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The night comes so quick!

Beyond the windows a wind blows in strong gusts, trees creak and groan, rain swipes at the cold glass with violent blows. Yes, the fire is warm and strong, the candles bright and the room is festively merry in its decorations.

No matter my age! I keep to the festive spirit and make merry in my own way. Even though this house has long since lost the delightful noise of children’s laughter and the happy voices of eager guests, still my house has joy and my doors are open to all those who seek it.

I sit in my chair an admire the tree. So green in its foliage, bedecked in silver, glass and gold. Firelight reflects in its many decorations, candlelight glints, the room is transformed  and magic plays in the air and dances upon its walls. I sing to the room and to the glorious tree, the mulled wine that is hot in my silver cup and from the wassail bowl is taken, is sweet nectar indeed upon my lips and its taste does sooth and delight. I raise my cup an toast good health to all, blessings and all this fine seasons greetings.

The rocking horse in the corner is tacked in all his Christmas finery. I look about and find comfort and joy in my surroundings. I look to my books, so many fine editions, for what must be, a delight on such a dark night, I look for a tale of ghosts of goblins and of ghouls. Such grimness an evenings pleasure to be read by the fire with wine in your hand.

But, which to choose? Such choice!

Poe, Dickens, Collins, Gaskell or James. Le Fanu, Wharton, Asquith or Sala.

In the corner of the room, there is a desk. My writing desk. And as my eyes pour over my books, collections of ghostly tales and tales a dark happenings from authors old and new, I notice the quill.

It is a special tool. With a fine silver nibs mounted upon a ravens feather, it is a quill that I cherish and hold dear to my heart. For, out of the corner of my eye as my attention is in part upon a good evenings read, the scratch of nibs on paper is heard and I know, oh yes, I know, that no matter what book is destined by my hand to open, upon my desk come the morning, something will be there that shall the following night hold my attention.

And as I reach and take a book off of the shelf, the rocking horse slowly gains momentum, the bells upon its bridle ring soft and playful, faintly you can hear the sounds of children laughter and as I open a selection of M.R. James, the quill is once more dipped in the ink well and a quick scratching as words by unseen hand on paper do so appear.

I read and read, until the fire burns low and the candles burn out and the quill, at last, falls silent.

With my nightlight beside me, i gaze at the now darkened room, i nod, bid it goodnight, with thanks i close its door behind me and retire to bed.