June 30, 2012
Last night, I dreamt the ghost of my mother had begun to haunt my family’s home during Christmas. I could see her reflection in the glossy ornaments that hung on the pine tree in our livingroom, and in the frosted windowpanes; a smoky presence standing beneath the mistletoe. My sisters and I would ask her questions and speak to her, and though she would respond as best she could without being able to speak, it was the first time in a very long time that we had all been together for the holidays.
Two carolers came to our door, singing a low, deep song that did not sound at all like a Christmas carol. The lights flickered on the tree, and I knew that the spirit of my mother had departed. The carolers smiled sadly at us, and handed over a check for two hundred thousand dollars.
“We are sorry for your loss, but it had to be done.” They turned and walked back into the night. I ran from one reflective surface to the next, searching for the pale visage of my mother’s face in the glass, knowing that she was truly gone for good. I sang a Christmas song in a feeble attempt to undo what they had done, my face pressed against the cool surface of the window, warming the flakes of ice on the other side of the glass until they melted like tears.