Death’s Welcome

“What movie did you pick?” Anna asked Maxwell. She had changed out of her pajamas and filled a backpack with some snacks by the time they were ready to enter the portal. The pair of teens stared at the black hole floating in Anna’s bedroom.

“I was thinking of a Christmas movie, not any specific one,” he replied. “Ready?” Anna nodded. Maxwell stepped forward into the black; he felt Anna grab his hand as he walked through.

The hole exited in a bright, busy, loud airport. It took Maxwell a few moments to get his bearings as he searched his new surroundings. He caught sight of snow, and a parked airplane through the windows. Hundreds of travelers occupied every seat, and still more were left standing. Bright multi-color light-strings decorated the pillars and walls. A young woman in an elf costume wandered from passenger to passenger handing out candy canes.

“It’s… Christmas,” Anna said; her voice carried a fair amount of surprise and disbelief. She stood next to Maxwell and squeezed his hand. “It’s April, but it’s Christmas.”

“It may have been April where you came from,” a woman said. Anna and Maxwell turned toward the new voice. “But it’s December here,” An elf with a basket of candy canes smiled at them. Maxwell glanced back at the other one to confirm it was a different elf; it was. The elf presented two candy canes, then pointed at the nametag on her pointy cap.

“My name’s Mundo. You guys are joining me for Christmas dinner!”  the young woman grinned.

“We are?” Maxwell asked. Mundo nodded.

“Of course! It takes some time to explain everything. You’re going to need the info if you want to keep hopping between universes like you are. And both of you need tattoos.”

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