|My view this morning|
During the hectic pre-Yule days, Michael Brookes hosted a Christmas drabble writing competition over at his blog, The Cult of Me. I decided to give it a go. I've never written a drabble before – a drabble is a 100 word story, and it always seemed to me impossible to tell a story in so few words. I've seen people do it, though – quite brilliantly, too – and since I've never tried it, I thought it would be interesting (I can enjoy an occasional challenge, as long as there isn't too much pressure ;) ). As it happens, it was also a lot of fun (I am utterly bored with everything else I've been trying to write recently, and I viewed this as a legitimate getaway...). So, imagine my surprise when my drabble was actually chosen among the 12 drabbles of Christmas to be published on TCoM and to receive a prize!
The drabble was originally published here, but you can read it right here as well:
Midwinter by Ulla Susimetsä
Snow buries field and forest. Darkness shrouds the world. The day barely dawns before dying into dusk.
Tonight, the longest night, the darkest night, the dead walk among the living.
In these dark hunting grounds of merciless cold, ancestors are always close, remembered, revered. Tonight, once the feasting is over, food and ale is left on the table for the dead to enjoy. Fire glows in the sauna oven long after the living have bathed: the dead may come and warm their icy limbs.
I slip into the smoky darkness. Ahh, so much better than the grave in frozen ground!
For those not familiar with Finnish traditions: my drabble is based on ancient customs which have been, in fact, alive up until quite recent times. I worried that this might not be clear and that people might think it was all fantasy... at which point my dear husband gave me a long look and asked, “in other words, you actually believe that the ancestors sneak into the sauna on Midwinter night?” Well... ;)
Anyway, I entered another drabble, too, and might as well post it here:
Santa's Little Helper by Ulla Susimetsä
The little red cap? Check.
A festive ribbon? Check.
I tiptoe through the silent night. At the nursery door I listen, smiling. So much for staying up, seeing the reindeer fly, spying Santa with the presents!
I sneak into the living-room. There, by the fireplace, waits the man. Stuffing the stockings, he whispers, ”The kids didn't wake?”
”They're fast asleep.”
He chuckles. ”You brought the rest of the presents?”
”And one for you to unwrap now.”
He turns. His gaze devours my attire: elf's cap, lace stockings, the ribbon that covers so little. ”Merry Christmas, darling.”