© 2011 Josh booty

The Apaths Guide to Reality: Excerpt

“Every once in a while Santa keeps a little something for himself.”

– December 25th, New York.  Young Leif McCameron, 12, is the first to awake in his family’s upper west side apartment.  His parents, still sleeping off the cocktails from last evening, didn’t stir at their son’s startled yelp.  The living room was steeped with the unbearable winter cold spilling in through an open window, the christmas tree was toppled, broken ornaments littered the hardwood floor and a small sliver of glass had found its way into Leif’s bare foot.  As he hobbled to the fireplace, Leif discovered that a number of presents had already been opened and some boxes were just empty.  The silver candlesticks and crystal angels were missing from the mantle, his father’s liquor cabinet was wide open and several bottles were missing, the outlines of the oldest bottles still visible in dust.

Leif, undeterred by the cold, his injury, or the evidence of burglary found among the wreckage two unmolested presents with his name on them, and excitedly took them to the couch to open.   The first, a new video game for his xBox, unfortunately one he’d already played to completion with friends.   The second box, smaller, contained the antique shaving kit that had belonged to his grandfather.    As he looked over his gifts, he became aware of a foul odor, and noted first that the plate of cookies and glass of milk he’d left for santa were both empty, then second discovered a puddle of vomit containing the remnants of the milk and cookies, mixed with something pink and chunks of other indistinguishable substances.

Santa had defiled Leif’s home.  Santa had ruined christmas.  The emotional wounds healed over time, but strangely the wound on his foot never did.


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