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** The 2019 starts now. A Christmas story in 25 short episodes, posted daily 5pm GMT. (I hope, have only just started writing it, but I'll do my best.) **

Nani swore when she realised what ailed her grandson. She should have seen it sooner.
"Where is your shadow?" she asked.
1/25

He had given it to a mysterious, beautiful girl he met at the Midsummer dance.
"Did she pay?" Nani asked.
"She kissed me."
2/25

"You fool," Nani shook her head. "Your shadow is your anchor in this world."
No wonder the lad was growing vague and wan.
3/25

He had missed one chance of reclaiming it, at the autumn equinox. And now he was too far gone.
She sighed. "I'll get it."
4/25

The gates never quite close, but at the four balance points of the year they open widest.
So. She had until dawn tomorrow.
5/25

Nani packed a satchel, put on skis, and set off. The only gate she knew of was a mile away. She hoped it was the right one.
6/25

The gate was at a waterfall, a step out from the edge. Nani leaned her skis against a tree and saw a black cat watching her.
7/25

She looked at the stepping stones along the edge, and the spray of icy water around them.
"Want a ride?" she asked the cat.
8/25

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