Writer: Mileva Anastasiadou
The following poem is written by Mileva Anastasiadou, one of our Twitter Competition Winners!
On a cold winter night, all inhabitants of this distant village vanished. On a cold Christmas morning, passers-by will stand by, wondering about what happened and soon enough, the story will become myth, a legend, the mystery of the deserted village will remain unsolved, the mystery will linger, the whole word will wonder how on a cold winter night, all villagers disappeared, vanished into thin air, without a warning, leaving no trace behind.
It’s still a warm summer night and all villagers gather at nights and drink happily around bonfires which lighten up the summer sky, the fire shines bright, bright, bright like the moon and those people jump over them, following a long tradition of celebrations, back from the old ages, when Noelle, the famous witch who brought sweetness and chocolate in the village when sweetness was not acceptable. Nobody names their girls Noelle now, says the teacher. Not in this village, says the priest. The doctor nods. The whole village depends on these three men for wisdom. Instead of jumping over bonfires, they sit and talk, like wise people do, they’re after happiness, the perfect recipe, happiness needs love, needs hope, acceptance, but alcohol will do, the teacher says, raising his glass, but ‘what if’ wonders the doctor, the priest is confused, only faith will do, he claims, but he also agrees that they can at least try.
Those three spend days mixing different ingredients, at different doses, until that cold winter night, when they call all villagers to drink this magic potion of whiskey, roots herb, orange and chocolate. That’s how it starts. All villagers look at their glasses at the same time. Oh look, says one of them, this looks like the moon. And then they all turn small, the world grows large around them, they become small, smaller than ants, smaller than ticks, the smaller they get, the bigger the wonders and that strange drink looks like the moon when they step on it, those villagers step onto the moon and blissfully travel around the world, happily watch the wonders of the universe.
Rumors will say that aliens abducted them, people will talk about them for long, but only years later, researchers will find a recipe in a forgotten attic, and they will call the drink Noel, in honor of that village and its witch, but of course, the magic does not work outside the village, as the secret ingredient is not included in the list, the wise men forgot to write it down, forgot to mention the chocolate that started the magic, and only the villagers know now, and they want to share their secret with the world, only they can’t, or they don’t care, or they scream it from the moon, the Christmas moon, but people can’t hear. They only get a glimpse of happiness whenever they look up at the sky on Christmas eve.