What I'm about to tell you is a Christmas story.
I had you hooked from the beginning, didn't I? And even if this story takes a variety of twists and turns, I'll know you'll still read it.
You see, the story goes a little something like this.
Once upon a time, in a town blanketed in a crisp field of white, lay a pine tree. Forgotten it was by the world and by the birds that nested in its hair during the year.
The pine tree bore the marks of summer on its bark; the carved heart of two lovers who had parted ways; the holes dug into it by woodpeckers.
Resting nestled in its branches a gray plastic bag made a skritch-scratch sound in its desperate attempt to break free.
The snow had fallen hard that winter thus far. A good eight to nine inches of snow lay against the base of the tree.
Glittering on top of the snow like tiny fragments of glass was the ice glaze from the night before. The sun winked off this glaze as it began to sink lower in the sky.
Thin grey smoke curled through the air, floating higher and higher into the dying blue sky.
It drifted up from a twisted scrap of metal buried in the snow; past the snowman with its glazed black eyes that had been crafted by a small child that had wandered the woods weeks before.
Lying up against the pine tree lay a man in a yellow winter jacket. Dangling from his mouth was a cigarette that his shaking red fingers were failing to light.
He stared at the lighter trembling in his hands; the numb finger flicking over the metal again and again, but never being able to ignite a spark.
He cursed, throwing the lighter to the ground. He looked down at the pink snow beneath his leg; a leg twisted and gnarled like some of the branches of the trees deeper within the forest.
It didn't bother him though. The pain wasn't nearly as terrific in his leg as it was in his chest. A cherry red blossom spread on his breast; fanning out into a many petaled flower.
Another curse left his mouth as he tossed what he deemed the useless lighter aside. It hit the snow, burying itself in a white mound nearby.
A nearby crow cawed from the tree, sitting among the boughs of the pine tree like the angel of death.
He lifted an arm up. The cracked face of the watch showed his warped reflection; rosy cheeks and all. December 25th, 2017 the date above the time read. He chuckled.
“Merry Christmas,” he said out loud, tossing an expletive into the mix.
No one would go out looking for him on Christmas; the scrooge that told the world to leave him alone.
He would be left there alone until the sky blanketed him with snow to warm his crying limbs and left their blue lipstick stain upon his lips.
What I told you just now was a Christmas story.
Never said it'd be jolly, now did I?