I haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact point that I slipped through into a different reality. At first I thought it was pretty much the same as our world; I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I always avoided drinking on Christmas Eve for fear of ruining the big day but since I’d just got a new job with a bit of a pay rise, I was celebrating. I may have gone a little too far. I’d meant to leave the bar hours ago, but the huge electrical storm and the fact I’d left my coat at the office was giving me an excuse to stay for one more drink. A selection of Christmas dinner treats were put out at the bar for us. Turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrot and Christmas pudding. And of course there was Alice. Alice had started at our office a couple of months back and we had really hit it off. I’d been looking forward to this night for weeks. Just one more drink and I’ll go over and ask her out properly. At least that was the plan.
The last thing I remember before passing through was going to the bathroom at the back of the club. The floor was wet and I slipped and must have hit my head. Maybe I’m dreaming, maybe the electrical storm has made the walls between parallel worlds thinner than usual. I don’t suppose I’ll ever get to find out the truth.
I wake in darkness. I’ve got a splitting headache and it’s clear that I’m tied down at the wrists and ankles. I call out and no one answers. The air feels different here. It’s clammy, and it’s hard to breath. There’s a smell that reminds me of pine mixed with the smell of nature, like a garden centre or a farm. I feel movement all around me and I can hear ruffling and scraping sounds. The cover is pulled from my head and I see I’m strapped to a table. There are lots of eyes staring at me. Not human eyes. Animal eyes.
If these creatures weren’t six foot tall I’d swear they were turkeys. They start to gobble in tandem and the sound becomes deafening. It sounds like a brass band from the bowels of hell. I strain to bring my hands to my ears and remember that I’m tied down. The giant monstrosities bear down on me and begin to peck at my flesh. Searing pain cripples my whole body. As I struggle to try to get free I see another shape at the head of the table.
A large decorated Christmas tree.
In the confusion I could swear it was moving towards me. What I first thought were baubles appear to be large glowing eyes and where the tinsel is coiled around the tree, large silver teeth drip saliva as its gaping maw gets closer and closer. I think about Alice and the slices of turkey from the buffet. I remember hacking a dying Christmas tree to pieces every year with a saw to dispose of it. I wonder how they’ll dispose of what’s left of my body?. The last thing I realise is the Michael Bublè version of Holly Jolly Christmas is playing in the background. Hey, they have Bublè in this universe too!