Katy's Christmas

It's a Festivus Miracle! It's a Festivus Miracle!!

Gutter style. Which means, drugs, bad people, more drugs, worse people, and maybe some ham.

Katy's Christmas by Donald Glass

I slipped the lock to the back door and slung the baseball bat over my shoulder as we crept inside silently. We'd been there before on buys, so we knew the basic layout of the place. I wanted to go in alone but Katy insisted on coming. I made my way around to the side of the kitchen slowly, keeping low, being as quiet as possible. Katy watched the hall for any sign of movement.

It was a nice house, way better than our place. He had money, all drug dealers do, but you'd never know it by the way he lived. Dishes overflowed the sink and garbage lay everywhere. He lived like a pig. I looked around the kitchen and immediately saw what we came for.

Baggies of heroin, ready for distribution, littered the kitchen table. Cocaine, marijuana, and crack were stacked next to them. He was into everything. I practically started to drool just looking at it; we'd hit the mother lode. I hadn’t fixed all day and my insides were itching. I had to scratch it soon.

Twinkling light from the Christmas Tree in the living room cast everything in a slow strobe effect that was disconcerting. I heard the creak of a floorboard and the loud click of a gun being cocked. I froze. Suddenly the room lit up and there was a .357 Magnum pointing at Katy. He recognized her, and that split second of recognition gave me the opening I needed.

I swung the baseball bat blindly around the corner as hard as I could. It struck him in the knee. A crack filled the room as his knee crumpled the wrong way. He went down, grimacing in pain. I jumped up and hit him three more times, the last one connecting with his head. He lay unconscious but alive, moaning.

A shuffling stirred from down the hall and a child came walking out of his bedroom, sleepy and disoriented. He was maybe two, still in a diaper, which hung low with piss and shit. He looked like he hadn’t been bathed in days and there were bruises on the boy’s arm in the shape of a hand print. A hollow, vacant look defined his eyes, which turned to surprise upon seeing us.

Katy and I exchanged a look. We hadn’t known there was a kid. We’d never seen one when we’d copped. Then again, we never stuck around long. She stared at the child for a solid minute, no one saying a word. Then anger and sorrow filled her face. She put the gun away and walked him back to his room. I assumed to change his diaper and promise that things would be OK. She had a way with children.

Two seconds later, she came back into the living room, alone, and picked up the gun. She grabbed a pillow from the couch, and using it to muffle the shot, she put two in his head. Just like that. It hardly made a sound. She disappeared back down the hall still carrying the pillow and the gun.

In full panic mode I finished stuffing the drugs into my bag. Things had gone way too far. No one was supposed to die. We were supposed to be in and out. No witnesses. Katy came walking out of the bedroom with the boy wrapped in a blanket. Covering the boy's head, so he wouldn’t see the mess, she side-stepped the pooling blood and stopped at the door.

"We are taking him too," she said, then went outside without saying another word. There was no discussion, I understood.

Katy sat in the back with the boy cradled in her arms. He was fast asleep, a faint smile on his lips. He looked angelic. I smiled and gave her a knowing wink. We didn’t take him for ransom, we didn’t want any money. We'd raise him and give him a better life, a future, a chance to make something of himself.

"I'll be right back," I said, and went back into the house. I took the meager presents that were under the tree, and loaded them into the trunk. Katy smiled at me when I got back into the car.

"A kid has to have something to open on Christmas morning," I said.

Donald Glass also has had fiction published in Yellow Mama and Shotgun Honey. He lives and writes in Altoona, PA. Putting pencil to paper he prefers horror and pulp. But will write about anything if the urge strikes.