I wrote this holiday horror story to share with you this holiday season . You may read it here it is entirety, or download it for free to read on you Kindle or other device. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season!
HO HOW HOWL
by R. Saint Claire
“Uncle Buck smells, and he’s weird,” whispered Carrie beneath the covers. My kid sister clung to me for warmth the way six-year-olds who still act like babies sometimes do. But I had just melted away into a very cloudy dream starring Mark Batters from my fourth-grade class and resented the intrusion greatly.
“Shut up,” I said, facing the wall to emphasize my point. But when she started blubbering about how mean I am, I rolled back. “Okay. He smells. So what?”
“I used the bathroom after him today.” Carrie’s little face puckered. “Pewee.”
I tucked the blanket under her chin. Her light brown hair had been washed that night; she smelled of strawberries. I wished I had her hair. Mine was dark, like Dad’s, and wiry, and cut too short for my taste, but whatever. “He’ll be gone soon.”
“But why is he here?”
“Because it’s Christmas.”
“Don’t you remember last year when he fell off the roof while pretending he was Santa Claus?”
I recalled waking up to what sounded like the house shaking, followed by my mother screaming, and then a string of curses from my dad, including the really bad word.
Uncle Buck was Dad’s older brother, the black sheep of the family, I suppose. He worked at a garage in Philly—the grease under his fingernails was legendary—but he liked to hunt in the country, which is why he used to come to our house almost every weekend. Mom put her foot down after the incident when he hung a deer he’d shot on our lamppost, and every dog within miles came during the night and tore it down. We awoke to pieces of deer strewn all over the front yard, which not only made Mom cry, but was super gross. I could never eat venison after that.
Dad admitted Uncle Buck was irresponsible with his shotguns and his beagle, Schmoke—weird name for a dog—who snapped at me once when I tried to pet him. But every Christmas, Dad would get sentimental. Also Schmoke had just died.
“Buck has no place else to go,” said Dad to Mom. I suppose their Christian spirits won out because here he was again, taking up the entire sofa with his legs spread, watching football games when it was time for our favorite cartoons. Mom would set down a plate of food and a cold beer for him, and he wouldn’t even say thank you. Also, he smoked cigars. Outside the house, at least, but the smell lingered around the door, making me gag every time I stepped outside.
Yeah, Uncle Buck pretty much sucked.
“Why does he have to ruin Christmas?” moaned Carrie, her lament hovering ghostlike below the shadowy ceiling.
“I’ll talk to Dad about it.”
“Promise?” Her arms circled my waist. She was nice and warm, so I allowed her to stay there.
“Promise. Now go to sleep.”