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24 Dec 2008

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!”

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