Sunday, December 1, 2019

A Very Short Christmas Story

Grandma Mona kept the liquor under the kitchen sink, "where the kids know not to get into things." That was the idea, anyway. Every year she set up her Christmas village on the end-table by the big chair. Her cigarettes lived under the church. When she wasn't smoking, which wasn't often, she'd put her ashtray under there too. The kids still talk about the cloud that hung over the pine trees, and the ring from her high-ball on the mirrored skating rink. The year the older boys got into the Jameson was the same Christmas Mona finally burned the church down. "You had to laugh," she told Father Michael when he visited her in the hospital, "I was trying to get the coffee down their necks, so I didn't notice a thing until the curtains went. Funny little bastards, falling all over the kitchen, I'll admit that much, but I'll miss that chair."

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