Pandora at Christmas Time – Chapter One

(yesss, I copied SC, lol)

First person. :3

“Pandora,” Callista said calmly, shaking my bed. My eye twitched a little.

“Guess what day it is today?” she said cheerfully. Something big and flat landed on the floor. Like a box.

“Oh, don’t sing that song again!” I groaned, opening my eyes more. “It’s not even Friday.”

“Ah, but it is Christmas!” Callista grinned. My eyes shot open. I gazed into Callista’s ice blue eyes, shocked.

“CHRISTMAS?” I jumped out of bed and raced down the hall of the house. Callista followed me as I entered the living room and quickly set up a cozy fire. Outside, snow poured down and covered the ground. Mariah and Thomas sat in armchairs, arms around each other. I grinned at the Christmas tree we’d decorated just a few days before. Off it hung tinsel, baubles and little candy canes, and on the top was a beautiful star. Under the tree sat boxes with bright wrapping paper and silk ribbons.

“Oh, gosh,” Pandora said, feeling a sudden wave of nausea.

“Are you alright?” Thomas asked, alarmed.

“Yeah, I just… I haven’t celebrated Christmas with anyone else for ten years,” Pandora sighed. But she brightened up when her eyes moved to her friends again.

“Come on, sit down,” Callista said kindly and walked into the kitchen.

Mariah immediately broke into chatter. “Oh, my Lord, it’s snowing! We could so do skiing and all that. And we’ll bake cookies and have Christmas pudding and I am finally going to get those boots I wanted! Squee!”

I chuckled. That was exactly what I got her. I sat down on the couch and listened to my friend babble away while watching Callista set bowls onto trays.

“Now, I don’t exactly know what a Christmas breakfast is,” Callista said as she made her way into the room while somehow balancing four trays of food. “But I tried.” She gave each of us a tray and had one for herself. On it was cereal, orange juice, a delicious-looking omelette and a little edible folly decoration.

I giggled, thanked her and we all tucked in.

“Oh, this is so good,” Thomas said, showing us the gunk in his mouth.

“Well, thanks, but you should close that huge hole on your face,” Callista said, spooning up her cereal into her mouth. I laughed and started to cut my omelette.

Mariah gazed dreamily at the big box under the tree labeled, “Mariah.”

“We’ll open presents after brekky,” I said, catching her longingness to rip open the wrapping and tear out those new boots.

After breakfast was finished, I helped Callista with the washing up, and then we all sat down on the rug in the living room. Callista had brought one of her empty Ice Fire wine bottles.

She spun it and we all watched it go round and round until it finally stopped at Thomas.

“Yes!” He exclaimed, grabbing the three presents labeled, “Thomas.”

The first one, from me, had a huge box. It was as long as the tree was tall. He opened the box and carefully pulled out the thing inside. His face brightened.

“Wow!” he said, showing everyone his present. “Thank you so much, Pandora!”

I waved it off. He opened the other two presents; a book on sword-fighting from Mariah and, quite funnily, a bow and arrow from Callista.

The next to be chosen by the Great Bottle was Mariah. She got the hiking boots from me (and she almost cried), a bowl and wooden spoon for her coooking hobby from Thomas and quite a large bag of gold coins from Callista.

“I couldn’t think of anything to get you,” Callista said, “so I just got you some money so that you can choose it yourself.”

Next to be chosen was Callista. I gave her a wine-making award which she had supposedly lost, until I found it in a bush in the garden. I had enclosed it in a glass box.

“Thanks,” she said to me, on the verge of tears.

Thomas got her a gold locket with tiny paintings of each one us in it and Mariah got her a journal and a gold pen. Her old journal had worn thin.

And there was one left. Me. I grabbed the remaining presents and opened all of them excitedly. The one from Mariah was a new bowstring for my violin. Thomas had given me a polishing kit for my sword and Callista had given me a glowing, blue ball.

Callista saw my confused look. “It’s a destiny ball. I know how you always want to know what’s going to happen at the end of day, so I got you this. It shows you the end of the day. It only works once, ever, but it still might make a pretty decoration after that.”

I giggled happily and clutched the ball tight. It felt like a glass ball, and inside was thick, blue smoke swirling around everywhere. The smoke seemed to part, and then images formed.

I concentrated on the ball hard.

There were images of monsters and blood. I frowned. Pictures of Thomas and Mariah falling off a cliff. Pictures of bats swooping down from the sky, trying to kill Callista and leaving her unconscious.

I looked away immediately. I could bear it no more, so I threw it against the wall and it shattered into a million pieces.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered to Callista.

“It’s fine,” she assured me. “What did you see? I’m assuming it wasn’t something you’re looking forward to?”

Everyone had kneeled around me, genuinely concerned.

“I saw… I think I saw you two f-falling off a cliff… and I saw…” I continued to inform them on my sights.

“That doesn’t sound good,” Thomas said. The optimist, as usual.

“If we stick together, maybe we can change fate,” Mariah said.

“But in the pictures we were already sticking together!” I said.

“So. what do we do know?” Callista said. Usually she was the one who always knew what to do.

“We go visit the other Beings,” Pandora said.

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