Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies was released last weekend, so it’s not quite old news yet, and there’s a Christmas appropriate story contained within those covers. We only have a touch over seventeen days before the fat man is climbing about on our roofs (has Sidney Greenstreet ever played Santa Claus?), so here’s the blurb from “Sleep with the Snowmen”:
Ask not for whom the bells jingle.
A petty criminal crosses the wrong fat man, and is offered the opportunity to change his path; or he could just “Sleep with the Snowmen.”
And here’s the excerpt:
Let’s face it – a lot of people aren’t true believers. They think the jolly old man might come to their house, but they don’t believe the part about the chimney – who could blame them? Those things are so tight, it would be hard for a squirrel to get through, let alone a milk and cookie addict in a fluffy red suit. Some deliberately leave a window unlatched or a door unlocked, just to hedge against that bit of unbelief.
I know better, because I’ve seen him.
The first time was five Christmases back, at this very same house. I’ve never been such a heel that I’d go after the poor; the Winthrops were the richest people in town, and they had plenty to spare. I was easing a window up from the sill when I heard the jingling. It sounded like it was coming from over my head, maybe from the second floor. I thought there might be someone in the house who was on to me, watching from an upstairs window; I froze with my fingers still gripping the underside of the window. And then I saw him come right out of the fireplace – not sure how he did it, but there was Jolly Old Saint Nick, red suit and all. He unloaded a dozen packages from his bag and set them around their tree, and then he went back to the fireplace. He took a cookie from the plate on the mantle, washed it down with some milk, and then, like they say, “up the chimney he rose.”
Now this wasn’t all leisurely, mind you. I mean, he didn’t look like he was rushed, the whole thing just sped up like a video playing on fast-forward. He’s not just hypered-up from all the sugar – it’s something else.
I heard the jingling again right after he went up the chimney, and then nothing. I thought about going out into the yard and looking up at the roof to see if I could see his reindeer, but I didn’t want to take the chance of being spotted out in the open, so I gave it a bit to make sure he was gone.
I looked through the window at their tree. I could see where he put all the new stuff he brought, and I looked at all those packages and realized that if I just lifted those, no one would know I’d been there. After all, none of it was there when they went off to sleep, all snug in their beds. They wouldn’t know anything had been taken – they’d just think the fat old man wasn’t as generous this year, or that maybe he just didn’t come at all. So I slid the window open, climbed in and rustled them all up and I was in and out in a flash. Not as fast as him, but I’m still pretty quick.
He brought them some really good stuff – better than he ever gave me as a kid. Maybe it takes more to impress the rich; what do you give to someone who has everything? Saint Nick knew, and he had the wherewithal to do it. There was enough loot there that I didn’t have to work for the next month or two. I still have to keep busy the rest of the year, but I love Christmas. If there were maybe ten Christmases a year – that would be enough for me. Imagine, only having to work ten nights. But I guess it wouldn’t be as special then, would it? Well, I’ll just have to be happy with one special haul per year.
Well – just the kind of fellow due for a comeuppance, don’t you think? This short, speculative fiction is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
It’s also included in the collection Goddesses, Sleep with the Snowmen, and Other Fantasies listed below.
(there is also a paperback edition available)
Pick it up in one form or another and see how justice happens in a poetic fashion. Just saying…
William Mangieri’s writing – including his previous release “Breathing is Overrated” (I may have mentioned that this was one of my three Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest) – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri