By Philip Mogul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted November, 2005
Summary: A Christmas/Hanukkah tale that brings together several Lois and Clark characters, who join in a unified celebration of life.
Standard Fanfic Disclaimer's apply
Again, many, many thanks to my GE, Jeanne Pare, for her invaluable assistance in assembling this Superman story into a more readable and interesting tale.
~~~ The holidays that occur during Winter Solstice are special in their own significant way. Within the Judeo-Christian domain are celebrations for hope for the Earth, each with their own mechanism for expressing their feeling of conviction within their belief structure.
This year has a special significance because, as the world is aware both holidays, Christmas and Hanukkah occur on the same day in December.
To me this is an unusual time, which occurs only in many years.
So I composed an off beat story, which deals with an unusual time historically, that brought together people of different beliefs with many of the Lois and Clark characters.
It was a dark dreary morning when a young man with the name of Eliyahu Steinhouse boarded a train at Auschwitz in Poland and began his journey homeward to Warsaw.
As the train pulled into a train stop near Poland's capital city, Stanislav Stahrl boarded the train and sought out Shem ben Mose ha Levi (AKA Eliyahu).
Of a family that once could count nearly a hundred souls in its vast household, he was the last.
As Eliyahu was collecting his things to disembark from his ground transport and make his way toward his Warsaw home of long ago, he turned and came face to face with his child friend Stanislav. "You made it," Stanislav said smiling. As the two boys hugged one another, Stanislav took the pitiful belongings Elhiyahu possessed and placed them back on his seat from which he had just arisen. Then Stanislav told his boyhood friend to sit down again.
Confused, Eliyahu asked, "What are you doing?"
"Trying to save your life," Stanislav replied.
Stanislav said, "Please, Eliyahu, just listen."
Looking him straight in the eye, Eliyahu's friend informed the holocaust survivor, "The family currently occupying your home, and with the help of neighbors, is planning your murder.
After a pause, Stanislav said, "With the confusion caused by the war, barbaric people, like those now living in your house, see an opportunity of stealing your property by taking your life. They have already dug a grave in the basement of your old house."
Stanislav then reached into his pocket and gave Eliyahu the money he currently possessed and told him to move on and save his life. "I cannot help you further my friend," Stanislav told Eliyahu. "The hatred in Warsaw is just too great."
As the train started again, Eliyahu, as he shook his friend's hand in a goodbye gesture commented, "Hate, will it ever end?"
Stanislav said as he stepped from the train, "Let's try to locate one another when the turmoil in the mad world subsides."
As the train built up speed and disappeared into the pristine dawn, Stanislav wondered how he would eat that week, as he walked slowly toward his village. Suddenly he was overcome by a feeling that sustenance in his life would never trouble him anymore.
As Warsaw disappeared in the distance never to be seen again by Eliyahu, the holocaust survivor, thinking of his friend said, "May G-d watch over you Stanislav and bless you for your gift of my life." Then seeing a small bottle of wine left by Stanislav on his train seat, he opened it and quietly articulated a meaningful Hebrew phrase, "L'chaim, my friend, L'chaim — to life, my friend, to life."
Within thirty-six hours on the beat-up train, Eliyahu reached an Israeli camp, run by the Hagana, in the western part of Germany. Within a week he was being smuggled into Palestine aboard a tramp steamer.
Upon landing the Hagana teamed him with a fellow named Perry O'Brian. He discovered a few days later that Perry was wanted by the British authorities for his IRA activities.
During the following several months Eliyahu learned that Perry was once a professor of math and science at a school in Dublin until his wife and children were killed in a street fight where the shooting was indiscriminate and the killing uncaring.
As the Irishman and descendent of Abraham became brothers over time, Eliyahu taught him how to use explosives effectively and the academician from Dublin schooled the young man from Auschwitz.
One day Perry happened to ask Eliyahu how he happened to become an explosive's expert. With a death like look looming from the boy's eyes, he told Perry that his job in the death camps was to create large pits using explosives where corpses were reduced to their fundamental parts using fire.
Perry never again asked Eliyahu about his experiences in the camps. What he sensed from Eliyahu was too horrible to contemplate. Perry would always remember Eliyahu's eyes. It was like traveling into the depths of Hell.
After three years of fast moving desert tactics defending the Kibbutzim, Israel declared its independence. Soon thereafter, Perry and Eliyahu found themselves in Jerusalem helping to defend that city staving off the siege and starvation tactics of their foe and preventing Jerusalem from becoming another Hebron (1929) — a place of butchery and carnage.
It was soon after the siege of Jerusalem was lifted that Eliyahu and Perry with their unit were infiltrating a position near the Dung Gate for defensive purposes. It was during this action that Eliyahu met Ariel (meaning lioness), an American woman, who in time would become his wife. However, it must be told that the road to a union between Ariel and Eliyahu was long and difficult.
As the war wound down, Perry also met an Israeli woman. Her name was Hannah and a sabra as well. Hannah's family lived near Eilat on the Red Sea. There, her family had built a citrus packaging company. When needed, Hannah would help her family with the business, but generally she studied the land that was now called Israel. Before the current conflict that ravaged this land, Hannah had studied archeology and paleontology. After the war she would probably return to her studies.
Some months after the Israel's war of independence ended, Perry and Eliyahu sat and talked by the Kotel — also known as the Western Wall or Wailing Wall.
After a silence of some minutes, Eliyahu asked his Irish bother, Perry, "What are your plans, especially concerning Hannah?"
"If I make any moves in Hannah's direction, I'll feel like I've abandoned my late wife."
Shaking his head, Eliyahu asked Perry, "Do you believe that your deceased wife would want you to go through the remainder of your life alone and unhappy? I think not. Your late wife seemed too fine a person to desire that fate for you."
Standing up, Perry said, "Let's go find Hanna."
"Hold on," Eliyahu said to his friend. "We'll have to assemble three men as witnesses."
"And a Rabbi," Perry added.
"A Rabbi would be nice for recording purposes, but he, like the rest of us just counts as a single individual, one witness."
Finding a store along the Cardo (ancient Roman road which traveled through the center of Jerusalem), Perry purchased a Ketuba — a special document presented to a bride.
"Now to locate rings for the ceremony," Perry said to Eliyahu in an anxious tone.
"Please wait," Eliyahu said.
Watching his spiritual brother, he saw Eliyahu draw a small box from a hidden compartment on his person. In the small container Perry could see four rings, two gold wedding bands, a two carat engagement ring, and six two carat diamonds on a platinum band situated in a circlet array.
Eliyahu then gave Perry the rings and said, "Use these precious items in your marriage ceremony and through your life together. They were nearly the only things I could hide in the camps. My mother managed to slip them to me just before the NAZIs took her to the gas chamber and then to the crematory. My mother's Hebrew appellation was Kefira. If some day you and Hannah are fortunate to conceive a female, I hope you can give your little girl my mother's name.
"I lost my mother and six-month old sister, Helen, in the gas chamber simultaneously. She was a change of life child. My father was shot by the Gestapo while attempting to defend his family.
"Perry, I just thought you should know. You and I are the last representatives of my family."
Looking at Eliyahu's gift of affection, Perry said, "What about Ariel?"
"Yeah, what about Ariel?" Eliyahu quietly repeated Perry's utterances as he walked toward the bus depot to purchase the tickets that would take them to Eilat and Hannah.
After the nuptials, which finalized the union of Hannah and Perry, there was a reception on a seaside beach by the Red Sea.
As the intensity of the Wedding celebration mounted, Doran, a brother-in-arms who also had come from Jerusalem for the wedding, handed Eliyahu a letter from the States. It was from Ariel.
>From the short note, Eliyahu discovered why she had left Jerusalem. She'd been called home by her parents. Apparently, her older sister had gotten married while she fought in the Israeli War of independence and was about to deliver her first child. Her parents had said to Ariel that her help was urgently needed. Ariel's message then ended, "I need you. Please come…Love."
A airline ticket was included with Ariel's letter.
The next day Eliyahu sent a telegram that simply said, "I'm on my way. Love…"
Arriving at Metropolis International Airport very early in the morning, Eliyahu was surprised to see Ariel waiting to collect him after he'd cleared customs.
After seeing Eliyahu, Ariel rushed to him. Their embrace was not only tender but lengthy.
Hailing a cab, Eliyahu and Ariel fondly embraced one another during their forty-five minute ride from the airport to Ariel's parents' home in the suburbs of Metropolis.
Later that day Ariel introduced Eliyahu to her parents.
That evening, Ariel's older sister Beth and her husband Ben came to visit. They did not bring their new daughter with them. A feeble excuse was given for the child's absence.
As the family gathered, Eliyahu noticed that no food of any sort was provided to him, not even simple hors d'oeuvres.
After Ariel and her sister had a conversation centering about Beth's infant, she noticed that no food was being offered to Eliyahu.
Rising from her chair, Ariel beckoned her mother to follow her to the kitchen.
Through the closed door of the kitchen area, Eliyahu heard portions of an argument: he's a guest; he's yo… friend not… when will…foreign trash…leaving; his presence is an offence to your suitors; what…suitors; men of wealth, grace and charm, gentlemen I've made known that you were available for marriage.
The argument between mother and daughter was escalating when all of a sudden it ceased.
Seconds later Ariel came through the Kitchen door but could not find her special one. Several moments later, Ariel beheld Eliyahu coming down the staircase and proceeding toward the front door. Ariel ran upstairs, packed her traveling bag and hurried again to the first floor of the house and then toward the door.
As Ariel put on her jacket, her mother blocked her passage to the door. Picking her bag, Ariel moved rapidly, almost knocking her mother to the floor, as she went out the door.
Pursuing Eliyahu while she called his name, Ariel heard her mother scream, "The die is cast, if you go with that worthless death camp survivor don't ever return to my house."
Then turning to face the woman who gave her life, but from this moment on she'd never see again nor call mother, she hurled one last thought, "So be it. I wish never to look upon your face in life and even in death."
Turning to follow Eliyahu she found him looking in her eyes. Entwining their hands the two lovers headed for the airport where a plane awaited them. Returning to Israel and Eilat, Ariel and Eliyahu married by the Red Sea with Perry and Hannah present.
As Eliyahu was thinking over the events of his life, Ariel, his wife, and Lois Lane Kent were preparing the feast for the Christmas — Hanukkah festivals. While Eliyahu also savored the smells wafting from the Kitchen, Clark Kent entered his home and after removing his cold weather garments began playing with the youngsters of both families still living at home.
Eliyahu was content. The compliment people that were going to attend the dual holiday party, as they had been for the last thirty years or so, were nearly all present. The guests to this special affair were having a calming effect on him. He needed that feeling. Ester, a granddaughter, was about to present Ariel and himself with their first great grandchild. Eliyahu was never a happy camper when it came to delivering babies.
As Eliyahu was reminiscing, Clark touched him on the shoulder and said, "This letter came to me by mistake. The postman must have overdone the spirits as the holiday seasons approached."
While Clark went to see other friends, Eliyahu opened the letter and poured over its contents. What lay before him was a crucifix and a chi.
The note that accompanied the two symbolic objects simply said, "While I don't understand, I've done what my grandfather requested of me."
Taking the chi and the crucifix Eliyahu put them in a small box, which he placed on the festival table.
From the symbolic objects he received, Eliyahu knew that Stanislav had gone to G-D.
Rising from his chair, Eliyahu put on his cold weather gear and headed for the front door. As he was about to leave the house, Benjamin, one of his grandsons, asked, "Grandpa, where are you going?"
Smiling, Eliyahu told the child, "I'm going to the Synagogue down the block to say Kaddish for a friend, no, a spiritual brother."
"But, grandpa you need ten men to say the Kaddish."
"A friend of mine will help me find the proper number of men for my supplication," Eliyahu told the boy. Then he left his home and started walking toward the house of prayer down the block.
As Eliyahu continued to trod toward the Synagogue his mind floated back to when he and his soulmate returned to Metropolis after accepting a position at STAR LABS. Within six months following his start at STAR LABS, one of the world's most famous laboratory complexes, Eliyahu and Bernie Klein began their life long friendship and became research partners in a quest that they hoped would eliminate cancer from the lexicon of life threatening diseases.
When Stanislav and he finally reestablished contact, Eliyahu was informed that his very special childhood friend was married and the proud father of triplets — two girls and a boy.
Over the years, Stanislav and his household were introduced and soon became part of their own international community of souls.
Stanislav and his immediate family became even closer to Bernie and Eliyahu after he developed a form of cancer known as multiple myeloma — a malignant proliferation of plasma cells in bone marrow causing numerous tumors and characterized by the presence of abnormal proteins in the blood.
Since Stanislav knew that they needed experimental animals for testing he offered himself in that capacity. After some terrible battles, he persuaded them to accept him as a colleague where he was the experimentalist. With Stanislav working with them, the successful battles waged against the destructive ravages of cancer accelerated rapidly.
While their new treatments against the cancer began saving more and more human lives, Stanislav's own form of this disease remained impervious to Bernie and Eliyahu's treatments. Even as Bernie and Eliyahu aged and ther infirmities, over time, slowed their research efforts, they forced themselves to continue working to maintain Stanislav's vitals.
However, people are not steel and flesh breaks down under nature's constant onslaught against a sickly body causing the demise of the individual.
As Eliyahu was entering the Synagogue, he murmured, "So, my life long friend, your body has finally given up the ghost to the ravages of time, and your soul, Stanislav, has returned to G-D, its maker."
Back at Eliyahu home most people had arrived for the Christmas- Hanukkahh feast. Lois and Clark were sitting next to Ariel and the threesome were quietly chating when Ariel, looking around, asked, "Where's my husband?"
Hearing Ariel's question Ben said, "He went to the Synagogue to say Kaddish, grandma."
Clark rose from the table and informed Ariel and Lois that he'd check up on his old friend of thirty or more years.
As Clark Kent (AKA Superman) walked toward the Synagogue, he heard Eliyahu begin chanting the Kaddish supported by a choir of heavenly vocalizations supporting his friend's own.
Using a cell phone Clark called Lois and told her that everything was A-OK.
Clark waited until Eliyahu exited the Synagogue, and he then started to walk side by side with him towards his home. As they trod through the snow, they could hear joyful partying filtering through the crisp cold air.
As the two men turned into walkway leading toward Eliyahu's home, Cark asked, "Have you ever told Ariel?"
Eliyahu responded, "My old friend, your AKA was never mine to reveal. I could never tell anybody that Clark and Superman are one and the same, not even my wife. Varying the breath of that knowledge could create a much too dangerous situation."
Eliyahu then commented, "Does Lois possess the same life span as yours?"
"Yes," was CK's reply. "I've learned how to control my aura. Also, for your peace of mind, Eliyahu, my super abilities are a dominate genetic trait. So all of Lois and my children will possess super powers. Their children and their children's children, ad infinitum, will exhibit our unique abilities.
Eliyahu then queried Clark asking, "Is Lois the super hero the world calls Ultrawoman."
"You're right on the money, Eliyahu," was Clark's reply.
Entering Eliyahu's home, the two friends saw that the bi-holiday celebration was in full swing — lots of food, songs, dancing, and games.
While Eliyahu, Lois, and Ariel sat in the corner of the den and observed the merriment of the moment and felt the love filling the room, Clark joined up with Bernie Klein and H.G. Wells who were involved in a grand scientific debate.
Arriving on the scene, the man in the late nineteenth century garb grabbed Clark's arm and said, "Just look at what's going on — it's Utopia, my boy, in the making."
As Wells and Klein resumed their debate, Clark happened to notice an elderly man in a ancient dress picking up a cup of wine which had been placed in the center of the table and tasted its bouquet. Then he raised the wine cup close to eye level and said, "'Le Chaim."
"Le Chaim," Clark replied quietly in return. As he continued to observe the man holding the wine cup, the unusual fellow moved to a dusky corner of the room and vanished.
As Clark was about to find Lois, Jimmy burst through the front. Seeing CK right off he said, "Sorry, I'm late. It was my turn to put the paper to bed."
Then he said to Clark, "Merry Christmas, big guy," and then raising his voice and waving his arms yelled, "Merry Christmas to all." Then Jimmy went to find and embrace his wife.
Happy Holidays — Of The Winter Solstice — To One And All.
The Charity of Life
If you have comments pertaining to this story, please contact me privately at email@example.com.