Lying in his hospital bed with "It's A Wonderful Life" solemnly playing on a small, fuzzy television, Dr. Jollyman let one last breath of hope emanate from his pale, fragile frame into the fluorescent sterility of St. Mark's General, which buzzing with its never-ending rush of emergencies, felt like a steam engine that was constantly swaying on and off the tracks, a vessel of rage and hope that jingled in unison with the ever-harsh winter's persistent heartbeat. 

*****

Hearing the familiar sound of sleigh bells in the distance, Dr. Jollyman strapped on his snow shoes and journeyed into the wilderness beyond his estate, optimistically grinning and reminiscing quietly to himself about forgone winter adventures, knowing that this may be his last snow-crested Christmas voyage in the meditative Connecticut countryside.

*****

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