The protagonist of this piece is my unnamed information expert, a character that has a very peculiar of expressing herself. It’s always fun to write things according to her point of view. If you like her style, be sure to check out other short stories she stars in, namely, “Adjustments”, “Retribution”, “The Caterpillar and the Butterfly” and “More than a Shooting Star“.
Archibald McCulloch hates Christmas and when I say “hate”, I really mean it, in the most visceral way possible. Comparing him to the likes of Ebezener Scrooge would be very easy but also highly inappropriate, because Scrooge was just a character and he’s the real deal.
To uncover the real reasons for such aversion would be a massive undertaking and also a low blow to the Holiday Spirit so I’m not even going to try. I’ll say this though: try to talk to him about anything Christmas-related and you’re likely to get a shiner as a present.
The thing that really gets on his nerves though are the carols, the syrupy lyrics echoed by smiling faces, and the constant ringing of the bells lambasting his brains. Can you hear that appalling scream being carried in the wind right now? That’s him, cursing the world at every possible turn whenever Christmas draws near.
Now, given this opening and all, you’re probably wondering why you’re bothering to read this, right? Boring, give us the juicy bits already, you’re saying. Well then, I will, because juicy stuff is my game anyway, and some pieces of information are too good to be kept hidden for long.
So, like I said, Archibald – let’s just call him “Archie” from now on – hates Christmas, right? Wrong, I was just messing with you all along. In truth, the correct tense is hated, obviously, because he met me at the mall, yesterday morning.
I’m not sure if he bumped into me or if I bumped into him, it doesn’t really matter whatever the case. All I know is that he gave me the most ferocious of looks upon noticing I was humming Silent Night.
“Don’t you just love this time of the year?” I asked, batting my long eyelashes at him as I picked up my bags.
“Bah, what’s there to love?” he spat.
“Why, everything of course! The lights, the food, the joy in the air… I love Christmas! If I could have it every single day, I’d be a very happy woman!”
“Blatant hypocrisy all year long? No, thank you!”
“That’s not a very nice thing to say.”
“I don’t care. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”
And then, just like that, he pushed me. Yes, you’ve read it correctly, but let me spell it out nonetheless… P-U-S-H-E-D me, and I’m not the kind of the woman to sit idly in the face of such disrespectful behavior. I mean, if you were in my shoes, would you?
As he was leaving, I picked up my smartphone, managed to get a clear picture of him as he negotiated a pathway towards the nearest escalator and all sorts of preparations came to mind just like that. Yes, I love Christmas, but I love the rush of uncovering secrets even more.
What I found out in my explorations wasn’t pretty. Archie really had a tendency for violence. Now, as the late Jim Morrison once said: Violence isn’t always evil. What’s evil is the infatuation with violence., but he sure enjoyed flirting with danger. Newspaper clippings and police reports from the last decade painted the picture of a man who was a borderline sociopath, and I’m a peace lover by heart so, naturally, I had to do something.
If you’re familiar with my style already, then you know how persuasive I can be, right? I really am a good teacher, and would have fitted in any given classroom in the world if I wanted to. After careful consideration, I went for something I never tried before. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Christmas Ornament Swinging 101!
Imagine a ball, any color you like. Green, perhaps. Or purple. Or blue. Now, imagine Archie answering the door with the same angry eyes he exhibited when we first met. Can you picture his frustration, his haphazard attempts to comprehend how I managed to find out where he lived and know pretty much everything about him in just a couple of hours? Can you see his lips curling outwards in a pathetic attempt at a growl as I kicked him in the nuts and had him stare at the beautiful swinging motions? If you can visualize all that, including the soft reflections slowly rendering his pupils still, perhaps you should stop reading for a bit, take a breather, and come back after a while, okay?
Oh, you don’t want that? My, my… are you going to tell me all your kinky fantasies, too?
Anyway, Archie stopped protesting soon enough just like I hoped he would, and then we moved on to what’s really important.
Christmas is a time of happiness, communion, celebration. To me, singing from the top of our lungs is a pleasure like no other so, of course, I taught him something new, and will keep on doing so until the year is done. Remember Silent Night? Beautiful song for sure, but this one’s better. Go on, Archie boy, what are you waiting for?
“Yes, Mistress. Hmmm…
Slavery night, blissful night,
All thoughts fade in the light
Will is boring, an endless chore
Strip it all right into the core
So I can really be free
So I can really be free…
Slavery night, blissful night,
Trance is good, feels so right
Only Your words are real to me
Forever obedient I wish to be
Kneeling even when standing
Kneeling even when standing…
Slavery night, blissful night
Eyes upon You, glorious sight
By the fire, with a collar at hand
I await the supreme command:
“ ’round your neck, pet of mine
’round your neck, pet of mine…”