December the Twenty-fourth

We both know, you and I, that the world is ending, don’t we?
I am but a sliver of what I once was, have been for a while. I’ve been less and less each year, as the Noise has only grown. I had to let them wake up without me. I wanted them to run, finally.
And yet they make dolls. And toys. And futures for kids they have never met. For people they don’t even know. Futures that won’t last.

From realized that they would never finish all their tasks today and couldn’t decide what to do with it.
They didn’t know the deadline was today. They hadn’t been told. Yet, something told him, as he stayed in that observatory, watching the noise come in, that it was expected to come today. This final, last day, where every single order had to be done by nightfall. The chaos ran much deeper when he realized there was no ending to it—he could always twist the dial and always see more and more. The Noise never ended. Even in there, the room of the Silence, he could tell who was the strongest of the two. No longer was it the Silence, who had ruled their world for so many years. He felt alone. And terrified. He reported down to Cometh, who reported up to Glass, who got a message to Wayside and to Song, and they all got it slowly, eventually, as time spread and everyone did their part to learn what was needed of them. And the growing pain to know that they couldn’t.
“To hell with it,” Cometh said, “we’re not giving up.”
“Damn reason, damn whatever brought us here without telling us why,” Glass said, “damn the world for demanding this of us.”
“So what we won’t make it?” Song said. “We never did this to finish it.”
Why they were doing it, though, they never said. And I don’t know why they did it. I don’t know why they continue.
Cometh nodded. “Who cares how many we make! Let’s just make as many as we damn well can. Have you heard their cries? They’re not asking for more, they’re asking for anything.”
They didn’t even mind who they were talking to anymore. They just talked. And worked. And worked.
And From was convinced. He was convinced they were all mad, yet decided he’d rather join them in lunacy than bow down now, and so they went mad together.
They laughed and cried and helped each other and danced around as they wrapped and made and created and crafted and made more gifts, more presents, more things than they had ever made before.

I thought they’d all give up. I wanted them to run.
Yet I must say now that I am proud. Proud of them and, more than anything, ashamed of what I have done. I should never have never made them. I should have never let it come to this, yet what am I to say to the world and its Noise?
No matter, they are better off now. What they will do alone, who knows. Time will tell. If the world will end, so will they. And so will the Noise. It will win and then it will die.
It might not happen this year, it might not happen the next. And until then, From and Song and Cometh and Wayside and Glass and all the others are free and alive. And that is their greatest gift, to live, without me.

Merry Christmas.