CHRISTMAS DAY, fiction by Len Kuntz

January 10, 2016 by RJ



No one has arrived yet but Dad is already drunk, standing on the deck with a pellet gun aimed at a horde of geese which have swam across the lake to feast on our lawn, yes shitting all over it, too, as they pluck and stab at the grass ignorant or defiant of a dangerous onlooker. Mom shouts for him to put that thing down, says neighbors will call the cops again and this time my dad will be tossed in jail, but Dad’s on a mission, fixated with an enemy who can’t fight back, who will only squawk and honk even as the pellets wiz by their heads and webbed feet. “Stupid mangy fucking things,” Dad says, cocking and firing the rifle. I hear him chuckle when he finally hits one of the birds, taking aim at another.

People tell me I look like him, an exact replica, and I don’t like it. They say I’m just as moody, and I don’t like that either.

I feel the urge to push him off the deck, over the railing. I see myself doing it, watching him plunge headlong twenty feet below. That would alter things, but it’s also something he would do. Instead I go inside and phone the police, tell them there’s a deranged man trying to kill defenseless geese, a man with a gun. Then I grab the gin bottle, take a long pull, walk out the front door, thinking about what was, what wasn’t, what might be.



LEN KUNTZ is a writer from Washington State and an editor at the online magazine Literary Orphans.  His story collection THE DARK SUNSHINE debuted from Connotation Press in 2014 and his newest collection, I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AND NEITHER ARE YOU releases from Unknown Press in March of 2016.  You can also find him at

%d bloggers like this: