Thanks for coming back to this year’s BlogFestivus writing challenge. Nine stories that are supposed to take inspiration from the nine reindeer on Santa’s sleigh. Today is Day Three – Prancer.
Holly stared at the fire unconsciously rubbing her bruised shoulder, her class’s midterm papers untouched on the ottoman.
She was tired and preoccupied by yesterday’s incident with the old woman. A restless night had yielded to tortured dreams…
…where she performed a dreadful exaggerated prancing imitation of the old woman’s incantations. Instead of beads she held a hammer, a great hammer, a giant maul that she could use to crack the mantle of the earth like an eggsh-
A pop from the fireplace broke her reverie and she …
…shook it off. The prospect of grading the midterms depressed her, so she put on her coat thinking a walk in the cold air might snap her out of her funk.
No such luck. The decorated houses didn’t seem joyful, only puny sparks in an oceanic dark. She held her arms to herself and noticed a man smoking in front of his house. It was the man who’d collected the old woman.
“Hi again,” Holly offered.
“Oh…” the man said, recognition dawning, “hello.”
“How’s your mother?”
“Ahhh, thanks for asking,” the man exhaled. “I’m afraid she’s unwell. She gets a little obsessive this time of year. ”
“She certainly seems obsessed with reindeer.”
The man stared at her and then chuckled. “Not reindeer. A’renndur. Our people used to live in these hills.” he swept his arm out, “Before Americans came, we celebrated the solstice here. A’renndur is part of that.”