Jezri's Nightmare Books

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Xmas Shorts

Christmas is nearly hear and with it come the festivities. Egg nog, mistle toe, presents wrapped neatly under the tree next to Uncle Fred's severed head... wait... Uncle Fred's severed head?
I love Christmas, but I also love Christmas horror.  And to celebrate the holidays, Visionary Press Cooperative has released a collection of my short stories, perfect for Christmas. Just check out the cover, courtesy of Sue Mydliak. Makes me want to go out and sing Slay Songs.
Eyeballs Roasting on an open fire
Rodents nipping at your nose
Your intestines strung by the fire...
Oh, excuse me... got caught up in the scaryment of it all. While I finish decorating, how about reading an excerpt from one of the stories in my collection?
An Evil Santa Story
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
It was Christmas Eve at the North Pole and Santa’s elves were busy packing the sleigh for his yearly ride. The sleigh was stuffed to capacity but somehow they always seemed to find room for more toys. Dolls, bears and whatnots of all kinds kept threatening to spill over the side, yet magically they all managed to stay within the sleigh.
The elves were well practiced with loading Santa’s sleigh and as they worked they listened to weather reports from around the world. Mother Nature was doing her part and as long as Santa’s reindeer stayed on schedule and Father Time adjusted his clock right, they should avoid every snow, sand and rainstorm throughout the world and return in time for Christmas breakfast. It should be another good year.
But what should be and what would be were two very different things. There was something in the air this Christmas Eve, something dangerous, and as the elves worked, their usual excited chatter was replaced by nervous whispers, their usual Christmas cheer having turned to dread.
Something was about to happen, though what they didn’t know. The air seemed to be filled with currents of fear that hung heavy around them as they continued to work. None of them spoke about the horror that was pounding within their elfin hearts. None wanted to put voice to the fear they all could feel, as though putting their terror into words could make the worst happen. So they continued to work, whispering and jumping at even the slightest of sounds.
Snee, Santa’s head elf, having just finished checking the sleigh and assuring himself that the contents were secure, was on his way to get Santa when the doorbell to the workshop rang. All the elves froze then simultaneously turned to stare at the door.
A visitor on Christmas Eve? This had never happened before. Everyone knew that Christmas Eve was Santa’s busiest night of the year. Sure, Christmas Day there would be visitors. Mother Nature, Jack Frost and Father Time always came by for Christmas breakfast. Frosty would be there too, along with Abe, the Abominable Snowman. But no one ever stopped by on Christmas Eve. It was unheard of!
The doorbell rang again, and the elves took a step away from the door. This couldn’t be good. Whoever. . . . Whatever, stood on the other side of the door was the source of the tension. The air that hung heavy inside couldn’t even compare to the suffocating fog that seemed to be seeping in beneath the door. Insanely, the elves considered that if they didn’t answer the door, the evil on the other side might go away.
The bell rang again.
Evil never just went away.
“Ho ho ho!” Santa said, coming out of his room as he pulled his suspenders up over his shoulders. “Isn’t anyone going to answer the door?”
“The sound of Santa’s voice seemed to wake Snee from out of a daze. Horrified, the head elf realized that Santa Claus was going to open the door.
“Danger Santa!” Snee yelled while trying to block the door. “Danger out there! Don’t open it!”
“Ho ho ho, don’t be silly Snee,” Santa said, taking the last few steps to the door. “This is Christmas Eve, not All Hallows Eve.”
The bell rang.
The Elves all shrank back.
Santa opened the door.
“It’s about time,” a voice squeaked. “Do you know how cold it is out here?”
The elves all blinked at the strange man standing there. He wore a purple suit with pink pinstripes and a yellow bow tie. On his head he wore a bowler hat with the words Netherworld Deliveries on it. The man himself was almost as short as the elves and very round in the middle. He resembled a penguin in so many ways that at first Snee thought he was a penguin wearing clothes.
“I have a delivery for Santa Claus, AKA Kris Kringle, AKA Father Christmas.” The delivery man looked up from the card he was reading and eyed Santa up and down. “Would that be you?”
You can find out what has been delivered to Santa and whether or not the elves have anything to worry about, (trust me, they do) by buying Xmas Shorts either on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It is only .99 cents now, and will be going up to $2.99 after the first of the year.
I am also feeling generous... something about the holiday, spirit of giving... but I don't feel like cutting out my spleen and giving it to you, so what I am going to do is offer you a book. If you buy Xmas Shorts between now and the New Year, I will give you a copy of The Witch's Army for free. How am I going to know that you bought it? I have a dedication in the back of the book. Email the name of the teacher I give credit to for helping develop my love for writing to I will then send you a coupon for The Witch's Army.
While you are at it, check out my book review of Timothy Hobb's novel, The Music Box Sonata and see how you can win a copy for Christmas.


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