A visit from Old Nick

Christmas is just one week away, and democratic oblivion may not be far behind.  In this darkest of times, I thought it appropriate to revisit a classic, seen through a new lens.  The words are mine, but when I turned to the internet for images, I found surprisingly many. My favorite was the one signed “Hefner 2015” and sourced from consumepopculture.com.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the housetrumpus
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Prayers had been said and candles snuffed out,
The children lay dreaming, no clue what about.

The grownups were gone; they succumbed to the flu
Leaving two little girls to try and make do.
The peace of their sleep was abruptly ended
As the clear sense of evil upon them descended.

Away to the window Meg crept from her bed
And peeped through the curtains, heart pounding with dread.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Lent an eerie suspense to the quiet below.

Drawn as she was to see what was out there
Meg failed to notice the smell of burnt hair.
It came from the hearth in that very room
And from it delivered a Creature of Doom.

Out from the chimney his minions they came
And he whistled and cackled and called them by name;
“Now Hellfire! Now Brimstone! Now Pitchfork and Vixen!
On Pestilence, Plague! On Donder and Blitzen!”

“To the one by the window! To the one in the bed
Don’t let them escape or it’s off with your head!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky;
So into the room came the hell angel flood
Surrounding the children and screeching for blood.

Then He Himself emerged from the din,
Ultimate Evil, the Father of Sin.
Meg recoiled at the vision and raced to the bed
To save her wee sister, the last of her kin.

She gathered herself to her maximum height,
Picked-up the broomstick and charged him with might.
The Terrible Beast was so taken aback
That he momentarily ceased the attack.

Too soon he recovered, his fury excited.
He reached for Meg’s sister; the room was ignited.
But before he could carry the child away
The trumpet of dawn introduced a new day.

Their evil tormenter now cringed from the light;
He and his minions were ready for flight.
As the shriveled-up husks of the nightmare receded,
Meg said to herself, something final was needed.

Drawing a breath from the depth of her being
She blew like the wind as the specters were fleeing.
A cloud of grey dust was the only left trace
Of the horrible hoards and the devilish face.

Then in a twinkling as daylight poured in,
Up the chimney it went and away with the wind.
But as it flew off, Meg could still faintly hear,
“Just wait ’til I get you the same time next year!”



About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

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