I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas, but when Mark Ready, a fellow author in my critique group suggested submitting to the Weird Christmas story contest, I was game! My entry is a crime thriller that involves murder, zombies, and the resurrection.
Mark and I each got personal messages from the contest judges stating that, although we didn’t win, we did place in the top 50 out of over 600 entries. We compared rejections, just to see if this was a blanket statement set to everyone. Turns out it’s not. A third entry from the group didn’t get such a message.
Without further ado, here’s my weird Christmas story.
Detective Angel Barrow wasn’t religious, but she paid attention when priests started carrying .357s. Now, she stood in a perfectly appointed living room that reeked of Christmas. And death. She liked the nutcracker, though. As one of the boys in blue, he stood sentinel over twinkling lights and a mantle bedecked with holly.
Despite the unfortunate demise of her husband, Karen Smith had found time to clean. The room looked holiday but smelled like a hospital. Angel ran a finger along the mahogany bookshelves. No dust. Either Karen was a fastidious housekeeper, or she was trying to cover up a murder. Probably both.
Moaning emanated from the coffin at the center of the room. David was getting restless. Karen had chosen a bad day to kill her husband. Not that there’s a good day to kill your husband, but the day of the rapture was particularly bad. In Detective Barrow’s estimation, the “good news” was that zombies retained their memories. And held grudges.
Murder investigations ran smoother with the corpse up and shambling. But the room was about to get stinky. Angel pulled a jar of vapor rub from her bag and daubed her nose. Then she invited the sheriff’s deputies and the family inside. Time to open the coffin and see who the stiff lunged for.
“Karen, you Bitch.” David moaned, his long fingers reaching for her throat. “With my favorite fillet knife.”
Karen clutched her pearls and went white. Well, whiter. David’s final words had sealed her fate.
It took an hour to get him back in the coffin. While the deputies did that, she took Karen’s confession. From here, David was destined for the church and a bullet in the head. Then, on to his final resting place. At least, Angel hoped it was final. That bullet was proving about as effective as thoughts and prayers. Some of the recently departed kept clawing their way back up—unfinished business and all.
At this point, secrets taken to the grave no longer remained there. The cold case team was about to have a very merry Christmas.
Looking for more Christmas Crazy?
Read the winning Weird Christmas entries here.