Once upon a time, there was a Stranger In A Strange Town...

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Written Cristmas Eve 2010

Twas the night before Christmas, when all though the Shop
Not a Blogger was stirring, not a comment did drop.
Discussions just hung on the first page in quiet,
Not even the the anas could incite a riot.

The newbies were absent, no follow-me threads,
No visions of SEO danced in their heads.
The queen in her heels, the king in the queen,
Were snug in their castle, nowhere to be seen.

The masses were huddled away in their booth,
The mood there was mild, to tell you the truth.
Giraffes did not roam, no critters were seen,
And in the pantry was nary a bean.

No caffeine was brewed, no pillow was fluffed,
No bagel was eaten, no candy was buffed.
No amps were plugged in, no cannons were loaded,
Not one cryptic post did need be decoded.

No one did start, nor counted to forty,
And there was no sign of any new shorty.
No hairy apes roamed, not one person scrapped,
No harsh words were spoken, no anger was tapped.

A couple of stragglers still wandered about,
The most interesting thread about getting ice out,
And one full of people speaking in tongues,
Without Google Translate, their goose would be hung.

When suddenly from out of nowhere it seemed,
A bad poem burst forth, on which it was deemed
That nothing was happening, the place was quite dead
Poorly rhymed references the only thing said.

The poet felt bad for those not named not for nouns,
For he couldn't include them, which might have caused frowns.
Now wondered he how he would end his bad prose.
For nothing seemed fitting to lead to a close.

Not a thing had quite happened that would lead to an end,
In this poem about nothing (he couldn't pretend).
So he simply exclaimed, as he logged out of site,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


It had been relatively peaceful around the Cosho Cluster lately. The Wench and her Hench had left for parts unknown, and this in itself seemed to ease the unease that had become so omnipresent that nobody noticed it anymore. Like white noise that stops suddenly, they did notice its absence, but nobody dared speak that.

It being that point in the system's orbit when most of the training outposts were too close to a sun for comfort, the populated area was awash with novice pilots showing off their shiny new ships. Thinking themselves to be irresistible forces, many discovered, if only for an instant, what happens when they fly into unmovable objects. As always, the debris was cleaned up before all but the most observant even noticed.

There was a bit of trouble with a rogue slave who seemed to have exposed his eyes to one supernova too many, but the Skipper made short work of him and he scurried back to his obscurity, venturing out once in a while to set off the odd solar flare, but otherwise both gone and forgotten.

The Captain took advantage of the relative calm and current swimwear trends to invite a group of passengers to join him around the piano for an old favourite of his. He was just about to go into the second chorus when he heard the familiar voice of the Skipper shout "Ahoy! What evil goes there?" He knew this could not be good...

Beyond Epilogue

The old man did not regret having closed that book. Writing it had served its purpose, and it had been time to move on.

But there were still stories to be told, and he knew he would feel like he left something undone if he came to the end of his days without having told them.

On that thought, he picked up his pen...