Skip to main content

Merry Christmas, Oliver

Flash fiction about renewal, strength, and change. The narrator finds a sense of purpose with the fresh fallen snow.


The snow crunched below my feet as I hiked up the mountain. The cold crisp air kissed my rosy cheeks and gave a slight burning sensation in my lungs, but I was not going to quit. I marched up the mountain with a fierce determination that I once never knew existed inside me. The trees were bare of foliage, replaced by lounging snow. The flaw to the fresh snow was my footprints following behind me. I pulled my jacket closer to my face as a gust of wind blew snow from a nearby tree into my face. My nose crinkled at the snowflakes that were able to bypass my hood.

Earlier this morning, I woke to find fresh snow had fallen. My eyes were swollen from crying for the past week. My hair looked like rats had taken it as their new domain, and the smell of the room is too horrendous to even speak of. My pajamas were put on last week and only came off for the shower that occurred every two days. The room was littered with junk food and take out.

This snow was so fresh, so clean, unlike my room, my physical and mental state. It hypnotized me to venture out of the toxic environment. A part of me, the child part, was excited to see the snow. I hopped in to take a nice hot shower to feel worthy to even venture out into the snow. I blowed dried my hair and went into my winter clothes supply finding clean clothes. All the way in the back of my closet was my winter jacket, scarves, gloves, and boots. I pulled on the ensemble with heavy cotton socks to make sure I would stay warm on my mission into the snow.

I grabbed the box that arrived a week earlier pulling out the content that lived inside that I have not been able to face yet. Tucking this inside my jacket, I went to the car driving to the mountain in town. There were no cars on the street. No animals to be found. With the snow fresh on the ground and it being ten in the morning on a Tuesday, it was safe to assume that work and schools were closed for the day. If I were to be bothered, people would already be here with their sleds, tubes, snowboards, and skis.

I began the hike slipping a couple of times on hidden rocks and ice, but the hike became easier the higher I went. The trails are marked with bright orange markers. I followed these like I did last summer toward the same destination. Like the people who stayed home, so did my memories. I was numb from the cold and emotionally. There were no thoughts in my brain as I continued hiking up the mountain finally getting to the peak. I turned back realizing that going down the mountain will be harder than the hike up and a lot more dangerous, but I was not thinking rationally when I made the decision to come to the peak. I turned from where I had come to my goal. I made it to the top. My hair and face were frozen. If I had a mirror, I know that my cheeks and nose would be extremely rosy.

Unzipping my jacket, I took out the contents that had started this week-long emotional journey. Last summer, we had hiked this mountain to the top. It was something I had been working extremely hard for. I hit the gym and started walking more. I lost weight and physically became stronger. Hiking to the peak was my goal and I had done it last summer. Even now, I was able to hike it in the cold with snow and ice as obstacles. Hiking this trail one last time with my best friend.

Uncorking the urn, I waited until a breeze blew emptying the urn into it. Ashes danced and drifted along with the wind away from me and the mountain, away from where we have been. Watching the ashes blow, I could finally start to see that there was so much more for me to go. There was a future waiting for me until the day, I will join my best friend again.

“Merry Christmas, Oliver.” Tears threatened to flow as I walked down a different path back to the car, a new path with new wonders and dangers.


Writer's Workshop

I had the intense need to write something. I thought about doing another angel writing, but those writing pieces no longer speak to me.

I knew two things I wanted to write about:

1. Christmas

2. The Journey to where I am now

When I started writing, I wanted to reflect on the past and where I have come from. I wanted to reflect on how much of a struggle I have been through and the journey to where I am. The story starts on the hike up and then rewinds to the morning to the decision of hiking a mountain in the cold.

The decision was made after receiving a package, this being the urn. I made the deceased a best friend. This best friend has been there through struggles and successes. Even after success, losing that support had the narrator go back on their struggles. The decision to get up and clean themself up was the vision of something so clean and pure (like a new start).

The hike up the mountain was done alone. The narrator acknowledged the challenges but did not dwell on them staying focused on the goal. The narrator lets go once getting to the top acknowledging where they had come from and accepting the future.

I made the best friend, Oliver because I lost my best friend in May of this year. He sent me a new best friend to take care of me and my dog Winnie. I wanted to honor his memory in this story.

I too have been on a journey of successes and change. I am in the process of letting go which is why the setting is in the snow on a mountain during winter.

It is okay to rely on others, but you cannot be beaten when that support is lost. You have to be able to keep going and rely on yourself. You are stronger than you believe.

Related Articles