Hi all and merry Christmas! No review today, but I thought I would post this piece of microfiction. Astute readers probably will figure out that this was submitted to the Apex Christmas Invasion Contest, but it was sadly not accepted. That said, I doubt this one stands a snowball's chance of getting sent out elsewhere, so I'm just putting this here as a Christmas Bonus! I hope you enjoy! Be safe out there!
by Charles Payseur
They're calling it Christmasland, and why not? It certainly looks the part, a mismatch of every Christmas color, red and green mostly but also blue and gold and silver and things that mean wealth and safety and nostalgia. Scooby-Doo and Grumpy Cat and Norman Rockwell all torn and reformed, a landscape choked in festive jolliness.
There is talk of bombing it, nuking it from orbit, but really? It covers nearly half the continental United States, everything east of the Mississippi, and bombing it would mean bombing our buildings and monuments, our shopping centers and football stadiums.
Some expect parlay, for some word from the conquered lands. From what? A delegation of misfit toys? Maybe from the poor souls who couldn't run fast enough, who found the Chirstmas patterns wrapping their arms and legs, ribbon circling their heads in pristine bows? Those who got out are sure they're all dead, but maybe we'll see them soon enough, Christmas mummies, soldiers of some unknown enemy on the march, looking to expand.
It came from the trash bins. From the unfinished rolls waiting for another year. From the bargain clearance at Walmart. It rose and it covered, fulfilling the purpose we gave it. Maybe it's done. Maybe it's waiting now for us to come in, tear it all down, unwrap our present. Or maybe we'll return only to find another's name on the card, or that when we tear away the paper, nothing remains.