Headless in Seattle

“Ho, ho, ho!” Santa’s laugh greets those who enter the toy store. Glenn Murdoch, the shop owner’s son, has cleverly hooked up the recorded cheery greeting so it will play each time someone opens the door. Glenn is also responsible for the Christmas music that flows outdoors, as he has installed a horn to work as a speaker to funnel music from inside the adjoining hardware store to the outside. Much merriment is in the air in Olde Towne, a little place the locals sometimes refer to as “Seattle” due to it being in a different worldly dimension yet parallel to the Seattle that exists in the Pacific northwest of the good ole U.S. of A.

During the Christmas holiday season, the atmosphere in Olde Towne is akin to that in the North Pole, where elves busily build toys to get ready for distribution. Everyone in Olde Towne is baking and decorating for the holiday. With all the goodwill and high spirits, no one would ever believe the decapitation of Will’s head. Though one may argue, as did Will’s disheartened wife, that it had been due to Elmer Hadley being drunk from spirits that caused Will to lose his head.

The fateful day occurs one afternoon, when the locals are gathered outside in the town center to decorate the evergreen fir tree. Tables are spread around, replete with Christmas cookies and pitchers of eggnog, both spiked and unspiked. Elmer Hadley, the consummate tree and shrub clipper, unknowingly drinks the spiked eggnog, gulping more cups than he usually does, as his secret crush, Mary Weathers, makes him nervous. So much so that he picks up his prized sharp shears to impress her and proceeds to demonstrate his prowess. By sheer inches, he misses trimming the tall shrub next to Will and instead, cleanly, clips off Will’s head. Thinking fast as a nearby witness, Glenn immediately retrieves Will’s head and places it in the nearest icebox.

Despite Elmer’s faulty judgment, his talent as a superb clipper did result in a smooth cut. (This will later allow the town surgeon to easily stitch Will’s head back on, although the re-attachment will happen after Christmas since the surgeon is currently away for the holidays.) Meanwhile, Will works headless, though heedless, in Seattle, confident in the eventual reunion with his head. Though Olde Towne is in parallel dimension to Seattle, it operates under different rules of physics and physiques.

As for Elmer, he has sworn off eggnog for the rest of the holiday season. His polished work on Will, though most unintentional, had strangely impressed Mary, who is now sleeping well for her secret crush on Elmer is reciprocated. Who knew Elmer would make the cut?

[Based on actual figurines displayed in a winery north of Seattle]

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The Ugly Sweater Chronicles: Unraveled

[A trilogy of “seamy” stories about the lure of ugly sweaters. 3 of 3; see 2]

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Detective David LaFoote, along with his new junior partner, Detective Tobias LaFitte, shoulder their way in through the door. They look around the studio apartment, struck by the multitude of paper types pinned to a big bulletin board on the wall. Beneath all the newspaper clippings, invitation cards, and business letterhead is a large map of the metropolis. Different strands of colored yarn, connected by pins, point to specific locations on the map. Suddenly they hear a gasp and see a man cowering in the corner.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” the man whines. He is wearing a green sweater with a big snowman on the front, grinning back at them. “I’m taking what’s been due me for years . . .” He rubs his nose, as he asserts himself.

“Save your breath, buster. When I was growing up I was told to crochet my own sweater. I got a ball of yarn, while my classmates had their ugly sweaters already made.” LaFoote shakes his head, marveling at how his deeply buried memories so readily surface.

“I’m really sorry to hear what happened to you, but at least you were given some colorful material to knit something new. All I ever received when I was growing up was a picture of an ugly sweater from a mail-order catalog.” The man is now raving on and on.

“Spare me any more sob stories. You’re going down.” Detective LaFoote motions to his partner and speaks with authority. “Book him, Danno–for burglary and grand larceny!”

“Um, David. The name’s LaFitte.”

“Can’t you just be Danno for today? I’m really feeling like the 5-0 right now,” says LaFoote, harkening back to his grade school years of adoring the original “Hawaii Five-0” series on Friday nights.  LaFoote strides away, glad but weary from the long hours of finally cracking open the Ugly Sweater Serial Stealer case.

[To see the first story, see 1.]

12 Days before Christmas

(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 2; see Part 1)
pear tree
Silas chose the winning head side of the coin. He bade his friends farewell and went home to think. He was glad no one was in the drawing-room, where he sat upon his favorite chair. He mused about Elizabeth — her dainty hands, her bow-shaped lips . He knew then what to give her.

He would go look for a succulent partridge that would more than sufficiently feed her parents and three sisters. They could then finish off the lovely repast with sweet pears. Such a gift would immediately endear him to the whole family. Horace didn’t say one couldn’t write a poem with the gift. He’ll sign it anonymous, but he will make sure his prose provides a clue that might make her think of him.

<><><><> Continue reading

A Christmas Tale Countdown

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Long ago before earth was awashed with acid rain and layered with greenhouse gases, there lived three young people whose lives intersected and formed a love triangle. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, she of the warm chestnut hair and sparkling hazel eyes, the two lads vying for her heart would have topped the most wanted criminal list had the two rivals’ good friend, Horace, not stepped in to arbitrate. The three friends stood outside a few feet away from The Bedfordshire Inn. Continue reading