I'm Dreaming of A... by James S. Dorr

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Bing Crosby's rendition of the song "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin has long been a holiday classic. The snow that begins to fall this Christmas Eve, however, is NOT the sort most people would have been dreaming of.

A short work of holiday horror from our Spectres line.


I hate Bing Crosby. Yet they still keep playing the traditional holiday music as if it might somehow make people feel better. On radio. TV. Commercials even. That is, if “they” play it—if there are people still left to play it. If it isn’t done by some kind of pre-packaged playlist anyway.

I look out the window, past the tree my wife and I decorated only two days before. I see the empty white of the front yard….

Yesterday morning, Christmas Eve, I bought a snow shovel. The weather report had just predicted a sudden, possibly heavy storm and the old shovel was worn out. I walked to the hardware store—my wife had taken the good car out for some last-minute errands, and in any event I could use the exercise—and, on my way back, the first flakes started falling.

I was already in the front yard, but I stopped and looked up. I remembered when Eve and I had been kids, how we’d open our mouths to catch the flakes on our tongues, tasting the freshness. The cold of the melting snow. Even when Eve and I first got married, our ski-trip honeymoon, thinking at the time that was the last chance we’d have to be children.

But we have still not yet had kids of our own so I thought now, why not? I stuck my tongue out.

Then I felt something sting me. As if it were hail instead of snow—sharp and quick, like that. I looked down a moment and saw that the snow was already sticking. I started the rest of the way to the house and something pulled at my feet, as if I were walking through some kind of gluey mud. Pulling at my boots.

I wiped my glasses off once I was inside—it had gotten that cold already!—then took off my boots. I saw what seemed like scratches on the soles.

I went out back once to bring in a couple of logs for the fireplace, keeping mostly to the covered walkway between the house and the garage. I noticed the snow was getting deeper—at least an inch or an inch and a half by now—but luckily the woodpile was covered too.

Over the fence, in the neighbor’s yard, I saw the McCallisters’ two daughters playing, Angie and Ardath, rolling big balls of snow for a snowman. Then one of the girls screamed—Ardath, I think. She had her mitten off, doing some kind of fine sculpting thing on the ball that was probably going to be the snowman’s head, and it looked like she’d somehow cut her hand. A piece of glass maybe?

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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