there, until that moment she had not had a fireplace in her 21st century apartment.

“Ah,” she sighed.

This was a response to the realisation that in the new flickering shadows behind her something was watching her and she barely dared turn round. But of course, such rudeness was out of the question.

“You summoned me,” said a dark voice.

“Yeah, about that,” Jenifer said in words that were tentative and crisp on her teeth. She turned slowly getting a suspenseful view of the large man in the shadows. Indeed it was as if he was made of shadows and etched from every shade of grey that only hinted at colour.

As she watched he became flesh until he resembled a great bear of a man in the glory of mature youth.

“Not a fan of Christmas I take it,” he growled.

“Not so much, no,” Jenifer said nervously.

“You prefer the old ways and the joys of Yule?” The man folded his arms and appeared to weigh her up.

“Kind of,” Jenifer squeaked. She didn’t entirely believe her spell had worked and she had summoned up one of the old gods.

“And you think you can choose for everyone and bring misery to a whole town?” he pushed her.

“Well I thought… that is…” Jenifer burbled.

“Let me give you a taste of the old ways,” the man said in fatherly tones. As he spoke he bestrode the room and seized the hapless woman to tumble her across his lap as he sat awkwardly on the couch.

“Ooh,” Jenifer wailed, now suspecting what was coming next.

Her striped woollen leggings went south first, followed immediately by her high cut black silk. A present to herself, she though miserably. I hope he appreciates them. The blood was hot on her face as he bared her bottom and she wished she knew a spell for disappearing.

“Usually I would…” the man’s voice had a warning tone like gravel on stone, but then he just shrugged. “When was the last time you were soundly spanked?”

“I don’t think that… I mean, this is the 21st century…” Jenifer spluttered.

“Oh but we have already established that you like the old ways,” the man chuckled, now sounding depressingly like a department store Father Christmas.

“Ooh, I…” Jenifer winced.

The man’s hand was hard and fast like pantomime applause and thrice as sharp. In a moment Jenifer was gasping and bucking across the man’s hard knees and shortly afterwards her groans turned to mewling in a litany of “Aah, oh, ooh, hmmm.”

Her bare bottom soon glowed hotly red in sympathy with the fire that still burned in the visiting hearth, but the poetry was lost on Jenifer by then and she was going to yell and she didn’t care who heard it.

“Now that you are truly tender, I will use this,” the Dark Lord chuckled.

“This?” Jenifer gasped and tried to crane her neck to see.

The half a yard of birch rod looked evil and more suited to sweeping an ancient yard.

“Oh come on…” she wailed, but the first sweep stole all thoughts, words and past deeds to leave only very humble regret. “I’m sorry…” she squealed.

“We will come to that, for I do not intend to stop until we are clear what you are sorry about,” he scolded her.

“Christmas,” she sobbed, “I disrespected Christmas.”

“No,” he said sharply redoubling his efforts which by then were considerable and Jenifer’s bottom was truly on fire with a birchen sting, “Everyone has a right to their own religious beliefs.”

“The town, I hurt the town…” the words were broken and shaken through a downturned mouth under tear-pooling eyes.

“That’s closer to the mark,” the Lord said, birching on and on.

*

Jenifer was drained from sobbing and she was quite certain she was never going to sit down again. The strange lord had finally stopped and was now guiding her to face the corner.

“Oh come on, you can’t be serious, I’m 30 years old,” she wept.

“You will remain here until the hearth passes from this world, if you don’t my imps will come with fresh rods to instruct you further,” she was told.

“But what if someone comes in?” she gasped, her voice frantic.

The man shrugged until the miserable point sank in.

“They won’t see the fire, just you in your humility,” he chuckled.

“That figures,” she groaned.

“Now I will leave you until next year,” he yawned.

“Next year?” Jenifer wailed.

“Oh yes, so be a good girl and I might bring you a present instead of a rod. Something suitable like an apple or nuts,” he chuckled.

“Ooh,” she wailed and stamped a foot. “This is so unfair.”

“What did you say?” he growled.

“No it’s fair, it’s fair, I am so sorry,” she said hastily.

Outside the snow had stopped and indeed it was not as bad as many had thought. The power too came back and part from the seasonal dusting it was as if nothing had ever happened. However, it would be many hours before the strange fireplace faded away and before then someone was sure to come in to see if Jenifer wanted to join the party.

“Oh God, me and my… oooh,” she muttered angrily and stamped her foot again. It might be a long, long Christmas this year.



5 Responses to “Father Yule Cometh”

  1. 1 Ripley

    Sounds like a case of be careful what you wish for (or conjure up) 🙂

  2. Maybe I don’t want a white Christmas after all… 😉

  3. I go along with both reponses but also think that she should of gotten more so that her bottom would sting for a long time and be made to stand in the corner for an hour maybe longer till she learned her lesson.
    DeborahGifford

  4. 4 Pixiebelle

    Oh I have been doing witching all wrong it seems.
    “Runs off to find my cauldron”

    Loved it 😉

  5. 5 DJ

    Hi Everyone,

    I suppose it is a variation on a story I have visited before – but it seemed appropriate and came off the pen easily.

    Thanks


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