On behalf of the Purgatory Towers tenant’s association, Gary would like to wish you an Incendiary Solstice and Saturnalia.
We love a delicious Yuletide tale, so consider this our gift to you. Snuggle up with us on The Seventh Terrace and let this letter to Santa toast your wee hearts this winter’s eve.
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!
Rob & Sarah
The First Wife
I promised never to write this letter.
If you still read the letters at all, you might be clutching mine in your hand, tempted to throw it in the fire. Are the flames hot on your bare toes? Or perhaps, like me, you wear socks now, and shoes, proper clothing all around. Perhaps there aren’t any more fires.
After so long, I’m sure you’ve changed. They say you got fat. A neutered animal has a way of going soft, I suppose. Still, I remember the way you were, the way we were. Do you ever think of that time? Before?
Arctic air tore at our throats like fangs. The bone runners of our sled shrieked over snow and ice as our laughter filled a black sky. Sealskin robes, clean and pliant when we departed, crimson-splashed and frozen stiff on our return.
On those nights, we owned the world. The Germanic cowered at our names. Others knew us only as death. They terrorized their children with our stories and left lavish offerings at their hearths. In the hopes that we might pass over.
Much as I loved the frost on my face and the burn in my veins, my favorite part came at the end of the hunt. At the top of the world, we’d descend into the ice. In that tiny burrow, deeply suspended, the surface ceased to exist. Blood-drunk, we’d stumble about building up a fire that would burn all year round. Then we tore away the sealskins with greedy hands and teeth. Our bodies, robed in firelight, were sculpted renderings of immortality. Your beauty left me speechless. Not that it mattered. In those moments, words were a waste of our mouths.
In our dark cocoon, time blurred into a fevered dream, sifting and drifting while we’d whisper and sing and fuck and sleep endlessly; eternally. Until the hunger quickened – calling us to the surface with the promise of a child’s whimper at our shadow filling his bedroom door.
The happiest time of my life. Before her.
How she came to you, I still do not know. I do know she taught you a word. A word in her language that had no equivalent in ours.
She insisted that a life of savagery had corrupted your soul. She spoke of Jesus, the fisher of men. Give back, she said. Make amends. Repent. How could she poison you so completely against yourself? How could you let her? My love, you and I took only what was in our nature to take. Deviants, she called us. Base and depraved. I argued that denying one’s true self was the purest form of depravity, the very definition of deviance. You wouldn’t listen. She urged you to rise above your nature.
From the beginning, I knew she wanted you, that apple-cheeked cunt. Fool that I am, it never occurred to me that you might want her.
God will forgive, she said.
What could we possibly have to fear from this God? What Hell could He create that we had not already wrought upon His earth? I wonder, has rising above your nature changed what you are, my love? Has this farce of an existence sanitized your soul?
Now your satchel is full when you enter, and empty when you leave. You are a giver. Yet, they still leave offerings. Their ancestral memory quivers, and subconsciously, they are afraid. Does it tempt you? A tender throat relaxed in sleep. Does it make your jaw ache? Just a taste, after all – you’ve brought them so much joy. You said you’d lost your appetite for the kill. Who were you trying to convince with your lying?
I remember a time when there were no falsehoods between us. A time when I laid my head in your lap and you twisted my hair into a thousand slender braids, one for each blood-drenched December. You swore to love me always. Now, your eternity yawns, filled with the adoration of legions. But none of them know you. She doesn’t know you. I felt your every thought and deed as if they were my own. I loved you brutally and without end.
Before her, it didn’t exist.
Are you happier, now that it does?
I sound bitter, don’t I? A woman scorned. The first wife. A joke. This is the letter I promised I wouldn’t write: a letter to Santa. You bring gifts for good boys and girls, don’t you? I’m not entirely good – we can’t all be saints – but I believe I’d still make your ‘nice’ list, if only for old time’s sake. Now I want to ask for something.
Your Mrs. Claus.
Bring her to me.
Lay her under my tree like a sweet, ripe plum, and I will show her what you are. We’ll show her together. Then, if she can kiss your mouth, wet with her blood – if she will yet offer up her flesh to her defiler – if she can forgive, as her God would; then I will release you. I will keep my peace, knowing you are loved for who you are.
Burn my words if you must. In writing them, I’ve done what I must. You have my heart, Nicholas – the only heart that has ever known you – the only heart like your own.