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Christmas Fiction Funny

By the time I stepped outside, the leaves were on fire. From the upstairs loft, the tendrils of smoke had looked like a mirage, a trick of the mind. But standing on the porch with the heat blazing and the leaves cracking, it couldn’t be denied. The spell had worked.

And my heart bubbled with joy. And I did a little jig. Now I knew hexing my neighbors would work. Not that the spell not working would have stopped me, but now I knew it was going to work.

Hosing the pile of leaves I’d raked till they were a hissing pile of soggy leaves, I calculated the gymnastics it would take to place a dead rat on my neighbor’s roof without being seen. A ladder would be needed, gloves to hold the carcass, a box of chalk, and perfume to mask the odor. The rat wouldn’t be an issue, since my sister kept a pet snake, and that thing was due to eat sometime this week. I’d spotted a white package deep in the bottom of the freezer, tucked away from view. 

I glared at the neighbor's roof. It was the slanted kind, the kind common in these northern parts to keep the snow from piling in the winter. It’d be hard getting up and staying there. Oh well, if I did fall, I'd grab a fist full of those damned lights and take that monstrosity down with me. It might mean another night in jail, but so what.   

The neighbors had already put up their Christmas lights, despite it being the middle of October, and their silly house glowed brighter than the neon sign of old Yak’s barber-bar combo shop down the corner. No, the comparison was cute compared to the actual beast and the damage it was doing on my psyche and sleep schedule. Their damned lights were brighter than the highway lights. And it was wrecking me. I had the bags under my eyes to prove it.

The daft neighbors deserved a telling off, but the committee called their giant reindeer with a wonky set of glowing white eyes a communal blessing. The thing looked like a night terror, the kind you see in your nightmares during a heatwave after drinking shots moments before passing out. 

As I was packing up the rake and cleaning up the debris from my experiment, I heard the wheezing start of a motor. Peeking through the hole in the fence, I spotted the neighbors wearing matching orange sweaters pile into their sedan. They were heading out. Perfect. 

Running with an occasional skip in my steps, I scrambled to my room to get the spell book. I’d take the ladder from the garage and toss everything over the fence, into their backyard. No one could see me that way. Just to make sure nothing could wreck my plans, I checked up on my sister. She was fast asleep on her rocking chair, her boa constrictor coiled around her neck. She always was the weird one in our family. 

Getting everything over was a minor issue of strength. And when one is driven by sleep deprivation and vengeance on those who caused said sleep deprivation, it wasn’t that hard. Sure, I’d thrown my back out, but it would all be worth it in the end.  

By the time I’d gotten on the roof, the sun was at the center of the sky, so about early noon. It was one of those useless autumn days, the wannabe summers that made you angry for wearing long sleeves because the morning had been so cold. 

I rolled up my sleeves, the inside of my elbows itchy with sweat and the sweater’s hairy fabric. Exhaling, I leaned on the chimney and lit a cigarette.

From the top, I could see the Svelters’ house across the street with their gargoyles and black metal gates. They weren’t into Halloween, or any holidays for that matter; they just liked the gothic aesthetic. Too bad trick o’ treaters couldn’t seem to get that into their heads.

Then there was the small forest at the back of our house inaptly named Massive. It was really named Massive because of Madge Massive, the daughter of a logger, who had started a collective to plant trees over these bald hills. 

Early noon was such a good time to do nothing. But I had a mission. So, I killed the smoking cigarette and shoved it into my pocket. It wouldn’t do to get caught over something like that. 

The circle drawn in chalk went on the black slates of the roof first. An eye in the middle of the circle and a mouth with a lightning bolt in its tongue outside the circle completed the spell. Then the rat and some scented talcum powder, since I couldn’t find anything perfumy. We weren’t big on perfume in our house. The rapidly melting rat glistened inside the circle, the purple powder stinking of lavender smudging the wet fur. 

Well, now I was done. People thought spell casting was hard, that you needed to learn lines upon lines as if you were a computer programmer having to learn lines upon lines of code. But that wasn’t the case. The basics of the eye in the circle stayed the same every time. All that needed tweaking was one’s request which was to be placed in the mouth. In my case, I wanted whatever power that be to swallow the electricity in this house, hence the lightning bolt. 

I clambered down and got over the fence with all my junk just in time to see the neighbors roll back in with their Sedan. Excitement coursed in my veins; sweat poured down the sides of my face. Now, to wait for tonight.

When evening came, the daft reindeer started glowing. Its bulging white eyes seemed to taunt me as its neck rotated to the tune of “Santa Claus is coming to town”. I was perplexed, perplexed enough to take another smoke, which was bad, since I swore to only take two a day. And this was my third. 

Night came and all the lights were alight. Reds, greens, whites, golds, they blurred in my vision as the anger rose to my head. I stomped over toward the fence, then I slipped. The ground where I’d hosed down the fire was slick with mud and my face sank into the ash reeking soil. As I stood, my eyes caught on a sliver of white and orange. I picked it up. It was a cigarette.

Over my shoulder, a wheezing voice asked, “Smoking again?”

I glared over my shoulder to see the silhouette of my sister standing on the porch.

“You really should be careful,” she continued. “You might end up starting a fire one of these days.”

October 15, 2020 18:29

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4 comments

Laura Clark
17:46 Oct 20, 2020

I really liked this - but what happened to the end? What happened with the spell?

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Kara Ohara
13:50 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you, Laura. The spell didn't work. The fire she saw in the morning was caused by the cigarette butt she'd dropped. I might have gone too subtle with the story. Oops. Thanks again for reading. I'm glad you liked it. :D

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Laura Clark
14:24 Oct 21, 2020

Ah I see! I was so into the story that I was caught by surprise by the ending. I was a bit like ‘wait! Wait! Don’t finish - tell me what happened!’

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Kara Ohara
22:16 Oct 21, 2020

Haha. XD The ending does read a bit like a half-cooked meal. Gotta work on my endings. :D Thank you for the feedback and comments.

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