The last rays of the sun were struggling to cut through the brownish soup of clouds that was in the sky, setting a strange tone outside. It was cold, but it hadn’t dropped below freezing quite yet.
Inside the trailer, the wan light filtered in, and added its meager strength to the crackling orange and yellow flames that licked up in hungry delight inside the barrel that was used as a makeshift fireplace. That, and the lights on the skeleton of the metal rebar tree were casting more of a festive mood inside. He had hung quite a few things on the tree, from socks, cups, paper and cloth strips to anything else that he could find to decorate it.
It wasn’t so much important that the decorations were from the time of year, or even that they were ‘decorations’, so much as that the tree was decorated at all. One had to make do with what one could, after the Apocalypse. If he ever found a cache of proper decorations, he would certainly exchange the makeshift ones – maybe.
He’d hung a red striped sock and another sock similar to, but not quite the same, beside it, near the barrel fireplace, and had put little stocking stuffers of things that he’d found in his foraging runs; Practical presents. A grenade, and a knife, not to mention some other little goodies that would be found once the sock had been thoroughly explored.
Underneath the stockings, was placed a bottle of booze and a coffee cup, so they both could share in the bounty, and he licked his lips in anticipation of that blessed moment. He was so tired of the water that tasted of sulfur.
Wraith hummed to himself, as he moved away from the tree, admiring his handy work, and thought it wasn’t too bad. He had been preparing all day for this little get together, and it was almost time. His friend would be coming soon.
The young man was dressed in black jeans that had been mended many times, that fit his lean frame like a glove. He had on an overly large sweater, with the sleeves too long, but it was cozy, and held off the chill. He was wearing brown and green checkered socks and a necklace he’d managed to hold on to, and he’d loosed his brown soft mane from its eternal man-bun, and brushed it out, so that it flowed over his shoulders and down midway past his chest and back, depending on where the locks fell on his skinny frame. His ears were pointed, and pierced on either side, having the look of the offshoot of the elven folk. Whether it was a body mod, or actual ancestry, it was hard to tell, but the ears were prominent to be seen.
There was a knock at the door, and Wraith tensed as he looked at the old wrist watch, and it showed that it was early yet for company. It might be Dogwood, but if it wasn’t…
He grabbed hold of an aluminum baseball bat with a spike driven through the end, and padded silently towards the door, peeking out the window. He couldn’t see anything different, but that didn’t mean much, since the window couldn’t see the other side of the door. He gripped the door handle and yanked it open. It was a hard tug, and it swung back, as he took up a defensive, ready to strike stance, as it banged against the inside of the trailer wall.
Standing on the porch, on the other side of the door. was a young blond haired boy, the yellow golden locks woven into dreadlocks that were pulled back into a loose ponytail, giving him the exotic look of a surfer dude with braids of hemp for hair, almost. He was in his very late teens, probably 18 or 19, and was wearing a long black wool scarf looped around his neck, that had a white snowflake designs woven into the fabric.
He wore a long black leather trench coat, black leather biker jeans and boots to match, and you could see he was wearing a red and green woolen sweater through the opening of the coat. There were letters visible, “ERR” above the letters “RIST” in white letters, on the chest, along with the repeated pattern of snowflakes and reindeer in bands above and below the letters.
The young blond was just a shade taller than Wraith. To crown it all, he wore a red elf hat with white fur trim, and a little white fuzzy ball on the end of the peak, that drooped to the left side of his head. He had tattoos crawling up the side of his neck, which crawled down to his chest, and silver piercings in his ears, nose, and lip. He smiled, but his eyes were wide, like he was totally surprised, and had that “oh shit” look on his face. After all, a boy with a baseball bat was about to hit him in the face.
“Merry… Yule?” The newcomer said, a question, as he gulped.
Wraith arrested his movement and bowed his head a moment, his heartbeat causing a flush in his cheeks from the expected combat. He sighed and let the ball bat’s end sink to the floor, and he took in a deep breath, then smiled and raised his head again. “Dogwood, get your ass in here. It’s COLD out there, and you’re letting all the heat out!”
Dogwood grabbed the army duffle bag that was beside him, and hefted it, some sounds of jangling, and perhaps the sound of cans rattling against one another, could be heard inside the canvas bag.
“Santa comes bearing gifts, oh Bat Man of the Mountain Caves,” he said, as he passed inside, and grinned, giving Wraith’s cheek a quick kiss as he crossed the threshold. He glanced down, and chuckled, wiggling his eyebrows, as he looked around the room. “Did I interrupt something?” He glanced down at Wraith’s waist again. Wraith followed Dogwood’s gaze, and blushed, as his belt was open, and his fly partly down.
“Oh shut up, you ass,” Wraith huffed. “You’re early! I was just getting dressed! “
Dogwood just grinned at Wraith, and inhaled the aroma of the place, the scent of wood smoke and metal, the scented candles that Wraith had burning in various places around the the trailer. He smiled and nodded. “it’s like coming home,“ he said with a wistful tone.
The tall blond sank down on the old rust-brown sofa opposite the tree and fireplace, and sighed, as he shivered, and then nodded to his host, and smiled, “Well, sorry for making you anxious, hon. I managed to get that old motorcycle working, and I drove it over. BUuut, it ran out of fuel on the way over, so I had to push it the last quarter mile or so. But I’m surprised you didn’t hear me coming. Anyway.. I really appreciate you making the effort.“
With that, the blond opened the overstuffed duffle bag, and passed several colorfully wrapped items. The wrapping was made of what looked like old checkered lumberjack shirts, but tied up with colored string or duct tape. Some packages were square, like boxes, and some were in tubes. And then there was the collapsed bazooka that he had only put a bow on, setting each under the rebar tree.
Finally, he pulled out several metal ammo boxes, and opened them up. The scent of cooked meats and vegetables wafted from inside, and he nodded. “The main course! As Promised,” he said, with a broad grin.
There were items wrapped in aluminum foil, or in sealed plastic or aluminum pans or containers, and it all smelled like.. a feast.
He passed the containers to Wraith, who walked them over to a set of sawhorses that had an old wooden door laying horizontal over them, as a makeshift table. He’d draped an old green bedsheet over top of it for a tablecloth, and now there was a holiday feast set before them.
Two mismatched wooden chairs were on either end of the table, and Wrath’s stomach growled loudly, as he glanced and grinned sheepishly at Dogwood. “I think it’s time to eat. But dude.. where did you get all this food? We could eat for a week!”
“Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to, but suffice it to say, I got it fair and square. “
Dogwood shrugged, and his cheeks had a blush, his bravado gone for a moment, as he took a seat at one end of the table, and opened a box that contained plates and silverware – real plates, real silverware.
Wraith shook his head, in awe, of his friend, and he almost got misty eyed.
“I don’t know what to say, “ The brown haired boy said, as he looked at the feast.
“Don’t say anything, hon; ‘Tis the Season. Now – Let’s eat.“
Story by: Dehrynn Shepherd
Hair- #Foxy – Waterfalls (Shiny Shabby)
Eyeshadow- Zibska ~ Dvoire (Uber)
Traincar & Christmas Things- -DRD- AE – Post Apocalyptic Holiday (Tannenbaum)