Here's my submission for SCARIEST CHRISTMAS CAROL (SCC2016)
and my first post in the Short Stories forum. I started this about two hours ago
and wrote it straight through. Also, I didn't proofread it. My apologies in advance for any glaring errors.
Make Christmas Great Again
Returning from the fridge, Terry plopped on the tattered old gray couch and popped the top on the third course of Christmas breakfast. Grinning, he
held the can out toward the television's screen in a toast.
"This Bud's for you Sean."
The man on the television smiled. Terry beamed back. It had been weeks since his fiance of five years had run off with a trucker she'd met working the
late shift at Waffle House but Terry had barely noticed her absence. He'd been riding a high since November and though he sometimes missed the food
she'd often bring home, he sure as hell didn't miss her constant nagging. He knew he'd have the last laugh. The jobs were coming back and when he got
his, the very first thing he planned on doing was buying a sweet ass Charger. Chicks dig cars.
Terry's eyes lost focus and glazed as he day dreamed about himself doing donuts in the Waffle House parking lot, new chick — hotter chick — in the
passenger seat, arm out the window and middle finger in the air. He smiled and nodded his head to the sounds of Metallica playing in his head.
Feet from where he slouched, rocking out in revenge-filled reverie, there came a squeak and then a triplet of authoritative knocks that rattled the
trailer's front door in its frame. Cop knock
. Terry lurched forward, his eyes darting side to side as he scanned the room for paraphernalia.
Shiiiit, the ashtray.
Terry sprang to his feet and lifted the cushion. Grabbing the ashtray from the coffee table, he poured the contents into the couch his cousin Randy
had helped him retrieve from a nearby curb some years prior. He remembered to breathe again. Face hot and flushed, he brushed the ashes from his
t-shirt as he stepped toward the door.
Terry's nicotine stained fingers clenched the knob and he began to twist. Steeling himself for the impending encounter, he pulled open the door. No
one. He pushed open the screenless door and peeked out in time to see the rear of the delivery truck as it drove off. Closing his eyes, he exhaled
slowly and ran his fingers through his hair. Pheeeew.
Terry looked down and on the step below sat a small nondescript cardboard box with a
white shipping label on its top. His heart raced.
Snatching up the box, Terry flung the door shut and practically leapt back to the couch. He sat for several moments with the package in his hands,
savoring the anticipation. He set the package on his knees and digging his dirt encrusted nails under the flaps, he ripped the package apart with a
grunt, tearing it to shreds like a pro wrestler casting off his t-shirt to bear his shaved chest to the camera.
And there it was — in his lap — the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. His bottom lip quivered. His brow furrowed. Overwhelmed with emotion, his
eyes brimmed and then spilled over as Terry began to cry quite freely and unashamed. Unleashed, tears of the sweetest joy streamed down his cheeks,
saturating his auburn stache.
He sat there crying and staring at it for some time. Though he'd seen ones just like it countless times before, the hat cradled atop his knees was no
less a vision to behold. Just like Santa's, it was the red and white of candy canes, Coca-Cola cans, the stripes of the American flag and of freedom
itself. It seemed to pulse, radiating goodness, hope and pure awesomeness.
With one hand, Terry smoothed the lank hair on the top of his head, pulling it down flat against the scalp in the party section of his mullet. The
other hand lifted the cap and placed it down upon his head. As he pulled the cap down snug, it was as though it locked mechanically into place and
with contacts now aligned and touching, his entire body was electrified.
Terry floated to his feet.
He felt profoundly changed — changed in a way he'd expected to feel when he was baptized at the age of fifteen in the crick behind the old church.
Terry had accepted his savior, he was born again and this time, he wasn't just born cool, he was reborn a super-frickin-badass.
half-man, half-panther, Terry strode down the hall into the bathroom.
Looking in the mirror of the plastic medicine cabinet, he turned his head to one side and then to the other before locking eyes with his reflection.
As he stared into his own soul, he was struck with amazing visions of the future. His future. The Charger. The Girl. The Waffle House. His chest
expanded and he was filled with pride. At his sides, his disproportionately small hands clenched into fists of red hot patriotism. Terry pounded his
chest several times and randomly uttered the phrase, "The South Will Rise Again."
The sound of a familiar chant began to call out to him from the living room. He turned and stepped out into the hall. As though trapped in a tractor
beam, Terry was pulled down the hall as the level of the chant rose and the words became clear.
"U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
edit on 2016-12-1 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)