It's Time

It starts in March, but it's quiet - so quiet you can only hear it when the wind dies down and you're perfectly still. You don't even notice it until you're trying to fall asleep. A shuffling sound, at most - you can ignore it most nights. Pretend it's not even there. Most of the time it doesn't even cost you sleep. Most of the time.

By June, though, it's grown into an audible scratch. Sometimes you climb into the attic, thinking there must be some injured animal up there. But there's nothing. Nothing but the boxes. And you dare not even look at those, not in the summer.

In September, it's tapping. Knocking. It wants you to notice. It wants you to let it free. But it's still fall, so you try to ignore it.

But now... now it's pounding against the ceiling. Rhythmic, ceaseless. It won't be ignored.

If you left it there... if you did nothing... would it grow louder? Would it continue to build until the pressure was so intense it reduced your home to splinters by mid-December? Who can say? No one's ever tested it.

Because this is the moment. This is the time we must all climb up into our attics and pull down the boxes and crates. We must throw them open and allow that which was sealed within to lumber forth and swallow our homes, our lives, our very selves.

We have kept it with us, hidden and bound by chains, all through the year, but the time has come for it to be unleashed. It will not be denied.

There are those who shield their eyes in this moment. There are those who cower in the face of so bright and terrible a force. And we cannot blame them - it is a fearsome thing to behold.

But we are not afraid. We look on Christmas in all its horror, and we sing.

Welcome back to the eighth year of Mainlining Christmas. We've been waiting.

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