Only Christmas Story
Dad was coming over to give us presents from
Santa. Mom told us he didn’t buy them—he got them from his Christmas party at
Dad went upstairs to
the bathroom, which was at the top of
the stairs. I was excited after I opened my one present—a Roy Rogers cap
pistol. My older brother showed me how to load it. I wanted to tell Dad how
much I loved this, because I loved Roy Rogers.
I stepped onto the
platform to wait for him to come out of
the bathroom. The door was open, and I could see him standing, peeing. He
turned and saw me looking up at him.
“You sneaky little
bastard,” he yelled.
Scared, I ran and sat
next to my brother and his jigsaw
The toilet flushed,
and then angry stomping down the stairs.
I kept my head down as he called me a wicked, evil little boy. “Now give the
gun to your brother—you lost it for being a sneak.”
I got up and ran into
the dining room with it, and he
followed, yelling at me.
Mom walked out of the
kitchen and stood with her arms folded.
Dad stopped yelling
and stared. I fired two caps at him, and
he turned and walked to the front door.
He looked around, and
Mom had moved in front of me to block
I reached around her
and fired two more caps and he stormed
out of the house.
Beckman’s fourth short
story collection is Kiss Kiss (Truth
Serum Press). He had a story selected for the 2018 Norton Micro-fiction
Anthology and was one of the winners of Best Small Fictions 2016. He won the
Editor’s Choice Award in 2016 from Fiction Southeast. His stories have appeared
in the following publications, as well as many others: Spelk, Necessary Fiction,
Litro, Pank, Playboy, Thrice Fiction, and The
Lost Balloon. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading
series monthly at KGB’s Red Room in New York’s Lower East Side.