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The card stands there on the mantelpiece of trapped memories. Mankind’s good side is shown on the card, Father Christmas, dressed all in red, stroking a baby deer with his thick-fingered hands. Near the deer, two tiny birds wait, wanting his attention.

   A flickering candle lantern rests near Father Christmas’ boots. The trees in the surrounding area are dusted with snow, and frost is in the air. Multi-coloured presents spill out of a large sack. The ribbon bowed gifts are good time rewards for kids who are now asleep in their beds—with excitement thrilling through their wiry veins.

   Elizabeth takes hold of the card in her hands and her eyes examine every other detail on it. Instantly memories envelop her. Former places she visited at Christmas are all too real.

   The happy times as a child, holding her mother’s hand appear translucent-like. She remembers entering her favourite sweet shop with the smell of sugar and spice and all things nice circling around her like hungry phantoms.

   Then an image of running on the beach on Christmas Eve with her favourite dog called Pickles, with a red bow tied around his neck makes her laugh quietly. 

   However bad times stream back as well. The screaming domestic fights with her former husband. The phone call from her mother telling her to ‘come round her house to escape the domestic violence inflicted on her by the vile thug.’

   A gasp of breath. Her eyes begin to hurt. She squints and laments the feelings now hunting her. The sinister side of Elizabeth emerges. She is standing over a deep well, peering into the oppressing darkness. Elizabeth can hear the faint echo of a man fighting for breath. She smiles with an ugly countenance. Realising her tormentor has met a sticky end. She drops an exact copy of the Christmas card she is holding into the darkness. Watching it float and then disappear into the abyss as the final scream from her husband amongst the splashing water fades into silence. The scoundrel has received this special Christmas card for the final time.

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