Note from Nine: I wanted to write a story for Christmas, basically. I don’t usually do things for any of the holidays, but I felt compelled to this year. This is the first of five parts to “A Mythos Carol”. You may note that this story is not in the “Tales from Mythos” series; that is intentional. This story is non-canon. It kinda has to be, for reasons that will make sense if you read it.

Consider this “just for fun”. That’s not to say there’s no hints about any of the characters in the story, but the events that happen in this story definitely do not happen in the main Mythos timeline!

Desmond Medraut was irritated.

This was somewhat typical of the man, however. While one could argue that his position as Sentry of the Convocation required a sort of constant, cynical vigilance, it could also be said that Desmond takes these aspects to the extreme.

It could be said that on this particular day Desmond Medraut was particularly irritated for very particular reasons. The first and foremost of which was the small, bespectacled, red-haired girl standing before him.

“Running in the halls isn’t a big deal!” protested the girl, whose name was Violet. “Why harass me over that? It’s not like we’re in school!”

“I am not harassing you for running in the halls, Ms. Stark,” wearily explained Desmond. “You were running in the halls while dropping phials of some… alchemical concoction behind you.”

Violet cringed as she glanced over her shoulder, whence lay a trail of shattered glass and puddles of acidic compounds eating through the carpets.

“Oh,” came Violet’s timid reply, “I… guess I should have buckled my bag…”

Desmond was unmoved by Violet’s reasoning.

“After you’re finished cleaning up this mess,” he grumbled, “you will come back tomorrow and clean the entire alchemy lab.”

“Tomorrow!?” exclaimed Violet. “But it’s Christmas!!!”

“I fail to see how that applies. We’re a secular organization.”

“It’s not about religion!” Violet protested. “I mean… I guess it kinda is, but not really! It’s when my family can get together and just be happy for—”

Desmond cut Violet off with a wave of his hand. “So it’s the falsified commercial façade of Christmas you care about, then? Bah! You will clean that lab—”

“On December 26th,” came a voice from behind Desmond.

Glaring over his shoulder, Desmond discovered Cecil Turner, the leader of the Convocation, striding down the hall toward him and Violet.

Sighing, Desmond began to speak. “Cecil…”

“Thanks, Mr. Turner!” chirped Violet quickly, before hustling away. “I’ll get some stuff to clean up this hallway before I go! Merry Christmas!”

The two men watched Violet scurrying away, which caused yet another vial of chemicals to break upon the floor. Desmond rubbed at the bridge of his nose, but Cecil just let out a light laugh. The Archmage put his hand on the Sentry’s shoulder, smiling warmly.

“Desmond, you’re always so hard on her. She’s just a child,” Cecil gently chided.

“She’s twenty-eight,” retorted Desmond, giving a sideways glare toward Cecil.

Blinking, Cecil turned his gaze again toward the smoldering hallway down which Violet had retreated. “No! Really? Twenty-eight?”

“Yes, really.”

The two men remained silent for a moment, with only the sizzling of dissolving carpet to accompany their thoughts, before Cecil began to speak once again.

“Anyway, Desmond! Why don’t you stop by my house for dinner tomorrow? A few others are going to be stopping by—”

“No thank you,” came Desmond’s abrupt response. “You invite me every year, but unlike the majority of you people I’m treating tomorrow like any other day and will be doing my job.”

Cecil smiled sadly, shaking his head. He patted Desmond’s shoulder one last time before moving past. “My door is always open if you change your mind,” Cecil called over his shoulder, side-stepping a bit of liquid that had started emitting glowing green fumes.

Desmond glowered, but quickly turned on his heel to make his way back toward his office.

As the sun’s last rays began to fade, Desmond uttered a minor incantation while gesturing toward the candelabra on his desk. With a faint crack of magic, the candle wicks spring to life with flames to cast their warm, flickering illumination across the documents he was working on.

A few seconds after that, the fluorescent overhead lighting sprang to life.

Desmond scowled, looking up from his work to see the ever-tired Madam Luna standing in his doorway, her hand still hovering near the light switch she’d flicked.

“I know you’re old, but electricity was in most homes by the time you were born,” teased the woman, though her expression remained a visage of drowsy indifference.

“The darkness is cheap, and I like it,” replied Desmond, looking back toward his papers.

Luna swept over to stand before Desmond’s desk, which brought out an annoyed sigh from the man. “I suppose you’re here about the nonsense with Violet.”

“I didn’t actually know anything happened with Violet, but… hardly surprising. No, I was just stopping by on my way out to wish you a—”


“… fair enough,” Luna snickered, shaking her head. “We do this every year, don’t we? Everyone tries to be nice to you, you keep on with your curmudgeon act.”

“It’s no act…”

“And then,” Luna continued unabated, “what? Do you just go home and wish for carolers to come by so that you can throw rocks at them? Maybe kick a puppy?”

Desmond sneered. “Well, I make sure to stop by Landie’s to get my evening tea first, but otherwise that’s the right of it.”

“Ah,” Luna said, after a slight pause and a raise of her eyebrow. “Well, regardless of what night it happens to be, have a good one. Or whatever constitutes a ‘good’ evening in your world.”

Madam Luna left Desmond’s office without giving him much chance to reply, for she knew there was no reply to be had. Indeed, Desmond busied himself with his typical papers before departing for the evening himself some time later.

True to his normal custom, Desmond stopped by Landie’s Leaf and Bean for a hot cup of tea, making sure not to linger overlong as he noted the presence of a disagreeable Fae who appeared to also be picking up her own beverage. Then, when finally home, Desmond reclined upon his sofa in his darkened living room to sip his tea in blissful silence.

As he reflected upon the events of the day, Desmond felt his eyes becoming heavy. He placed his emptied teacup upon the side-table, reclining upon the couch as he looked up toward the ceiling. As he weighed the options of going up to his bedroom versus simply sleeping where he was, he heard the clock begin to chime.

“Midnight, already,” he grumbled to himself as the bells continued to toll.

He began to struggle to a more seated position when the twelfth chime rang out, at which point a blinding, dazzling light erupted from the middle of the room.

It was so sudden, and the sleepy Sentry was caught so off-guard, that he had no time to ready any magics in response. As his vision refocused, he saw that he had a visitor; and while the visitor was not hostile, she was most unexpected.

“Lisa Harrison? How?”

Indeed, standing above him was what appeared to be Lisa Harrison, the Soulsculptor who had perished not long ago. Her appearance glowing with a soft light, though her translucent and blurred form was covered with heavy-looking chains.

“Desmond Medraut!” Lisa called out, pointing a ghostly finger toward him, “you… are a dick.”

“… what?”

“You heard me,” Lisa pressed on, “you’re a dick. Like seriously, such an asshole.”

“Did you come back from the dead just to call me names?” Desmond asked incredulously.

“No, but I figured it had to be said. I’m not back from the dead, either. I’m a spirit taking a form you may recognize to attempt to fix the errors of your ways before it’s too late!”

“So you’re not Lisa, just some meddling phantom attempting to teach me some Dickensonian lesson?” spat Desmond.

“Kinda, yeah,” shrugged Lisa, before adding: “Dick.”

“Stop that!” protested Desmond.

“No. Anyway, you probably know where this is going, right?” Lisa idly twirled one of her chains, looking around Desmond’s living room. “Geez, you have a TV but you still just sit here in the dark drinking tea? That’s fucking weird, dude.”

“Oh, spare me. I don’t have to listen to this. I’m definitely dreaming. You’re something of my subconscious brought about by stress, most likely.”

Lisa cocked her head to the side, letting the chain she was twirling dangle off her wrist. “I mean… even if that were true, that’d mean your brain is trying to tell you something, right? So that means you do have to listen to me. Otherwise, I’m a spirit just like I told you, which means you’d have to listen to me anyway. Get it?”

Desmond sighed and swung his legs off the side of his couch, sitting properly. “Very well. Go on with it, then.”

“Wow, thanks for giving me permission, jackass.”

“You certainly still act like Lisa…”

“Shut up, this is the cool part,” Lisa held up a finger to silence Desmond, before spreading her chained arms wide. “These are the chains of regret I wear for my life of regrets.”

“I thought you said you were just a spirit taking Lisa’s form…”

“Oh my god, would you just listen?”

Desmond snorted, but Lisa (or the spirit taking Lisa’s form) continued.

“Tonight you will be visited by three spirits—“

“Four,” interrupted Desmond.

When Lisa gave him a confused look, Desmond shrugged. “Four spirits. You said you’re one.”

Spirit-Lisa groaned, and was likely rolling her eyes, though it was hard to tell as they were without irises or pupils. “You will be visited by three more spirits. Listen well to what they say, for they be your own chance at redemption!”

“Oh, right, this drivel, then,” spat Desmond, “and I suppose if I don’t, I’ll end up in chains like yours?”

“You. Are so. Obnoxious.” Lisa groaned.

“Well, let’s get it over with, then,” Desmond sighed, rising to stand, “when do I expect the first one? When the clock strikes one?”

At that, Lisa smirked. “No…”

Without another word, the spirit that took the form of Lisa Harrison dissolved, leaving Desmond alone in his dark, lonely house once more.

“No?” called out Desmond, looking around, “then when?”

Desmond’s answer came almost immediately, as his living room wall was caved in by a violent, massive force.