The Festivities of Morkwood: 4th December

I don’t know why I’m writing these accounts, or who I’m hoping they’ll reach – I just feel a record has to be made. Each December the darkness seeps further into Morkwood, leaving a stain that is becoming increasingly difficult to conceal.

I don’t ever want to get used to it the way the others have. The callous manner in which they stepped over Dan to get to the tree – and their singing, their laughter.

As we watched the children decorate the tree, Dan looked pale and exhausted. His father had to hold him up, he was so weak. By midday the swelling had spread and he was unable to bend his elbow.

When I saw Dan again this morning as the fourth door was opened, his arm was supported by a sling and he was still horrendously ashen-faced. But he smiled with relief when he saw the advent painting – a group of men toasting over a fireplace.

This activity would be easy for him, at least.

Kenneth Rowley hobbled towards the pub to open the doors. We gave him ten minutes before following suit and queuing for our shots of schnapps.

With the comforting glow of the pub up ahead, it was almost possible to forget we were taking part in the Morkwood Advent House – that was, until the Harris’ newborn baby began screaming.

“It’s a lot though, isn’t it? Can’t we give him the other half later?”

I  don’t know what Carla Harris expected Kenneth to say.

After gurgling and more screaming, Carla scurried back towards the direction of her cottage, a little bundle of blankets thrashing and wailing in her arms. The queue moved forward.

This has to stop.

You can now read The Festivities of Morkwood on e-book and paperback.

E.J. Babb created Dystopic in 2012 after requiring an outlet for her love of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. She is the author of These Unnatural Men, FOREGROUND and The Festivities of Morkwood.

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