Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Christmas Unremembered

 At this point, Derrick has no memories of a life in the real world - our world. He has no memory of Christmas or Christmases past.

From: Druid Derrick, Book 4

Derrick was observing his customary new moon quiet in the middle of December when a knock came at his door late that evening. Derrick thrilled with excitement; here was the invitation to moot he’d always hoped for. Instead, standing there in all his Robinhood glory plus a few layers, was Gamitch, and behind him was what looked like the entire gnome population. As soon as the door was open, they all filed in with their burdens and put them away in Derrick’s new lab. It was all things Derrick had used in the gnome’s lab. “Gamitch, what’s the meaning of this?”

“I fully intend to teach you everything I know. By the time I’m done with you, you’ll be the next potions master.”

Though disappointed at once again not being invited to moot, Derrick was thoroughly flattered. “But this is all your things. Why are you bringing it here? I can still come up there for you to teach me.”

The old gnome waved the question away. Everything had been stowed and despite the cold, the women were preparing a feast outside.

Derrick stepped out to see that more than gnomes had gathered. The dwarves brought their share as did the centaurs and in no time at all there was much playing of music and dancing, telling of stories and laughing – a fine house warming party.

When the sun rose, Derrick’s house was his alone, and he was still in a happy kind of shock when Mariah showed up. She showed him a small box of decorations and then pulled him back along the trail a short distance. She pointed to a small tree, scarcely taller than she was and made a cutting motion with her hand.

Not understanding at first, Derrick was appalled that she wanted him to cut such a small tree. “No, I’m not cutting that. It’s way too small to be of any use. It’s only about five years old.”

She looked disappointed, but even when she pointed to a slightly larger tree, Derrick refused. “No. Why do you want me to cut a tree?”

She pointed back toward the cabin, shaping the box she’d brought with her hands, then she pulled an imaginary item from the box and mimed hanging it on the little tree’s branches and then putting the whole thing in Derrick’s house.

“What? You want to take this tree to the house and put all those things on it? Why?”

The question stumped her. For the first time, Mariah’s signs weren’t enough to explain her reasoning.

Derrick led her back to the house. Seeing that she was near tears about something she couldn’t explain, he tried to cheer her by going through the box she’d brought. It was full of silver fluffy ropes and colorful balls, some of which were decorated with shards of colorful beads. Since Derrick refused to have a tree, she ended up hanging them all around the house. She made Derrick participate too as some of the places were out of reach.

When all the decorations were out of the box, she presented Derrick with the last thing, a small box wrapped in red and green paper, and tied with a red ribbon. The gift reminded him that at roughly this time last winter, Anya had brought him a birthday present. He still didn’t remember what day was his birthday, and if Anya had found out his age she hadn’t passed the knowledge along.

The gift was another ornament after a fashion though it wasn’t made to hang from a hook like all the other decorations. It was a globe filled with water, and inside was a tiny cabin nestled among some very tall trees. Mariah shook it and then showed him the snow fly around the cabin in a miniature blizzard. Among the snowflakes was a few little white angels now swirling the cabin. She pointed them out with a swirling finger that traced their flight around the cabin, making wing motions with her arms so Derrick would notice which ones she was pointing out. Then she poked Derrick in the chest and pointed off toward her house, making the flying motions again – she was telling Derrick that he was the guardian angel that flew around their house.

Derrick set it in the middle of the table and they watched the flakes settle. Mariah gave the house one last look and smiled, then she pointed to herself and toward home. She had to go so she could get back before the dark.



William Kendall said...

A good way to convey his confusion!

Willow Drake said...

Makes me feel sad for him.