8thdayfiction

…and on the 8th day, micro fiction was published on some dude's blog.

Frickin’ Christmas

The tree needed to go, and today was the day it was going to happen. Don and the kids would probably freak out—Don because she did it without him and sooner than he’d have liked, the kids because she got rid of the tree on their first day back to school, without even asking first—but Sandy didn’t care. This Christmas (or “frickin’ Christmas”, as she had come to refer to the holiday season) had been kind of sucky. The sooner it ended the better.

She stood there briefly and strategized how best to dismantle and dispose of the tree. Then, she had an idea.

After cherry-picking a handful of ornaments to save for sentimental and/or aesthetic reasons and setting them aside on the mantel, Sandy grabbed the tree by the trunk, at shoulder level with both hands (almost as if she were getting ready to throttle it), pulled it down to her waist, and dragged the whole thing—tree, remaining ornaments, lights, tinsel, garland, tree stand, tree skirt, and that stupid country cottage-style angel on top—across the living room floor, down the front hall, out the door, down the steps, straight across the front yard, and with a final, satisfying grunt, let it go at the curb.

She took a moment to catch her breath, then turned and headed back inside. The whole way back, she thought about all that was being wasted and would have to be purchased again next year. She imagined herself pumping her fist, chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”, and she smiled a real smile for the first time since before Thanksgiving.

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10 thoughts on “Frickin’ Christmas

  1. What’s great is everything that’s NOT said. We have no idea what went down that made Christmas so horrible, we’re just left with her reaction. You do such a good job of “show not tell” the whole piece, that I would personally think you could leave out the line “This Christmas…..had been kind of sucky” because the tearing down of the tree is so strong a visual. Although you’d have to find another way to get the title in.

    Nice work! I am in awe of your self discipline.

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      One of the challenges of this format (a challenge that I enjoy) is that it forces you to leave things out. When I initially write these, I’m doing it longhand in a (fairly small) page-a-day journal. The lack of space, ideally, helps me to just include what’s important.

      But I’m not sure about leaving out that one line, because one of my New Year’s resolutions was to use the word “sucky” as much as possible.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I so agree with Becky that you do a great job of showing the action. I like too, that, one would steriotypically think that most stories would have the “man of the house” being the one to chuck the whole tree out fully decorated without caring. What did happen that Christmas? And yikes, what a statement about America that we are continually told that shopping is good for the economy instead of being encouraged to be frugal and save money. There’s a lot going on in this little gem of a story! thanks for the read…

  3. I’ve never tried micro fiction. I majored in writing, and now I feel jipped! Half the stuff anyone writes is just throat clearing to get to the good part anyway.

    Far be it from me to stand in the way of your NY resolution. Mine is to say “no doy!” like I did in grade school, without explanation.

    • That’s a good resolution. “No doy!” is a phrase that would come in handy in any number of situations.

      • Becky, I don’t know how I missed that you majored in writing! How cool is that–and no wonder you are so good with words and I’ve been impressed with all you critiques of Brian’s stories. Have you ever posted pieces that you’ve written anywhere (not including all your extremely witty and enjoyable facebook comments which I so love)? If so let us know, because I’d love to read them! My Masters in English is so going to waste when I don’t have lots of literature, etc to absorb!

      • I’ll second the motion for wanting to read more of Becky’s writing. If there’s stuff out there to read, let us know where we can access it!

  4. Hey, I appreciate the interest…very much! I don’t have anything online right now, just been difficult to think I could maintain a blog with Tom in school and me working full time. BUT, this is his FINAL SEMESTER. Then it better be the Year of Becky, where I get back into writing because he has a full time position. Kinda like the Summer of George from Seinfeld, except I want to write instead of play frisbee golf. Feel free to come back to this promise and call me a big fat dirty liar if I don’t follow through.

    • Frolf!

      Totally understand about not having time. I’m just barely able to do this because Laura stays home with the kids, and because the kids are still babies. Let us know whenever Year of Becky gets underway.

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