Nicholas was…

older than sin, and his beard could grow

no whiter. He wanted to die.

The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did

not speak his language, but conversed in their own,

twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible

rituals, when they were no actually

working in the factories.

Once every year they forced him, sobbing

and protesting, into Endless Night. During

the journey he would stand near every child

in the world, leave one of the dwarves’

invisible gifts by its bedside. The

children slept, frozen in time.

He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and

Judas. His punishment was harsher.




From Smoke and Mirrors

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