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 A Sylessae Christmas [Short Story]

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chrissifniotis
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Title : Elite Senshi
Posts : 1057
Join date : 2017-07-26
Age : 29
Location : Sydney, Australia


PostSubject: A Sylessae Christmas [Short Story]   31st December 2017, 11:39 pm

Title: A Sylessae Christmas
By: Chris Sifniotis
Rated: PG13
Fandom: None
Pairing: Jess/Josh
Notes: This was a short story I made for an artist friend I know on a Discord server. She was feeling down and it was just about Christmas, so I decided to make a short story for her to cheer her up. It worked! Razz The story features music from the Fourplay Electronic String Quartet.
Story Summary: The night before Christmas Jess and Josh went to bed wishing for a better life ahead of them in their cramped house. However as Christmas Eve turned into Christmas Day their solitary life would take a rather unusual turn of of events.
Comments allowed: Of course! Yes!


This short story has music as part of the prose, as you reach a link please right click on it to open in a new tab and let the music play as you read.


    The night before Christmas was cold, snowy and overcast. The whiteness of the snow melded with the white exterior of the house, a quaint double story house. The lights shone dimly through the frost encrusted windows. Slowly each of the lights turned off, one by one. The house was falling asleep. Inside the home was subtlety decorated for the holiday; a few Christmas lights here and there, tinsel wrapped around the handrail of the stairs, and a small Christmas tree in the nook of the lounge, complete with golden fairy lights and baubles to match. They too were switched off over time. At the light switch a man sighed and turned away. Having brought darkness to the home he preceded upstairs to rest before the big day. The man slowly walked inside, trying not to stir. It was a small bedroom, barely able to allow two people to sleep in peace. A desk side lamp was all that lit the room, the queen bed was just enough to squeeze into the space. The man walked over to the wardrobe opposite the bed, a tiny wooden thing to change into his sleepwear. He was ready to go to bed. The man turned to see the other figure sleeping under the covers and smiled. He walked up to his side of the bed and climbed in, greeting the sleeping beauty with a kiss on the cheek. The woman moaned in delight, she turned to face him and slowly opened her eyes to a vision of warm light and the man of her dreams.

“How are you feeling?” the man asked.

“Still sick.” she replied, her reddened nose and nasal voice revealed her cold. He leaned over and kissed her forehead, the woman blushed at the random display of affection.

“You’re burning up Jess.” the man said. He leaned back and held Jess’ neck, turning her head to meet his gaze. “Do you want some tea or something?”

“Nah.” she said. “I just want to sleep; it’s too late for tea.”

The man sighed. “Are you sure?” Jess nodded. “Alright then.” He leaned over again to kiss her goodnight. After the brief moment of bliss the man recoiled. “Night Jess.”

Jess yawned back a reply. “Good night Josh.” Jess turned back around and after he switched off the lamp Josh cuddled her, sharing his warmth with her, fighting off the bitter cold. The couple slept in their tiny bedroom, dreaming of a better home, more time to spend on their art, a chance to meet their friends again.

Wanting a better life.
 


    The sun broke through the cloud as morning arrived. The sunlight filtered through the material of the curtains, blue light was cast onto the white bedcover. The couple were no longer holding each other; Jess slept peacefully on her back, wrapped in her pyjamas and thick bed sheets. Jess moaned herself awake, at first she stretched her arms and back, popped a few joints and turned over to see her boyfriend sleep by her right side. It took her a couple of seconds to realize, and when she did Jess woke right up. Josh was buried, face first into the pillows. Jess was concerned, he had never done that before, and he tried to cover his head with the sheets. She reached out to push him. “Josh?” He jutted on the bed but nothing happened. Jess sighed. She knew he wasn’t dead, she felt his body heat radiate from her hand, but still there he was face-planted into the bed and unresponsive. “Josh?!” Jess pushed him harder, this time she woke Josh up. He snorted and coughed, lifting his head for air. Jess chuckled at her boyfriend’s aberration. “Are you alright?” she asked.

As he turned over to see her Josh held his forehead and groaned. “Uh, I’m fine.”

Jess still laughed. “Why are you like that? You don’t sleep like that.”

“Honestly?” She nodded back; as she did Josh began to blush. “Um, well-” He sat up in bed. “You snore really loudly.”

Jess twitched. “Snore? What do you mean? I don’t snore.”

“It’s your cold Jess.” She sat up herself when she heard this. “Your nose is blocked. You can’t breathe with it.”

Jess laughed nervously “Oh god! I hope I wasn’t too loud.”

“I buried my head in the pillow and hid under the covers Jess.” Josh smiled weakly at her. “You annoyed the crap out of me.” In no time at all Jess pulled her pillow from under her threw it straight at Josh’s head, she laughed hysterically as she did so. Taking the full force his girlfriend’s blow Josh pulled off the pillow and laughed along with her. The couple shared a rare moment of delight in an otherwise bitterly cold winter morning. Their mirth subsided and they paused for a moment, their good humour gave way to a solemn silence. They smiled at each other, thinking about all the good times they had. Jess then leaned in to kiss him, and Josh cradled her neck in his hand. They were indeed in love, as any young couple ought to be. Josh pulled away and after a second started to get up. “I’ll make you some tea for breakfast.”

“Thanks.” Jess replied back, as she did Josh pulled the covers off and got out of bed. He walked around the narrow space in the room to her side, casting a silhouette onto the covers.

“Just stay warm and don’t do anything today.” Josh said. He tucked his ailing partner into bed. Jess moaned and snuggled under the covers again and fell asleep again as her boyfriend left to fix some breakfast.

Neither of them checked their phones on the bedside desk. Neither Jess nor Josh bothered themselves to see Discord. No one knew what was being planned for them.
 


    Hours ticked by. The quaint little house was undisturbed all morning. Jess remained in bed that day, drinking her third mug of sweetened tea she was busy sketching another drawing to pass the time while bedridden. Josh waited hand and foot for Jess today; there was no sense in getting her to do anything with a nasty cold. Josh dealt with the cooking, cleaning and was preparing his own artwork. Suddenly out of nowhere the doorbell rang. Josh poked his head through the main hallway. Who could that be?! he thought. He walked over to the door, closed his right eye and peered through the peephole. Through the distorted lens outside was a man dressed sharply in a black chauffeur’s suit, what’s more under the hat the face seemed very familiar, or it might have just been the lens.

“Protoss?” Josh uttered, he quickly unlocked the door and opened it to reveal ProtossHugs in a full chauffeur outfit and a genuine limousine parked outside the house. Josh couldn’t believe what he saw. “Is that you?!”

Protoss took a deep breath and delivered his prepared statement. “Karn, you and Sylessae are invited to a Christmas dinner being organized by the Discord group. I’ve been asked to take you guys to the place and personally escort you inside. So let’s go.”

Nothing happened. Josh just stared blankly at Protoss. Protoss simply looked back at KarnaughAltas, expecting a simple reply back. Eventually after a lengthy pause Josh simply let out a single “What?!”

Upon hearing this Protoss sighed loudly. “I told Chris they didn’t get the message. We’ve been making a thing for you guys, since you had to cancel dinner we’re treating you to one.”

“You guys are hosting a dinner for us?” Josh was even more shocked now.

“Yeah, it was Chris’ idea. He felt bad about it and though we could do one instead in a nice place in the city. We all made some food so the catering’s done and he rented out a convention room for the night. It’s actually a pretty good set up.”

As Protoss was filling Josh in with the day’s events Jess walked down the stairs. “Is that you Protoss?”

“We really can’t go anywhere Protoss. Jess just isn’t feeling up to it today.” Josh replied, shaking his head.

“What’s going on Josh?” Jess eventually reached her partner by the door.

Before Josh had any time to respond Protoss explained. “We’re doing a dinner for you two since you had to cancel. We all kinda rallied together and found a nice place to do to and cook everything.”

“Oh my god you did a dinner for me?” Jess was so shocked she nearly squeed.

“Yeah we did, it was all Chris’ idea. Everyone cooked a dinner and a desert so there’s plenty of food to go around.”

“We should go Josh!” Jess looked back at her boyfriend with glee.

Josh turned to see her getting more excited despite her cold. “Uh, are you sure Jess? You’re still sick.”

“Yes please Josh. You’ve been so good to me the last few days and I’ve been feeling so much better thanks to you.” Jess hugged her partner. “Take the night off Josh, let’s go.”

Josh looked at her when she hugged him and slowly turned to Protoss, visibly starting to shiver. “Heh, alright. Where is it Protoss?”

“Up pa pa pa!” Protoss raised his hand to stop Josh. “That’s for me to know and for you to find out. You guys go and get ready.” Protoss gestured to the couple and they both laughed to each other and headed back upstairs. As they did Protoss muttered to himself. “And for me to freeze my butt off in this cold!” He reached into his suit and pulled out his phone, unlocked it and opened the weather app. “WHAT?! 30 degrees?! It’s just below freezing!”
 


    Driving down ice capped roads the limousine continued its way to the mystery location somewhere in the city. Protoss drove Jess and Josh to the function.  Jess dressed elegantly; a slimming black dress, floor length with lace frills, a low cut hem line and a gold necklace with shining golden beryl. Josh was dressed handsomely; a simple navy shirt and black trousers, a fancy silver wristwatch, and sunglasses. Why he though to wear sunglasses to an indoor function at night was beyond Jess, and really most others. They were both wondering where on Earth Protoss was taking them, some strange part of the city perhaps, or maybe a bar they often go to. Hell, is it even in this city? Jess thought to herself. After another minute of quiet sightseeing Protoss clicked the indicator and pulled over. “We’re here!”

“Oh wow.” Jess uttered.

“Really?” Josh asked. Protoss switch the motor off and promptly exited the car. For a few seconds the young couple were by themselves, thinking about what could possibly be inside, and also where they even were. “I actually don’t know where we are Jess. We’ve gone past where we usually go, I don’t know any of this.”

“Well, I-. “ Before Jess had any ability to reply back Protoss opened her door and gestured them to come outside.

“May I hold your hand miss?” Jess handed Protoss her hand and he pulled her out to reveal a bar, but not just any bar – a Russian watering hole. Jess stepped out onto her black high heels and as she did so she looked up and couldn’t believe how plain looking it was, a simple stone building clearly showing its age, vaguely any windows at all, and a door frame straight out of the 80s. However within its walls Jess could hear the noise and the ruckus of drunken Russian men getting more and more inebriated. To add to the nature of the location a large neon sign read Місяць над Молдавою. Under the lights was the translation – Moon Over the Moldau. All of a sudden Jess felt a sense of dread. THIS?! This is the place, she screamed internally.

As Protoss helped Josh out of the limousine she had to ask. “Protoss, are you sure this is the right place?”

Protoss laughed at the question. “I thought you’d say that. Don’t worry, this place is great. They got a function room where we’re all set up and everything, we just need to cut across the bar.”

Josh eventually stepped up to Jess. “A Russian bar? I had no idea this place had one.”

“Yeah.” Protoss explained. “You’d be surprised with you find here. There’s actually a decent Ukrainian community here.”

“Ukraine?” Josh turned to see Protoss nod back. “Cool.”

Protoss took a deep breath. “We better get in there; it’s not going to get any easier.” Protoss walked up to the door while Jess and Josh just stood there for a while, wondering what the hell they got themselves into. “Hey! Come on guys!” he shouted over the noise. They snapped out of their daze and quickly hurried into the bar.
 


    Inside the bar was crawling with people, noise and vodka. The bar was rank with alcohol and cigarette smoke. Patrons moved around the tight spaces, around tables full of people and along the bar itself. The entire room was full of mostly eastern European men and women talking, laughing, shouting and drinking. It was no place for a woman in a fashionable dress to ever attend, yet at that moment Protoss opened the door and let Jess and Josh into the chaos. Half of the patrons noticed this and shouted “PRYVIT!” A common Ukrainian greeting.

“Gees, this place got busy!” Protoss exclaimed. He grabbed a hold of Jess’ hand and shouted “Come on, we have to get across to the room.”

“Seriously?” Jess asked. Josh on the other hand was preparing himself – he took off his sunglasses, held Jess’ other hand tightly and as soon as Protoss set off he helped Jess move forward. It took no time for some of the more lecherous men to leer at Jess in her evening ware. Protoss kept moving the party forward into the maze of drunks and chairs and people and tables and chaos. Every so often a man would come up to and babble incoherently to Jess only for Protoss to shoo away the men. Halfway across the room a bartender shouted over the noise “Shchaslyva hodyna!” with the crowd screaming back in approval. “What’s that?” Jess asked.

“It’s 7 o’clock.” Protoss explained. “Happy hour!” In all the movement Jess was getting more and more terrified and Josh was getting angrier at the state of affairs, meeting the pervasive Russians with a threatening glare and a raised fist. “We’re nearly there!” Protoss screamed. A lit doorway was looming at the wall; Protoss was headed straight for it. Someone then peered out of it, it was another familiar face.

“Come on guys, quickly!” the new face said, gesturing to the group as they just about reached the threshold. As one last old man tried his luck with Jess the new man shouted “Oi! Shave off! She’s taken!” Protoss reached the threshold and the man stepped aside to let everyone through, they all finally reached the dinner. As Josh made it across the man clapped his hands and uttered under the noise “Time for the magic to happen.” before stepping through himself.
 


    Through the hallway everyone walked in to see the space; it too was alive with people and movement but it was nowhere near as loud or as offensive. It was a group of twelve of Jess’ friends, she recognized everyone instantly. Lmih was talking to LeilaAscariz about their next art collaboration, Crisisdragonfly, Galder and, Gedemet were all sat down next to each other watching the live entertainment – the FourPlay Electric String Quartet had been hired to perform their old and new music. SweDan was playing practical jokes with ZP12 on everyone, with AztecAngelo egging them on with more hi-jinks. Hollowpages was eating at one of the buffet tables. Digital Versatile Disc was reciting a book to LauraMegara. Finally Crisisdragonfly was also watching the quartet perform by herself. Jess saw some of her dearest friends get together for a Christmas dinner in her honour, she felt a sudden sense of warmth and joy fill her heart. She smiled and turned back to see Josh mingle with Protoss over the music as the quartet reached their flamboyant crescendo to end their song. Everyone clapped at the performance, eventually the man walked up to her and greeted. “G’day Syl. How are you?”

“How am I?” she asked back. “This is fantastic Chris, how did you pull this off?”

“Well I felt bad you were feeling under the weather so I talked to Dan, Hollow and Angelo. At first they all thought it was too late to do anything but I found this place and thought why not here? We all liked the idea and got the rest to join in.” Chris Sifniotis stretched out his hand. “Everyone you see here played an integral part in putting this together. From designing the decorations to cooking the food and organizing the music, we all did it.”

Still in shock Jess just continued to look over in amazement. “You all did this because I have a cold? I don’t get it.”

“Syl.” Chris came around to see her eye to eye. “You’ve built an amazing community of artists for a very good cause in Starcall. You are so busy in your work and your art that I wonder if you’re working yourself too hard.” He looked over at everyone for a moment “You’ve done so much for the community here Syl.” before he turned back to face Jess again. “Can’t you just take a break and let us do something for you?”

Finally it clicked for Jess, this wasn’t just a random act of kindness, it was a celebration made especially for her. This was a new kindness she never really experienced before. She became flustered and meekly said “Thank you.”

Chris smirked and replied back “No worries mate.” He then stretched out his hand again to the center table, unlike the buffet tables along the side of the room this table was for proper dinning. Seats for everyone lined the table, lit with candles and lined with Christmas trimmings and decorations. It was the final destination. Jess and Chris both walked up to the table and Chris grabbed a glass and a fork, he pinged the glass to gather everyone’s attention. “Guys, can I have everyone at the table please? Dinner is nearly ready.” Everyone heard the ping and rallied toward the center table. One by one they all took their seats with Jess and Josh sitting at the head of the table. Chris remained upstanding to deliver his speech. “Today marks the first Christmas dinner organized by Sylessae’s community, a fledgling group of artists and writers whose sole purpose it is to create art and collaborate with artists were are otherwise incapable of paying to do so. This is a fine institution; it promotes a very positive environment for artists to create.” Chris sighed “You know I’ve only been in this group for I think a month now but I can already see many fine traits in it and everyone there. This whole community is built in unity and friendship. That’s what I love about Starcall, it brings out the best in everyone.” Chris then turned to Jess herself. “Syl, what started as a side project for you has now turned into a very influential movement. I think you’ve struck a chord with everyone here and everyone else in your community. Frankly that right there deserves recognition.” Chris set raised his glass. “To Jess, to Starcall, and to the future of this community.”

“Cheers.” Everyone raised their glasses and took a sip of Champagne.

Chris drank his glass and sat it down. “Now, let’s eat!” He sat into his chair as the quartet warmed up for their next musical piece and some of the staff brought out turkey and ham and other meals. As the quartet plucked their strings in pizzicato and everyone dug into their meals Chris himself was left wondering about today;

Why do I do things like this? Why do I go out of my way to do something for someone I’ve never met? I always try to make people feel better if they are sad or unwell. Is it because I need to make people happy in order to be happy? Am I that psychologically broken that I can’t tolerate a bad mood? No, that’s not it. I understand people need to vent and I listen to them and become a sounding board, because I know that they need to release that negative energy. I don't have a problem with a bad temper. So why then? I know that I empathize quickly and try to resolve the problem. Maybe that’s the problem, I care too much. Nah, that’s not it either, I do empathize quickly to people I know, not just anyone. Huh. I guess I think I know Sylessae, but do I? I mean I do know her on deviantArt - her work is extraordinary, but do I really know her? No, not really, however that doesn’t seem bother me at all. I still want to help my good friends whenever I can. Wait a minute! She’s a good friend? I don’t really know her at all but she’s a good friend? Huh. I don’t qualify knowing a person with actual physical interaction. I wasn't expecting that, how weird! I can't claim to know Jess well at all, but what I do know is she is a very talented artist with a very kind spirit and a friendly heart. She exudes a warmth I try my best to nurture and emulate. I also don’t see a hint of pretension, she doesn’t strike me as false or the type of person that acts friendly for a favor. That’s what I like about her, she's a good person. Woah, hang on! That’s why she’s a good friend, because she exudes both confidence and a friendly disposition. In my mind that is what makes a good friend - not so much hanging out in the real world but both being true to herself and projecting friendliness. That ultimately is why I will also feel the need to help her, because she genuinely matters to me in an otherwise indifferent world. That’s the reason why I did this, it's the reason I ever do anything to help my friends, she is a ray of sunshine I both seek to preserve and intend to shine brighter.


Merry Christmas everyone, and have a happy new year.

___________________________


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A Sylessae Christmas [Short Story]

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