Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2264289-Happy-Holidays-NOT
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2264289
Apparently, we get the gods we deserve.
"On Covid, on Corporate, on Credit-card-cancer.
On Cancel, on Conspire, on Misleading-answer.
On Coke, on Confusion, on Climate-disaster.

"Wha... Hey! Who the fuck are you, and what are you doing in my office?"

Steven Brunström reached beneath his desk and hit the security button, silently summoning aid. Which, if they wanted to keep their contract, had better respond within the 30 second window that featured so prominently in their glossy sales brochure.

How did he get here?

Steven's office was on the 70th Floor, it wasn't like anyone could just walk in off the street, besides, the interloper's car was now improbably parked in front of the skyline window.

The guy got out of the car, and stood in front of him with his hands on his hips. He had whack-job written all over him, especially the eyes. They were weirding Steve out, having no whites to them at all, probably the guy was wearing contacts, but it looked freaky as hell. The stylish Santa look was pretty odd too, long dark coat worn open over red pants and a tartan waistcoat. He even had an authentic white beard.

A god of his times

"Steve." The guy drawled Steven's name, like he knew him or something.

"You're going to fucking love this. I'm the God of Happy. Fucking. Holidays." And he said it exactly like that, like it was three separate words.

Steven was wondered where the security guys were, and, given the situation, rather bizarrely started composing a Tweet cancelling their contract and instigating a Class-A Suit for breach of promise.

"Hey Steven." The god stepped close and grabbed handfuls of Steven informal 'I'm just one of the guys enjoying Xmas' woolly sweater, and pulled him effortlessly over his own desk. Steven's feet were now several inches off the floor.

"Pay attention when I'm talking to you Bud. 'Cause I don't like fucking repeating myself."

"Okay, okay, I hear you." Being lifted off the floor with zero effort, had certainly sharpened Steven's attention. He could have cut the finest turkey slices with it.

"Who are you? What do you want? Money? I'll give you money."

The god sighed heavily and theatrically.

"Weren't you listening? I already told you who I am. I'm the God of Happy. Fucking. Holidays. And no I don't want your money Steven, I want you, As in, you are working for me now."

At this Steven bridled.

"I'm the CEO of Amalgamated Syndicates, I don't work for anyone."

"Sure you do Steve, you've been working for me for years, we're just making it official. Hey, lighten up I'm making you my High Priest." With that he lowered Steven back to the ground, and mock dusted him off.

"Is. Is this like 'Scrooged' or something?" Steven was still desperately clinging to the idea the situation might be some sort of joke.

"Or something yeah, just like that, except I'm a god not a ghost."

"What do you want with me?"

"What does any God demands Steve. I want worship. I. Want. Sacrifices."

There it was again, like the words were three separate sentences.

"Uh! Christmas has gone, it's nearly new year." Steven wasn't sure why he said that, none of what was happening was making any sense to him right now, it made thinking coherently difficult.

"Then it's a good job I'm the God of Holidays plural isn't it." Suddenly Steven realised who the guy sounded like, he sounded just like his overbearing Great Uncle Frank, who'd made family gatherings such a misery for years till he'd done the world a favour and died.

"Remember Steven, A God is not just for Christmas."

Steven just stared, not really believing the god had just said that.

"Seasonal smear Steven, all the holidays running into one another, and when every day is special... You get the picture. You know it's been happening, sales starting earlier every year, spreading out, hey Black Friday is almost a month itself now. Soon as Christmas is done we're ushering in the Easter eggs, and the Valentines balloons. The stress is incredible, so many people hate the holidays now, and that's where I come in."

"You don't sound like a God, you sound more like some kind of demon or something."

"People get the gods they deserve Steven. What do you want? Proof? An act of God? Naw! don't bother to answer, I know. Omniscience kind of goes with the territory. Get in."

The god jerked a thumb at his car, and Steven found himself walking around and actually getting in the passenger door. The God of Happy.Fucking.Holidays. was somehow already seated and belted. No sooner was the door closed than Steven heard the engine snarl powerfully. The car surged forwards shattering the huge glass window as it began the long trajectory to the ground.

Steven was momentarily too stunned to scream, but as the car headed straight down he howled in terror. The god was laughing. He felt it, he felt everything as hard bits of car were driven through his body, shattering and tearing. Steven had no idea that you could feel so much agony and still be alive. Then suddenly he felt himself being flung back into the seat.

The car was being driven at a ridiculous speed down a road towards the back of a street parade. Bewildered, Steve yelled out,

"Hey Stop, what the... Hey stop you're going to."

But he didn't get the chance to finish before the car ploughed into the little troop of girl guides, all dressed in Christmas themed outfits. Steve felt the impacts and saw tiny bodies rolling up the windscreen before vanishing. Still the madman was laughing.

"I love this. It takes a truly SICK mind to weaponise a car. Don't you love it Steve, and who came up with that word, 'weaponise' what a great term?" The car was still roaring along, hitting the unwary, though the screams and cries of the crowd lining the street was alerting folk that something was badly wrong.

Steve was telling himself that this wasn't happening, it was some kind of fucked up dream. They'd driven out of a window, he'd felt the car smashed, now he was unhurt and this had to be unreal. They were in some small town he didn't recognise.

"It's real Steven. I'm a God, I can do impossible shit. Can you imagine those headlines tomorrow, the anguish, the beautiful outrage, the outpouring of grief."

"Why are you doing this?"

"Because I can Steven. This is the world you've helped create. You created me."

"You sick fuck. I have nothing to do with you."

"Do you want to see the moment I was born Steve? The events that brought me into being?"

Without waiting for an answer the god swung the car around, mounted the side walk, and drove it straight at the large statue gracing the middle of the town square. Slamming into a stone plinth at speed proved just as painful as hitting the road in a nose dive from the 70th floor.

With a squeal of brakes, the car shot through the side of a cheap clapboard apartment, and skidded to a halt just inches away from a small boy.

The god got out of the car, ignoring the damage it had caused. Steven followed suit, amazed that the boy hadn't reacted at all to their entrance.

"This is the past, and just like Scrooged, they can't hear or see us."

Steven noticed it indeed was 'they', as the boys mother was watching him fondly as she stirred something in a pot. He didn't recognise her.

"This is Buhlinda Lessing. Too bad it's not Cratchitt huh? Still, you can't have everything. She works in a warehouse, despatching shit she can't afford to shit-heads who don't need it. 40 hours a week and she still has to claim food stamps, brilliant isn't it."

It wasn't a question, the god was openly gloating.

"I don't know her. Who is she?"

"Doesn't matter Steven, she works for you, for one of the many companies you own. And this here is Wallace Lessing."

"Mama, mama look." The boy held up a picture he'd been crayoning.

"Oh baby, that's beautiful."

The boy ran towards his mother, then with no warning he collapsed face down. Buhlinda screamed, and rushed forwards to her child.

Steven stared aghast at the sobbing woman, as she clung to Wallace. He looked at the god, who wore a look of indescribably smugness.

"Know what happens next Steven?"

"You said this is how you were born? What? No, no I don't know."

"Well tomorrow she's going to call her supervisor and tell her why she's not coming in, cause her little boy is really sick. Then the supervisor is going to speak to her manager, and by noon a letter will be on it's way, terminating Buhlinda's contract as of yesterday. Bang goes her insurance, oopsie. Your company has no liability, and you know the best bit.?"

Steven shook his head incredulously.

"The best bit is, the kid died today. That was it Steven. He died, I was born."

The god looked at Steven with his creepy eyes.

"We're going to have the Happiest. Fucking. Holidays."

"Look, this isn't anything to do with me. I don't know this woman or her kid. Sure, it's sad and all, but why don't you go haunt her manager or something?"

The God glared at Steven as if he was something unpleasant he'd trodden in. Then he laughed unpleasantly.

"That's the spirit Steve, blame anyone else but you. But."

With that he reached out and taped Steve on the chest twice as he emphasized his words.

"The Buck...

Stops here." He finished, flicking Steven's jaw.

"Hey!" Said the God, "Want to see some poor Chinese kids making cheap plastic shit to sell to spoiled Western kids? Great source of sacrifice, those poor fuckers don't know shit about Health and Safety."

"No. No, I'm. I'm good thanks." Steven spluttered, fearing another crash as much as the sight of poor Chinese kids.

"Can't interest you? No? Well, how about we just go look at a happy new year." Without waiting for an answer, since it wasn't really a question, he grabbed Steven and flung him into the car.

"This is Joseph Conaway, used to be in middle management or something." The god had driven the car at considerable speed into a row of cars filling up at a gas station, and he spoke calmly over Stevens terrified screams.

"Wasn't up to much evidently, one of your companies let him go last August. Profits were up, but there were fears they might stall, so a round of redundancies were called. Trimming the fat Steve. Hell, I love it. Profit before people. More for the rich, less and less for the schmoos."

He gave Steven an appraising glance, taking in the look of terror that being burned alive in a fireball had produced.

"Hey Steven, lighten up. You're one of the rich guys. You're my High Priest Buddy."

Joseph Conaway was alone in his room. It was both cramped and smelly. It was also obvious that it served as living room, kitchen and bedroom. Resting on a yellow square of Formica atop a small cupboard, was a single glass and a bottle of Jack Daniels. The bottle was empty, and the glass had one last mouthful waiting.

Conaway was muttering to himself, much of it unintelligible, but the words 'happy new year' were repeated clearly enough. Taking the glass he swallowed its contents in a single gulp. Then he stood and struggled into a long winter coat. Reaching under the bed, he pulled out a pistol.

"Cobray M11/9. A nine millimetre semi-automatic." Said the god with evident approval.

Conoway stuffed the gun insides his coat and headed out.

"Come on Steve, we don't want to miss the party."

Steven definitely did want to miss the party. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen.

"Look." He said.

The God of Happy. Fucking. Holidays. Looked at him.


"What's the point of this? I mean its obvious this guy is going to waste some people at a party. Something to do with him being let go by a company we own, I get it, but what's the point?"

"Does this disturb you Steven? Are you morally outraged by what I'm showing you?"

"To be honest no. The fucking car crashes are freaking me out, but all this bleeding hearts stuff is tedious. So some no name kid dies. So some loser goes postal at a party. Who cares? There's billions of people on this planet and its dog eat dog. A few less of them is neither here nor there."

The god was giving him a look like he was a prized puppy who'd just finally managed to do a trick.

"Now you're talking Steven. That's it, that is exactly it. Screw them. Let's decrease the surplus population. Most of them can't afford to buy anything anyway."

He paused and stroked his beard.

"The point is Steve, is that not only does everything has it's price, but every price has its consequences. Ultimately, those consequences are now Me."

Brunström's face conveyed wary confusion.

"So? What does you mean when you say I'm your high priest?"

"The God once more took Steven by his sweater, and pulled him close. So close that Steven could see small flecks of fetal snow driftng across the abysses that formed his eyes.

"You've been doing all this so well Steven, totally oblivious to the effects you have on the world. Now I want you to do more of the same, only better. No more unconscious or indifferent money driven actions, now you have a hungry god to satisfy. I want sacrifice, I want blood, and misery and I want life to be one long fucking holiday devoted to me."

A brief pause, then.

"And if you don't come up with the goods Steven, there are plenty of others who will. Get Me?"

Steven Brunström nodded slowly.

Happy Holidays... Not. He thought.

Originally written for
Weekly SCREAMS!!!   (XGC)
A Terrifying Contest Of Horror And Three Time Quill Award Winner!
#2020439 by Angus
Using the prompt 'The collective winter blues has created a new entity.'

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