! The ghost of Christmas past
home
table of contents
original stuff
literary
January 1999
email

The ghost of Christmas past

My wife and children are buried in the cellar.

I had to do it, you understand. I caught her giving Nick Jansen a blow job in the parking lot of The Happy Warrior, the road house down on Baker Street. Nick had just gotten off his stint at the mall and was still wearing his Santa outfit. I saw them but I didn't do anything then. What can you say, what can you do, when your wife is giving Santa Claus a blow job. I didn't say anything, not then, not ever but I couldn't let it go. You understand, I hope. There are some things that a man just can't put up with.

I did it Christmas day. Muriel and the kids were sitting around the tree unwrapping presents. I went out in the garage, got my shotgun, came back in, and blew them away. I figured that doing it Christmas day would be poetic justice.

I felt bad about the kids. Mark and Jennifer were good kids. I really loved them but there wasn't anything I could do about it. If I had just put Muriel down, no matter how I did it, they would have known what I had done. They had to go too. I didn't feel bad about Muriel, though. She was a bitch and a slut and she had it coming.

I put it about that she left me. It wasn't as hard to do as you might think. Her family hadn't talked to her in years; they broke off the connection when she married me. The neighbours weren't surprised. I think that there was a rumor floating about that she had run away to one of those underground networks for abused women. Nobody said anything to me to my face but I could tell. I didn't make a big show about trying to find her - that's a mistake that people make. I made it clear to everyone that I was glad to see her go and that I didn't give a damn if she never came back.

The sheriff did come sniffing around a few weeks later but by then I had everything cleaned up. I had taken Muriel and the kids stuff over to a collection agency a couple of towns over. The cement had set on the lime pits in the cellar - if you didn't know, you couldn't tell that there were graves there. I expect he was just doing his duty; there must have been talk. It didn't go anywhere. People were standoffish for a couple of years but that didn't go any where either. For that matter, people around here have never really liked me anyway. That's fine with me - I don't like them much either.

I do have a problem. I can't sell the place and I can't get married again unless I get rid of those graves. It wouldn't be safe. I don't worry about that, though. I can deal with it when the time comes.

No, that's not the problem. The problem is that I'm haunted. By who, I don't know. Maybe it's Muriel and the kids. Maybe it's Santa Claus. Maybe it's the ghost of Christmas Past. I don't know.

It's not the place that's haunted, it's me. The same thing happens every year at Christmas time. It doesn't matter where I am. I spent Christmas at a resort one year and it happened. It goes like this:

On Christmas eve I fall asleep. I can't do anything about that. I've tried to stay up all night and catch "it" in the action and I can't. I just can't stay awake. On Christmas morning I wake up and there are four stockings there. There are stockings there for Muriel, Mark, and Jennifer, and one for me. Their stockings are filled with little gifts, stocking stuffers, and mine is filled with coal.

That isn't all. There's always a note there, written in fancy calligraphy, and it says:

MERRY CHRISTMAS, YOU BASTARD!


This page was last updated January 1, 1999.
Copyright © 1998 by Richard Harter

table of contents
original stuff
literary
January 1999
email