A Christmas Tale for Eventide

by anita marie moscoso 

Inspired by The Soul Food Cafe Alphabet Project:

” J ” is for Journey

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They were a Mother, Father and three children on a Ferry Boat sailing from Duwamish Bay to visit their Grandmother in Seattle.

It was Christmas Eve and the children, two girls and one boy were dressed up. The little girls sat up straight, careful not to mess up their hair or wrinkle their dresses.

The little boy was picking his nose and wiping it under the wooden benches they were sitting on as the black waters of Puget Sound parted dark and quiet below them.

The Children weren’t wearing jackets and they weren’t wearing hats or gloves and it was snowing outside, but it wasn’t in Kincross Benandanti’ s nature to involve herself  in why people did or didn’t do things the way you’d expect them too.

Human nature wasn’t something Kincross understood very well and it probably had something to do with the fact she was of a loner of sorts.

That didn’t stop her from noticing things though.

Kincross noticed that even though the Pale Family were still and quiet their eyes never stopped moving from one passenger’s face to the next.

She also noticed when she looked up and out the window  that the family were sitting next to that she could see her own reflection and the reflections of the passengers as they made their way around the cabin…

But the Pale Family cast no reflection in the window at all.

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Kincross went back to her book and every once and awhile she looked up at the Pale Family and sometime during the ride the Mother looked straight into Kincross’ face and smiled.

Kincross smiled and nodded and went back to her book.

Then the woman leaned over to the little boy and whispered into his ear and then she handed him something and pushed at his shoulder.

The boy took his time and turned a 10 second walk into something that lasted for almost five minutes. When he got to Kincross he reached out and handed her a little cookie shaped like a bell decorated with little red and green sprinkles.

She handed him a Kleenex and winked and the boy went back to his Mother and he sat quiet as a shadow for the rest of the trip.

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After awhile Kincross stopped reading and then she set her book down onto the empty seat to her  left. She fished for a coin from her purse and when she found one she held her hand out palm side down and placed the coin on top of her fingers.

Then the coin seemed to crawl and weave from finger to finger and with a snap of her fingers it disappeared.

She looked at her hand and then she muttered to herself, ” now how do you bring it back-” she reached for her book and started to read when she saw the two little girls standing in front of her with their hands folded across their chests.

” Are you a Magician? ” one girl asked

” Trying to be.”

The second little girl said, ” You’re not very good are you? “

” No, not yet. “

The two little girls wished Kincross a Merry Christmas and when they skipped off they did it without making a sound…it was like their feet never touched the floor.

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Kincross tried over and over to bring the coin back and when she decided it was lost she decided to get up and stretch her legs. She also decided to toss the book, ” 1001 Easy Magic Tricks ” overboard.

It was when she was coming back into the observation cabin that she noticed the man in the black jacket for the first time.

He was standing in a doorway watching the Pale Family.

Kincross watched the man and when he moved she jumped a little.

She had not expected the man with the flat dead eyes to do something as normal as turn and bump his shoulder and say ‘ouch’ as he left the cabin, but that’s what he did.

Curious about the living man with the dead flat eyes she decided to follow him.

She followed him down below to where the cars were parked and she watched him open a van door and reach in and when he stepped back she saw he was holding a black bag.

She heard it rattle as he reached into it.

 She watched him take out a silver mallet that he set on top of the Van’s roof and then he reached back into he bag and bring out five silver spikes.

Kincross frowned as she watched him inventory the rest of his bag…then she watched him carefully repack it.

She followed him as he made his way back up to the passengers cabin and then she watched him standing in the corner with his dead blue eyes locked onto the Pale Family.

And then she noticed they weren’t so dull and flat anymore.

They were burning.

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Seattle was ahead of them, wrapped in fog and cold and darkness.

 Kincross followed the man with the dead eyes out on to the observation deck.

She walked up behind him and said, ” cold night, isn’t it? “

” Very. “

” Get into Seattle very often? “

” Only when I’m needed ” he said ” and it looks like I’m going to be needed for a few days. “

” It’s Christmas Eve, maybe you should take the night off. After all the rest of us are.”

He backed away a little and when his back hit the door Kincross reached over his shoulder and held it shut.

He couldn’t move that arm, it was as solid and strong as an iron bar and Kincross said, “ I work out…a lot.”

 Then the Man found he was staring down into eyes so dark and black that it didn’t seem like there were any eyes in that face at all.

” Your eyes…” he whispered ” you have no eyes…”

” I can see you just fine. ” Kincross assured him.

Then as she leaned close the man choked and gasped and he said, “ your teeth…”

Kincross said as she brought her mouth to his neck, “ I Know! I Know! They’re huge… it’s a family curse.”

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