Time to 'up the ante', as they say. For two weeks or so, I have been celebrating SUPERXmas!, and I continue to do that even though I haven't been able to post much the past few days -- I'll get caught up soon -- but with just one week left until my SUPERXmas! vacation and 8 days until SUPERXmas! itself, I've decided to keep things fresh by writing the greatest Xmas story ever told.
Heather, who blogs at My Demon Spirits, has challenged people to write their most original scary or uplifting holiday story, with the winners getting prizes ranging from a $25 gift card to leather writing journals. And so, with that gauntlet thrown down, I have, well, picked it back up, and in the grand spirit of Charles Dickens (who serialized stories) and Ray Bradbury (who wrote stories) and other people I probably shouldn't be comparing myself to, as well as the grand spirit of the annual Christmas story, I have taken on Heather's challenge and have written what I have humbly decided is going to be the greatest Xmas story ever told.
Heather's contest calls for stories of only 500 words, which I find extremely limiting. It takes me 500 words just to clear my throat, as you know. So here's what I've done. Today's story is my official entry in Heather's contest. But each day, between now and Xmas Day, I will update the story until it's heartwarming thrilling amazing uplifting scary phenomenal will-probably-feature-a-choir-singing conclusion on Christmas Day:
Is that enough ado about nothing? It sure is. Here's Part one of:
Walk Into A Bar"
a/k/a The Greatest Xmas Story Ever Told.
No orphans were harmed in the making of this story.
And only one orphan was harmed in the telling of it.
On the street in front of Nick, who makes UFOs for a living – it’s a long story, and there’s no time to explain it right now because we’re only moments away from something really important happening -- was a tiny brass trumpet.
It was dirty.
It was covered in soot and laying in a puddle of slush next to a crumpled pack of cigarettes, and looked as though it had a lipstick smear on it, on the wrong end, and maybe some teeth marks, too.
So naturally, Nick picked it up and was just seconds away from blowing into it when the door to the bar he’d just been told to leave opened up behind him and he heard the voice of the man who’d told him to leave, saying:
“Okay, okay. So here’s this one: Santa, Godzilla, and Jesus walk into a bar…”
and Nick paused with the dirty lipstick-smeared horn up to his mouth and listened because with a set up like that who wouldn’t, and then that important thing you were told was going to happen but you already forgot about it happened:
A body slammed to the ground in front of Nick, falling into, as it happens, the exact same puddle that Nick had just pulled the trumpet out of. How’s that for irony? We’re only just getting started, too.
Sirens immediately started up all around Nick, and from both ends of the street – he was in the middle of the block – came cop cars racing towards him, almost as if they’d been waiting for just this.
(They had been.)
Nick squatted down and looked at the body in front of him. It was a large man, laying on his stomach. His face was turned to the side, his eyes closed. Somehow, the fedora the man wore, which Nick hadn’t noticed until that moment, had stayed on when the man had fallen to the puddle from wherever it was he’d fallen from.
All the buildings on the street being three stories or shorter, Nick didn’t bother looking up above him. The man had fallen straight down from the sky, Nick knew, because it had happened right in front of his eyes.
“We’ll take care of this, sir,” said the surprisingly sexy cop who was suddenly standing in front of him. Nick blinked up at her, and saw her eyes narrow in a fetchingly cute way.
“Where’d you get that horn?” she said.
Nick looked down at his hand, still poised near his mouth.
“It’s a trumpet,” he said.
The cop reached for her waist, and Nick made his second regrettable decision that day, the first being “admitting to the bartender that he had no money before he ordered.”
The third regrettable decision he made a second later when he looked back and saw the sexy lady cop lifting up the dead bum’s jacket, and noticed the dead bum had wings.
Click here to go the NEXT Part: He calls it "Xmas."