Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Christmas Takeover 21: Chris Kosarich


Night of the North Pole Zombies
By: Chris Kosarich

On the night before Christmas... Santa had a big problem.  Not sick reindeer, or a toy factory explosion, or even ol' Saint Nick coming down with some wicked flu on that all-important day of all days.

            No, he had a much more serious problem.

            Zombies, incredulously enough, advancing in a staggering wave along the southernmost boundary of his vast North Pole property.  One of his elves had reported it to him in a panic-stricken voice just moments ago.

            At first, Santa thought this a joke, since elves are known to be pretty clever practical jokers.  But elves also know how not to play on eon Santa on this all-important day of all days.

            Santa needed to see this for himself, and went to a control room lined with large flat-screen monitors (hey, he loves technology like everyone else!).  The elf who'd informed him about the threat pulled up a video-feed of the shambling horde of animated corpses.

            "What are we going to do, sir?"

            Santa was quiet for a moment, his white-gloved right hand tugging his beard in deep contemplation at this most potentially disastrous scenario.  Sure, in the recent past, he had a few near-disasters during Christmas, like almost being shot down by a drone fighter, or one Christmas Eve when Rudolph became ill and he'd managed to get last-minute help from, of all creatures, a werewolf...

            ...but this conundrum was beyond his powers to solve.

            Of course, never mind the whole "how" and "why" aspect of the problem, but there wasn't time to bother with that.

            "Sir," the elf asked urgently.  "We need to do something!"

            "Presents," he replied.

            "What do you mean?  Give those, those things, gifts?"  For a moment, the elf thought his boss had gone crazy.

            "Sure, everyone likes to get presents on Christmas, silly,"  And then Santa told him what to do.

            It took everyone working double-time to pull it off, and by then the zombies broke through the security fence, making their way within a few hundred yards of Santa's main compound.  Thankfully, zombies have a hard time shuffling through snow.

            The veritable mountain of gaily-wrapped boxes stopped them, literally, dead in their tracks.  Boxes of every size and shape, wrapped with shiny, twinkly, colorful paper, each with a red, green, or gold bow.  At first, the zombies didn't know what to make of it, almost scratching their decaying heads in confusion.

            Then, at once, they tore into the many boxes with gusto and glee, as only the living dead can.  Moans of delight filled the air.  Shreds of wrapping paper and ribbon filled the air like confetti.

            Meanwhile, in the control room, Santa and his top elves watched the scene on a monitor, the mood tense, no one moving.

            Suddenly, unbelievably, the zombies voraciously ate the contents of the boxes, making loud munching sounds and groans of satisfaction.  Shortly after their repast, they began to mill about, more sluggishly than usual, some even slumping to the snowy ground.

            "Look, sir, it's working!" one elf proclaimed.

            In minutes, the zombies had all fallen in ragged heaps, unmoving, and more dead than usual.

            "You did it, sir!" another elf cheered.

            Santa clapped his hands, and said, "Well now, we all did it, not just me, but you know who we have to thank, don't you?"

            Yet another elf, who hadn't been witness to the final details of the anti-zombie plan, asked, "What do you mean?"

            "Missus Claus," he replied, with a merry but mischievous twinkle in his eye.  "It was her Christmas fruit cake that did it.  She messed up the recipe last year, adding twice the amount of our aged Old Saint Nick's Wickedly Good Whiskey... and well, we din't have the heart to waste all of it, so we saved the stuff.  Honestly, though, I didn't know we'd need it for something like this."  He let out a long, hearty guffaw of laughter.

            Before he left the control room, he gave instructions to his senior elves about how to clean up the mess outside.  The fruitcake consumed by the zombies had enough liquor in it to make an excellent accelerant.

            And that was how Mrs. Claus's Famous Holiday Fruitcake saved Christmas.


About the author:
Chris Kosarich is an author of horror fiction, nonfiction, and some other stuff he wouldn't want his parents to read.  Previously, his short fiction appeared in various small-press publications, such as Impaler, Black Moon, Malefica, The Swamp, and Vivid.  For 4 years, he wrote the column, Fiendish Endeavors, for the Horror Writers Association monthly newsletter.  Currently, he's at work on a story collection, The Nightmare Season, and a sci-fi horror novel, The Ravening.  And while he wrote most of the serial piece of meta-fiction on Brian Keene's forum, involving Mr. Keene and a whole hose of favorite horror writers, he hasn't been sued, nor did Brian punch him out during a booksigning this past July.  So, hey, that's something, right?  Expect to hear more from him in the future.  

            Chris resides in central Florida with his wife and kids, and cute but demanding cat, Maggie.

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