Arts & Letters
October / November 2014
Christmas is the present that we give ourselves. It is a ribbon wrapped box of our experience that reveals who we are and what we have become. Each gift is a vision of successes and failures, hopes and dreams, all seen clearly through cold crystalline air.
It was December 2, 1948 and a Carroll County farmer led two visitors to the garden behind his house. He stopped when he got to a hollowed-out pumpkin. The farmer stooped down, reached inside the pumpkin and brought forth a small item wrapped in wax paper, handing it to one of the visitors.
The sun rested behind the great green hills and left the sky as an open gaping wound, bleeding starlight unto the dimmed landscape. A cloak of fog enveloped a stone castle rising from the highlands. From his stone tower watched an old nobleman.
Maggie Stuart crouched in a corner of the closet in her bedroom. She was six years old, so none of the hanging garments were long enough to cover her, to hide her. She bent her knees and pulled them close to her chin, inhaling and exhaling slowly and quietly.
The sound of the stones skipping along the water could only be heard by those who stood at the shore. Oliver Harmonie stood at the far end of the shore, skipping stones in the direction of his family’s private cabin – known simply to the members of the Harmonie family as The Cabin.