From Lombard to Lebkuchen (circa 1998)

-What the—? No way. This has got to be a joke. What kind of—what kind of a person would make something like this? Paul? Are you listening to me? Did you hear what I just said?

-Mmm?

-Look at this thing.

-Wow, a gingerbread house. How festive.

-That’s all you’ve got to say?

-Well, I think you know I’ve never been a big fan of gingerbread.

-Don’t you know what that’s supposed to be?  

-A diorama? Gee, do you think those evergreen trees are safe to eat?

-Those trees are dyed marzipan.

-Marzipan?

-Marzipan. Honey and ground almonds. Those birch trees? Rolled wafer cookies dipped in powdered sugar with pretzel stick branches lacquered together by something.

-Oh.

-Look closer.

-Why?

-Just do it.

-Okay, okay. Let’s see. Um, the roof has a pretty fierce pitch.

-Right. And?

-No candy canes?

-It’s a cabin, Paul.

-A gingerbread cabin, a gingerbread house, what’s the big deal? It’s a Christmas party. I’m just trying to rock the open bar and wolf down as many hors d’oeuvres as I can. So somebody built a gingerbread house. Getting crafty isn’t a crime.

-Stand here.

-Suzy…

-Now from this side, do you see that little plastic guy with the mustache, the one trudging through all that shredded coconut snow?

-Yes.

-Ratty green hoodie, disco-era sunglasses, carrying a package…you seriously don’t recognize who that is?

-Holy shit.

Boom.


FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION/PRIVACY ACTS SECTION
MEMORANDUM 64747-330-891H UNCLASSIFIED
SUBJECT: THEODORE JOHN KACZYNSKI; AKA “UNABOMBER”
FILE NUMBER: CS3424DTTF
RE: VICTIMS
PAGE TWELVE (CONT.)

05/25/78: Terry Marker — inconsequential cuts, burns.

05/9/79: John Harris — significant lacerations, 2D burns.

11/15/79: AA Flight 44 (twelve unidentified passengers) — toxic smoke inhalation, mild shock.

06/10/80: Percy Wood — severe tissue trauma and 2D-3D burns over 90% of the body.

05/5/82: Janet Smith — severe 3D burns to hands, shrapnel pattern wounds.

07/2/82: Diogenes Angelakos — severe 3D burns, shrapnel pattern damage to hands, throat, and face.

05/15/85: John Hauser — explosive loss of four digits, severed artery, vision loss L/R.

11/15/85: James V. McConnell — temporary hearing loss.

11/15/85: Nicklaus Suino — extensive shrapnel trauma, 2D and 3D burns.

12/11/85: Hugh Scrutton — DEATH.

02/20/87: Gary Wright — severe nerve damage and acute PTSD trauma, 2D burns.


06/22/93: Charles Epstein dual eardrum ruptures, PTSD trauma, hearing loss, loss of three digits.

06/24/93: David Gelernet — vision loss, burns, acute shrapnel mutilation, right hand post-event amputation.

12/10/94: Thomas J. Mosser — DEATH.

04/24/95: Gilbert Brent Murray — DEATH.

~ fin ~

Copyright © 2020 Kieran Shea

About the Author

Kieran Shea once left a tiny plastic tree frog in one of the White House libraries and on the very same evening drank whiskey with Val Kilmer. He’s the author of Off Rock, the Koko Martstellar series, and far too many short stories. Like the rest of you slobs, he’s running out of time.

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