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     | |      c   o   m   m   u   n   i   c   a   t   i   o   n   s     | |
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  ...presents...        How The Grendel Stole Christmas
                                                         by Annie

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1994 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
  ____       _     ____       _       ____       _     ____       _       ____
 |____digital_media____digital_culture____digital_media____digital_culture____|

     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.
Grendel saluted the wobbling orb, adjusting a 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.

     "God, I love this job."

                                   - x X x -

     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*?"  Grendel 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..."
Grendel's arm sank deeper, finally surfacing with "...a can of Hormel
Microwaveable Chili.  Merry Christmas, my friend.  NEXT!"

     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."

                                   - x X x -

     And they heard Grendel exclaim, as the bat faded from sight, "Next year I
think I'll try San Quentin."
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   (U)   |==================================================================|
  .ooM   |Copyright (c) 1994 cDc communications and Annie.                  |
\_______/|All Rights Reserved.                               12/01/1994-#291|