We took the train into the city today. Platform was choked with fog, the night coming on faster than normal, as if the fog was drawing away the light. Margaret looked beautiful today. We needed a break from all the madness. All the sickness.
The trip offered the perfect opportunity to distract us.
She felt warm and comfortable. Even after all we have been through, falling back into place is so easy for us.
A couple of minutes passed. The heat was drawn away as well as the sun set. There was an element in the air. Something strange and foreign. And even though everything around us seemed just a little off of center, just slightly wrong, it was not uncomfortable.
We live for our little adventures.
Her and I...
Rats scurried across the tracks, cutting through the fog illuminated by the lights of the oncoming passenger train. Didn't think they would make it, but somehow they did. I didn't see where they went after that. Fog seemed to swallow them as well.
I remember the Christmas train. Just a year has passed...feels longer. It was a mess of an evening. Plagued by dark images. Things I couldn't explain. But even in that darkness, with the half warm, fifty cent hot chocolate and hard chocolate chip cookies, there was something in the evening that made us happy.
There was a child that went missing from the platform that night.
I feel...so disconnected from that.
We saw the Christmas lights tonight at the various stops. It was like we were doing the night all over again. Her hand felt warm in mine, and her smile was infectious. In a world...in a life overrun with horror...cat's that aren't cats, and neighbors wearing human skins...there is still something worth while.
At least, that's what I tell myself.
If I let myself, I feel sick. There is some place inside me that constantly hurts. For what I have done and what I haven't been able to do. I can't forgive myself for those things, but tonight I was able to be happy for a little bit.
She was able to be happy.
Went to the Christmas market. Things weren't like they were supposed to be. Just a few degrees from normal. Enough to cause me to feel ill for a moment. Like I was suddenly aware I was somewhere else. That I was imagining all of this. That I was still at home, alone.
I felt alone again.
The market was alight with bulbs and lamps, with smells of mulled wine and sweets drifting on the air. Light was even brighter in the fog. Like a dream. But I noticed. There was virtually no one.
It looked as if it had been abandoned.
Sounded like the fog was breathing.
Then the people appeared. The fog was gone. Everything was back to normal.
Margaret hadn't noticed anything wrong. It was just me. Just me seeing things.
Her hand felt different in mine.
Just a few degrees.
Someone was selling little dolls. Strange looking things...didn't look much in the spirit of Christmas. Called them “Children of Krampus.” Had black eyes and pale skin. Their clothes looked tattered and moldy. They were just wood, but felt heavy in my hand. I remember Krampus from my childhood. Lots of people from Wellington Street. Roots go back to Eastern Europe.
Woman selling them said they were like coal. Give naughty children the dolls, saying that if they weren't good that Krampus would take them away. That he would turn them into dolls. Worked well enough I imagine. Get kids to behave themselves the last few days before Christmas. Seemed to take liberties with the lore though.
Lot's of teenagers picked them up. Thought they were cool.
But there was something in the way the woman looked at them as they walked away. A spark in her eyes. She...looked strange...
I was confused. About the difference in the lore. Figured she was just trying to sell toys.
“There are many terrible creature's that come out during Christmas,” she explained. “...Some are best left unnamed...hidden.”
Smiled at me after that. Something in that smile hurt me.
I thought of last Christmas. The creature with the long limbs. Tried to give Margaret a gift...what did it try to give her?
Terrible things come out during this time of the year...
I miss our house. The home we made together. Even with all the bad memories. All the terrible, terrible things I've seen these last few years...it's still our home.
I feel sick again.
Was a good night. For both of us. We ate a lot. And we kissed. Held hands.
Bought one of the dolls.
Just in case.
Put it in the window next to our small tree.
Doesn't have any of our ornaments from home.
We do what we can to make the hotel feel comfortable.
So long as we are together.
We are alright.