A romance story sprang to life in my mind at the end of November while I was participating in National Novel Writing Month–that’s Dionna’s Wish. Intended to be a short story, it turned into a short novel before I knew it.
Dionna’s Wish takes place in a world where Santa Claus is not only real but also only one alias within an entire race of empathic beings called Santas who came to our plane of existence to give cheer, hope, gifts, and magic to humans and bask in the energy created by such goodness. Centuries after their arrival, the hatred of humanity visits the tragic horror of murder upon the gestalt-minded Santas, when the soulmate of Santa Nicholas is killed. Having seen a new face in a vision bequeathed on her by the Northern Lights at the North Pole, Nicholas’s friend, Santa Yule, takes it upon herself to find the woman she saw in the lights all those years ago and somehow save Nicholas from the despair of his loss and his growing hate of humankind.
So our story finds Dionna Jackson, a human, newly unemployed and looking for work in her neighborhood, which is being terrorized by the local police who recently murdered an innocent young woman whose only crime was being Black. Secretly terrified of leaving the house because of this neglected upsurge of violence aimed at the Black community in the wake of the incidents like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and in her own city, the open-minded Dionna is more than willing to embark on an adventure when Yule appears to her and offers to take her to the fantastical winter wonderland of the North Pole to meet Saint Nick.
Though she is deliberately callous in the face of Nicholas’s melancholy, grief, and grudging hospitality after Yule brings her to his domain (uninvited), Dionna begins to wonder if she can help heal his heart and find a place there. Nicholas still mourns the love of his life and struggles, like many of his kind, to hold on to his identity as a Santa within his race, the Saints, with their faith in humankind waning every holiday. In the meantime, whilst romance brews, Dionna is introduced to a magical sphere crafted by the Santas known as Holy, which can grant one wish…at the expense of the human wish-maker’s life. Tired of being afraid to walk out her front door and watching racialized violence and murder continue to be a regular part of her life, Dionna contemplates the unthinkable….
Can she bring a slice of peace to the world by sacrificing her life? Will Holy grant her wish this Christmas night?
That description is full of bulky sentences but that’s what the story is about.
I’ve had some stops and starts trying to finish it within three months and find myself struggling to end the first draft. However, I’ve always wanted to write a holiday themed story during its holiday (at least start one during its intended holiday, that is) and I’m stubborn enough to push through to the end.