Saturday, March 23, 2013
James Brown Saves Christmas by Andrew Wayne Adams
“Get on up?”
“Get up!” shouts James Brown again, “it’s Christmas!”
“Holy shit!” I say, and jump out of bed, throwing off the covers and rising straight up like Nosferatu. “Christmas!”
We run downstairs, James Brown in the lead. His face is all sweaty. He screams, “Stay on the scene!”
And by “the scene,” he means: Christmas morning!
We each have one present under the tree. From each other. He opens his first, ripping away the paper to reveal: me!
“So good,” he shouts, “so good; I got you!”
I open mine next. It’s: James Brown! He doesn’t wait for me to finish unwrapping him before he gets up and dances, flinging off the last bit of paper himself as he does the Mashed Potato.
Dad comes in—we haven’t seen him in years—and unwraps his present (that he got for himself) to reveal: a snakeskin purse!
James Brown screams, “Papa’s got a brand new bag!”
Then Dad leaves again for several more years.
We both fall silent, looking inward. I sink to the floor. The Christmas tree wilts. From the fireplace comes, not Santa Claus, but carbon monoxide.
Then James Brown does the Twist, and he looks at me and screams, “Get up!”
“Get on up?”
“Get up!” he shouts, and I do, and we both run to the kitchen and fling open the cupboards and fridge and grab flour and sugar and eggs and butter and PCP and start to make Christmas cookies!
Once the dough is ready, James Brown rolls it flat by dancing on it. Sweat drips from his face and mixes with the dough.
I feel good.
We cut shapes from the dough. We bake the shapes. We decorate the baked shapes and put them on a plate. We make hundreds of cookies of every kind. I feel nice.
James Brown picks up a gingerbread man and says, “This is a man’s world!” Then he eats the gingerbread man.
We eat hundreds of cookies.
The overload of sugar and PCP turns James Brown into a monster. A vampire, to be specific. He grows fangs and dons a cape.
He attacks me. I grab a cookie shaped like a crucifix and try to ward him off. He hisses. I back him into a corner. He does the splits and wraps himself in his cape. I stand over him, holding him in place with the cookie.
A saxophonist sneaks up behind me and honks his instrument in my ear. It startles me, and while I’m distracted, James Brown bites me on the arm.
The saxophonist bows to James Brown, calls him “Master,” then turns into fog and disappears into the exhaust fan over the stove.
I look at the bite on my arm. I look at James Brown.
James Brown screams, “I got you!”
Indeed; and soon I will be like him: undead!
I cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
I drop to my knees. James Brown drapes a cape over me.
James Brown puts me in the oven and rolls a large rock in front of it. I bake at room temperature for three days/months. Then:
“Get on up?”
“Get up...” James Brown croons into my mind through vampiric telepathy; “it’s Easter!”
“Holy shit!” I say, and burst out of the oven, rising from my tomb like Nosferatu. “Easter!”
We run outside and hunt for eggs and drink the blood of humans. The humans call me “Master.” They are my flock. I feel good.
I knew that I would.
Andrew Wayne Adams is a total jerk from somewhere in the Midwest or something. He wrote a book called Janitor of Planet Anilingus. He stole G. Arthur Brown's Kitten and he won't give it back. He now lives in Portland where he is happy and successful (and licking butts).
Copyright Andrew Wayne Adams
Artwork by Leonora Carrington