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Story

Part 3 of the Christmas Trilogy
by Paul O'Neill Music By Paul O'Neill, Robert Kinkel, Jon Oliva & Al Pitrelli

THE BEGINNING

It was the night of Christmas Eve and somewhere on the other side of eternity (which is somewhere after today but before tomorrow) a tear of incredible sadness slowly welled up within the eye of a beautiful young lady. The sorrow within the tear was so great, that though it desperately wanted to stay with her to give whatever comfort it could, the weight of the pain it contained eventually caused it to fall. It fell through eternity, across countless galaxies, star systems and universes until it found itself entering the atmosphere of our own world. There, while falling through the clouds, it was slowed for a moment as it landed on a strand of the Princess of Winter's snow-white hair. The tear ran to the end of that strand, where it lingered for a moment, before continuing its fall. The Princess, having noticed her small visitor, had blessed the teardrop transforming it into a snowflake, which allowed it to continue the remainder of its journey in a gentle descent among countless other snowflakes, until it finally landed in front of an old toy store in New York City.

Now, while the snowflake was nestling in amongst its fellow winter travelers, downtown in the business district on Wall Street, all was unusually quiet. The streets were empty of people and cars and a thick layer of still falling snow muffled everything, even the footsteps of dreams on their way to tomorrow. Everyone had gone home early to prepare for all the promised magic of the next day and the lights were out in every office window. Well, nearly every office window. Up on the fifty-eighth floor of one massive office building, a single office window was still brightly illuminated in cold fluorescent light. Within that office sat a businessman going through legal documents. He was a gentleman, in his early sixties with graying hair, but still in excellent physical condition. Calling for his secretary, the man was visibly annoyed to have received no response. Getting up, he looked out his office door only to see every desk and cubicle empty. "Christmas," he muttered disgustedly as he realized that everyone had long since gone and he would be getting no other work done this night. Putting on his coat and scarf, he grabbed his briefcase and left. Stepping out to the street, his frustration mounted as he soon came to the conclusion that his probability of finding a cab was extremely low at best. Resigning himself to the situation, he pulled his coat a little tighter and started walking home.

Meanwhile, across eternity, the Lord called before Him His youngest angel and once more requested him to return to the world of mankind and to bring Him the name of the person that best continued the work of his Son on Earth. His mission had to be completed in one night, and unlike all his previous journeys to the world of humans, this time he would only be allowed to use his wings twice, once when he descended, and once more when he would leave (not unlike the souls of humans). So, with the nightfall having already started on Earth, the angel quickly unfolded his wings and began his quest, all the while wondering how he would be able to find this individual. Humans were such an extremely varied lot, a seemingly infinite mixture of rich and poor, successes and failures, young and old, that he wondered exactly where he could land that would allow him to see as many of these individuals as possible within his allotted time. As he thought, his mind recalled how on the day his Lord's Son was born that all roads on the Earth seemed to eventually lead to Rome. Every individual or idea of note seemed to make its way to that eternal city. He wondered what was the present day equivalent of that glittering jewel from mankind's past. Then, all at once he found himself whispering the words, "New York." Within moments, he found himself hovering over that city feeling the gentle rhythm of millions of heartbeats, but still unsure of exactly where to land. Suddenly, he noticed an old Grand Hotel, with a toy store on its right, a blues bar to its left and a nineteenth century gothic style cathedral directly across the street. Also in this city that often had guards at nearly every door, this hotel had a sign that said, "Vacancies. There is always room for one more." Thinking to himself how that sign seemed so appropriate for this night, he landed on the roof of the cathedral across the street from the hotel. Within a few minutes he realized that people of every race, creed, and age inhabited this block and he slowly took in the scene.

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