by Ben Kline
by Brendan Gillen
by Christine Baerbock
by Claire Polders
by Julie Pecoraro
by Kristen Ploetz
by Michael Schermerhorn
by Caitlin Powell
by Chaya Bhuvaneswar
by Siaara Freeman
by Katie Quinnelly
by Liz Howard
Can you share a holiday encounter of the strange and hilarious kind? Perhaps a jaunt in Santa's Lap or a wacked-out family meal—anything that has to do with holiday beauty is fair game here.Meg Tuite
The Willow Mall wrapping station never rests. Vandalize some lockers and you can experience it firsthand like me. The principal fired my favorite teacher, so I protested. This is my parents’ idea of penance.
“Just a minute,” I sigh, threading myself through a nest of ribbons, suddenly face-to-face with my vice principal.
“How’s suspension treating you?”
“As good as Mrs. Fallon was treated.”
A chuckle slips through his feigned stoic fortitude. “You’ve got a voice, kid, but consequences follow actions.”
Great, someone else who doesn’t get it. “Which gift wrap do you want?”
“You look like a stripes guy.”
He nods, sliding a box onto the counter, rattling as I envelope it in what looks like candy cane skin.
He nods. Again. Four pieces of tape and I’m finished.
“Just this. By the way, you did good.”
“My wrapping job’s shit,” I laugh.
“Yeah, well…” he nods and leaves.
The clock tower chimes, and I’m ready to go. I walk to my car, and atop it find a terribly wrapped box. I tear the paper and inside rattles a can of spray paint, exactly like the one I used on the lockers.Bethany Chernay