My apologize for the late posting here. I've now realized two month into canceling my internet service that it was a necessity not a luxury and worth whatever price I was paying for it. But those who suffer will be rewarded and you, dear DSD readers, will be rewarded with TWO stories for the price of one (seperate shipping charges may be incurred). The first one here is actually an oldy of mine written for Tribe's old flash fiction site. It's one of my favorite Christmas stories I've written and spectacular in it's lack of strippers, strip clubs, and writers. The next one is the first of our reader submissions and it frankly kicks my story's ass.
TIME AND A HALF
By Bryon Quertermous
"This sucks," Loki said. "My wings are chaffing."
Sam lit an unfiltered cigarette and inhaled a deep breath.
"We're not the only ones working on Christmas," he said. "Why should we be any different?"
"Angels should not be working on Christmas. 'Tis the season and all that."
"It's not like we're flipping burgers or anything. We're doing the Lord's work and it's his birthday. Now get over here and help me through this window."
Loki shuffled over to the small bedroom window and tried to shift his body in the overcoat to alleviate the chaffing.
"Why do we have to sneak through windows and wear over coats?" he asked.
"It's all for effect. You have no sense of the dramatic."
"We're angels. We can fly and go through walls and glow. That's not dramatic enough for you?"
Sam grabbed Loki by the neck and dragged him down to another window, looking in on the living room. A wobbly, overweight man wearing a stained Santa Clause suit without the hat or beard was standing over a crying boy. The man had the wide black belt of the Santa suit wrapped around his meaty hand and was beating the boy repeatedly in the head with it. A small, pale girl with an exposed rib cage, wearing only a thin pair of Strawberry Shortcake panties was huddled under the Christmas tree.
"She's next," Sam said. "And he's not going to just hit her."
"So let's do what we came here to do. Not break into his house like burglars."
Sam threw Loki to the ground and turned away from the window.
"A guy like that doesn't deserve angels with trumpets and glows," Sam said. "He deserves to be gored in an alley somewhere for six bucks and some gum. But there's no guarantee that's ever going to happen so we're going to do him. But it's going to be dirty and nasty and I'm going to scare the hell out of him first."
"Whatever. I still can't believe we've got to do this on Christmas."
Once inside the bedroom, Loki and Sam made sure nobody else was around and headed through the house to the living room where the stained Santa was still beating on the young boy. When Sam cleared his throat, Santa stopped hitting the boy with the belt but kept it swinging in the air.
"Fuck you want?"
"That's no way for Santa Clause to—"
"Get out of my house."
"The only people getting out of this house tonight are the kids," Sam said, motioning for Loki to take them away.
When the kids and Loki were gone, Sam moved in closer to Santa and grabbed for the belt. Santa was quick though, snapped it away from Sam and smacking him in the head with it. Sam was dazed, but he recovered enough to get the small revolver from his overcoat pocket and point it at Santa.
"Naughty Santa's don't make it to New Years," Sam said.
He had a whole speech planned out, but he'd expected Santa would be a drunk loser, not a competent fighter, so he was caught off guard when Santa nailed him with a series of hits that threw him into the tree and took his legs out from underneath him.
Sam was determined to stick with his plan and was ready to go another round with Santa, until Santa pulled a gun from his baggy velvet pants and fired. Sam dodged the bullet easily enough but it pissed him off. Santa continued unloading the clip and by the final shot, Sam was so angry he let loose his full angelic wrath.
His wings ripped the coat from Sam's body as they spread their full width, knocking ornaments and decorations and furniture around as they unfolded. Santa cowered under the tree where his daughter had been previously, still pointing the gun at Sam.
No gun was going to stop the sword Sam pulled, though. The gleaming broadsword was the size of a surfboard and Sam's body morphed to its full, angelic size, dwarfing the sword, and the Christmas tree where Santa was hiding. Sam didn’t bother with a message this time. He slashed at Santa twice, dropping chunks of his body under the tree like fleshy presents.
When he was done, and calmed down enough to leave the house, Sam caught up to Loki at the Breakfast Anytime Diner down the road.
"Social services ladies not much happier about working on Christmas than we are," Loki said.
Sam nodded and munched away on a pile of scrambled eggs soaked in Devil's Finest brand hot sauce.
"Bet these waitresses ain't happy about it either," Loki said. "But seems to be working well for us and for those kids."
"I told you," Sam said. "Why should we be any different than anyone else?"