This year my Christmas Eve itinerary is bursting with appointments.
The Ghost of Retail Past will walk me through the hollowed out beams of Blockbuster Video, Barnes and Noble, and Record Town. All places I’d worked that collapsed shortly after I’d given notice.
The Ghost will tuck his dust-strewn polo into his cobweb-riddled khakis, unknot his lanyard, and say, “If only you had pushed the credit card harder than these fine establishments might still be here.”
We’ll be joined by The Ghost of Non-politicized Holiday Farewells.
“Behold a young you behind the checkout counter.”
Pimple riddled me will wave goodbye to a customer. “Merry Kwanzaa-Hanu-Solistice.”
The customer will turn back. “And a happy Boxing Day to you too.”
Modern me will whisper, “I could never get away with that joke today.”
The spirits will lead me to a box office marque, filled with combinations of words I’d never seen before and The Ghost of Fresh Intellectual Properties will explain how movies used to be. We’ll sneak away when he gets into a debate with The Ghost of Problematic Christmas Films You Grew Up Loving.
We’ll regroup in the sunken crater of an abandon B.Dalton and get lectured by The Ghost of Long Form Literature. We’lltake comfort in knowing the works of Charles Dickens are in the public domain.
We’ll summon an uberXL and chart a course to my childhood home. On the way we’ll get a lecture from The Ghost of Licensed Cab Drivers and spend the trip looking out the windows at all the Christmas lights.
We’ll wait on my parents’ stoop, like a pack of carolers, until I think to knock on the door. It will creak open, as a flash of lightning reveals a thoroughly haunted home.
The Ghost of Tech Support-Free Visits to My Parents will accost me with appliances.
“The smart TV forgot the password for the Wi-Fi network, the cursor on the iMac turned into a beach ball, and this phone keeps saying iCloud storage is full. Whatever that means.”
The ghosts and I will hurry through the den past The Ghost of Wearing an Ugly Sweater Ironically, The Ghost of Real Christmas Trees,andThe Ghost of Mistletoe Meaning Consent.
We’ll sit around the kitchen table passing a cheese log between The Ghost of Apolitical Christmas Dinners, The Ghost of Harmless Headlines, and The Ghost of Literate Presidents.
The Ghost of Entertaining the Notion of Midnight Mass will make a sheepish attempt at conversation and we’ll pretend we don’t hear him.
Instead we’ll summon a DeLoreanXL and venture into the future.
The Ghost of Glaciers, Polar Ice Caps, and the Mere Concept of Snow will tell us what we have to look forward to from an abandoned oilrig.
“Hope you all like drinking your own pee because that’s how it’s going to be.”
“What if we go back and settle on a carbon tax?”
“If you can convince your cattle to pay for all the methane they’re pumping into the atmosphere you might have a chance.”
The ghosts and I will ride our DeLoreanXL into the sky even further into a future where towering logarithmic spirals have risen from the ocean. We’ll park on a dim lit platform, far from the throngs of bioluminescent aliens. TheGhost of Christmaswill explain how earth was terraformed by extra terrestrial colonists who superimposed their celebrations over our own. He’ll explain how they commemorate the new solar year by exchanging limbs. The Ghost of Christmas will kick the platform with his hands in his red fur trimmed pockets and shrug. “Now I know how my Pagan predecessors felt.”
The ghosts and I will pile back into the DeLoreanXL and go back to the present with our heads in our hands.
On Christmas morning I’ll put on my Sunday best and venture into town. I’ll let Tiny Tim know that I’d love to float him some paper for a lavish Christmas spread, but the economy is in a tailspin and all my assets are liquid.
“Maybe you could start a GoFundMe campaign for a Turkey dinner. Get those crutches in the picture and social media will eat that up for sure.”
God bless us everyone.
Meet Noelle, a Hollywood transplant that’s been subsisting on instant ramen and false hope. She’s on the verge of moving back into her mother’s trailer when her agent convinces her to take a meeting at the Oralia Hotel. Enchanted by the art deco atmosphere Noelle signs a contract without reading the fine print.
Now she has one month to pen a novel sequestered in a fantasy suite where a hack writer claims he had an unholy encounter. With whom you ask? Well, he has many names: Louis Cypher, Bill Z. Bub, Kel Diablo. The Devil.
Noelle is skeptical, until she’s awoken by a shadow figure with a taste for souls.
Desperate to make it Noelle stays on, shifting the focus of her story to these encounters. Her investigations take her through the forth wall and back again until she’s blurred the line between reality and what’s written. Is there a Satanic conspiracy, is it a desperate author’s insanity, or something else entirely?