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The Christmas Party Snow Creatures
A short sci-fi horror story by Chuck Keyes
"Jake, there's a big snowstorm heading our way," announced Jewell. "The weatherman is predicting up to two feet of snow."
"Dear, this is East Texas, I doubt if we're going to get anymore than two inches of snow."
"Hey, two feet of snow is what the weatherman said."
"To increase his network ratings the weather guy would probably like to say we're going to have a New England size blizzard mixed in with a bunch of Texas tornados."
"Are you almost done changing out the brake pads?"
"Dear, I'm probably not going to have this doggone truck fixed until after Christmas. One of my brake calipers is seized up tighter than a pregnant tick."
"That's because It's a Ford."
"What do mean by that?"
"My grandfather use to say Ford means, 'Fix Or Repair Daily'."
Jake chuckled. "Well my grandfather said Ford means, 'Found On Road Dead'."
"That's funny," said Jewell, along with a silly giggle. "You've got about a half hour left before you'll need to come in the house and get cleaned up for your company Christmas party."
"I'll be in the house after I clean up this damn mess. Besides, there's nothing else I can do with the truck but let the seized up brake caliper soak in Marvel Mystery Oil for a day or two, and then I'll rebuild it like new."
"Jake, I don't understand. We have plenty of money, so why don't you pay a local garage to change out the brake pads."
"Because I don't trust anyone else to work on my vehicles but me. Besides, I enjoy doing the mechanical work."
"Well, you don't look too happy now with a stuck up caliper."
Jake shrugged his broad shoulders. "S*** happens."
"I suppose it does."
"Speaking about s*** happening," said Jake, "a few hours ago I received another threatening call from the comedian who's claiming to be an alien from another planet in a galaxy far, far away!"
"Maybe he's a real alien who doesn't want the human race to have cold fusion."
Jake belly laughed for a long moment. "I don't believe it!"
"For years you've been saying the development of cold fusion will be our greatest technological achievement. It'll solve all of our energy problems, and it'll allow us to explore the universe with light speed intergalactic spaceships powered with cold fusion reactors. Obviously the alien doesn't want us to venture beyond our planet earth."
Again Jake laughed. "Jewell, the only place aliens exist is in the minds of people who purchase those ridiculous grocery store checkout aisle magazines."
Jewell slammed the barn door and scurried across the backyard to the ranch house. Like the weatherman had predicted, the temperature has dropped below freezing and the gray clouded sky is starting to spit large puffy snowflakes.
The first two Christmas party couples rang the front doorbell while Jake was getting dressed after taking a long hot shower. Jewell answered the door, welcomed them in, and showed them to the bar where three cold kegs of beer are on tap.
Three more couples arrived by the time Jake came down stairs to welcome his workmate buddies employed at his company, Ponderosa Engineering and Development. "Hello everybody," he shouted. "I see you guys brought your wives instead of your girlfriends."
"S***, Jake, words like that might transform my wife into Lorena Bobbitt," cried Russell.
"Where you been, Jake?" asked Garrett. "Afraid to associate us losers after our many test failures to create cold fusion?"
"Garrett, don't kick yourself in the ass. I'm classifying yesterday's test as what I call a near-success. In my guts I know we're real close to coming up with the correct atom splitting chemistry, and every test brings us closer to creating an endless supply of clean and safe energy."
"If you say so; nevertheless, during your wonderful Christmas party I plan to drown my sadness within your kegs of beer."
"In that case, you'd better give me your truck keys," demanded Garrett's wife.
"Hey, Jake, Jewell says you received another threatening phone call," said Garrett with a concerned expression.
"Yup." Jake nodded his head. "I'm pretty sure it’s somebody pulling my chain."
"What did he say?" asked Joleen, Jake's only employed female engineer.
"Pretty much the same s*** he said before. 'Our alien world will not permit your human race to discover cold fusion. Continued attempts must cease or lives will be terminated'."
"This is the third threatening call you've received from this joker claiming to be an alien from another world," voiced Garrett. "This prankster has called you within a day after our cold fusion experiments were conducted, and we're the only ones who know about these tests. There has to be leak, or perhaps it's one of us making the prank calls."
Jake chuckled. "Hey, we're more than coworkers, we're friends, and I doubt if one of you are making these phone calls. Whoever they are, they're not going to frighten me into shelving our cold fusion project. Now let's change the subject. Except for Joleen and her boyfriend Lou, we've all pawned our children off to babysitters and relatives so we can eat, drink, and be merry, and that's what we're going to do!"
Jake's stereo softly filled the huge living room and dining room with golden classic Christmas music.
Jewell served her guests many different platters of party finger foods and fancy Christmas deserts. Many conversations flourished as everyone ate, drank, and laughed. The six women were sitting together at the dining room table, occasionally talking about their husbands, and the six men are gathered around the living room bar, occasionally making fun about the mysteries of women's emotions.
"Damn, has anyone looked outside?" sputtered Garrett while peeking out between the ivory colored blinds. "The snow is accumulating fast. There must be over eight inches on the ground."
"Jake, I told you so," voiced Jewell.
"Yeah, you did, dear!" Jake stood up and waved his arms around. "Don't anyone panic. Our house is large enough for everyone to spend the night."
"Dale, with our new Toyota four wheeler pickup, if we leave now, we shouldn't have any trouble driving to my parent's house to pick up the kids," said Allyson.
"Friends, I hate to leave the party early," announced Dale, "but I must obey my wife's orders."
"Yeah, we know Allyson keeps a tight noose around your tiny rabbit balls," shouted Garrett.
Dale retrieved their coats from off the bed in the downstairs guest bedroom. He headed outside to brush the snow off his pickup, and to start the engine up so it'll be warm for Allyson. A few minutes after Dale stepped outside into the blowing snowstorm, the electricity failed, plunging the house into darkness.
Jake quickly added larger oak logs on top of the glowing embers in the fireplace while Jewell frantically ran around lighting antique oil lamps.
"It seems like every time we get a little ice on the roads," chimed Jake, "some damn idiot runs into an electrical pole!"
"Hey, the jacked up fire is cozy," said Albert. "Buffy, why don't you break away from the trivial henhouse chatter and join me here on the sofa. On your way, you can bring some of those chips and dip for me to munch on."
"Dear, relax and imagine yourself making love to me," said Buffy."
"Why the hell would I want to do that?"
"Because for the rest of your life, the only sex you'll be having with me will be within your imagination!"
Everyone but Albert broke out in laughter.
"Okay, I'll get my own damn chips and dip."
Jake walked over to one of the front windows and pulled up the blinds, and then he shined a powerful flashlight beam out the window to help his engineering coworker to see.
Dale waved at Jake, and then he proceeded to finish brushing the heavy wet snow off his Toyota truck. Jake noticed a large patch of snow on the front yard began to move on its own, as if it were the Blob. "Hey, everybody, come check out this strange s***."
Everyone crowded around the six front windows to watch the moving snow form into two hideous werewolf-like creatures with fangs and claws made of ice.
"What the hell are those things?" shouted Albert, and then he downed a full glass of beer.
"We need to warn Dale," screamed Jake. He started to bang on the window.
Dale's wife, Allyson, frantically ran to the front door, swung it open, and charged outside to see the snow creatures viciously attack her husband. One beast bit into Dale's neck while the other one twisted his head with its powerful clawed hands. Blood squirted from Dale's wounds like a turned on water sprinkler. The snow creature yanked Dale's head off his body and threw it at the window Jake was pounding on to worn Dale. The double pane insulated window shattered as Dale's decapitated head flew into the living room, landing on the hardwood floor, rolling into the fireplace between the brick wall and the blazing logs.
Allyson rapidly became more hysterical. She spun around in the deep snow, eager to reenter the house. Just as she took hold of the doorknob, one of the snow creatures grabbed hold of her arm and tore it from her body, and then the beast beat her on her head with her own arm until her agonizing screams were permanently silenced.
Russell partially stepped out onto the front walkway, but he quickly realized he couldn't save Allyson. He retreated to close the door, but the one of the creatures grabbed Russell's hand and pulled him out of the warm house, throwing him down onto the snow covered ground. Russell briefly screamed just before the other snow creature stomped on his head, crushing it flat like an overripe Christmas pumpkin.
Jake scurried toward the front door, closing and locking it just before Russell's wife attempted to go outside. "I'm sorry, Daphne, there's nothing you can do for him."
"A creature made out of snow killed my husband!" screamed Daphne with tears flowing down her cheeks, dripping onto her red and white Christmas dress. "How can this be happening?"
"I don't know," replied Jake.
Drunken Albert poked his head up to look outside through the broken window.
"Albert, get the hell away from there!" shouted Jake.
Before Albert could react, one of the snow creatures reached in and crushed his head between its powerful hands. Albert's eyeballs popped out of his skull along with oozing blood and brain matter. Buffy stood up to run, but the other creature extended and reshaped its right arm into a long sword made of ice, which penetrated Buffy's back, heart, and exited through her chest. The ice sword snapped away from the creature as Buffy's lifeless body fell onto the floor.
Everyone gathered in front of the fireplace, pulling furniture toward them to use as a protective barricade against the snow creatures.
"Garrett, help me tip the sofa up on end to cover the broken window," ordered Jake.
"Okay, good…buddy…boss man," replied Garrett with a slur in his tone.
After leaning the sofa against the window, they scurried back to the heat of the fireplace. "For protection we need to stay within the heat," uttered Jake.
"Yeah," said Garrett, "it was the heat from the sun that melted Frosty the snowman."
Joleen and her boyfriend Lou are cuddled together on the floor between the fireplace and the huge Christmas tree.
Kathleen is trying to console crying Daphne without any luck.
Jake called the county police station and told the dispatcher someone is trying to break into his house, which is a much more believable story than saying they're being attacked by snow creatures. The female dispatcher nervously explained that the unusual snowstorm is causing three to four hour delays, and if he has a gun, he needs to use it.
"There's going to be no help from the county police," Jake announced. "Everyone stay here while I fetch us some weapons from my gun safe."
"Hey, good buddy, do you think your guns will do us any good against those snow creatures?" asked Garrett. "When I was a kid I shot a snowman, and I don't think he died."
"Maybe bullets will kill them, or maybe they won't, but I'll feel safer with a loaded forty-five by my side. Jake courageously ran down the dark hallway and entered his home office. He groped around in the dark until he found a penlight to help him see the gun safe combination numbers while he turned the tumbler. After collecting three guns and plenty of ammo, he ran back to join the others.
"Jake, is there anything you can do about Dale's head? asked Jewell. "The smell of it cooking like a rotisserie chicken is becoming horrifying."
Jake used the iron poker to roll the cooking head out of the fire place onto the polished granite hearth, and then he jabbed the poker deep into Dale's open mouth, thus using it to slide the smoldering head across the living room floor over to the front windows. "Damn, that has to be the most disgusting thing I've ever done!"
"Thanks, dear," Jewell said with tears in her eyes. "What are we going to do? Without electricity, the temperature in the house is going to drop below freezing, and there's not enough wood to keep the fireplace blazing all night."
"We can't let the fire die out or those snow creatures will come in here and rip us apart. When we run out of logs I'll have to start burning the furniture, the Christmas tree, and probably our neatly wrapped presents from under the Goddamn tree."
"Jake, my intoxicated brain is thinking these murdering snow creatures have something to do with your threatening phone calls," voiced Garrett. "Snow just doesn't magically turn into Christmas party monsters with claws, teeth, and eyeballs made of glittering ice."
Jake deeply inhaled and then he blew the air out of his lungs with a long sigh. "I'm thinking you're right, although I've never seen any proof that aliens exist. Without proof, their like all the other mythic beings in our lives, such as God, ghosts, goblins, Bigfoot, and the Lock Nest monster. I'm an engineer and a scientist! My mind has been scientifically programmed not to believe anything without proof."
"My scientific mind is telling me these snow creatures are somehow being spawned by the alien who's been threatening to kill us, and so far he's been doing a damn good job of it."
An hour passed by as the seven survivors out of twelve sat together on the floor in front of the fireplace. They can hear the snow creatures stomping around outside.
"I need to go use the bathroom," Joleen said as she stood up.
"Joleen," whispered Jake. "I'll walk with you down the hallway and check out the bathroom."
"Yes, that'll be…" A long pointed spear made out ice shattered through one of the front windows and entered Joleen's back, partially exiting through her chest. She briefly screamed while grabbing the protruding spear, and then she collapsed, knocking over the Douglas Fir Christmas tree.
Daphne frantically jumped up to run, but two more ice spears crashed through the windows, each knifing into her back. She managed to take several steps into the dining room before collapsing.
Jake poked his head up over the furniture and fired five rounds through the windows. "I'm just wasting my damn ammunition!"
"Holy s*** balls!" snapped Garrett, "there's only five of us left! …We're doomed!"
"There's only you and me left to continue working on our cold fusion project," sputtered Jake.
"Yeah, and I know there had to be a leak in our ranks!"
Jake thought for a moment, and then he pointed his forty-five at Joleen's boyfriend. "Lou, you've been overly quiet tonight. How come you didn't blink a sad eye when Joleen was killed?"
"I'm in shock."
"B*******! You just made your first big mistake. I've known Garrett and Kathleen for over fifteen years, and Garrett shares my dream of developing cold fusion."
Lou's body started to shudder and shake. His skin began to dissolve as if saturated with a powerful acid.
Jake thought about placing a few forty-five slugs into Lou's head, but his curiosity wanted to see what he was transferring into. The outer layers of Lou's body was dripping away in a gory viscous matter. An ugly multi-limbed creature emerged from the bloody mass of goo and clothing.
"Whatever you are, that's far enough, or I'll put a big bullet in your ugly bug head," warned Jake.
The weird looking centipede-like creature has six legs and four arms with human shaped hands. It pivoted its triangular shaped head around to gaze at Jake with three orange colored eyes. "Okay, I'm not moving."
"Good, because that means you don't want to die, which gives me full control over your alien ass."
"No…I don't want to die."
"How did you create the snow creatures?"
"I added preprogrammed robotic nanos to the snow. They rapidly multiplied and formed into my assassination creatures. I warned you not to continue pursuing the development of cold fusion."
"Why doesn't your alien race want us to develop cold fusion?"
"Our first contact mother ship will not arrive to your planet for nearly two of your earth years. I'm a commodity trade explorer, and your planet has many rare minerals to trade for our cold fusion technology. If you develop it before the mother ship arrives, I'll lose a great deal of profit."
"What the hell! You viciously killed seven of my coworkers and friends for profit from a possible trade agreement between our races!"
"I've been studying your planet for a long time, and your human race is always killing each other."
"killing mostly happens in our wars!" snapped Jake.
"Wars that take place because agreements can't be made," huffily voiced the alien.
"Why didn't you make first contact with me and explain your predicament. I'm sure we could've worked out some kind of deal."
"As I said, you humans would rather go to war than make a deal."
"Was Lou a real human being who you took control of like a parasite?"
"No, I used my robotic nanos to alter myself into a human being. While I was surveying your trade commodities, my ship's scanner locked onto a cold fusion signature during your testing. Your organization is very close to developing cold fusion. Therefore, I had no choice but to stop you by any means possible. I transformed myself into a human being so I can infiltrate your scientific organization. To gather the information I required, I used my remote scanner to connect with Joleen's brain, and I altered her mind to believe I was her sexy man friend. Your human brains are soft and spongy, which makes them easy to control."
"Hey, Jake, the alien does have a point there," said Garrett, along with a giggle. "The liberal mass media has been controlling our spongy brains for years."
"Garrett, I'm busy interrogating our alien prisoner. You need to stop drinking." Jake turned his attention back to the alien. Lou, why did you change back into your alien ugly self?"
"I accidently drank a mouthful of Joleen's highball drink, and the alcohol has ill-effects on my nano makeup, thus reversing the process."
"So you didn't purposely revert back to your alien self."
"No…and now I'm too vulnerable."
"What you are is a dumbass alien criminal who murders for profit. Are you working alone or does your alien race know what you've been doing?"
"I'm working alone, protecting my personal profits. My race believes in planetary trade without any violence."
"I can't believe this!" sputtered Jake. "My first alien encounter and he's a flying a******!" He's turned my Christmas party into a Friday the thirteenth massacre on Elm Street. Nobody else is going to be killed here tonight! Lou the vulnerable alien, I want you to deactivate your snow creatures! If you don't, then I'm going see how vulnerable your exoskeleton is against speeding bullets."
"Jake, did you know that Superman was alien?"
"Garrett, I told you to stop drinking! …Lou, I need you to deactivate your snow creatures!"
"I'm sorry, but the preprogrammed robotic nanos cannot be deactivated. I also altered your East Texas weather pattern to produce a twenty-four hour snowstorm."
Jake deeply sighed in thought. "Jewell, I need you to hold this gun on Lou the alien. If he moves just a smidgen, shoot him!"
"Jake, you know I'm afraid of your guns. I grew up in Marlboro, Massachusetts, which means I don't know how to use them for self-protection." She started to cry.
Kathleen slid across the hardwood floor over next to Jake. "I can do it. I've been firing guns since I was knee-high to a ladybug, and my hero husband is too damn drunk to do anything. What are you going to do? We're running out of logs for the fire."
"I'm going to kill those snow werewolves before they walk into the house and rip us up in little gory tidbits."
"How? Lou the alien said they can't be deactivated."
"Lou the alien has already told me how to kill them." Jake crawled on his belly into the dining room and along the hallway. He jumped up and ran upstairs to his son's bedroom.
Jake returned with three toy water pistols. He filled them up with vodka, and handed two of them out to Garrett and Kathleen. Garrett immediately fired his pistol into his mouth.
"No, buddy, you're supposed to use the water pistol to shoot the snow creatures. Here, to sober you up I grabbed you a jar of instant coffee."
"But there's no hot water."
"Just dissolve the brown powder in your mouth."
"Everyone stay down," voiced Jake. "I'm going to crawl over to the front door and open it."
Jake crawled over to the door, unbolted it, and opened it. After a few minutes, one of the snow creatures appeared in the doorway. The glowing flames from the fireplace reflected in the creatures icy eyes. Jake squirted his water pistol just as the snow creature transformed its right arm into an extending ice sword. To avoid being stabbed Jake rolled across the floor while soaking the creature with vodka. The creature backed up and began to shake and melt.
"While Jake was watching the snow creature disappear, the second monster stepped through the doorway. It bent over to grab Jake when Garrett rushed forward with an open bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand, and an open bottle of Southern Comfort in his other hand. He poured the contents of both bottles over the monster's back. Jake rolled out of the way and stood up to watch the second snow creature melt.
"Hey, buddy, this is like watching the wicked witch of the west melt away."
"Yeah, and thanks for the help. You saved my life."
"Anytime, although I've never been a good bartender."
Jake chuckled. "You're a good friend."
"What are you going to do with Lou the alien?"
"I don't know."
"I'm advising you not to invite him to next year's Christmas party."
Happy that the Christmas horror show is over, Jewell ran over to Jake and gave him a hug and kiss.
"Hey, I'm still over here pointing a gun at Lou the alien," huffed Kathleen.
Jake walked over next to Kathleen and the alien. "We need some rope to tie Lou up."
"I'll fetch some rope," said Jewell.
"Why?" shouted the alien.
"Obviously you know the formula for developing cold fusion. So that my friend's deaths were not in vain, I'm going to hold you prisoner until you give me the information I require to complete the project."
"Hey, Jake, my buddy, how the hell are you going to explain this bloody mess to the police?" asked Garrett.
Jake deeply sighed. "I don't have a damn clue how I'm going to explain this bloody mess!"
© December 2011