Short Stories

Short Story: Around the Tree

The darkest day of the year had passed, and it was the eve of horrors to come. Around the tall fir-tree, they had gathered to plot for jollier times. There they argued how to proceed. Fangs against teeth. A fur side by side with scales. Claws lifted to meet the paws. Their voices echoed against the snowy mountain tops. How could they cheat the beast of beasts? The one who knew all the secrets.

Some hissed, “To cheat the cheater, you have to be more clever than it.”

Another said, “To subdue the beast, you had to take away what it wanted the most.”

Others argued the only way to jollier times was to slay the slayer of the fallen. But none of them dared to step forward to face the horned one on their own. On and on they went, arguments slung back and forth, occasionally interrupted by the ruckus of laughter.

“Past the feast, my furry friend,” one said, and the feast was passed on from paws to another. The chain around the tree cheered from their bellies’ content as the eve of horrors turned into night. There they laid, waiting for the jollier times, shoulder to shoulder, watching the starry night—the beast of beasts nowhere in sight.

Happy Holidays ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

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