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Christmas Joy

"Every person deserves Joy on Christmas."
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Author's Notes

"Merry Christmas to you all!"

He hadn't planned this. 

No one ever planned to be homeless. 

A few more conscious passersby noticed the tragic irony of where he slept. Directly above him was a store window showcasing a fanciful adorned bed, complete with fluffed pillows, fur blankets, and satin sheets. His bed for the night – a bitter-cold, unforgiving pavement. 

Those who dared soil their perfect lives by glancing his way either thought him asleep or passed out from drunkenness. Both assumptions were wrong. In truth, he chose to close his eyes when anyone approached, feeling their disgust at his very existence. His ever-present emotion – shame.

On that night, Christmas Eve, he welcomed the quiet when the God-kissed people had retreated early to their comfortable homes. He was left all alone in the darkness, except for flickering lamp posts scattered about the street corners. Snowflakes slowly drifted down from the sky with no wind to cast them under the awning where he huddled. For a moment, his eyes saw beauty in his surroundings. 

Sadly, as had been his life's path, his peace didn't last. The wind showed itself and the gentle flurries deviated into pitiless sleet and ice. He drew his coat tightly up around his neck, shivering from the unfurling storm. Immediately, his ungloved fingers felt numb. Wringing them together only brought subtle relief. To worsen matters, blowing snow settled on his coat, beard, and eyelashes, chilling him further. Desperate for warmth, he hunted around in his sole possession – a backpack – and retrieved a single long match. 

Moments after he struck the match, her angelic face appeared behind the light of the flame. Not trusting his vision, he shut his eyes. 

"Look at me, please. Do not be afraid," her soft voice whispered.

Her melodic voice encouraged him to take a peek. His eyes opened and stared, transfixed by her translucent skin and twinkling eyes.

"I am Joy." 

She leaned forward and he retreated, pressing his back against the damp wall. 

"I'm here for you," she reassured, then took his lit match and blew it out. "You don't need this anymore." With those words, she pushed her red cape back over her shoulders and untied the strings at the top of her gown, revealing creamy full breasts. "Drink, sweet man."

He trembled, drawing his knees up in front of him, so she took one breast in her hand, leaned forward again, and lifted it in offering to him. "Drink." 

A sweet scent flared his nostrils, enticing him, but he shook his head in refusal. Tears filled his eyes, then streamed down, leaving a trail on his dirt-smudged face. Her mouth curled into a coaxing smile as she gently cupped the back of his head, pulling him towards her bosom. 

"Drink," she whispered in his ear. 

Tentatively, his mouth came down upon one of her breasts and he drank from her. 

At first, he was timid, but quickly turned ravenous as his body enjoyed the tasty milk. Her slender fingers carefully detangled the knots in his long hair as he drank. Before long, his hair hung to his shoulders in smooth tendrils. 

After he'd drunk his fill, she pulled away and stood. As he intently watched her movements, she removed, then spread her cape onto the pavement, gesturing to him to lay down. Immediately, he noticed its comfort … warm and cradling to his life-abused body. 

"I will make you clean again." 

She lay a hand on the top button of his shirt and he covered her hand with his, again shaking his head in refusal, embarrassed by his appearance. 

She brushed his hand away. "I want to do this for you." 

His eyes never left her hands as she unbuttoned, then removed his clothes … his unclean body left fully exposed. After patiently waiting for his eyes to lift to hers. In her eyes, he saw the reflection of a ratty, disheveled-looking man. She flashed him a reassuring smile, then bent her head to kiss his cheek. 

The sharp inhale of his breath could be heard above the snowstorm when he felt her lips upon him. 

Every place her hands touched was instantly warmed and that warmth spread throughout his body. His pale skin color darkened while he lay quiet, embracing every sensation. The pungent odor that had blanketed him dissipated. Her roaming hands dissolved any dirt found in his crevices. She was indeed cleaning him and he silently rejoiced.

After some time, she rose, extended her hand toward him and he entwined his fingers with hers. Once standing, he faced her and he again saw his reflection in her eyes. To his surprise, a clean-shaven, vibrant-eyed man stared back at him. He smiled, surprised his face remembered the motion. 

"Come home with me," she whispered.

He kept pace with her, meeting the storm head-on, somehow lighter with each step. His pain … his suffering … his regrets … his shame … carried away with the blowing snowflakes. His last feeling – peace.


The day after Christmas, the store owner found his frozen body, still lying beneath the display window. Curiously, the homeless man's eyes were open with a smile marking his worn, weathered face. The store owner shook his head in puzzlement, then felt a tinge of guilt at having never extended him a helping hand.

Regardless, Joy had found him in the end. 

~ The End ~


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