The Christmas Guest
by Gabriella Balcom
“You really go all-out for the holidays, don’t you?” Hank studied his hosts’ décor. A spectacular, festively decorated tree and brightly wrapped gifts dominated the living room, along with lifelike models of Santa and his reindeer. Christmas music played, and wreaths, holly, mistletoe, and other seasonal items were everywhere.
“Christmas is important to us,” Wendell replied, exchanging glances with his wife, Gloria.
“We throw a feast for our relatives each year,” she said.
Hank followed them into the dining room, his eyes widening. “Wow! That’s a lot of food.” A vast assortment of meats, casseroles, vegetables, breads, and desserts covered the huge table. Licking his lips, he seated himself without looking at the other guests.
“What’s that for?” he asked when Gloria placed an empty serving tray across from him. “Another main course?”
A faint snarl from the right was his only answer, and he glanced that way, gaping.
Three seats away, a man shimmered, eyes glowing red. Dark fur sprouted from his skin, jagged teeth from his mouth, and pointed ears grew atop his head. Within moments, a werewolf sat where the human had been, and other “people” around the table started morphing, too.
Hank shot to his feet and turned to run but gasped to see another thing standing behind him. It shoved him back into his seat.
Wendell and Gloria—now werewolves, too—grinned, revealing their oversized fangs, and Wendell pointed a paw tipped with long claws at Hank.
He was still screaming when the creatures began ripping him apart. As they tossed his body parts onto the empty tray, droplets of blood and bits of flesh flew everywhere.
“I always love coming here for Christmas,” a werewolf growled, before grabbing a bloody hand and biting into it.
Gabriella Balcom lives in Texas with her family. She loves reading and writing, and thinks she was born with a book in her hands. She works in the mental health field, and writes fantasy, horror, sci-fi, romance, literary fiction, children’s stories, and more. Over 200 of her works have been published or pend publication with several publishers. Her first book, On the Wings of Ideas, came out recently, and she has another novella pending publication by Black Hare Press.
She likes traveling, music, good shows, photography, history, genealogy, interesting tales, and animals. Gabriella says she’s a sucker for a great story and loves forests, mountains, and back roads which might lead who knows where. She has a weakness for lasagna, garlic bread, tacos, cheese, and chocolate but not necessarily in that order, and she loves Mexican, Chinese, and Italian food.