From: (Annie)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: REPOST: How the Grendel Stole Christmas (traditional)
Date: 1 Dec 2000 18:11:08 -0500
Organization: Creatures of Habit, Inc.
Lines: 87
Message-ID: <909b6c$ipb$>
X-Trace: 975712270 11582 (1 Dec 2000 23:11:10 GMT)
NNTP-Posting-Date: 1 Dec 2000 23:11:10 GMT
Summary: You don't know Grendel but you wish you did

The moon gyrated like the jewel in a belly dancer's midriff.
It wiggled and winked in its orbit around the earth.

Grendel sailed past the moon, perched on a gigantic aluminum
baseball bat. She saluted the wobbling orb and adjusted the
stocking hung over one shoulder. The bat turned east and
dipped down toward the earth, headed for an island off the
shores of New York City.

"Ghod, I love this job."

			*	*	*

Grendel waved the stocking, which was heavy and lumpy with booty.

"And what do *you* want for Christmas?"

The inmate stared, hypnotized no doubt by the fierce energy
radiating from within the red, double-breasted suit, the sheen
in Grendel's eyes. "I...uh--"

"--NO. What do you *really* want? What need is so significant
that you gladly laid down your WORLD and drew a knife across 
its throat? You're NOTHING!" Grendel roared. "So what are you 
nothing *without*?" 

She leaned forward and breathed in the inmate's face. Softly: 
"Tell me the key to your rage."

The inmate paled, shook.

"I want a vault of sky." The prisoner looked at Grendel's face
and swallowed. "An autumn sky in a big vault, with a lock and
a key and a combination, so I'll know it's always there for me."
By way of explanation, he muttered "I lost it when I was a child,
and I haven't been able to find it since."

"So let me see if I understand. Your brother locked you in a shed?"

The inmate's jaw went slack. "How...?"

"And it was autumn, with the sky blushing blue--embarrassed
by the shocking colors of the rolling forests?"

The inmate nodded dumbly.

"And you screamed and kicked and cried, but he wouldn't let you
out of the shed. So you dug a hole under the door, but by the
time you got out, it was dark outside. And the sky has never
been so blue again."

Grendel reached into the stocking. "Pathetically significant. You
people need to lighten up, smash some fine china, relax a little.
You get..." Her arm sank deeper, finally surfacing with
"...a can of Hormel Microwaveable Chili. MERRY CHRISTMAS, my friend.

And so it went:

"Aw. You've always wanted to dress up in women's shoes with stiletto
heels? Why, you get this pointy, dangerous Christmas tree ornament!"

"You say your mother beat you with a walking stick? Here's a
candy cane."

"Twizzlers for the man who didn't pay his parking tickets!"

Each gift more dazzlingly inappropriate than the last.

A paste-on tattoo.
A glow-in-the-dark rubber lizard.
A nine foot paper garland in an impossibly small package.

At last the stocking was empty.

"It's been a lovely time. But if I don't leave now, my bat will
turn into a jagged-edged pumpkin knife. Hell of a way to travel."

			*	*	*

And they heard Grendel exclaim, as the bat faded from sight,
"Next year, I think I'll try San Quentin."