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Sunday, December 25, 2011

And a Happy F*cking New Year...

A few years ago, when the internet nearly instantaneously made the cumbersome tradition of writing letters and dropping them into a mailbox a quaint waste of time, an old chum and fellow writer Jim Bigler and I began to correspond through e-mail. It began innocently enough—keeping in touch, tossing story ideas around and so forth. But very quickly, these correspondences took on a life of their own and we were soon e-mailing short stories—a page, two at most—back and forth for our own amusement. These were bloody, perverted tales, often propelling protagonists of questionable virtue to tragic ends, usually taking countless innocents along with them.

It was only a matter of time before these protagonists consisted of B-movie actors and washed-up television actors and rock musicians down on their luck. Names like Gary Busey, James Coburn and Morey Amsterdam began peppering these outlandish stories of murder, decadence and perversion. Eventually, we had enough of these to put together a volume titled “The Inevitable Downhill Slope”.

And A Happy Fucking New Year is one of the first short stories I sent to Bigler after “The Inevitable Downhill Slope” was completed. A new day begins…

And A Happy Fucking New Year

The elf checked his pockets again, hoping against hope that there would be something—anything at all—to eat. Alas, there was nothing. Not a scrap, not a crumb. The elf began to sob softly, the tears nearly drying on his rosy little cheeks as he stumbled through the snow, which continued to fall. It seemed like he had been wandering in the blizzard for hours and was very hungry. “It’s getting too deep,” he cried. Fuck, even a real, adult man would soon be doomed to a horrible, frozen nightmare of a death—forget about an elf. The elf keened into the blizzard, his small voice covered by the sound of the wind blowing through his pointed little ears. His tasseled hat had long ago been lost to the wind and his red hair was frozen as if coated in gel.

“Just this one package,” Santa had begged. “It’ll only take an hour and you’ll be doing me a grand service…” The elf sobbed some more, his breath coming in hard, frozen bursts that burned his lungs. He closed his mouth and tried to breath through his nose with no luck. It was small and upturned at the end and was as stopped up as the workshop toilet, which he had contacted the Elves Union about only weeks before. Working conditions at the North Pole were not the best—and he was always the first to speak up for Elves’ rights—but he would give anything to be in the warm, beloved workshop right now, instead of stumbling through the blizzard.

His felt shoes with the pointy tips were soaked through and he could no longer feel his feet. Santa had been none-too pleased with him after the complaints had been filed with the Union and he had seen this favor to be a grand way to get back into the old man’s good graces. He cried some more, his open mouth filling with snow, causing him to choke. He fell into a drift and tried to claw his way out, his small hands digging at the snow, which was already beginning to cover him with fresh fallings.

It was a trap, the elf thought. Santa knew what would happen all along… There would be no more uprisings amongst the workers, no more senseless talk of better working conditions, higher wages, shorter work weeks. No, the rest would see what happened to instigators. His hands stopped flapping in the snow and the cold seemed suddenly not so bad. He began to relax, coughing a bit of snow out through his nose.

Ironically, he was a mere thirty yards from the Clause House and Santa had watched the last few minutes of his struggle through the front window as he sipped an eggnog and brandy. “That’ll teach you, you little fucker,” the fat man muttered, turning away from the window as new snow buried the pint-sized ingrate. “Merry fucking

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