Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 59 - Patricia J. Hale

Fa La La La La

Ah, the holiday party with the family. Drove the car from the city, filled her up with low-cost unleaded from out here in the boonies. There was a light snow falling at dusk, a Christmas CD spinning and being the alcoholic in the family, I was bringing the wine.

When I reached Mom’s house it was late. Incidentally, I’d been a really bad girl this year, but Mom always loves me no matter what. Oh, who am I kidding? Mom doesn't know it, but I’m a bad girl every year.

I come in and it all slams at me with the squeal of pleasure from Mom, then she hugs me for way too long. The guilt begins with her whining “It’s been ages since you’ve come. I miss you so much when you’re away!” After she tears my coat off and I’ve barely bit into a Velveeta on Ritz cracker, I find myself the only one at the dining room buffet listening to the blow by blow of Grandpa Wilber’s constipation. When I escape from that to the kitchen my sister wants me to eat some dip that looks like vomit. I feign a need for the bathroom, but when I finish and open the door, there’s Cousin Sandra taking me aside like we're the dearest of friends. Her son has a kleptomania problem, can I talk to him? I stole half of her silverware in 2000; does she think I’m a role model?

Later, Mom makes us all watch a dumb movie about honoring your elderly parent (what COULD she be trying to tell us) and non-stop talks all the rest of the time about the weather (fascinating), her neighbors (she doesn’t have that many) and how fat my sister-in-law is (my brother refused to come). No transition before the next topic of her surgeries including those of a female and personal nature I REALLY didn’t want to hear about.

My head was spinning, that grog shit I’d drank making me sick and so fuck, I freaked out, OK? I pulled the Glock sucker out of my purse. I swear to God it was worth it just to see Aunt Mabel give me the “shame on you” look for a LEGITIMATELY bad thing. I starting shooting everything that moved until everyone was down. I honestly believe that included almost every person in the God damned party and most of my family. I even had to make the call to police myself. The nearest neighbors were 500 yards away and if they heard anything, probably thought it was those stupid Christmas crackers.

The ride in the police car was an out of body experience. I could hear Perry Como ringing in my ears and the plastic Santa and reindeers out front looked like they were suspended in air as I looked through the foggy window while we rode away. I still couldn’t believe I did it, so I hadn’t told the cops anything yet.

We arrive at a cute little police station and they get me into a dingy interrogation room with the one overhead light and the whole business.

“Yeah, I’m the one who did it.” I felt my hands shaking, the cold sweat starting. No point trying to come up with worthless alibi. They’d figure out soon enough. I was a junkie and already had a record.

The officer shook his head and rolled his eyes like I was the worst offender he’d ever picked up at on a very early Christmas morning. Give me a break.

Of course, maybe out here, I was. Well, Merry Fucking Christmas.

BIO: Patricia J. Hale has had stories here in Powder Burn Flash, Flashshot, Flash Pan Alley, MicroHorror, Fictional Musings and Apollo’s Lyre. She writes because she can’t stop herself. Her husband can’t stop her either. For her latest work see patriciahale.blogspot.com or reach her at patriciajhale@aol.com.


Anonymous said...

Mystery Dawg works on PBF on Christmas Day!

Thanks for everything all year, Aldo.


Christa M. Miller said...

Beautiful! I read this just after my brain exploded from too much (similar) company. It's a great story - thanks Patricia, and Aldo for working on Christmas Day. :)

Dave F. said...

The last piece of chocolate I ever ate was several pounds of dark chocolate-covered nuts during Christmas fights at the family get together.
It took my until Valentines day to get my stomach back in order and I've never touched chocolate again.

perhaps the glock..