Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories #2: Little Donkey by Peter Caffrey

Arnold and Jimmy the Chimp are up to no good yet again as Christmas approaches. The school is preparing their annual Christmas performance, and Arnold initially believes he’s being left out, without a role to play. When Arnold is tasked with handling the donkey for the nativity play, it’s only a matter of time before everything goes wrong.
Problems with erectile dysfunction from his father provide Arnold and Jimmy with all the inspiration they need, and Terry the donkey has the excitement of his life ahead of him. As a prank becomes an unforgettable nightmare for the students and family in attendance, Christmas will never be the same again.
As with all of the Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories, Peter Caffrey provides us with audio narration of this delectably depraved tale that is unsuitable for all but the most emotionally and psychologically scarred children and the adults they grow up to become. The quality of his narration is no less impressive than many of the professional audiobook narrators on the market, so readers/listeners have no cause for disappointment.

This title was released through http://www.godless.com as part of the AntiChristmas event for December of 2021. You can obtain a copy for yourself by going to the website or downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Season’s Creepings by Theresa Derwin

If you’re looking for some new Christmas stories to read aloud in front of the crackling fire while everyone sips at hot chocolate, these might not be the stories you’re looking for. Do people still do things like that with their families? I’m just going to assume that they do. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these are precisely the stories you want to read to children and extended family as everyone gathers for the holidays. I’m not one to judge those things.
Theresa Derwin has assembled a lovely collection of Christmas-themed horror with Seasons Creepings. Perhaps it is a bit unusual that I was reading this in February, but I didn’t judge you about sitting around a fire and reading these stories to your children, so I’d appreciate it if you extend me the same courtesy.
The collection begins with the amusing Fifty Hades of Grey. A group of middle-aged women gathers together to exchange Christmas gifts, but one of those presents isn’t quite the innocent gag gift that it seems. A lady doesn’t reach a certain age without knowing how to handle a surprise or two, though.
‘Twas the Night provides us with a new interpretation of the familiar poem, replete with scathing social commentary.
With The Red Queen, we’re introduced to a new acquaintance and admirer of Charles Dickens, as she nudges him along in the writing of A Christmas Carol. Some stories live on forever, and maybe it’s fitting that the authors do as well…assuming they keep writing.
Night of the Living Dead Turkey shares an epistolic account of the zombie apocalypse brought about by infected turkeys. Unfortunately, this zoonotic virus might be more dangerous than the standard avian flu.
For proof that revenge isn’t necessarily a dish best served cold, Last Christmas is a tale of infidelity, friendship, and the perfect holiday meal.
And finally, A Contemporary Christmas Carol provides us with a glimpse of Mr. Scrooge’s regrets as he witnesses his former life of wealth and comfort eroded thanks to the interference of ghosts and the writing of Dickens himself. Sometimes our characters aren’t quite as enthusiastic about what we put them through as we portray them as being, and this is a fine example of that.
Theresa Derwin has compiled a terrific little Christmas collection that’s sure to be perfect for the dysfunctional family gathering. I only wish I’d read this a couple of months ago instead of waiting until I’m either two months late or ten months early.

This title was released through http://www.godless.com as part of the AntiChristmas event for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The link follows:

Merry and Bright by Matt Henshaw

This story begins with what appears to be a charming little family gathered together near the tree to open presents on Christmas morning. Of course, knowing that this is a story from Matt Henshaw should give you pause, and provide some indication that things will not remain so tame and prosaic.
It isn’t until grandma and uncle arrive with three presents left near the front door that things begin to change for the worse. Driven by compulsion, the trio of Daniel, Sally, and Billy start unwrapping the presents with disastrous consequences.
A lump of coal is just fine with me if that’s an alternative to what happens to this family when they find themselves on Santa’s naughty list. Thankfully, Henshaw isn’t in R&D at Santa’s workshop, because Christmas would be a rather different experience for a lot of people.

This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can obtain it for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Manic Christmas by Lindsay Crook

For “Snowflake,” there’s perhaps no greater torture than performing as a Christmas elf at the mall. Understandably, she’d feel that way, from the pedophile Santa to the grimy, screaming children. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Except for maybe being subjected to a hot box apartment with no air conditioning, a bare trickle of water pressure, and an elderly neighbor who listens to her television far too loud for anyone not hard of hearing. She’s got problems, but it’s about to get more interesting. She’s about to make them your problems instead.
With irreverence and humor, Lindsay Crook assaults the hyper-commercialized Christmas holiday. She also sets her sights on inconsiderate neighbors, annoying coworkers, perverts, and Karens through the proxy of her protagonist, exhibiting knee-jerk reactions of violence that every reader is sure to relate to.
How much chaos can one Christmas elf cause in the week before Christmas? You might be surprised.
As with the previous Manic story, Crook manages to hit on topics from misogyny to miserable workplace conditions, while also attacking the seeming ubiquitousness of perverse male behavior, from the security guard to the mall Santa. Sure, it’s a fun romp as well, but there’s a whole lot of uncomfortable truth in this story as well.

This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app to your mobile device. The link is below:

The Christmas Movie by Ben Arzate

Ben Arzate’s The Christmas Movie is an excellent example of the author letting the atmosphere do the heavy lifting. There’s a healthy dose of surreal, semi-supernatural horror involved in the story, but it’s the unsettling feeling of something not being right that carries the message home.
The discovery of a potentially unknown television Christmas movie from decades past quickly transforms for the protagonist from a sense that he’d found lost treasure to the ominous feeling that he’s obtained a cursed object. What initially seems like a particularly low-budget, low-quality Christmas movie broadcast by a Christian television network in the 1980s begins to produce a sense of dread as the movie appears to change with each new viewing.
As the protagonist obsessively immerses himself within repeated viewings of the movie, an impression of familiarity becomes apprehension.
As he prepares to return home to his family for the holidays, we’re left with the same sense of trepidation–bordering on panic–the protagonist experiences.

This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile devices. The link is below:

My Christmas Story by Rayne Havok

While My Christmas Story by Rayne Havok is not a new story from her, it’s new to me, and it was a perfect tale for her to make available on Godless for the Antichristmas event this December.
Lydia’s spending her first Christmas night alone, but her husband is still there…in spirit…in a sense. We’ll go with, “in a sense.”
It was bad enough that Henry had gotten her a blender for Christmas this year, but that’s the least of his transgressions…and Lydia is not the forgiving sort.
As she decorates her tree with the ornaments Henry provided, it does seem like Lydia is finally getting into the spirit of the holidays, and we can’t help but feel happy for her. While the holiday might have started as a bit of a disappointment, she found a way to make it festive just the same.
If you’re familiar with Rayne Havok’s work, you damn well know what to expect…so I’m not going to spell it out for you here. If you’re not familiar with her writing, you’re in for an enchanting, heartwarming tale of Christmas cheer.

This title was released on http://www.godless.com as part of the Antichristmas event for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below: