Christmas Gifts

In the spirit of Christmas, I shall post in the Alkorhythm site a Christmas story I wrote as a response to her challenge! The challenge is to choose one of the situation and write about how it turns out. i chose:

4. Your girlfriend said she would be alone for Christmas. Hoping to cheer her up, you tie a ribbon and a tag on your neck and ring the doorbell to her house. Lo and behold, her very strict shotgun-owning father greets you at the door with shock plastered on his face.

It’s a (Supposedly Short) Story since it’s way longer than what was required. Some parts are for mature audiences and young toddlers. Contains inconsistencies, wrong grammar, and other annoying quirks. Enjoy. Comments highly welcome.

“Did I wish you a Merry Christmas already, love?” I asked the receiver. It transmitted all the way to her end.

“Only like a billion times,” she giggled. Even on the phone, her giggles send me straight to heaven. “I wish you were here. I’m stuck here, alone for Christmas. It sucks.”

I felt the sadness in her tone. I also felt the seduction of it. “I wish I could be there, Jess, I really do, but mom’s got me choked helping her out here at home.” It was true. I wanted out, but mom didn’t understand. Parents never do.

“I know, Rye. But then I guess I’ll have to give your present after the Holidays. You know what I’m talking about. I’ll have some other part of you choked,” her voice was of sweetness, yet there was a hint of evil in it.

I replied, “It’s a good thing it’s cold here, Jess. I don’t think any of my kindergarten cousins will fancy a bulge in my crotch.” I laughed. She laughed too, from the other end. It’s amazing how we were pretty liberal with one another, despite the fact that we had only been together for around a month.

“Ryan!” a scream from two rooms away marched all the way to my eardrums.

“That’s my cue, J. I’ll see you soon, okay?” I told her.

“Keep your phone next to you. I need someone to talk to. The space here will drive me insane.” I hung up and proceeded to the dining room.

The room screamed Christmas. There was a giant Christmas wreath hung on the wall, decorated with various things, fruits, flowers, and pinecones, apparently. A little Santa and Frosty figurine stood at the corner, singing Jingle Bells over and over. My cousins were running around the table in their matching red and green sweaters, made by my mom. I let out a smile and took my seat.

“Well. It’s nice to have everyone here, enjoying a wonderful holiday celebrations,” she announced to the group. She then urged my five-year old sister to start the prayer. As little Anna started with her conversation with the Lord, my mother started her sermon with me.

“I thought you were going to help me with the table!?! I had to ask your Aunt Betty. You know how much I hate it when she starts talking about her implants,” she said in a hushed voice. Hushed but firm.

I threw in my counter-argument. “I’m really sorry, ma! I was on the phone with Jess. Her dog died. I was consoling her.” I knew if there were death in my alibi, there would be understanding. And hopefully, pity. And it worked. We all dug in right after the prayer.

Around five minutes into the meal, my pocket vibrated. I pulled out my phone. It was from Jess. Before I could open it, another message from her prompted in my phone. I opened the first one. It was Jess. And sure enough, she was alone; lying in a bed, with her legs crossed, wearing green stockings with red stripes…ONLY the stockings. I immediately opened the next one. It was the same picture, but this time, she had part of a candy cane in her mouth. It contained a message below:

I need Santa to go down my chimney 😉

I took a hard look at the two items before hitting ‘save’. Her voice popped into my head. I’m stuck here, alone. She was alone. And I vaguely recall her saying something about sucking. I knew I had to ditch dinner and head on the way for some dessert. I came up with a plan.

“Ma! I have to go to the bathroom. I think some of the potatoes have gone bad!”

“Be back quickly,” she muttered. I silently congratulated myself for a job well done. I needed to be there quickly. I didn’t know how long Jess would wait. The image of her in those stockings, lying alone in bed began to race through my mind. I began to get up but noticed that something was making it hard for me to stand. I sat back down, realizing that a couple more minutes of cooling down won’t hurt.

I ran up to my room the moment that I could and rummaged through my closet for something to match her outfit. I already had a plan. I would get dressed, get to her house, and give her my present and maybe get mine. I put on a short-sleeved, tight green shirt, a pair of jeans, and my rubber shoes. The sleeves were short enough to show the marks of my muscles. The shirt was tight enough to give justice to my hard work: my chest and my abs. Before leaving, I added the finishing touches: I tied a ribbon around my neck and placed a little gift tag on it, with four words:

BETTER than Christmas, Baby.

It took me only a short time to get from my house to hers. It was only a couple of streets away. I could even get back home before dinner ends. I don’t think Jess is up for foreplay today. I smiled, finally reaching her house. I adjusted the tag around my neck and went up to the door, my right hand placed on the wall, supporting my weight. I hit the doorbell.

“Ho ho ho! Santa’s here, and he sure is hoping you’ve been naughty,” I said, waiting for an answer. After a few seconds, the knob turned, and my whole world turned upside down.

“What are you doing here?” It was her father, General Topher. She had told me countless stories about back when her father was in the war, about how he had killed and tortured hundreds of men. I felt like my forehead was Niagra Falls with the way the sweat dripped.

“Uh… Merry Christmas Sir,” was the only thing I could say. We stared at each other for an eternity. His cracking knuckles and solid stare castrated me. My teeth chattered. Fuck.

“Looking for Jess?” he asked. I nodded. I couldn’t stomach an answer. He pushed the door open and let me in. I helped myself. Jess’ house was like my second home.  I sat down in the sofa and waited. The General sat in front of me, staring me down like I had just been caught committing treason. It was awkward. A ringing saved my life. “Excuse me, Sir. I have to take this.”

“It’s no problem. Let me just check up on Jess,” he said, before climbing the stairs, leaving me alone in the living room. I picked up the phone.

“Rye, what is taking so long?”

It was Jess. I spoke loud enough for her to hear, but soft enough to avoid the ears of General upstairs, if he was listening in on me.

“I thought you said you were alone! Your dad answered the door!” I exclaimed.

She sounded panicked. “I am alone! But I’m at my uncle’s house!”

“WHAT?!?” I accidentally said louder than I had hoped to, “You aren’t at home! Oh don’t laugh!”

“Just tell my dad that you’re headed to a party and that you thought I was at home. Okay?” she advised, “then head on over here, fast.”

“Uh, I would but he thinks you’re here. He went up to call you in your room,” I answered, confused.

Damn it! Okay, I’m heading over there. Try to get out of the house as soon as you can okay? My dad is psycho!”  She hung up before I could say anything else. I placed my phone back into my pocket. Jess’ dad stomped down the staircase. I stood up, ready to make my escape.

He spoke in a god-like voice, instantly giving me temporary Parkinson’s. “She’s still getting ready. But she shouldn’t take long. And she insisted that we get to know each other.”

Damn. Her dad is psycho.

Her dad sat directly in front of me, eyeing me from top to bottom. I tilted my neck, hoping that he wouldn’t notice the Christmas tag. We were silent, probably for around an eternity. It was awkward smothered in weird topped with a lot of fear and anticipation.

I tried making small talk but the moment I’d open my mouth to talk, my lungs would give out, with only sighs escaping my lips. Her dad stared at me intently before getting up. He walked towards the wall to my right and pulled a shotgun from the wall. Shocked and scared, I fell from my seat. I immediately sat back in my seat and noticed The General smiling his evil devilish smile.

“You know, I used to hunt. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than the chase of an unknowing victim,” he started. “Don’t you love the rush of just shooting at those animals? I remember back in Africa when I shot a lion while it was bringing food to his mate.”

I felt the sweat drops playing a game of catch all over my face. I tried sneaking a text message to Jess but I was afraid that her dad would catch me. He was a ‘respect’ junkie and me fondling with my phone while he was class A disrespect. I had no plan of getting shot for that. I knew I had to get out of there fast.

“Sir! I’m really sorry, but could I just come back. I forgot to shut off the television in my room at home. I’ll be back in ten minutes. Scouts honor!” I managed to say. I shut my eyes and waited for the gunshot.

“Ryan, you mean to tell me that you waste electricity at home by leaving the television open? Do you know how much of the earth’s resources are wasted because of that…”

“It was an honest mist—”

He continued his lecture, cutting me off, “… what if Jess comes down in five minutes? You expect her to wait? A true gentleman doesn’t make a lady wait. If that’s the kind of man you are then you shouldn’t even be talking to my daughter. She doesn’t…”

“But I…—”

And he went on and on.

“…Are you a scout? How dare you use the honor of a scout in vain? I started as a scout before I went in the military and I take it very seriously…”

I knew that this could have gone for hours. And I just realized how my clothes were only fit to be taken off. The shirt started feeling uncomfortable, and the gift tag around my neck started choking me. I couldn’t delay it anymore. I stood from my seat and paid my respects.

“Sir! I really do have to go. I apolo—” he didn’t cut me off this time. He got me to shut up.

He pointed the shotgun at me and pushed it forward until the end touched my chest. He slowly pushed me with it, causing me to fall back into my seat.

“You’re not going anywhere.”

Everything went black.

I woke up in a damp musty room. It was pretty dark, lit only by one central lamp above me hanging from what seemed like the ceiling. There was no noise, aside from the squeaking hell rats running back to the crevices in the walls. There were no decorations, except for the rotten corpses and the skeletons chained to the wall. A deep, booming laughter emerged from the darkness. My heart leaped.

It was only now that I realized that I was tied to the chair I was sitting on. I panicked and started screaming for help, struggling to get my hands free from this death trap. From the darkness, emerged a man, who looked vaguely familiar. He stood tall, carrying a large shotgun, rested on his left shoulder. A bolo was hanging from his belt. It was Jess’ dad.

He approached me and placed the end of the shotgun on my chest. I shuddered as it hit my chest. My lips were trembling. Sweat leaped from my entire body, and I wasn’t sure, but I think I needed new underwear. He spoke.

“Look, Ryan. You’re a nice guy, aren’t you?” he asked. I nodded nervously. “I know you and my daughter have just started getting to know each other. And my Jess, I love her to death, but she’s like her mom. She’d do a lot of things to get guys into bed. And I will do anything it takes to protect her. To make sure she doesn’t make an idiot of herself? Do you understand?” his voice was sincere but scary.

“Yes sir.”

He smiled, though he didn’t move the gun, “So, have you slept with her?”

“No sir!” I lied. My lips couldn’t force myself to say it, mainly because I didn’t fancy death much.

“Good. Remember, that you will not have sex with my daughter until I deem your relationship long enough. And believe me she will try to get you to sleep with her. You’re not a bad looking fellow. And she talks about you a lot.”

I couldn’t help but smile. Jess really did love me. But that smile was short-lived when the General moved his shotgun from my chest to my crotch.

“You have no idea what she’d do to get a man she likes into bed. She’d start off my brushing your arm, lightly tapping your shoulder. Then she’d start whispering into your ear, subtly licking it. She’d move on to sending sexy pictures of her, almost naked, making sure there’s enough room for your imagination. A few more days and then she’d start breathing heavily, screaming your name, and making “faces” during normal conversations, giving you a taste of the things that she would do if she were in bed with you.”

Grandma. Grandma. Grandma. Professor Johns. Gun to my crotch.

“Believe me. She would. You wouldn’t believe what she did to her last boyfriend,” he said.

“Why did they break up?” I asked nervously

“They didn’t. He got into an accident and had to move.”


“Oh, I trust you, and I think you really love my daughter. But for practicality’s sake, let me just say that if you break my daughters heart, I’ll break something else of yours.”

I swallowed hard.

He finally removed the shotgun and slung it over his shoulder. He took the knife from his belt and threw it towards me.

“Cut yourself free.”

I scrambled to pick up the knife with my feet and my tied arms. He slowly walked away and laughed. Someone started screaming my name. I panicked, struggling to get the knife and cut myself loose.

“Ryan?” I heard her voice from a far.

“JESS! HELP ME! You’re dad is crazy!!!” I screamed, still trying my best to get out of the ropes.

Everything became a blur.

A soft tapping on my shoulder brought everything back into reality. I was panting, sweating all over, when I awoke, lying on the floor of the living room. Jess was in front of me, trying to wake me up. I saw her smile when I stirred. I got up and looked around. We were alone. I grabbed her and wrapped her in an embrace so tight.

Was it all a dream?

“Rye! I thought dad would have massacred you.”

Almost did, dammit.

“Where is your dad?” I asked, still shook up about what happened, not sure whether I was to believe what I had just experienced. It seemed too real to be a dream, but too extreme to be real. I was confused.

“He’s getting you a glass of water. He started freaking out whe—” Jess was cut short when her dad entered the room. He handed me the glass of water and I took it gratefully. I pretended to sip, fearing it had something in it, just to show respect.

Jess looked at me, and I nodded.  We both fixed ourselves and faced the general.

“Dad,” Jess started, “we’ll go on ahead, ok? We’re running late for a party. I’ll see you before midnight!” she muttered, before wrapping her dad in an embrace and planting a kiss on her cheek.

I extended my hand to her father, “Thank you very much sir, for a pleasant evening.” He took it.

Just before we reached the door, he shouted for us, “Wait!”

My heart stopped along with my feet. He walked up to us with his hands behind his back, obviously holding something. Sweat started forming on my neck and forehead once more.

Please don’t be a gun. Not a gun. Please. I’m too young.

“Merry Christmas,” he said, revealing a small box wrapped in silver wrapping paper. Around the gift was a familiar looking tag. I took a peek at what was written on it; four familiar words in a remarkably familiar handwriting. I placed my hand around my neck and no longer felt the tag.

So it wasn’t a dream.

“Open it!” Jess cried out. I almost did too.

I unwrapped the present, and pulled out a small duck-shaped key chain. It was made of leather, with a silver ring attached to the tail area. I was ready to dump it in my drawer-of-useless-things when I heard Jess mutter it would be perfect for my car keys. I sighed silently.

“Thank you so much, sir. I wish I got you something!”

“Oh, there’s no need. You remind me so much of myself when I was young, especially when I go hunting. Ducks were my favorite thing to hunt. They’re really easy targets. And they fall in line.”

I laughed a nervous laugh.

“Oh, and did you know that ducks…” he started. Then he shifted his line of sight from both me and Jess, to directly my eyes, and said in a much stern and scary voice, “…sleep with one eye open.”

I swallowed hard. I managed to say the only thing that would escape my lips.

“Merry Christmas, sir.”

One response to “Christmas Gifts

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