December 6th, 2011

He scratches and fusses at the barrier, until suddenly, something catches. Perhaps his flame, being of the purest burning negativity, is more elemental than my own and can do more damage. Somehow, he can pass through where I could not. The last barrier to our freedom smoulders and burns away around him, and he is free.

We were buried under the snow: it cascades down from overhead now that the ceiling above us is gone. As I command him, he tugs at the teapot, dragging it up through layers of snow until I hear him gasping for air. He rasps and retches, and complains of snow in previously unknown corners of his physiology.

His voice grates at my last nerve. To be trapped in an echoing cell with it for so long… But yes, he confirms, we are out.

I ask him, “Spirit! How is it that you were able, where I failed, to bring down the enchanted tea cosy?”

“I DON’T KNOWSY,” is his exasperating response, as he drops the teapot roughly into the snow, and flaps and scurries about, dislodging frost particles from the cracks in his rocky crust.

If only he wasn’t such a small and wretched individual, that stone carcass might be of some use to me, in my withered state. Once a fine specimen of man, I now inhabit a body twisted and ruined by the punishments to which I was sentenced by Santa Claus, my hated enemy. My head is now a corrupt skull, my body is in rags and tatters. I have lost the strength I once had.

But this snapping spirit is eternal and retains his vitality. He cannot be crushed and will endure as long as there is anti-Christmas sentiment in the world.

Yes, perhaps he can be of use.

I command him to release me, so that I can have my revenge, and of course, at this last, urgent moment, he has to contradict, he has to be a burden. He rasps out, in what he thinks are sly, knowing tones, his new idea: that it is he who is responsible for our grandest designs and he who works to realise them. That, being free, he can leave me in here forever and go on without me. I remind him that without me he would still be the barest beginnings of a concept, not fully realised and made corporeal.

Then comes the turning point.

In a voice that makes my throat tear in sympathy, he declares that he has had his fill; that he regrets escalating any drama between us but that now is the moment for him to break away and go it alone. That he was a fool to let me run the show, and that from this day forth he will look to his own survival, leaving me in the past.

So saying, he has relieved himself of any usefulness. He has made my decision for me.

That unbreakable body will, after all, be of use to me.


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