Written in about 24 hours in a TORRENT of inspiration! If you’re not my Facebook friend, and you should be, here’s a taste from the opening 🙂 I’ll be sending it out for publication tonight! Gonna be on the ‘zon only – pricing it at .99 on which I’ll only get .35 or so as a royalty. But, I can get 1.33 or whatever the borrow rate is on Kindle Unlimited – and a fat sack of cash would be my very best holiday present to myself ever!
WARNING: Given the extremely masterful quality of this work of satirical literature, the decision has been made at the highest levels of this one man show that we will follow the example of that other great purveyor of fantastical content, the Walt Disney Company™, and release this story for A LIMITED TIME ONLY.
After Christmas, this classic work shall go “back in the vault.” Or, back in the closet where we store our fake Christmas tree and a bunch of other shit. Anyway. Pay up and read up! Time’s a wastin’!
OH YEAH. OTHER WARNING: The following is a work of fiction. All events that appear miraculous or are contrary to the rules of science and reason are completely made up, with the author having had no recourse to scientific research or, hell, even Wikipedia.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist, of course, and even if He did, He would be the first to tell you that He didn’t. So, anyway, if you can get your head around that, you’ll enjoy this story just fine.
OTHER OTHER WARNING. Really, the last one. If you’re super religious? You’re probably gonna hate this story, so stop reading now. Unless you want to denounce it really loudly all over the Internet, and make me rich. That would be okay.
FLOGGED INTO SOGGY MANSEX BY THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER
My Aunt Mae gasped. “Oh, look! Oh, Campbell, it’s a Christmas Miracle!” She banked her massive old Buick at an alarming speed.
I sighed as quietly as I could, gripping the bucket seat, exasperated and terrified at the same time. “Sure, Aunt Mae.”
Okay, maybe she was right – a parking spot at Jumbo-Mart? Two days before Christmas? Close enough, I guess.
“See how the Lord provides, Campbell?” she said as we walked into the store.
This time I didn’t hide my sigh. When asked my religion, I say I’m a fundamentalist Hitchensian. Every word Christopher Hitchens ever wrote about religion is my gospel truth. This isn’t a big deal in New York City, where I live now. But when I come home for the holidays in Dustbin, Texas, it’s definitely a family crisis.
“What about all the Christmas tragedies?” I taunted her. “What about all the people who die from Christmas trees that catch fire? Or who die because they deep fried their turkeys inside, because it was too cold outside? No, strike that one. That’s just natural selection at work.”
Aunt Mae was surprisingly fast for an old lady, navigating expertly through the shopping carts of the mob swarming the store.
Suddenly she stopped in the middle of the soup aisle, her little birdlike hand like a vise on my forearm. I felt it, too. The cans of soup to my right had been rattling, their perfect alignment disturbed.
“Was that an earthquake?”
“It must have been,” I said, scientifically, but doubtfully, as we walked further down the aisle. But why was it that only the soup cans had been misaligned?
In fact, it hadn’t felt like an earthquake. I’d been in earthquakes. It hadn’t had the rhythm. It had been more like short, deep waves, like someone… something… chuckling.
I turned back and blinked. Man, the air was dry here in Dustbin. Because I was clearly seeing things. Because it looked…crazy as it sounds, it looked like the cans had rearranged themselves into a laughing face.
Well, so much for the Christmas miracle, I thought, but didn’t say, when we got home to my grandma’s house, and it turned out that Aunt Mae had bought the wrong stuffing.
“God fucking damn it, Mae,” Grandma shouted. “Can’t you follow one simple fucking instruction?”
Ah, the holidays. They bring out the best in everyone. Though truth be told, that was pretty much Grandma’s normal setting. Remember the episode of “Louie” when he takes his kids to meet his aunt, who turns out to be a racist old bitch? Yeah. That’s a documentary about my Texas grandma.
“I’ll take it back,” I volunteered, shouting over the TV, where Pat Robertson was talking about the War on Christmas. I noticed that every day, he looked more and more like that Hobbit who told the Nazgul where to find Frodo.
“Fine! What are you going to drive? You can take my Cadillac, or your uncle Pete’s Hummer…”
“I’ll walk. It’s not far.”
They gasped. “You’ll be killed! Hit by a car, or abducted!”
“I’ll be fine,” I said, running out the door with the stuffing before anyone could say more.
“That’s his fucking liberal New York atheism bullshit,” Grandma shouted to anyone who’d listen – or anyone who couldn’t get out of range.
It really wasn’t that far, especially when you live in New York and you walk everywhere. But in Dustbin, Texas, only really, really poor people walk anywhere.
Sure enough, though, six people offered me a ride and asked me where my car had broken down. They got really mad when I said I was walking on purpose.
Back at the Jumbo-Mart, I couldn’t help it – I had to walk back down that soup aisle. I got to the cans where I’d seen the face, rows and rows of chicken noodle soup with meatballs.
Someone had realigned the cans, clearly, since they were once again as smooth and perfect as they’d be in an ad, or on a Warhol canvas.
“Of course it was an illusion,” I said out loud. “There’s no such thing as ghosts, or whatever.”
And at that, suddenly, the cans rattled! I took a step back, and good thing, because they began to tumble off the shelf, rolling towards me. There was a series of hisses and pops as the lids began to…peel themselves open.
Now I was really afraid, because clearly they were all full of botulism, and the ones that weren’t popping open were ready to explode like grenades. And as soon as I thought that, I heard it – the laughter again.
Okay. This is where it gets crazy. But it happened, I saw it. Suddenly the soup began to…move. The noodles were like snakes, slithering together to form bigger, longer noodles, twisting and turning to become a massive knot of pasta. When it had all joined together, it began to levitate.
I looked at the ceiling for the strings, of course, for the scientific explanation, but there were none.
And the meatballs. Yeah, now I really freaked out, as they rolled into two piles and…some force pressed them together, until there were two great meatballs, that leapt from the ground to join the pasta.
After that, two long thick stems of pasta, the size of cannelloni shells, grew up and out of it.
And I gotta say, I was handling myself pretty well. Until the two eyeballs emerged from atop the cannelloni. Looked at me. Blinked.
That was when I screamed.