It is Christmas time in Bosleyland . . .
The tree is trimmed with bright glossy orbs of preserved reindeer eyes, and fine ornaments are chiseled from their still moist bones. Beneath the tree, boxes of all sizes wrapped up neatly in smooth recently tanned reindeer skin.
“Ho, ho, ho!” Bosley hears as he dozes in his armchair. Cyanide milk, arsenic cookies have been laid on the table. A double barreled sawed off shotgun sits in his lap. He watches the embers in the fireplace and grins, as the wafting smell of fresh meat pies fills the air.
“Come on down you son-of-a-bitch,” he whispers, and pumps his gun. Down the chimney the drunken merry old elf comes like a clumsy, morbidly obese, sneak thief. Stocking, hanging heavy, sway like murders on the gallows.
“Hey Kringle, smile for the camera,” Bosley says with a grin, one arch of an eyebrow raises up as he lets buckshot fly.
“Ha!” Santa grunts and dives to the side. The stockings, hung with such care, tatter to shreds.
“The one and only,” Bosley says and empties the other barrel with a soft beady bang.
“I hate to tell you kid,” Kringle says, “this isn’t the first gun I’ve seen today.” He takes a surprisingly nimble flying leap toward Bosley who steps back as the jolly fat elf flies through the air.
“I thrive on the Christmas misery,” his stinking body slamming into Bosley. “How do you think I get so fat? On the laughter of children? On goodwill? Oh no.” Bosley squirms from underneath him and suddenly decides a standing shooting star press might be in order, and slams himself down.
“Hear that Kringle? That’s not the crunching of snow.”
“Suck it, Gravel,” he says and rams a hammy fist into Bosley’s delicate glass baubles. “I’m a juggernaut. I can’t be stopped.” He stands, towering. “Each bit of senseless consumerism, each dollar we go in debt, each shinny rock —” Bosley is standing now, wobbling.
“I’m going to send you back to hell,” Bosley says.
“That’s the Christmas spirit, my boy,” Kringle says as Bosley pounces, pounding and fierce.
“This one is for more crap from China to end up in our landfills, this one is for horrible cookies, and drunken dysfunctional relatives … all the annoying in-laws!” Bosley works his fists up and down like pistons while he sits on the fat man’s chest. “And this one is for all the driving, and the shitty weather.” Kringle, believe it or not, is grinning.
“But that, my boy, is the true meaning of Christmas!” Bosley looks down at rosy cheeks, the black eyes, the broken teeth. A sense of wonder and revelation fills Bosley’s chest.
“Misery! Suffering! That’s what it is all about!” Bosley says.
“Yes!” Kringle says, “That’s it! Do you see beautiful it can be now?” Bosley wipes a tear from under his eye as he takes out his trusty pocket knife, and tests the blade with his thumb. “Yes, oh yes …”
* * *
The tree is trimmed with bright glossy orbs of preserved reindeer eyes, and fine ornaments chiseled from their still moist bones. And beneath the tree, boxes of all sizes wrapped up neatly in smooth recently tanned reindeer skin. Cyanide milk and arsenic cookies on the table. And up on the top of tree sits Kringle’s head in a toothless grin. Bosley grins and pokes the fire; the head of Kris Kringle on the top of the tree, and says, “I hope all you CoT’s readers have a wonderful holiday … and to all a good night!”