• Jeff South

The Kilroy All-Star Christmas Spectacular: Hark! The Herald Chapters Sing

Tony agrees to run some errands with me for Mom. She texted me a laundry list of assorted shit she insists she needs for the Corporate Christmas party. We take my Dodge camper because even though it's not my Vega it is exponentially cooler than his Toyota Corolla. He knows this. Everyone knows this. The camper is vintage, while Tony's car is just an old car. The camper has a quintonium drive that propels it through space and opens up portals. The Corrola gets admirable gas mileage. While Tony's heap has a decent stereo, it can't compete with the baby in my ride. He knows this and it's why he insists on playing his Christmas music instead of the Very Kilroy Christmas Playlist.


"Is this Colbie Caillat?" I do little to mask my disdain while I offer him a Mongalisonian cigarette.


"I think she's lovely." He takes a smoke and lights up as we drive through town. "Is that so wrong?"


"Aw, someone has a crush." I take a drag and let the first buzz tickle my brain. "I get it. She sings that 'Bubbly' song which makes you think about Marlene and you still love Marlene and you always will and you were an idiot for breaking up with her."


"I don't wan't to get into that." He coughs after taking in his first hit. "What the hell is this? It seems different."


"I found it from a different dealer I've been working with. Packs a punch and then mellows you out real nice."


Colbie Caillat sings about Christmas in the sand and Santa surfing and some other weird shit and just as it's coming to a merciful end he hits repeat. The second time through it starts to grow on me but I'm not going to tell him that.


"Do you miss her?" I ask him.


"Who? Marlene?" He blows out some smoke and thinks for a bit before responding. "Yeah. No. Maybe. I dunno. I try not to think about it."


"Of course you miss her."


That's not my voice. It's not Tony's voice, either. I want to scream because a strange female is talking to us and I have no idea how she got in the van, but I can't scream because the dope has me so mellow I'm melting in the floorboards. Tony opens his mouth to scream but ends up only breathing loudly like he's trying to fog up a mirror.


"That's why you still listen to my music all the time," the voice says.


A glance in the rear view mirror to see Colbie Caillat smiling at me. Tony is right. She is lovely.


"Dude," I say. "Colbie Caillat is in the backseat."


"How? Why?" He swallows and tries to catch his breath. "When? What?"


"I know. So many questions."


"Tony," she says. "You need to reach out to her."


"It's not that easy, Colbie Caillat," Tony replies. "I screwed everything up. I hurt her. And she's off living her new life. She doesn't want to hear from me."


"You don't know unless you try." "Colbie Caillat makes a fair point," I tell him. "Go ahead. Text her."


"I don't need this peer pressure."


"Do it." She places her hand on his shoulder and I'm jealous. Why won't Colbie Caillat put her hand on MY shoulder?


"Fine," he huffs and whips out his phone. He taps out a text and hits send. "I just wished her a Merry Christmas."


"You should say Happy Holidays instead," I say. "You don't if she celebrates Christmas. Maybe she's Jewish."


"Good job, buddy." Colbie pulls her hand back and looks at me and our eyes meet and I'm pretty sure I'm now her biggest fan. "Just one more thing for you guys."


"Anything for you," I say.


"You need to protect Kelly Clarkson. From the Herpezoids."


I stop the van, prompting a honk from the car behind me. I flip the driver off and pull into the parking lot of a strip mall. Colbie Caillat is gone and I'm a little sad about that. Tony launches into a full blown panic attack.


"What the hell, dude? Why was Colbie Caillat in the van? How did she get here? How does she know about Marlene? How was that possible? Why did she tell me to text her? Why did I listen to her? Why did I listen to Colbie Caillat? And why did she tell us to protect Kelly Clarkson?"


"Oh. I forgot to tell you. Kelly Clarkson is performing at the Christmas party as a favor to my mom." This doesn't ease his panic attack whatsoever.


"How does your mom know Kelly Clarkson? Why would she agree to perform? Is she getting paid? How much? What's her set list?" He holds out his space joint. "What the hell is in this stuff?"


Before I can answer, he points to a ruckus occurring outside. A dude in a Santa suit is chasing shoppers out of a store where you can buy, sell, and trade video games. We both see that the Santa isn't human. It's a Herpezoid in a Santa suit.


"Why is that Herpezoid dressed as Santa?" Tony yells.


"I know," I say. "So many questions."



To be continued...






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