|The Sick Child, Edvard Munch (1907).|
Madeline Mora-Summonte's "Silent Night" tells about a family Christmas palpably silenced by loss. The writing is beautiful and subtle. The running comparison with Christmas past is powerful. Don't read this if you're already feeling depressed. I particularly liked Mora-Summonte's description of death:
[Death] slunk into her room, the house, our lives. He slithered under her skin and into her blood. He wrapped himself around her small bones, hugged her heart, and squeezed her lungs until she gasped her last breath.
Stephanie M. Lorée's clever science fiction tale "Three Winters" tells of loss and silence in a family separated by light years. She tells her story in three sections, each with a different point-of-view from a different generation. The section headings spell out the oft-used phrase: Home Away From Home.
Shane Gavin's "Climbing ‘til Doomsday" describes a young boy's struggle to escape from the dark. It's at night, when he's in bed, that his parents fight and he can hear the screaming. If he can reach the sky, he believes he can rip it open and release the day hidden behind the blackness. His efforts to reach the sky are comic at first, but then turn tragic. I don't think I'll ever look at the night sky in quite the same way again.
I didn’t hate mom and dad, though, no, I hated the dark--the sky outside that hid the day and brought on the screaming. But the sky outside was broken and punctures in the black shroud revealed glimpses of the day hidden behind it.
For more on these writers and their work, check out their websites: http://www.MadelineMora-Summonte.com, http://stephaniemloree.com, and http://shanemgavin.wordpress.com.