In 2006 I wrote a lot of holiday themed stories, from Halloween to April Fool’s Day to Boxing Day to, yeah, you got it, Christmas. I even wrote a Valentine’s Day story, though I wouldn’t call it very romantic. This story is another one of those 2006 pieces, but only slightly reworked.
Instead of going with my normal style of writing, I went in a different direction with this one. I hope a bit of the humor comes through. Sit back, relax and enjoy the read.
By A.J. Brown
“Rudolph, you can stop now.”
“Relax, Nick,” Rudolph said and stomped on the woman’s head again. It squished, as if someone had stepped on a slug. He looked up from the bloodied body beneath him. “She had it coming, boss.”
“How can you say that?” Nick looked at the gore on the ground, the mass of light brown hair that was graying and soaked in red. The woman’s face was gone, ripped away by the incessant pounding of Rudolph’s hoof. Her chunky body was bruised, and in some places, bones poked out of skin and clothing.
“Take a whiff,” Rudolph said and backed away.
Nick sniffed the air and shook his head. He then inhaled sharply. “What am I smelling for, Rudy?”
“You can’t tell what that is?”
“Rudy, all I smell is crap and blood.”
“Come on, Nick,” Rudolph said, gave a roll of his eyes. “Have all the cookies and candies gone to your head instead of your stomach? Stop playing around and sniff her again. Get down between her thighs if you have to, but take a good whiff.”
Nick bent down close to her midsection and took a deep breath He inhaled a second time, taking in the scent of the dead woman. There was some perfume and blood and the stench of a fresh bowel movement. There was also the scent of something else; something that forced Nick to pinch his nose in disgust and stand up quickly.
“How could you tell?” he asked.
“Nick, I’ve got a sensitive nose, remember?” Rudolph said as he stomped on the woman’s head one more time.
“Rudolph, your nose is a flashlight—that doesn’t make it sensitive.”
Rudolph smiled and his nose lit up. “I tell you what, boss: you get you one of these noses and tell me it don’t get a little sensitive after having it on all night.”
“You were born that way, you freak of nature,” Nick said and laughed aloud before growing serious again. “How could you tell?”
“Nicholas, old boss, wasn’t it you who said you have to be able to smell a hater from a mile away?”
“Well, yeah, but that is just a figure of speech.”
“Not for me, Nick. I could smell her an hour before I saw her. Granny, here, reeks of someone who hates Christmas. And she don’t just hate it, she despises it.”
Nick nodded and scratched his nearly bald head. “How’d she get all the way out here?”
“She must have been determined,” Rudolph said and looked around. “You know yourself, what determination can do for a person.” Again, his nose lit up, shining brightly, then dimming. “There are tracks leading from the woods—she’s been waiting.”
“I wonder what she was up to?”
Rudolph rolled his eyes again. “Think about it, Nick. She was here to take you out, old man.”
”But why would she—“ Nick started to say before it dawned on him. His eyes popped open, his jaw went slack.
“I see now. If she gets rid of me, then there is no Christmas.”
“That’s right, Nick, old boy,” Rudolph said and stepped away from the body. “I don’t know what you did to her but you pissed her off pretty bad. I’ve never heard of anyone trying to take out Santa Clause.”
“Do you really think she was here to do me harm?” Nick asked as he looked down at the pulpy mass.
“Dude, she was here to kill you,” Rudolph said. “But don’t sweat it, Boss, I’ve got your back and she’s just meat for the bugs, now.”
Nick clapped Rudolph on the neck and they started away from the body. He glanced back momentarily and smiled.
“Would you like a beer?” Nick asked.
“Nah,” Rudolph replied, “but I’ll take a fuzzy navel, especially if you’re buying.”
“Oh, I’m buying, alright.”
“Nick, do you have a cigarette?” Rudolph asked.
“Sure do,” Nick said. “But, don’t let Martha know. She thinks I quit.”
Nick placed a cigarette between Rudolph’s lips and looked back toward the woman. Pulling out his lighter, he flicked it several times before it came to life. He lit the cigarette and stepped back.
The sound of the rifle penetrated the air. Rudolph teetered, one eye wide in disbelief. The other eye was gone, as was the back of his head and his once bright red nose. Nick bent down slipped the cigarette from between Rudolph’s lips and placed it between his own.
Rudolph’s body twitched, his back hoof jitterbugged.
“Cocky son-of-a-bambi, wasn’t he?” came a voice from the shadows.
“Yes, Blitzen. The cockiest.”
“You reckon he knew?” Blitzen asked, nodding and motioning to the woman.
“I don’t think so, but if he did, well, at least he was good for something before he died.”
“Do you reckon Martha knows about the affair?”
“No. But, she would have, if it wasn’t for Rudolph sniffing her out.”
“He had a good nose,” Blitzen said and walked off.
“Yeah, that’s about the only thing I’m going to miss of him.”
“You may want to get someone out here to clean up the bodies. You don’t want to leave them here overnight.”
“I’ve already got it taken care of, Blitzen,” Nick said and blew out a long strand of smoke. “Ahh, here they come now.”
Rounding the corner was an old beat up pick-up truck. One head light was blown out, but with the way it kicked and sputtered there was no doubt to Nick who it was.
“Howdy, Nick,” the driver said as he pulled up. His hair was a brilliant white, as was the stubble on his knobby chin.
“Evening, Jack. How’s Mrs. Frost doing?”
“She’s fine, and Martha?”
“Oh, she’s doing well. Gearing up for the Christmas rush.”
Jack got out of the truck and rubbed his head. “So, what is it you need, Nick?”
‘Well, it seems one of my trainees has been shot.”
“Ahh, man, I’m sorry to hear that,” Jack said and shook his head in disgust. “I thought it was illegal to hunt in these parts.”
“It is, but sometimes they do it anyway. You know how it can be.”
“Yeah, so what’s one of your trainees got to do with me?”
Nick pointed at the ground where Rudolph lay, his head face down in the snow. “I hear you like venison.”
Again, I hope you liked the story and, well, it’s time for a shameless plug. If you would like to find more of my work, you can pick up my short story collection, Southern Bones, here
I would appreciate if you would pick up a copy, and leave a review. Like the page, if you will.
Okay, no more plugging for now.
Until we meet again, my friends…