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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

The Kilroy All-Star Christmas Spectacular: Chapter in Hollis

We are gathered. The Fellowship of the Herpezoid Hunters Who WIll Save My Mom and Christmas.

It's a working title.

Kevin's private room in the basement of Someone Else's Books is a little more crowded than earlier when Tony and I picked up our Christmas version of the Passive Aggressive Agitator and the Putty That Makes A Fake Hallway (also a working title). In addition to me, Tony, and Kevin and Kevin's Laundry He Swears Is Clean But There's No Way In Hell (I'm locked in on that title) is Randi Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Corporate, loading quintonium batteries into her P-47 Electro-Photon Multiblaster. Grim determination is etched on her face, an interesting counter to the ugly Christmas sweater she is wearing. Still, I find a certain charm in the conga line of reindeer it depicts.

Dean Larson, Human Capital Strategist, with his perfect teeth, impeccable hair, and dashing eyewear, skims through a tablet as Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling recording artist Kelly Clarkson looks over his shoulder while loading a Multiblaster of her own.

"Look at them," Tony whispers to me. "Like it's normal. Kelly Clarkson, the woman who taught me that what doesn't kill me makes me stronger, is loading a Herp gun like it's her hobby."

"It's kind of hot," I admit.

"That's your hot take?" His voice moves from discreet whisper to exasperated bellow in an instant. "Kelly Clarkson knows your mom and knows about Herpezoids and apparently is comfortable brandishing a top secret weapon powered by an equally top secret power source smuggled from an otherwise unknown location in a far away galaxy and she is standing right there and everyone is supposed to be like, 'cool, man?'"

Tony becomes aware of that all eyes have fallen on him and his tirade.

"I'm sorry," he says. "I just don't know what to do with this information. Kelly Clarkson, I am a fan. And I think your song "Underneath the Tree" is an underrated seasonal treat that outshines 'All I Want for Christmas Is You.'"

"Easy, partner," I tell him. "Don't be a ass kisser."

Kelly Clarkson steps to Tony with a look of grim determination minus the ugly Christmas sweater. She sports a sassy workout top and matching jacket. She puts her hands on Tony's shoulders and locks her eyes on his. Pretty sure he has an erection right now.

"LIsten to me," she says in that voice that has entertained millions around the world. "We're going to get your mom back. Sandra saved me from one of those Herpezoid asshats. She had my back and now I'm gonna have hers. And yours. Let's do this."

Tony points at me but can't pull himself Kelly's gaze and I don't blame him one bit.

"Sandra is his mom," he tells her. She slides over to me and places her hands on my shoulders.

"Listen to me. We're going to get your mom back. Sandra saved me from those Herpezoid asshats. She had my back and now I"m gonna have hers. And yours. Let's do this."

A fire ignites in my belly and my soul is stirred to dizzying heights. I'm ready to fight.

"We own the night, Kelly Clarkson!"

She looks at Tony and the others. "I don't know what that means."

"No one does," Randi says. "Roll with it."

To be continued...

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