Excerpt for Tinsel Tales 2: Holiday Hootenanny by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Tinsel Tales 2

Holiday Hootenany


(Writers, Poets and Deviants)

Copyright © 2018 WPaD Publications, acting publisher Mandy White, and all authors named in this book.

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9780463614792

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Table of Contents

Chuck the Elf by David Hunter

Chico and the Raven by Diana Garcia

All Hollow by Mike Cooley

Krampus Claus by Juliette Kings

Tree Exchange by Rick Turton

Christmas Dinner With the Folks ~ poetry by Molly Roland

As Bright as a Star in an Ancient Sky by Juliette Kings

Arbor Day by Nathan Tackett

Shopping Mall Santas Have Feelings Too by Michael Haberfelner

I Hate Valentine’s Day by Juliette Kings

Christmas Wishes by Rob Fletcher

Dawn of the Undead by Juliette Kings

Krampusnacht by Chris Benedict

The Boy and the Bike by Rick Turton

A Tiding of Magpies by David Hunter

Under the Table by Lea Anne Guettler

Santa Came! Santa Came! by Rick Turton

Christmas Orphans by Marla Todd

Hibernation Holiday by Mandy White

A Kiss at Midnight by Debra Lamb

But It’s Christmas by Lea Anne Guettler

Books by WPaD

Meet the Authors

Chuck the Elf

By David Hunter

I was born in the Bronx way back in 1902.

St. Anne’s orphanage was the only home I ever knew till I went north years later. The place was crazy; a lotta little midgets running around makin’ a lotta noise. I guess I was one of ‘em, except I was no midget – I was an elf. I stayed in that place for 30 years until they figured out I wasn’t no kid! So I packed my shit up and hit the road. I joined the army for a while, got into some action at Omaha Beach even. After dat, I never trucked with the military much.

I joined the circus for a while – but the bearded lady and I didn’t get along. The fact was, I couldn’t stand life on the road livin’ wit all them freaks – I was longing for a fambly, if you get my meanin’.

One night, Christmas Eve if you gotta know – I was on the roof of my tenement building because my landlady didn’t like my cigar smoke. She always whiffed it through the vents and complained so I went up on the roof. I was feeling lonesome as hell too, wit the snow fallin’ and all streets quiet and empty. To be honest, I crawled out on the ledge. I was thinkin’ of just ending it. I was just a lowly Elf, livin’ off racetrack bets and scroungin’ for handouts.

I was a Bronx kid, though. I couldn’t do it. Plus, that street looked like it could hurt a guy real bad falling from dat height.

I went back on the roof and finished my stogie, lookin’ up at the twinklin’ snowy sky. It was damned cold. I never felt so bad in my whole life.

I saw sumpin’ then, over the East River. Looked like plane or some kinda flying object. I tracked it for a while and realized it was comin’ right toward me! I ran back and ducked behind a ventilator shaft.

I heard bells, and some guy yelling. I heard da soft thump of somethin’ landing. Now don’t get me wrong – I ain’t no pansy or nuthin’ – but this was strange. I can deal with stormin’ a beachhead and all, but the unknown always unnerves me, y’know?

I peeked around the corner an I saw animals or somthin’, shakin’ snow off themselves. Everytime they did that, bells would jingle. There was some fat shmoe sittin’ in a red sled too. All of a sudden I hear my name!

“Charles! Charles! Come out from behind there!”

There was a silence as I was trying to figure out what to do.

“Who wants ta know?” I said after a while.

I peeked over my hiding spot and saw the lard-ass comin’ toward me. He was big – triple my size – but I figured if I bit his knee caps the odds would be evened out. He stuck his head around the vent, and stared right at me.

“Charles! I found you!” he said. He had dis soppy smile on his face, what you could see of it anyway with that friggin’ large white beard.

“Listen Mack …” I started to say.

“Charles! You must come with me! You don’t belong here. You belong up at the North Pole with the others!”

I looked at dis guy and thought he was nuts. “You shittin’ me?”

He straightened up and crinkled his nose.

“I’m afraid I’m not! You are an Elf, of the elfus smallicus genus. All my staff up at the North Pole is comprised of Elves. You see, you were given up for adoption by mistake.”

I looked up at the guy, and I could see he was tellin’ da truth. Others like me? Elves? For true?

Dat was the one and only time I cried – at least since that time I pooped my pants back at the Orphanage and the sister swatted me a good one.

“Come! You can help me give out presents tonight, then we can take you home,” he said. He wedged his large ass back into the sled, and I followed. There wasn’t much space between his girth and all them sacks’a toys for me to sit, but I managed.

He tole me about his toy making racket and all the right-offs he got for it. Pretty slick, I had to agree. We shot up inna sky and I was dubious about them moose things haulin’ us up into the stratosphere and all, but they maintained a good speed, except for the turbulence which I didn’t care for.

All night long we delivered them friggin toys, all over the damned world, Australia, England, and places I never hoid of, like ‘Canada’. I was so tired by the end, I thought I’d collapse. But this guy, Santa, he had a mini bar in his sled and I had a few shots of whiskey. We delivered our last toy to some kid in Montana – a train set. We went down the chimney (I still couldn’t get over goin’ down them tings!). I was placin’ it under the tree when I heard a noise. I look over and see the kid peeking around the corner at me.

“Ain’t polite to stare, kid,” I said. “Murry Christmas.”

Da kid scampered off.

Not even ten minutes into our journey north I was out like a light.

So, I went to the North Pole. I met my mom! Saw all the udder elves like me. It was a happy homecoming, I gotta say. Still, I miss New York sometimes, even though I visit occasionally. I miss the smell of the Hudson, the rude people, the street vendors selling junk, Coney Island hot dogs, the racetrack, all of it. But it ain’t so bad up here; got lotsa snow, plenty of fresh air, and the pay is good. Made foreman a few years ago; I’m in charge of making them iPad thingies. Big responsibility. The uniforms could use some revamping, but y’can’t have everything, am I right?

I guess I didn’t do so bad after all, y’know?

Chico and the Raven

By Diana Garcia

Chico Barbosa sat high on the pine tree looking down at the houses. He was mentally trying to communicate with his humans, Mama and Papa Barbosa.

The white landscape blanketed the golf course and surrounding rooftops so that it confused him. Everything looked the same. It was blinding in the morning light. Last night he had admitted to himself that he was lost. He was hoping Moms and Pops would walk down one of these streets calling his name so that he could fly down and land on Pop’s shoulder or Mom’s head, his favorite perches.

The wind blew like shards of glass, bending trees, and whistled through the branches. Then, the early morning fog had disoriented him even more so he remained perched in the relative security of the thick pine tree. The cold snap the night before had nearly frozen him solid as he hid in the tree heavy with snow. He was shivering so much his beak was chattering and he had not eaten anything since his fresh cut melon, papaya, and corn tortilla pieces Moms had given him the day he flew away.

The purple wing Amazon parrot was feeling remorseful for having flown out of the opened patio door as Moms was sweeping. She had not clipped his wings in over six months, and for exercise she would stand on one end of the family room and release him so he would fly to the other end of the family room where his tree perch was placed, near the big picture window. She told Pops that it was good exercise for Chico and it would strengthen his heart. Flying inside the house was fun! Chico would fly off his perch and land on Mom’s head in the kitchen while she was cutting vegetables for his salad bowl or vacuuming floors. She was used to him grabbing onto her nest of hair right at the base of her pony tail where he hung on for dear life as she moved around the house.

A raven, four times larger than Chico alighted on the same limb of the pine tree.

Terrified, Chico squawked a pitiful squawk and said, “Do you remember my house? I recognize seeing you outside my window.”

The raven puffed his huge chest out. He cawed a deep resonating shriek. It was so loud the tree shook.

“I liked watching you on your fake tree, nice and warm, and wanted that food in your bowl.” He inched closer to Chico and with a sideways glance eyed Chico up and down and said, “What happened son? You lost? I like the trees outside your home. I think I can lead you there. Can you fly?”

Chico shook his feathers out and said, “Oh! Thank you! I can follow you if you fly to my home!”

The raven sat still and ruminated over his hunger pangs. Years ago, he remembered seeing this mysterious green, yellow, orange, blue, and purple thing eating his food through a huge picture window. He was fascinating to watch and the parrot stirred something deep within him. The raven’s memories surfaced and he cawed all that day in happy anticipation. During winter storms the raven sat in a tree and looked into the home with the picture window and the happy parrot preening and eating with not a care in the world. It looked so warm. He was always on the outside looking in. The last remnants of the gopher he ate yesterday morning gave him acid and the rotten thing made him nauseous the night before. He had purged it all out and it left his stomach growling and empty. He never slept. He was grumpy and thought about being mean to the little shivering green thing next to him. The frozen French fry he ate outside the Carl’s Jr. parking lot this morning was just a burp of a memory. He thought, Why should I take out my misery on this little thing. Be nice.

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