Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Fiction : Day 12

Hi everyone! Yes, I know my days are off, but I was way too tired to post this yesterday when I finished it, so it will have to work for today. I'll try to make up the missing day sometime next week. ^_^ The 12 days of Christmas Fiction are brought to you by a dear friend of mine who dared me to write my own version of the stories in popular Christmas music. I could not resist the challenge and so, here I am. Hopefully this will excuse my absence in the weekly Friday Fiction and provide a smidgen of holiday cheer as this festive time begins. This particular excerpt is a bit 'normal' if there are any songs you'd like to nominate, please mention them in the comments and I'll see what I can do. I've had the most votes for "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" so that has been my first piece. Enjoy! (and Merry Christmas!) 

To find out more about the Christmas Fiction Challenge, Click here to read and join! 

Taken from Zazzle, they have a lovely selection of hilarious Christmas cards.

Disclaimer is at the bottom. I do not own the lyrics or the song, this is merely a bit of of creative fiction for the fun of it. The idea/plot/characters created are my own. 

It's Titled :
When Grams Got Run-over : A tale of holiday absurdity.


Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

 “Grandma, are you sure you’re okay? You’ve been acting a little weird.” I followed my grandmother out to the front porch where she rescued her boots from the cold winter air and dropped them just inside the hallway to warm up. 

“I’m fine, Jonas. I’m just fine.” She smiled her grandmotherly smile, an expression that used every wrinkle around the corners of her eyes and even the few baggy ones under her chin. “Would you stop worrying already? You’re the one that’s being all-”

“Grandma! Grandma!” Suzy skittered to a stop in the hallway, her knit cap half-unraveled in her chubby pink hands. “It’s broked.”

“I think you mean, broken, sweetie.” Grandma chuckled. “I’ll take a look at it. Don’t keep pulling that yarn, you’ll make a mess out of it.” She started towards the kitchen and stopped. “Jonas, could you get my-?”

“Umbrella in the closet? Yeah.” I fished out the purple and brown contraption, because it sure didn’t look anything like an umbrella to me. Of course, I sure couldn’t tell Grandma that, at least, not this Grandma.

I followed the laughter until I reached the kitchen where she was knitting Suzy’s hat back into existence. Her purple knitting needles seem to have the same cheery glow radiating from her entire being as she waved my kid sister off with cautions to be careful in the snow. 

She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog
And we'd begged her not to go
But she'd left her medication
So she stumbled out the door into the snow

“You’re the one that should be careful.” I muttered, handing over the umbrella in the middle of the kitchen. I didn’t know what else to do with it.

Grandma chuckled. “Well, hold on to it a moment, Jonas. I’m not in that big of a rush to go.”

“Why do you have to go at all?”

“Want some egg-nog?”

“No!”

“You don’t like it?” She turned to me, her expression as innocent as possible with all the years she had to her name buried beneath her grandmother-charm.

“You’re drinking too much of that, Grams! What about your bloodsugar?”

She chuckled again. “I’m not the same as you, Jonas. It won’t bother me yet, rather it won’t bother me at all, as long as I get my medicine.”

“If you didn’t drink that stuff all the time you wouldn’t need medicine!”

“There’s nothing bad in it.”

“Grams!”

“That’s an argument that has nothing to argue with.” She caught me gently in a hug.

I didn’t have the heart to pull away. She smelled really good, like peppermint and pine needles. I waited while she took a sip of eggnog behind me. “Grams!”

“Sorry, sorry.” She let me go. “But really, it won’t kill me…yet.”

“Grams!” I stared at her, exasperated.

She winked and tucked a silver curl of hair behind one ear.

I swallowed and looked away. I could see the hearing aid a little too clearly this time. It was our secret hint—that my technological genius of a grandmother was needed at her workshop. ‘ Sometimes it was hard to remember that she was half-elf. “Look…just be careful, okay? I mean, Dad could drive you and-”

“And take my empty-headed son away from his wonderful family? Ah, Jonas, you worry too much. Your dad is just like his father. He forgets to be human sometimes, spend time with the family and all of that. The only reason your Gramps can sit so calmly in there right now is 'cause he knows I'm heading out to go take a look at what's going on at the workshop. Relax. I'll be back for Christmas, it's only a couple of days away." She took the umbrella from my hand and pressed the button on the side.

I ducked away from the expected extension, but nothing happened. “Grams?”

She sighed. “And that’s another thing I have to fix.” She grumbled. A tiny red light flashed in her ear and she reached up to press something with one hand. “Gotta go, kiddo.” She winked. “Be good, you hear? Or I won’t bring you any batteries this year…”

I smiled, weakly, as she trooped off towards the door, grabbing her boots from the hallway, barely stopping the necessary minutes to put them on. Gram's batteries lasted all year and I never had to worry about what I put them in. “Be careful!” I'd rather the presenter over the present. Christmas was just more fun with Grams around.

“Now which one of us is the granny here, eh?” She leaned back, just within the door and I leaned forward so she could kiss my cheek. “I’ll be back for Christmas, don’t worry. Relax. Enjoy some time with your folks, it’s not every day we’re all under the same roof.”

“Yeah. I’m wishing we weren’t all here. Hurry back, okay?”

She winked.

 When they found her Christmas mornin'
At the scene of the attack
There were hoof prints on her forehead
And incriminating Claus marks on her back

“Jonas?” Mom burst through the kitchen, looking entirely out of place for what should have been a cheerful Christmas morning.

I overfilled my hot chocolate cup and nearly dropped it in the sink. “What?”

She was biting her lip.

“Mom, what’s wrong?”

“Honey…it’s…Grams.”

“What do you mean? What happened? What happened to Grams?”

“Jonas?” It was Dad and he was standing solemnly in the doorway, a strange look on his face as he patted Mom’s shoulder. “There’s been-”

“Dad, what happened to Grandma?”

“She was…run over.”

“What?”

“Looks like…a, it’s hard to explain, son. There were hoof prints on her forehead and some strange markings on her. The police suspect foul play and-”

“I told her not to go.” My voice sounded strange in the kitchen, now suddenly emptier and more hollowed than before. This couldn't be happening.

“Oh, honey, it wasn’t your fault!” Mom was in the kitchen, hugging me and patting my head. “It’s alright. It wasn’t anybody’s fault.” 

“She didn’t have to go!”

“Yes, she did. She needed her medicine.”

“She shouldn’t have drunk all that-”

“Shhh! It’s okay, Jonas. It’s okay. We’re all going to miss her and-”

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walkin' home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

“Gramps?”

“They didn’t tell ya the truth, Jonas.” He harrumphed. “Your parents are tryin’ too hard to be nice and gloss it all over and-well, there just isn’t anything around it all to smooth it down.”

“What are you talking about? Grams is-”

“She got run over by crazy reindeer.”

“What?”

“Probably that santy claus feller.”

“Gramps, you’re slipping.” I reminded him. Sometimes it was hard to understand his country accent.

“Sorry.” His head bowed. “I can’t hardly help it…she was special, you know?”

“Yeah…”

“But it wasn’t right.”

“Huh?”

“This isn’t some ordinary hit and run case.”

“Seriously, Santa Claus?”

“Got any better ideas?”

“N..no.”

“I didn’t think so.”

Now were all so proud of Grandpa
He's been takin' this so well
See him in there watchin' football
Drinkin' beer and playin' cards with cousin Belle

“Jonas?” Suzy stood three feet away a giant steaming cup in her hand. “Mommy says to give this to you.”

I took the cup, carefully from her mittened hands. “Thanks, Suzy.”

“’welcome.” She chirped.

I watched her dance away through the hallway and towards the den where everyone was busy gathering. It was the place to be since Grandma had died. At least, apart from the kitchen. The kitchen wasn’t fun when Grandma wasn’t in it.

Another rousing chorus came from the den and I winced, swallowing a mouthful of scalding hot chocolate. I couldn’t believe Grandpa was taking all of this so well when only minutes ago he seemed like he’d crumble before my eyes.

This was some twisted holiday.

I slid off the window seat and shuffled to the kitchen. It was empty and strange. I poured the hot chocolate down the sink.

It tasted bitter without Grandma’s touch.

 It's not Christmas without Grandma
All the family's dressed in black
And we just can't help but wonder
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walkin' home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

It’s strange to see everyone all dressed in black. I don’t know what to do about it. Mom didn’t make me wear a suit, but she insisted I wear a gray shirt and not a white one. I don’t think Grams would’ve cared what color shirt, she’d just have been glad I went to all the trouble to dress up.

She would’ve loved to take a picture of everyone all dressed up for the holidays.

If they weren’t wearing black.

This is so unfair.

I actually had a present for her this year—a good one—not a lame one.

 Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of pig
And a blue and silver candle
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma's wig

I've warned all my friends and neighbors
Better watch out for yourselves
They should never give a license
To a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves

I wonder what’s going to happen to her workshop. She put in so much time and everything, I think she would’ve been a great inventor if she’d just had the-

The doorbell rang with the Police Chief standing on the front porch.

This has got to be the worst Christmas Eve in the history of Christmas eves—ever!

“Jonas? What’s going on?” Familiar hands were on my shoulder, squeezing and patting in a way that didn’t match the reality around me. “Why’s the police here? Did that idiot son of mine have this entire-”

“Grams!?” I whirled around.

She stood behind me, slightly annoyed, her hands on her hips, her blue-black gray-white tinted hair curling up at the corners, a Bluetooth headset visible on both ears. She held up a hand, speaking in a whisper. “No, no…Drayton!” She scowled. “Look, this important and it needs to be taken care of in a timely manner that doesn’t conflict with—hold on, I need to speak to my grandson.” She lifted her head, pushing the annoyance away. “Jonas, boy, whatever is the matter with you?”

“You’re supposed to be dead.”

She caught me in a headlock.

“Grams!” I tried to twist away, but it was hard to fight something that wasn’t an illusion. She really was alive. “You’re alive?”

“Of course I’m alive!” She let me go—with a sharp thwack to the forehead. “Why on earth would you think I was dead?” She straightened her shirt collar and the cameo brooch that rested in the hollow of her neck on the satin strip of black ribbon.

“Y-you were run over!”

“By what?” She deadpanned.

“Reindeers?”

“Let me guess, Santa’s reindeers?” She sighed. “Jonas, Jonas…whatever am I going to do with you? I am no more dead than you are. Whatever would give you that idea?” She tapped one of the headsets. "Drayton? Stop whispering in my ear, I've got work to do here!"

“Lilian?” Grandpa was standing in the doorway, his jaw hanging. “Lilian, is that you?”

“Of course it’s me, who else would it be? What is with you two and-”

She was swamped in hugs.

I tried to keep a hand on her arm, but I was jostled away amidst the yells and shouts and excitement that came with her return. There were questions and answers until my head started to spin and I heard Gram’s voice boom out above them all.

“Settle down, all of you!” Her umbrella popped open over her head with a whoosh and silence immediately filtered through the ranks. She straightened, rather dignified and solemn all of a sudden. “Has anyone seen my avatar?”

“What?” I stared at her.

Ripples of confusion began to murmur through the surrounding family members.

“Avatar?” I repeated. “Grams, wait, do you  mean that-”

“I sent her ahead, but I think something’s happened, I haven’t been able to get in touch with it since Christmas Eve.” She frowned. “I put some of my best work into that ‘bot.”

I stared at her still, until the laughter began to trickle through in short, careful bursts. This was wonderful. “You sent an avatar…a robot replica of yourself over for-”

“To get the cooking started.” Grams snapped the umbrella shut. “It’s getting to be far too much work to do all the baking for you all and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have some help.” Her brow furrowed. “Wait a moment, do you know what happened to it?”

I stood there, laughing at my technological genius of a grandmother because there wasn’t anything else I could say that wasn’t absolutely absurd. Avatar robots sounded like fun, whether they were real and functioning or otherwise.

This was great.

Christmas was going to be awesome after all.

“Merry Christmas, Grams!”

Disclaimer and rights. © Sara Harricharan. I do not own the lyrics, the song or anything of the sort, only the original characters I have created and the plot, which are solely my own creation and any resemblance to an actual event, person or place, is entirely coincidental as this is a work of fiction.

1 comments:

Joanne Sher said...

Oooooooh my. WAY too funny, girl! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Had me giggling throughout. Can't wait to read the rest! Love you Sawa!