Monday, March 7, 2011

Little Johnny's Christmas Revenge

For some reason, I woke up today with Elvis's "White Christmas" in my head, and I haven't quite been able to rid myself of it.  So, in spirit with the seasonal tunes going 'round and 'round in my head, I thought I'd post a little piece of Christmas-related flash fiction I wrote.  So enjoy "Little Johnny's Christmas Revenge."


Johnny ground his teeth as he clenched and unclenched his fist around the black lump he’d found in his stocking last Christmas. Coal. Again. After he’d tried so hard to be a good boy this year.

He flicked his gaze over to the pile of shattered Christmas memories lying on his nightstand. Five years = five lumps of coal. Never again. Johnny slammed the last piece down next to the others. He glared at them for a long time, his eyes dark slits in his face, until he remembered the gallon of gasoline under his bed. His face broke into a smile. No, he’d never get another lump of coal for Christmas again. Nobody would.

It was nearly midnight on Christmas Eve before Johnny felt certain that everyone else was asleep. He cracked open his bedroom door and peeked out into the hallway. His parents’ door was shut tight, as were his sisters,’ and all the lights were off except for the one in the bathroom down the hall, which was left on in case one of the children needed to use the toilet during the night.

Johnny slipped out of his room and locked every door in the house. He used a screwdriver to remove the handles and latches, so the fat man couldn't just walk out when he heard the smoke alarms. Then he snuck into the garage, the gasoline in his hand and a box of matches in his pocket. He took his father’s ladder and set it against the side of the house. His feet slipped a little on the rungs, but he managed to make his way onto the roof. There he sat, shivering in the chilly air of late December, waiting for Santa.

He didn’t have long to wait. The tell-tale sound of sleigh bells tinkled through the night air, and Johnny’s heart raced in his chest. His face tightened into a half-crazed grin, and he ducked behind the chimney.

Other children would have been fascinated at the sight of finally seeing Santa and all his reindeer on their rooftop, close enough to touch. But not Johnny. No, the humiliations and the disappointments of the last five Christmases were too much to bear. Every time his conscience pricked at him, he thought back to his sisters’ laughing at his tear-streaked face and coal-blackened fingers while they danced and played with shiny baubles and beautiful dolls. His parents would cluck their tongues and shake their heads, telling Johnny it was his own fault; he shouldn’t have put the cat in the freezer. He shouldn’t have put the hamster down the garbage disposal. He shouldn’t have held the dog underwater in the bathtub until he stopped moving.

Johnny ground his teeth again and willed the fat man in red to hurry up and go down the chimney. After a few minutes—an eternity to any eleven-year-old boy—Santa hefted the sack over his shoulders and vanished down the chimney.

Johnny tiptoed out from his hiding place and popped the cap on the gas can. The reindeer pawed nervously as the young boy approached them, but didn’t move out of the way. He hummed ‘Up on the Housetop’ as he sprinkled the smelly liquid all over the roof, the sleigh, even the reindeer. He’d brought a flagstone up onto the roof months ago, and now he slid that over the chimney top to keep the fat man from escaping his well-deserved punishment. But not before he took the five hateful lumps of coal from his other pocket and threw them down into the fireplace.

Then he lit a match.

1 comment:

  1. woooooooooooooooooooow. that's freaking nuts! which means i loved it ;)

    ReplyDelete