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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

by on October 26, 2014

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had traveled back to April 19th, 1775, just in time to witness the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, her arch-nemesis Susan went with her, and wound up firing the shot heard round the world. Catrina, not wanting to be shot at by British soldiers, unleashed the full power of Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!)….

Catrina didn’t know that she was interfering in a critical military engagement that would lead eventually to the creation of the United States of America. She had no idea that she was endangering important American historical contributions like the Declaration of Independence, the moon landing of 1969, the Gettysburg Address, or the World’s Largest Twine Ball Rolled by One Man. What she knew was that a bunch of men in red uniforms was shooting at her. She didn’t take kindly to that. Thus, she called down all the fearsome power of Mlrning that she could muster. A veritable snowstorm descended upon the green April field.

The British soldiers scattered in terror, dropping muskets and powder in their haste, some of them not stopping until they were safely within the fortifications of Boston. The Americans scattered too, since Catrina’s ice-blasts didn’t seem too particular about distinguishing between friend and foe. Within seconds, Catrina stood victorious on the field of battle.

She had forgotten Susan, however. Also, she had turned her back on Susan, which is a very dangerous thing to do to your future arch-nemesis, especially when said arch-nemesis has a pistol with bullets left in it. Susan had been disoriented by the smoke of the muskets and then the snownado unleashed by Catrina, not to mention the residual effects of tumbling through a time rift. Now, however, as if parted by Moses, the smoke and the snow cleared, and she found herself staring right at Catrina’s unprotected back. Susan raised the pistol of Gavrilo Princip and took careful aim.

Just then, a miniature version of herself flashed into existence over her shoulder, sporting a tiny golden halo. “Stop!” it squeaked at her. “Shooting Catrina would be wrong!”

“Why?” Susan demanded. “She’s responsible, isn’t she? It’s her fault! She started the space-time rift, she made me find out that I’m only a fictional character!”

“Good points,” said a new voice, more gravelly, coming from a tiny devil version of Susan that had just puffed into being on her other shoulder. “You should totally kill her. Right in the back. Bang. So much fun.”

“No!” cried Susan’s shoulder angel. “That’s not the way! If you’re absolutely going to kill her, you should call her attention to the fact, first! Challenge her in an honorable duel!”

“Dead’s still dead, honey,” snapped the shoulder devil. “Either way you’ve got Susan murdering Catrina, only my way means she’s definitely going to win. Your way, she’s got a good chance of getting killed herself.”

The shoulder angel realized it had made an error. It shouldn’t have conceded that Susan killing Catrina was an ethical possibility. Now they were arguing about circumstances and tactics, not absolute principles. The shoulder angel squeaked in horror, and then, its ethicality compromised, winked out of existence. The shoulder devil smirked. “Heh. I win.”

“Great!” Susan said. “So I can shoot her now?”

“Absolutely,” said the shoulder devil. “Now you can shoot her and you’ll still be alive afterwards. Life is good, yeah?”  Then it paused. It, too, had just made an error. As the representative of evil, it had just admitted that being alive was a good thing, that survival was a virtue. “Ah, crap,” it said, before vanishing itself.

Now Susan wasn’t sure what to do. Catrina wasn’t going to stand there obligingly presenting a target forever. Should she still fire? Why? “Why not?” Susan shrugged, laughing a little crazily, and pulled the trigger.

It was at that precise moment that the space-time rift opened up once more between Susan and Catrina. The fourth bullet from Susan’s pistol hit it, and there was yet another blinding flash. “Oh, come on!” Susan shrieked. “This again?”  Then she and Catrina disappeared into the Swirling Vortex of Imaginary Time.

Catrina hadn’t seen it coming. One minute she’d been standing victorious on the battlefield; the next she heard a bang, and then she was hurtling through a time vortex. All at once she found herself standing in snow. “Oh dear. Are we right back where we started?”  She blinked, and looked around. She was on a field, just as before, only now she was on a hillside looking down over a small town. Sheep milled aimlessly about her. Above her, the night sky stretched resplendent with stars. “So it’s night,” she said. “And I’m watching sheep. I wonder….”

Then, above the town, a new star suddenly flared into light, brilliant and shining, its rays spreading over the little town. “A star!” Catrina cried, somewhat obviously. “A star, shining in the night…. ”   All at once, she recognized the words she was saying. Her eyes lit with a joy she hadn’t felt since she was small. “It’s Christmas!”

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4 Comments
  1. I’m now so out of touch with the Catrina Chronicles. 😉 Tell me, have you or are you going to publish another book?

    • Well, I’ve done a couple short story e-books, and I’m planning on doing NaNo this year and publishing that eventually. 🙂 I haven’t done another one with Catrina in it though, other than Catrina in Space, Nuclear Family, and the Year One compilation.

  2. With a tail as long as a kite… do you hear what I hear? Yeah, that song is stuck in my head now 🙂 Catrina sure has luck on her side!

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