A little Christmas poetry – With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, and to those who might have been expecting something a little different, I present to you a little Christmas poetry. Since this is the sort of poem that needs to be read aloud for full effect, I invite you to listen to the audio version of “A Very Gruesome Christmas” (feel free to follow along with the text below, or save it for later if you like a little suspense).
A Very Gruesome Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town
Not a human was stirring, we were all underground;
Locked fast in our cellars and huddled in fear,
Struck dumb by the knowledge that zombies were near.
The children they trembled, and jumped at each noise;
They cared not for candy or Santa or toys.
My wife with her chainsaw and I with my gun
Stood watch by the stairs and prayed hard for the sun,
When out in the yard there arose such a clatter,
I snuck up the stairs to see what was the matter.
Then o’er to the window I silently crept
And peered into the yard that was once so well-kept.
The moon shining dull on the new-fallen snow
Gave a sickly pale gleam to objects below,
When, what with my horrified eyes should I see,
But a shambling corpse staring straight back at me!
With teeth that would tear and hands that would rend,
I knew in a moment it must be the end.
He shuffled on slowly, feet scraping the ground,
With putrefied flesh sloughing off all around.
A fingertip first, then a piece of his nose,
Dropped off with a splat, joining eight of his toes;
Yet sure as the tide washes up on the shore,
He shambled inexorably toward my door.
I checked my gun’s clip—only one round remained—
With one in the chamber, I had two to my name.
In a flash I ran back to the top of the stair
And looked down to see how my family did fare.
I said to my wife, with a tear in my eye,
"Stay here out of sight... tell the children goodbye."
Then I pulled shut the door and turned back around
To hear from without a blood-curdling sound:
A smashing and pounding that shook the front door,
As splinters of timber rained down on the floor.
Then, breaking the door, with a great groan he came;
I lifted my gun, pausing only to aim.
I took a deep breath 'fore the blast filled the room,
And silence fled fast from the deafening boom.
But alas! Though I took care and gave it my best,
All my bullet did was leave a hole in his chest.
“You idiot!” I seethed. “You know the undead!
If you want a clean kill, you shoot for the head!”
So I took aim again and fired my last prayer,
But my aim proved untrue; I hit nothing but air.
The zombie lurched forward with a skeletal grin,
His gums showing clear through his lips, worn and thin.
The stench of his flesh was far fouler than foul,
And I shrank back in fear when he let out a howl.
With my family downstairs, there was nowhere to flee,
As he reached out a rotting hand pointed at me.
The fingers were no more than skin draped on bone,
And slowly they opened as he gave a low moan.
My eyes opened wide—was indeed I still sane?
For there in his hand lay a striped candy cane.
He motioned to me that I should take and eat;
There was naught else to do; I accepted the treat.
With a jerk and a twitch he then shuffled away,
And he chuckled—he did, I still swear to this day.
He fell through the door and then reeled to his feet,
Before making his way to the house down the street.
But I heard him exclaim, as he lurched out of sight,
*which, translated from the zombie, means: “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”