Candle    Candle


His Excellency,

President George

Webenezer Screwdge


John Killinger

         It was the afternoon before Christmas, and the White House was in its usual hubbub.  His excellency, the president, was in a foul mood.  The press had not been kind to him lately, his party had taken a drubbing in the recent midterm elections, for which everybody blamed him, and his foreign policy had everything in the world looking like Spaghetti Junction at rush hour.  He was disastrously low in the polls and couldn’t shake the feeling that his enemies, who were now legion, were closing in on him.

          He had seen it before, down at Crawford, that slow, winding spiral of the buzzards as they circled their prey in a gulch.  Some poor, helpless little critter—a rabbit or a squirrel or maybe even an armadillo—was about to become their Christmas dinner, and there wasn’t much it could do about it except pray that the end would come quickly when it came.

          Screwdge was not a particularly greedy man, although he had enjoyed owning the odd ball team or oil well.  But he did like his privacy, and he had had precious little of that since becoming president.  He often got the feeling that he was living in a bubble—a great big, thick bubble where he was always on display, even though he didn’t see or hear much from his position on the inside.

          Now here it was the day before Christmas, and he wanted to be down at Crawford, riding his dirt bike or chopping wood or drowning a few worms in his favorite fishing hole.  And, damn it all, Laura had said they needed to spend Christmas at Camp David again, so it didn’t look as if they ran off to Texas a zillion times a year, and he wouldn’t get to go to Crawford until the day after Christmas.

          She was right, he guessed.  But it still didn’t sit well with him.

          And neither did having to wear his suit and tie and see all those people in the White House the day before Christmas.

To read the full text of The Christmas Barrel by John Killinger, please select from the following:

The Christmas Barrel in html format (web pages - read it on-line)
The Christmas Barrel in pdf format (Adobe Acrobat Reader - download to Acrobat)
The Christmas Barrel in doc format (Microsoft Word - download for printing)

Visit Dr. Killinger's web site:
E-mail Dr. Killinger:

Web site by Knot-Head-Designs
Revised: August 26, 2012