Searching for a gift for the naughtiest person on your holiday list? Look no further: Thuglit’s CRUEL YULE is here. This collection contains eleven dark, disturbing stories by a crew of Thuglit veterans, including Johnny Shaw, Rob Hart, Jordan Harper, Thomas Pluck, Angel Luis Colón, Jen Conley, Ed Kurtz, Terrence McCauley, and Justin Porter. There’s even a twisted tale by Big Daddy Thug himself (that would be the amazing Todd Robinson, who also edited this collection). My contribution is “Mistletoe,” which opens like this:
“Well, isn’t this an interesting situation,” Ian said.
Sadie turned around and saw her boss standing at the edge of the doorway, smirking at her. The memo about the office holiday party had demanded the wearing of Christmas sweaters, the uglier the better. Ian’s was a red-and-green number featuring one reindeer mounting another from behind.
“What situation?” she asked.
He pointed with his index finger and she followed his gaze upwards. Suspended above the archway was a green sprig of mistletoe. Its red berries loomed like warning lights. Danger, they said. Middle-aged creeper alert.
“That wasn’t there a minute ago,” Sadie said.
“Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there,” Ian smirked. “You just walked through this doorway and right underneath it. Now you have to kiss me.”
“Rules are rules. You got caught under the mistletoe with me.” Ian moved towards her. “You don’t have a choice.”
Sadie tried to push her way back through the doorway, but Ian grabbed her arm. She was a petite girl, five-five in her highest heels. All the running she did made her strong and lean, but it didn’t compensate for a man having more than a hundred pounds on her.
“Let go.” She tried to shake him off, but he was dug in like a tick. “Cut it out. This isn’t funny.”
“It’s pretty funny from where I stand.” Ian grinned at her. “Because there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Spoiler alert: things only go downhill from there. Grab your copy of CRUEL YULE now!
PS If you’re in New York on Wednesday, December 9th, come to the CRUEL YULE launch party at The Mysterious Bookshop. The mayhem will start at 6:30. All welcome!