Christmas Eve Ghost Story

An illuminated window on a dark night

Clock face is blinking. All is not calm, despite acceptable profits, contract bonuses—some unavoidable layoffs. Year end in the black as starless night, silent night, without bells or winds. On Christmas Eve, only sleepless, blinking red numbers.

But who’s on the lawn below? Hollow-eyed, ashen children are kicking cans, and are they singing? I throw up the sash. “Born to raise the sons of earth . . .” they rattle.

I start to yell, but a rag-wrapped child grabs my hand. “I would have been seven this Christmas.”

I jerk back, and they’re gone, leaving my hand chilled.

— — —

I wrote this in response to Loren Eaton’s group solicitation for 100-word advent ghost stories. Read more such stories by way of his blog, I Saw Lightning Fall.

10 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Ghost Story”

  1. Loren, I like your story very much too–classic horror and well told. I had trouble getting into my Google account, so I couldn’t leave a comment. I need to work that out.

  2. A very close friend of mine nearly died with his wife on the way home from Church Saturday night. Black ice, flipping, rolling, you know how it goes.

    My friend’s heart was even torn!

    He is our church’s unofficial marriage counselor and has saved most of the marriages in our church at one time or another.

    For that matter, he’s saved many souls in the process. He routinely baptizes 15 to 30 adults each year in a local mountain river. What a great loss it would be if the Lord hadn’t been so close to him that night!

    It got me to thinking; kinda like Jimmy Stewart, where would the world be if my friend, Jim hadn’t been born, etc….

    Which got me to thinking about Christmas. Which got me to thinking about our Christmas tree….

    I think all the ghosts of Christmases past reside under the tree and in it’s branches…but mostly under the tree. The space beneath the tree is so lonesome and empty now. I am reminded of all the socks I never wanted nor asked for as a kid and all the ties my sons got me as an adult.

    I recall my grandmother’s box of cherry chocolates every year, year after year. (She had shopped early on her last year of life and had a box already wrapped and ready to mail.) In an envelope, she always wrote in tiny, curly script about Jesus and His love for me.

    My mother somehow tried to get Santa to bring at least one of my gift requests. Even the year I snooped all over the house, found the “Santa gifts” two weeks before he was supposed to come….boy did I know how to spoil Christmas or what??? But, I did love the Astro Base with the lunar rover that shot two rockets.

    Yes, this morning I looked at my sad tree…so alone and empty… I prayed for my friends recovery. A sun beam broke through our Oregon clouds and hit the glass star atop the tree.

    In that moment all of who Jesus is and has been and all He has done…the greatest gift He has offered to everyone, even me who’s so undeserving became exposed. Jesus emptied Himself of His “Godness” so He could experience all we are.

    Now He asks us to empty ourselves of …ourselves’ so we can grow towards His character. What a gift!

    I had a few tears for my friend in hospital just now….but several more for being so undeserving but still being offered such a loving Jesus for my life.

    My tree still looks a bit empty and lonely…but if I look carefully, it really isn’t but rather a story of great love.

  3. As for the list of injuries:

    Torn heart muscles (From the broken ribs.)

    6 lung punctures

    all ribs broken on L side

    compression fractures-spine

    whip-lash

    unknown injury to L shoulder

    and the list goes on…

    He wasn’t wearing a seat belt! Thrown from the pickup.

    His wife who just has bruises ,(very painful ones), was in her’s.

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