SILENT NIGHT” holds the distinction of being the most annoying song ever written. Even back when I was young enough to still like Christmas, “Silent Night” drove me crazy. It was too slow, too mournful, too… ugh. However, put in a techno beat and it surpasses its own dredges of mediocrity. I glanced at the calendar hanging next to the window of safety glass. December 15. Okay, we’d passed the halfway point. Only ten more days. Ten more long, fucking days of heavy-beat-laden Christmas music. Ten Days. I could do ten days. Maybe not without murdering someone, but still. Bad enough I had to hear it at work, but the shit was everywhere. Everywhere! A person couldn’t get their damn groceries without needing to survive yet another version of the same twenty songs we’d been listening to for generations. Thankfully, out in the world, the carols weren’t techno, at least most of the time.

The track switched to “Jingle Bell Rock.” The techno version. I groaned and let my forehead rest against the glass.

At least this one makes a little more sense. It’s a rock song.”

I didn’t bother looking over at Philip and kept my eyes squeezed shut. “Just because it has the word ‘rock’ in the title doesn’t make it a rock song. And it definitely doesn’t make it a techno song either.”

Even the loud ripping sound of Philip opening one of the boxes that had been delivered an hour before didn’t entice me to open my eyes. Neither did his words. “Oh. Poppers. Good. We were running out.” More rustling noises came and then a pause. I could feel him staring at me. “Hey, Brian.”

What?” I gritted my teeth. Only a few more hours and I could go home. I’d planned on filming tonight, but I didn’t think I had it in me. Maybe just some World of Warcraft and take home Taco Bell. I brightened at the thought. Taco Bell!

Look at me.”


With another groan, I angled to see Philip without moving my head from its resting position against the glass. I forced myself to keep from grinning and raised an eyebrow. “You’re an idiot.”