WeWriWa—Joyless Christmas


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as Grand Duke Mikhail tries to cheer up his morose 14-year-old nephew on Orthodox Christmas 1919.

One of the many reasons I’ve long been so drawn to Aleksey and haunted by what might’ve been is my natural pull towards dark horses and underdogs. This was one of the unlikeliest heirs ever, this sickly young boy many people didn’t expect to survive into adulthood or be healthy enough to rule in his own right. But the will to survive is a very powerful thing, and sometimes the strongest people and greatest heroes are those we least expected.


Grand Duke Mikhail in 1898, four years after the unexpected loss of his father


Mikhaíl took a seat beside his nephew and put his arm around him. “I lost my father when I was fifteen, not that much older than you.  It’s a very big adjustment to have to get used to, but you must do it.  What other choice do you have?  I also hated how my childhood was over so prematurely, but I did the best I could.  Now would you like to open some presents early?  I bet that’ll make you feel a whole lot better.”

“I doubt any of these presents were bought by my parents before God took them away from me.”


13 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Joyless Christmas

  1. Poor Aleksey! I think I say that every week. 🙂 I think you might be right about him being strong enough to make it as an adult. Sometimes having a big obstacle to overcome in one’s youth creates an extraordinarily tough person. Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt come to mind.


  2. So sad, especially from the child’s perspective. But his uncle is right. He’s got to find a way to move past it, and opening presents might be a good start. Super snippet.


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