Wednesday, December 12, 2012

He calls it... XMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I like exclamation points.)

 It's that time of the year again: the time when I shamelessly promote THE GREATEST XMAS STORY EVER WRITTEN:  The story of how Xmas came to be, the tale of a lonely UFO maker, the sexiest cop ever, a demented madman, and a giant lizard.  It's...

and Jesus
Walk Into A Bar…"

Ever Told.

(By me.)

Part One:
The Beginning, which is what
all part ones are..
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.”

He ran.

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.

Part Two:
He calls it 'Xmas.'

Nick is a fast guy
. You have to be, in the UFO business. It's all about hustle, in that game. So he was surprised when Sexy Cop caught up to him, more surprised when Sexy Cop asked him his name, ("Nick," he said, already breathing heavily from having run two blocks), more surprised still when she reached over and tried to grab the trumpet from his hand -- but not so surprised that he couldn't flick it away from her and hold it up over his head, causing her to leap up for it while she was running, and causing him to trip over her and causing the both of them to fall into a heap.

The surprises weren't over yet: The other cops started shooting at the two of them.

"You idiots! Quit shooting!" yelled Sexy Cop. "You're going to kill me!"

But they didn't quit shooting, of course, which was lucky for Nick because not only was he lying in a heap with Sexy Cop, but she also had to press herself closer to him on the ground.

Things were looking up for Nick.

Aside from the being shot at, that is.

"You weren't supposed to see any of this," Sexy Cop told him. Then she leaned her head up over the curb. "STOP SHOOTING! I'VE GOT HIM!!" A pause, then "I used two exclamation points on that last sentence for emphasis!"

Nick fell instantly in love. About which, you should know this: Nick's college thesis was entitled "People Should Declaim The Punctuation In Their Sentences: Building a Better Society Through Language."

It was because Nick majored in "Punctuation" that he ended up in the extremely impractical field of UFOs, and also because of that, as you've gathered, that he fell in love with Sexy Cop, who was easy on the eyes, after all.

The cops kept shooting, which was worrisome for Nick, but more so for Sexy Cop, who ducked back down and said:

"You shouldn't have looked back."

"Why'd you try to grab the trumpet?" Nick asked.

"Where is it?" Sexy Cop asked him.

"What's your name?" Nick asked her back. Inwardly, Nick thought this would make an excellent story to tell people when someone asked how they met. He wondered if it would be weird if he proposed to her right now. Maybe, he told himself. Give it time.


No time left! Nick thought. "Marry me," Nick said to Sexy Cop.

"What?!" she said.

"You used a question mark and an exclamation point on that, didn't you?" Nick asked approvingly.


There was a pause in the shooting.

"Are you all after me?" Nick asked Sexy Cop, then inwardly cursed himself for ruining the moment.

"We weren't, until you messed things up by existing and, in particular, existing right there right then," Sexy Cop told him.


"Rats," said Sexy Cop.

"What?" asked Nick.

"They've got us surrounded," she said.

"No, they just said they didn't have us surrounded."

"It's a trap. I know them. Heck, I am them." She laid on Nick's chest a moment, then sat up and yelled "IT'S ALL RIGHT! I'VE..." but she had to stop when a volley of bullets rang out again and nearly killed her. She ducked back down.

"IF YOU'RE WITH HIM, YOU'RE AGAINST US!" said the loudspeaker voice.

"I'M NOT WITH HIM!" Sexy Cop yelled, still laying on top of Nick, who appreciated it. "I CHASED HIM! REMEMBER?"

After a short pause, the voice said: "IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE SNUGGLING!"

"Are we snuggling?" asked Nick.

"No," Sexy Cop said.

Nick, who had started to put one arm around Sexy Cop, changed the move to make it look like he was going to scratch his head. Sexy Cop looked up at his hand. "The trumpet!" she said.

Nick pulled his hand back down as she scrabbled for it, and the two of them began wrestling around in the snow, Sexy Cop repeatedly trying to pin down his hand while Nick tried to keep Sexy Cop wrestling with him but not giving up the trumpet.

"Why do you want it," he breathed, in what he hoped was an alluring way.

"Why do you want it?" Sexy Cop grunted back as she got hold of his wrist and twisted it around his back, flipping Nick over onto his stomach and cuffing him all in one move that Nick found both very professional and, let's be honest, a little hot. "You don't even know what it is?"

Then, she sat back on him and said "Where is it?"

Nick laughed. "I've got a few tricks up my sleeve," but he regretted the line when Sexy Cop began reaching into his coat sleeve. She chose the wrong one but she'd get to the right one in a moment, he knew, and he wondered if she'd still be interested in him, you know, as a person, after she had the trumpet.

Before she could switch to the left coat sleeve, though, a bunch of cops ran up shouting, with one yelling:


while another said


and so they started shooting again, which would have been extremely uncomfortable for both Nick and Sexy Cop had the part of the sidewalk they were lying on not suddenly opened up, dropping them both into a large space below the sidewalk, the fall separating them and taking long enough that Nick had time to rotate in the air and see that the hole they'd fallen through was being swarmed by tiny little creatures with pointy ears and dainty fingers and hideous grins.

They were little mockeries of men, wearing tiny coats and little pointy hats and climbing up the walls to go out and do battle with the cops, who were shooting at them. The little men, with horrible horrible smiles, were picking up anything they could find near them and using it to attack the police, at first just doing things like picking up a clump of snow and throwing it, but, as Nick watched, they began making more complex things. He saw three of them take a pile of twigs and a snowball and jam them together until it looked like a sort of animal, and then one of the little men hit the snowball and it came alive and started attacking the cops, somehow growing a mouth with snow teeth and eyes that glinted like black ice.

(If you are thinking to yourself "Wow, Nick and Sexy Cop have been falling for a long time because that doesn't seem like the kind of thing that happens quickly," then congratulations, because you've learned your lesson: remember how you forgot about that exciting thing you were told was going to happen, earlier, only you forgot as soon as you were told, practically? Well, now, you're learning to pay attention as you read. Good for you!)

Nick, and Sexy Cop beside him, were falling for a long time. Long enough that they got used to it, falling down what appeared to be a large shaft. Nick figured they must have hit terminal velocity some time before, because it didn't seem like they were picking up speed. He wasn't crazy about falling, but he was even more not crazy about landing, and when he started worrying about falling, he worried about landing even more, so he decided to put those two ideas out of his head and focus on more pleasant topics.

"What's your name?" Nick asked Sexy Cop. He hadn't given up on the proposal, but figured now was not the time to press it.

"I can't believe those things are loose, and coming after us," Sexy Cop said, not answering Nick's question (or so Nick figured, because that would be a ridiculous name for a heroine, and Nick had decided Sexy Cop was the heroine of this little episode. It's fate! He told himself.)

"What are those things?" Nick asked.

Sexy Cop looked at him now. "I can't tell you," she said. "It's classified."

"I have actually got a pretty high security clearance," Nick informed her. That's right: Lay on the charm, he congratulated himself. He wondered if he should add that he kind of knew how to play the guitar.

Sexy Cop looked down. "We've been falling for a long time," she said.

"I'd try not to think about it," Nick advised.

"How can you not think about it?"

"Let's get to know each other."

"Are you insane? This fall is going to kill us."

"That's the kind of thing I'd try not to think about. So... your name?" Nick asked.

Before Sexy Cop could answer, the lights in the shaft came on, almost blinding Nick. He blinked several times and saw that they were, indeed, in a shaft. There were arrows pointing up, and arrows pointing down, and blinking lights and steady lights and lights that seemed to be steady but then they'd blink once, and, Nick saw, there was now a bottom to the shaft, not so far below.

He could no longer put this out of his mind. He tried to devise a plan for when they hit, but all he could come up with was "don't hit," and he couldn't think how to put that in effect.

He heard voices drifting up the tunnel. Two men were talking. One of them, in fact was laughing, and that one then stopped and Nick heard:

"Okay, okay. I've got one. Listen. It's good. Santa, Godzilla, and Jesus walk into a bar..." and just as the man said that the other man looked up and yelled:

"WHAT'S THAT?" and the first man swore and leaned down and pressed some buttons on his computer frantically and a giant net swung out and caught Nick and Sexy Cop -- with Sexy Cop tumbling into Nick and making him feel like this relationship had a chance, after all.

They hung there in the net, looking around at what was, Nick realized, some sort of giant cavern. It was hot: he could already feel the heat and was sweating. There were two men looking at him, and off in the distance, in a larger part of the cavern, something immediately caught Nick's eye -- probably because it was spotlit in greens and reds and was giving off steam and was blinking and flashing and seemed to be heaving.

"What... is... that..." Nick breathed, unable to take his eyes off of it.

"That's classified," Sexy Cop said, her mouth up against his ear. It was mostly because of how the net had caught them, Nick knew, but he still appreciated it.

"I... call it XMAS!" said a voice behind them.

LIKE WHAT YOU READ? You can get the book on your ereader for just ninety-nine cents.  And if you Tweet about it, I'll send you a free copy!  (Post Tweets with @whyihatepeople in them so I know you did it.)


Andrew Leon said...

Maybe I should run my review of it again...

Briane P said...

Couldn't hurt.

Rusty Webb said...

I can't read this now. I am however, visiting for the second time in two days. The fact that I didn't read is just a statement of how tired I am, and that I don't think I can stay up long enough to get through it.

Not that it isn't great, you're one of my favorite authors - so I'm sure it's awesome. I'm just not ready.