Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas & Horror Writing

A few years ago I wrote a series of Christmas horror stories.

Let me start at the beginning.

About four years ago, I was doing readings at a local coffee shop. A few months before Christmas, Stephanie, who was in charge of putting the readings together, decided she wanted to do a writing assignment for the holiday. She had us pick a Christmas themed word out of a hat. My word was "stocking".

I felt the challenge calling to me. So, I set upon writing a few fun tales. These were my objectives:
a. extremely short stories
b. humor
c. shock and disturb my fun, but church going family(my brother is a Pentacostal youth pastor).

The stories were a hit at the Christmas reading that year. Although, I have to be honest, only a few people showed. And three of them were teenage boys, who weren't there for the reading, but were doing an art project. My stories were a huge hit with them. I guess the horror demographics are correct. The following year, Stephanie asked me to read the stories again. There was going to be a much bigger crowd. As a writer of the macabre, I have learned at times we must explain a bit about our stories before we read them, you know, to prepare people. So, I explained to the crowd, (mind you they were all writers), how I came about writing Christmas horror stories. Then I read the stories. I heard a few chuckles in the crowd, but when I was finished reading and looked up, I saw many horrified and dumbfounded expressions staring back at me. Instead of detering me from writing anymore of these silly stories, the experience convinced me I was doing exactly what I had set out to do, disturb people.

The stories were meant to be read aloud, and they were meant to be fun. Every year I try and add to my holiday themed nightmare. In fact, I have compiled the stories and have titled them The Stalking Tales: A Christmas Nightmare. I tried to keep a "stocking" in each story. This, unfortunately, did not happen. A few of the stories took a life of their own, as they like to do. One of the stories "Frostbitten" even creeps me out a bit. It involves Jack Frost and I always found him scary, but I'll save that for another day.

 Reading the stories on Christmas Eve has become a tradition at our house. My family likes to indulge me. Afterwards they ask me if I could write something a bit nicer. So, of course, I don't.

For the holidays I wanted to share my stories. Here is the first one I wrote called, "Reindeers Revenge".  I hope you like it. If the story is well recieved I will share a few more as Christmas comes hurtling towards us.

Reindeers Revenge
Vixen was pissed.  Pulling the fat mans sleigh, working one night a year with no benefits, living in a crowded stall with seven other mangy reindeer, fed old straw and stagnant water, she couldn’t take it anymore.  This was not the glorious life she was led to believe it would be.
The fat man and all his ho-ho-hoeing was getting on her nerves.  The jolliness the mortals were so convinced radiated from his rosy cheeks was nothing but a lie.  He had a heavy hand when it came to whipping them through the skies.  A cat-o-nine tails can damage a tender flank.  Vixen watched as Prancer limped his way to the watering hole and Blitzen, with his one remaining eye, sustained after a horrible candy cane incident, stumbled towards his stall.  She was enraged, she had had enough.
A secret meeting was called, something had to be done to put a stop to the fat mans tyranny.  As the reindeer came together on that Christmas Eve morn they gathered supplies, hiding them among the stocking stuffers, knowing he would never look in there.  The stocking held no glory for the fat man. 
They heard the murmuring and the skittering scuffle of the elves as they began stuffing gifts into the giant red bag.  The reindeer stomped their hooves in anticipation. 
The red suited monster shouted them away into the night.  With breath coming out in frosty pants, their sore and tired legs flying as they had never flown before, the eight tiny reindeer saw through the clouds the pointed peaks of village houses.  Whip in hand the fat man lashed them down to a halt on the first rickety rooftop.  They watched as he jumped down the chimney. As the slurping sounds of Santa sucking down his milk and cookies came up the chimney shaft, the mob of enraged deer gathered their weapons and surrounded the chimney hole. 
 Vixen gripped the handle of the shiny steel blade between her teeth.  The other reindeer stood in position eyes rolling and mouths foaming in excitement.  As his pointy red cap emerged, Vixen began to swing. The blade sang in the frosty air.