Short Fiction

Week 408: Ho, Ho, Hell No; Five Wise Writers; Additional Words of Wisdom and Tom Sheehan Eve

I am writing my humble contribution to this post on 24 November, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. I chose this point because Thanksgiving had at one time been a beautiful holiday until Christmas got so fat and greedy that it had to take everything.

Like a giant star preparing for detonation, puffing up to a size that swallows the planets that orbit it, the green/red Christmas star has done the same thing to the calendar. Save for the area between late January and the end of summer (We now have “Christmas in July”), this putrid star has swallowed the months of the year and will continue to do so until ugsome Black Friday begins at midnight 26 December.

Hurry up with opening those gifts, kids, I want to get in line early.

Sometimes I get the idea that humankind is a suicidal race bent on attracting the wraths of gods it really doesn’t believe in yet continues to invent for profit, regardless of all the healing messages. Although I’m not religious, I root for the spat-on, and there are times when I wouldn’t mind seeing the looming shadow of Jesus Christ approach Jeff Besos from behind–a quick glance at the Son in a BOY AM I PISSED Tee-shirt making his mood clear.

So today I stand here on the burnt out cinder that had once been planet Thanksgiving and shake a turkey leg at the fools already forming lines at various retailers throughout this nation. Unless God dispatches a well aimed asteroid I will be standing here still as this Christmas Eve unfolds, the long since devoured turkey leg replaced by a Scotch and soda. Still, if you must, Merry Christmas to you—but please, for the love of decency, do not post any more goddam YouTube videos of gifting French Bulldog puppies under the tree. People who do so richly deserve the sudden uptick of puppy shit in their lives.

I am going to soon depart and turn this post over to fine persons who are perhaps better at expressing their contempt for French Bulldog gifting clips. But first I invite all to come by tomorrow morning to read six stories by Tom Sheehan, which will mark appearances 194-199 by the master, with the unheard of number 200 following on Boxing Day (Not Boxer Day, YouTubers).

And I leave you with a presentation of The Week That Is. The five stories this week weren’t all about plumping up the bottom line and were human endeavors created from the non-grasping, even wise place in the human heart.

This holiday week was brought to you by a group of five authors who have a combined total of six site appearances. It makes sense in a twisted sort of way that with Tom coming by the next two days this week should feature a second timer and four writers new to the site. Although we dearly love our repeat performers, new voices infuse the lifeblood.

Shawn Eichman’s second LS story appeared on Monday. Hunger. Merry Hellworld Christmas! Yes! This piece is harrowing, tense, speaks volumes of the pointlessness of war and yet has an ironic sense of humor that is difficult to extract, but it shines nonetheless, like silver flecks in paint. As it goes with me, I worried more about the Wolf than the people.

Andrew Yim debuted Tuesday with The Locust Seller. The luck of the draw is how this fine story came to be this week. It is obviously a fitting piece for the season, yet one I’m certain reflects life at the time much more accurately than a Bible story and would be just as appropriate if it had been published in August..

Mark Burrow performed what could be interpreted as a parody of what happened to Lot’s Wife on Wednesday, with Alabaster Conjugal. This is such a sinister thing mainly due to its being told in a perfectly sane voice. The normalcy of all other events heighten the inner weirdness. So well done.

Our third debut author, Domonique, made Thursday a fun place to visit with Karaoke Cowboy. This is an odd situation in which the title tells you what the piece is about but in no way prepares you for the inspired and wildly amusing tale that follows.

Orchids in the Sun by Dorothy Rice closed out the run of stories. With just a few hundred perfectly chosen words Dorothy is able to accurately describe the points of view of “Sadie” and her narrow-minded children, and you can sympathize with both. Although most likely not Mom of the Year timber, you find yourself glad that Sadie went away dreaming of possibilities to come.

Leila

***

Great stuff Leila. I hope that turkey leg was all that you could have hoped. I have to say that I look back fondly on Christmases past when my children were little and trifle was a thing.

It’s been another tricksy sort of a year for so many people that it seems somehow wrong to be forcing through this celebration of all things commercial. I did write a longer post bemoaning the greed and the misery and then I kicked myself in the behind (not easy at my stage of life – or ever actually) and deleted that and decided to simply say – wherever you are and whatever you are doing I hope that your day is peaceful, your people are well and the coming year will be kind to you.

Keep sending us your stories, keep on reading the wonderful prose we are able to publish and may you have all that you need and most of what you want.

Merry end of the year celebration with lights and stuff.

dd

Brilliant ladies!

I was also going to be all doom and gloom but decided against it. I will add one observation following on from Leila’s mentioning of Black Friday.

I noticed one stores dismal display for this so-called ‘Event’. Their wares included a few candles, toasters, shredders and kettles. I thought on this and came to a conclusion – Folks have realised that this is all a huge fucking con. BUT, the retailers have realised that the customers have realised that it is a huge fucking con!! Hopefully in a year or so all this nonsense will die off with whatever greedy bastard thought it up in the first place.

No matter what has happened in my life, I have always started Christmas off in the same way – Half a pint of Advocaat and a bacon sandwich. That makes the rest of the day more sufferable.

To all our readers, writers and those who comment or get involved in any way, have a wonderful time and I hope that you and your families are all happy and healthy. I will now steal a line from the legend that was Dave Allen…May your god go with you.

…And that includes the gods of scepticism, lethargy, pessimism, realism, cynicism and addiction!!!

To Diane, Leila and Nik – Thanks so much for this year, I wouldn’t have got through it without you all. I’ll be on The Absinthe on Christmas night and the first half bottle will be toasted to you all. The second half will have me toasting oblivion!!!!

Hugh

The art work is from Angela at Studio Anjou who has quite a number of pieces scattered about the place.

15 thoughts on “Week 408: Ho, Ho, Hell No; Five Wise Writers; Additional Words of Wisdom and Tom Sheehan Eve”

  1. Writing from an unnamed unfortunate holiday destination forced upon me, I confirm all your worst fears about the holidays and more… “Silver flecks in paint”—that will become my new mantra. I worried much more about the wolf (wolves) too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Merry Christmas, Shawn (not ironically)
      The Great Rodney Dangerfield once said “My old man took me into the woods and tied pork chops around my neck so the Wolves would raise me.” I’m surprised Hallmark hasn’t made that movie yet.
      All the best,
      Leila

      Like

      1. Excellent quote, Rodney Dangerfield! Maybe an idee for a new story, the best gift of all! For the rest of my vacation, I will mentally be wearing pork chops around my neck, a la Leila.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As is frequently the case, I’ll offer a counterpoint about Bezos / Amazon. As a prime member, I get free shipping and all the crappy old 1950 movies from my youth I could hope for. Recently I some publishers embraced Lulu to screw Bezos. More expensive for me and slow. The populace has voted for Amazon even if it puts buggywhip makers out of business.

    I can agree about the seasons. As comfortable seniors we get whatever we want when we want it, and don’t want more clutter. Editor Sharon got stuffed cabbage for her recent birthday. My scattered brain remembered a Christmas story from the late 1940s and / or early 1950s about a bear on an adventure. Eventually we found out that it was “Cinnamon Bear” so we got a cd collection of all 16 pre-Christmas episodes. Boring cousin and other relatives will visit for Christmas and I will add a few pounds to those I need to lose.

    I hope that it is acceptable to wish all of the LS peeps, writers, distant cousins, and redhead nephews a happy rocking, rolling, ranting, and riting new year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Merry Christmas Doug and Editor

      Hope you didn’t get hit with the same ice storm that began my Christmas holiday one day early but would not allow me out of the house till well past noon. It is criminal not to indulge calorically this time of year. I bought two mince pies and look forward to the thousand calories a piece.
      Leila

      Like

      1. So far we have missed the freezing rain. Twitter indicated WA got hit worse than here – yet. The Springs a Sunset City place gave us a pie as inducement to move in. The one in our house that does all the work wants to move, but the lazy one wants us to stay.

        Stay cool for yule.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mick, that reminds me of a saying of my old grandfather’s – When someone talks behind your back, their talking to your arse!!
      Hope you are having a wonderful time!!
      Hugh

      Like

  3. Thanks for the review — an honour to be in such good company.

    Hope you all made it through Christmas intact. Now just need to make it through the collective insanity of New Year’s Eve.

    Have a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

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