The writing prompt for this weekend tried to kill me. That's what I'm claiming anyway. It was "pick a classic holiday story—for example: The Nutcracker, The Polar Express, “Frosty the Snowman,” A Christmas Carol—and turn it into a scary Halloween tale." Ack! Won't go into details about how my head exploded reading that. Thankfully, I read it before I went to sleep, and, well, those who know me can just imagine the fun dreams I had.
Nyx the Knife-Wielding AssassinA different kind of 'Reindeer Games'
“Come on, Mom, it’s Christmas,” Clyde pleaded. He even started humming a Christmas tune he’d picked up somewhere.
“Just because we celebrated Halloween doesn’t mean we’re going to start celebrating all the human holidays.”
Nyx had been hearing about Christmas from everyone she lived with, but Clyde and Phee were pushing the most for some kind of celebration. They didn’t understand that for Nyx, not only was it a human holiday, but it was a day to forget.
“Please,” Clyde said, drawing out the word to make it eight syllables long.
“You want to know why I don’t like this time of year, Clyde? Fine, I’ll tell you. It’s no secret I was an outcast growing up. Pretty much everyone around me was a werewolf and had a real family that they could spend the ‘Holiday Season’ with.”
Nyx hated bringing up those particular memories, but for once Clyde didn’t look like he was going to interrupt, so she continued.
“You’ve heard about how they were mean to me and that I had to prove myself, much like that dang reindeer with the red nose did in that stupid story. Every year around this time the Collective would throw their own version of ‘Reindeer Games’. For years, I’d get my ass handed to me, but there’s one year in particular where I went up against an opponent who I can’t believe I’m even talking about again.”
Nyx hated reliving certain things, but that particular fight had its ups and downs. It was against her worst nightmare, a werewolf who had the hots for her and liked to take it out on her with knives.
They’d been fighting in the ring for ten minutes before she’d relieved him of both of the knives he started the fight with. It was the best she’d done and she was feeling pretty proud of herself. As she got a few licks of her own in, she made one of the biggest mistakes of her life.
The crowd around them had been cheering, so she took a moment to relish people actually rooting for her. She didn’t realize that they were cheering because her opponent had found another form of weapon, one Nyx couldn’t counter. The claws ripping down her back reminded her that she’d never be like the others around her.
When her opponent switched over to full-wolf mode, the fight was pretty much through for her. If she’d had more years of training, that wouldn’t have been the case, but she was still young.
“What happened to the guy?” Clyde asked, after Nyx had relayed as much of the story as she felt comfortable dishing out.
“What do you think happened, Clyde? Eventually, I killed him.”
Nyx walked away, hoping her story would put an end to all the Christmas talk. She knew the idea of presents would keep Clyde on his quest to bring Christmas to their home, but it bought her a little time to find the perfect gift for everyone.