It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a single critter was stirring, not even a... but wait. Something stirred. I heard it.
I sat up in bed. I thought I saw light coming from the living room. It couldn't be the Christmas tree, for we use real candles, and obviously we don't leave it unattended.
I got up and moved cautiously. And in the living room a strange sight greeted me: An almost nude girl was crouched next to the tree, playing with the shining trinkets on it. But it was no normal girl: she was glowing. And she had big, soft wings. And she wore a red Christmas hat, and red net stockings, and red gloves. And nothing else.
When I entered the room, she suddenly looked up, startled, and sprang into the air and hovered there. She spread her arms wide and said in a spooky voice: "Beware, Stobblehouse, for this I am the ghost of Christmas Past... uh, Future, I mean... bewaaaaare!"
She seemed familiar to me, but just for show I fell to my knees and folded my hands. "Please, great ghost," I said. "Don't hurt me, I have been a good person, and I will be a better one yet."
She giggled and tried to hide it behind her hand, but just laughed more. "Ha-ha, Mr. Stobblehouse, it is only I, your angel." She folded over with laughter and fell down to the floor and then stood up, standing on the floor now like a human.
I got up too and looked at her, I couldn't help a big smile, she is so beautiful and wonderful. "Oh," I said, "you sure fooled me, you big kidder you."
Then, stunningly, she came over and gave me a big hug. The effect on me was indescribable... like my entire body and soul turned to bubbles and colors.
She stood back, holding my hand, and said "So, it has been a while. How have you been?"
I almost gave my usual answers: -- very good, thanks, business is good, and I am having fun... not making as much art as I would like, but... and so on. But looking at her, it all disappeared, and I just said: "Fantastic." And I realized it was true.
I continued, "I dunno, it is weird... everything is very confused right now. Everything seems to be happening at once, good and bad. All kinds of beliefs seem to be true at once. There is a lot of fear and pain, but also a lot of hope and beauty, and many things are happening that we don't have explanations for..."
I did not want to let go of her hand. "Listen, lately I have had a very strong feeling... a perception, rather... of, like, light and warmth... from just around the corner. Like I can feel the sun coming up while it is still under the horizon. Like something big and great is imminent for mankind. Am I crazy? What is happening?"
She looked at me. And she laughed. Not a ridiculing laugh, but an open, friendly and warm laughter, like one gets from relief or just fun. She laughed more and more. It was very infectious, and I laughed too. Maybe it was from holding her hand, but I felt very warm and happy, and I saw the "sun" under the horizon even more clearly than I ever had.
We just laughed and laughed, and then later we took a flight over the town and landscape. It must have been later in the night than I realized, for when we got high up, I could see the sun peeking up.