Christmas Wish by Erika Lance

For Karrisa Francis who has so much spirit.

All day Caroline had felt like she was being watched.

She knew what she was doing should and would make a person paranoid. As she began to saw at another limb, she knew that this could turn terrible in the blink of an eye.

Her neighbor was surly on his best day and downright mean on his worst.

Growing up in a neighborhood like hers should have been a child’s dream. It was the kind of area where the kids played outside with all the other kids in the neighborhood. This is where all the parents kept an eye out and all of them knew everyone.

All the kids played at each other’s houses besides hers.

This was because Mr. Johnston would go out of his way to ensure nobody was happy.

Caroline used to come home and leave her bike on her lawn until she came out one day and the tires had been slashed.

Her parents tried to tell her it was a random act, but then insisted she keep her bike in the garage.

At first, she believed that maybe he simply didn’t like children, but after her family had found that their dog had died after being outside in the yard, she knew he simply hated everyone.

She and her family had endured the horrible things he had done, unfortunately none of them illegal or able to be directly linked to him, for her lifetime.

She had gone away to college thinking it would get better. She had almost forgotten until she had come home for winter break.

She remembered one cold day when the sleet was coming in sideways and she was struggling to make it up the few stairs to the landing and he turned on the blower in his driveway blowing wet clumpy snow all over her.

Another time just last week he had placed his garbage can next to his fence. This should normally be OK, but it was right under her bedroom window and the way the wind was going, it blew the stench right into her window.

That had been the final straw.

She had one Christmas wish and knew how to make it come true.

He hadn’t had as much fight in him as she thought he would for being as terrible as he was. She had left him for a couple days so that the rigor mortis would fade and without blood pumping though his veins, he wouldn’t make as big of a mess.

She had gotten more plastic sheeting then she most likely needed, and although burning him up to a crisp had been her first idea, she figured there would be a possibility they would discover he had been murdered, or worse, his house would catch her parent’s house on fire.

No, she decided that she would wrap him up and make deposits in dumpsters behind grocery stores all around the area. The smell wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. Plus, she was sure it would be a long while before anyone would come looking for him.

It had taken her a total of five days, half of her winter break, to finish the job. She actually dropped off the last piece, his head, Christmas morning.

When she returned home, her parents asked her where she had been. She handed over a box of doughnuts and hugged each of them saying “Merry Christmas!”

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