DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters or the Anita Blake series, and I do not own Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol." All rights belong to Laurell K. Hamilton and whoever owns the rights to Dickens' estate, which is probably nobody because this book is in the public domain.


Anita is sitting in her enormous luxurious house, flipping through a local tabloid with her posing sexily on the cover. Micah is dusting, and Nathaniel is wafting around in a pink frilly apron with a pearl set, getting his floor-length hair stuck in his bowl of cookie dough.

ANITA: MICAH! I'm in a bad mood, so come here and fondle me randomly, because sex is how I deal with all problems in life.

MICAH: Oh magnificent Anita, whatever is wrong?

ANITA: This stupid tabloid. An "anonymous source" said I'm a slut who will screw anyone for power. And a picture of me pistol-whipping someone in a wheelchair, with an unflattering caption! The nerve! And the picture of a major movie star on the inside is almost two millimeters larger than MINE!

NATHANIEL: Excuse me, I have to go make paint-bombs for the editor's house.

Micah fondles Anita's gigantic breasts, and she grabs his enormous penis. They make out for awhile on the couch, with descriptions of kitty-cat eyes, auburn hair and Micah's suspiciously womanly hips and butt.

NATHANIEL: By the way, should we get a Christmas tree?

ANITA: NO! I hate Christmas.

MICAH: Oh woe, Christmas around Chimera was always a horrible time. He'd make us sit on his lap and play Santa Claus, then butt-rape us with the Christmas tree. How wonderful it is that Anita killed Chimera, because she's so awesome and can do anything.

NATHANIEL: But I am childlike and want to do creepily childish things in a sexual context! Therefore I will feel deprived if I don't have a Norman Rockwell Christmas and have sex under the tree.

ANITA: Ewwwwww, so white-bread and ordinary and un-dark-and-angsty. It's such a sentimental happy family-centric holiday, not like Halloween. I don't like Christmas, much like rules, skirts, blondes and small breasts. Plus I'm vaguely Wiccan even with the lip service to Christianity, so I hate the whole Christian focus.

There's a loud knock at the door, and Richard and Jean-Claude come in. Cue extended silk/velvet/sexy slither metaphors for JC, and descriptions of how evil and rotten and heartbreakingly insensitive Richard is despite being So Hawt.

RICHARD: Anita, I need to have Christmas off from being forcibly made to dance attendance on the tri and have Asher trying to drunkenly grab my ass.


RICHARD: But Anita, it's Christmas. I need to spend the holidays with my family, and the pack is having a special Christmas party.

ANITA: Don't care. You're so selfish and self-loathing that you're always weakening our tri, and you're just looking for another excuse to get away from it.

RICHARD: I don't care about your permission. I'm going anyway.


JC: Ma petite, I too require Christmas off from dancing attendance on you all the time. Despite the fact that vampires live forever, we never really have any nonsexual fun or celebrate any religious holidays.

ANITA: DENIED! Vampires are supposed to only do stuff that is all about sex and dominance play. You're not allowed to have innocent nonsexual kooky fun.

JC: But Ash-

ANITA: And you're actually wearing a normal opaque shirt today! You look almost like a man instead of a girl in drag! Take it off RIGHT NOW and put on something see-through, skin-tight or covered in girly ruffles!

RICHARD: And my mother wonders why I take so many antacids.


Anita has sofa sex with Nathaniel with Micah perched right behind her, which absolutely has zero gay subtext at all. JC sits off to the side, knitting a stocking and looking totally non-threatening.

ANITA: Fuck me while I'm tight! Go team! Impale me with your wooden love stake! The choo-choo train goes into the tunnel!

Cue screams, nail-raking, oblique references to the penis entering the vagina repeatedly.

NATHANIEL: Ooooooh, Anita, you're soooooooo big and manly! Be gentle with me!



RICHARD: JC, give me the car keys. Now.

JC: If I have to suffer, mon lupe, so do you.

RICHARD: Since when do you speak Spanish?


MICAH AND NATHANIEL IN UNISON: Anita, you're the awesomest lay that ever existed. Your vagina is the wellspring of all life. You show your boundless love by screaming, "The choo-choo goes into the tunnel!" You're tight as a drum, yet somehow can swallow our vast bigger-than-a-two-liter-bottle-of-Coke-sized penii without having an intestine or two removed.

ANITA: I'm not a slut. I love all the men I fuck. I'm a good girl. I'm virginal. Now fuck me again.


Anita is dozing in the living room in her tight leather miniskirt, babydoll T-shirt with her Wonderbra-encased megaboobs hanging out, her ripped-up stockings held up with easily-revealed garters, her matching underwear, and her extremely high-heeled boots. Everything is black. She's also wearing fifteen different guns and knives on different parts of her person, because obviously someone as edgy and dangerous as she is can't sit in her own living room without being attacked.

Suddenly a tall, slender, beautiful blonde drifts through the wall, wrapped in plastic police tape.

RONNIE: Aniiiittaaaaaa... Aniiiittaaaa...

Anita wakes up and starts shooting randomly all over the room.

RONNIE: Yeah, that's a healthy response.

ANITA: Who the hell are you? I'm the Executioner and I can kill everybody I don't like with no repercussions.

RONNIE: Don't you recognize me, you idiot?

ANITA: Of course not. I don't know any tall blondes. I hate tall blondes because of my evil stepmother who was blonde and tall, and evil. Because she was blonde. And evil.

RONNIE: IT'S ME, YOU IDIOT. Ronnie, the only actual friend you ever had in this series who you didn't screw like a two-by-four and turn into an emasculated slave.

ANITA: Oh yeah, now I remember. You're the jealous slut who wishes she could boink Nathaniel. I forgot what you looked like, since it's been so long.

RONNIE: It's been two months.

ANITA: Oh yeah. Well, it must be because you have normally-colored hair and eyes. And you know, you're a girl. I don't bother remembering what girls look like unless I'm reluctantly fucking them.

RONNIE: I'm going to enjoy this evening. Anita Blake, I have come to waaaaarrrrnnn yoooouuuuu...

ANITA: Oh no, is Micah taking Viagra again?

RONNIE: Not that, idiot. See all this police tape around me?

ANITA: Yeah. Wait, does that mean there's a gory murder nearby that I haven't trampled all over, sprinkling my sweeties' DNA wherever I go?

RONNIE: I acquired these police tapes through all my flings and loveless relationships, and now they bind my soul to this world.

ANITA: You mean you're dead? More penii for me!

RONNIE: No, I'm not, because the author never kills anybody in this frickin' series. So there was a shortage of dead non-villains who could do this speech, and everybody thought Phillip was just too pathetic. Anyway, Anita, this police tape also binds YOOOOUUUUUUUU...

ANITA: Oh, say it's not so! Wait, are you saying I'm a slut?

RONNIE: No, I'm just saying that you have police tape around your soul because you have nothing but loveless domineering relationships.

ANITA: You ARE calling me a slut! You've slept with guys in the triple-digits. SLUT SLUT SLUTTILY SLUT!

RONNIE: Oh shut up. You're going to get a chance to redeem yourself and get rid of all your police tape. At midnight on the stroke of twelve, you will be visited by three vampires -

ANITA: All at once?

RONNIE: Uh no, one after the other. And they'll each come an hour apart.

ANITA: Aw, fuckit. I like it when they come a lot more frequently. Or "go." Do they have long hair and pretty faces? Do they have giant penii?

RONNIE: Shut up. Anyway, these three vampires will show you the true meaning of Christmas.

ANITA: I hate Christmas.

RONNIE: Naturally. It's a happy holiday, and you hate happiness.

ANITA: Bah fuckbug.


The clock strikes midnight; cue descriptions of the night and its dangerousness and other such things. Anita is still sitting in her black leather chair, which is covered in spikes and studs to keep it from being soft or comfortable.

Suddenly a sexy vampire with red hair appears in front of her. Cue descriptions of his bright red hair, emerald eyes, and how many shades difference there is in the colors of his shirt/pants/shoes and exactly what their cut is.

ANITA: Damian?

DAMIAN: Anita, I am the vampire of Christmas past.

ANITA: Ooooh, the ardeur is rising.

DAMIAN: Sorry, not now. I have to take you on a trip through memory lane and explore why you hate Christmas.

Cue descriptions of velvety vampire magicks. We see a happy family Christmas, except for a sullen, chubby, whining toddler sitting in the middle of the wrapping paper.

ANITA: Why, that's me as a little kid.

DAMIAN: Yep, you spent the entire Christmas day sulking and whining and deliberately wetting the kitchen floor. Why was that?

ANITA: They ignored my wounded and tragic soul, focusing on their own happiness and shallow fun instead of my dark self. That, and I wanted all the presents for myself and they wouldn't give them to me.

DAMIAN: The nerve.

ANITA: Yeah! Everyone knows that I deserve all the penises.... I mean, presents. Maybe I'll toss the others a few if I don't want them, but otherwise they're all mine.

DAMIAN: Wow, how things change. Okay, fast forwarding now.

We see a sullen, plain, whining little girl sulking next to the Christmas tree, while her dad and grandmother try to cheer her up.

DAMIAN: Tell me, Anita Blake, do you remember this day?

ANITA BLAKE: Damn skippy. It was the first Christmas after my mother died.

DAMIAN: Is that why you were so sad?

ANITA: Of course. Now that my mother's dead, I've put her on a pedestal and decided that she is the only person who ever loved me and understood my dark and tormented soul, and she would never ever have told me not to sleep with fifty men at once.

DAMIAN: But your dad is lavishing you with presents and trying to cheer you up.

ANITA: Exactly! He was ignoring my pain and dark anguish and trying to make me feel happy when I didn't want to. Insensitive Aryan bastard.

The scene changes again to a slightly older sullen, plain, whining little girl surrounded by her dad, grandmother, a beautiful blonde woman and a cute little blond boy.

ANITA: Grrrrrr, this was the first Christmas after my dad married that evil blonde slut.

DAMIAN: How was she evil?

ANITA: SHE MARRIED MY DAD! That's how she's evil.

DAMIAN: Yeah, the nerve of your dad wanting some happiness and support.

ANITA: Exactly! She's also tall, blonde, white and wore all sorts of ruffles and pastels, which are feminine and therefore weak and pathetic and shallow. She tried to take me shopping and talk to me, as if the fact that we were both female meant we had something in common. And I hated my dad for letting her celebrate Christmas and GAVE HER GIFTS, rather than just locking her in the basement and opening presents in front of my mom's photo.

DAMIAN: Yeah, really horrible. I mean, being enslaved for centuries is NOTHING compared to that.

ANITA: Damn straight.

DAMIAN: Did you just club your brother with a candy cane and steal his presents?

ANITA: He deserved it. He's a blonde stepbrother born to the evil slut who replaced my mother, which means he's automatically evil.

DAMIAN: He's like six months old.

ANITA: Who cares?

The scene changes to show an adult Anita humping a handsome blonde guy in a college dorm.

DAMIAN: Looks familiar?

ANITA: It's my evil fiancee! I remember this was the Christmas when he introduced me to his evil WASP mother, and then dumped me. And this was after he took my virginity, the evil cad!

DAMIAN: Did you just say cad? And were you really beating him unconscious with that paperweight, screaming, "How dare you refuse to screw me"?

ANITA: Sure I was. And the very next day, he cruelly broke my heart by dumping me because I was too Mexican. I've never loved or trusted anyone fully since!

DAMIAN: Okkkkaaaayyyyy... I think we've established that all previous Christmases have been complete disasters, and you hate Christmas because it's jolly and fun and festive and has colors other than black?

ANITA: Bah fuckbug.

They reappear in Anita's living room, about five minutes to one o'clock in the morning.

ANITA: The ardeur is rising! I need a penis!

DAMIAN: Sorry, but you'll have to ask the Vampire of Christmas Present for that kind of service, because my time is almost up.

ANITA: Is he hot?

DAMIAN: For all I know, it's Meng Die. Have fun screwing her. Bye-bye.


Damian vanishes in a flash, a flash like the explosion of a star, a flash like etc etc etc. As the clock strikes one, a beautiful blonde vampire with hair over half his face appears behind Anita. Cue descriptions of his "Siberian husky" eyes, "melted wax" scars, perfect lips and "metallic gold" hair.

ASHER: I am the Vampire of Christmas Present, and nobody loves me.

ANITA: Really? Where is it? Does it involve sex?

ASHER: "Present," not "presents." I can't believe I'm doing this.

ANITA: So what are you going to show me? And aren't you supposed to have a giant mountain of food around your feet or something?

ASHER: I'm a vampire. Why would I have food on my feet?

ANITA: Speaking of food, the ardeur is rising-

ASHER: Oh forget it. I knew I should've had Jason do this entire sequence - he can actually be jolly and festive - but noooooo, they had to have a vampire. It's Christmas and we have to check out what everyone else is going to be doing later on, not having pity sex.

ANITA: Uh, then why aren't you the Vampire of Christmas Future if you're so unjolly?

ASHER: (naughtily) You'll figure out why eventually. Time to go.

The room fades and we see a beautiful Christmas tree covered in tinsel and ornaments, which are carefully described relative to Asher's beautiful side, emphasizing that he's unspeakably hawt while focusing on how nobody but Anita would have sex with him because he's scarred. A happy family is in front of the tree, opening their presents.

ANITA: That's Richard.

ASHER: That's right. This is Christmas morning, and Richard is happily spending it with his family. Whom you didn't want him to see, I might add.

ANITA: Traitor. Everyone knows that the tri - by which I mean me - is the only family he needs. You're supposed to focus on ME... I mean THEM, not the people who spawned and raised you.

ASHER: Yeah, he's got a lot of nerve. But look how happy he is.

ANITA: He doesn't deserve to be happy. He's macho and wants to be human and has self-loathing and dates other women without caring what I think!

ASHER: (sarcastic) Yeah, that one-way monogamy thing is so reasonable. What person WOULDN'T agree to it?

ANITA: That's what I'M saying!

ASHER: (sighs) Anyway. Look at Richard's happy family Christmas. Oh look, Richard's brother gave him a gift certificate from an online dating service. What a thoughtful gift.


ASHER: And now they're playing charades. Richard is walking around with his legs wide apart and his chest puffed out, pouting exaggeratedly and snarling at nobody. Now he's pretending to hump the furniture. Now he's raining magical doom on an imaginary person.

ANITA: Ooooh, I know! Belle Morte!

ASHER: Uhhhh... they're guessing Hugh Hefner, Martha Stewart, a sex-obsessed gorilla with a really big banana... whoops, did he just say, "Anita Blake"?

ANITA: That's it, I'm going to out him to his mother for this. HOW DARE HE MAKE FUN OF ME! Kill me if you have to, but don't make fun of me!

ASHER: You can get over being made fun of, but not being killed. Even if you're undead.

ANITA: Shut up and stop being reasonable.

ASHER: Okay, next tableau.

ANITA: Ooooh, French is so sexy. Quick, the ardeur is rising-

We now see the Circus of the Damned, which is draped in evergreen garlands and lots of ornaments. Cue extremely detailed and purple descriptions of how Jean-Claude's sexy image reflects on the glass balls, as well as a stitch-by-stitch description of his tight leather pants, tight leather boots that run all the way to his crotch, puffy open-to-the-crotch poet's shirt, pretty girly face and long curly Anitesque hair. Lots of vampires are milling around and laughing and talking.

ANITA: What the hell are they doing?

ASHER: Celebrating Christmas.

ANITA: Why the hell didn't they invite me?

ASHER: You hate Christmas, remember?

ANITA: Of course I do. But they're not allowed to ignore me! And they're not allowed to have fun without me around to gripe about what a drag it all is! And possibly have sex in the punch bowl.

ASHER: Well, maybe they knew you'd make them miserable and wouldn't enjoy it, so they just didn't bother.

ANITA: Bah fuckbug! Hey, is that Requiem? He's actually... SMILING. And Byron is playing ass-grab with that guy with the copper-penny eyes. Meng Die is making out with Malcolm on the lounge! Truth and Wicked are slow-dancing! Damian is doing a drunken naked dance on the table! I... I had no idea I was missing so much during the holidays.

ASHER: Now do you see what you're missing?

ANITA: You bet your sweet ass-

ASHER: Please don't say that.

ANITA: - I do! I'm missing a great opportunity to be the hottest, sexiest woman at that party, and have sex with all the hot male vampires while they're all gathered in one place! While being in love with every one of them, of course. I'm not a slut.

ASHER: I'm going to change channels before you make me any sicker than I already am.

Suddenly the scene shifts to Nathaniel in a frilly pink apron, baking gingerbread men. Micah is sitting off to the side pretending to work even though he doesn't have any paper to write on.

ANITA: Yippee, it's my rentboys. The ardeur is rising-

ASHER: Shut up for one minute and watch them.

NATHANIEL: Micah, this is the latter half of the twenty-first century's first decade. So why aren't you using a laptop or something?

MICAH: Because we're still at the technological and fashion level of the 1980s. Plus, it's not like I have a real job because Anita got it for me and she runs the whole were alliance that hasn't been referenced in eons except to kick people out of it. And there's absolutely no gay subtext in this scene at all, just so you know.

NATHANIEL: Oh woe. I wish we had Christmas this year. But I'm cooking a totally ordinary dinner in a decoration-free house, instead of having the picture-perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas I've always dreamed of.

ASHER: Like he knows who Norman Rockwell is. Still, I don't lust after him for his brain.

ANITA: Ewwwww, gay stuff.

NATHANIEL: Oh woe. If only we had a Christmas turkey and a Christmas tree and other Christmasy things, and then we'd get tied to the bed and lashed with a sprig of holly. But I should be grateful for what we have - we get to have frequent noisy sex with Anita and the rest of the world doesn't.

MICAH: Yes, because Anita is the most amazing lay and she makes lots of money and is the perfect Prince Charming. Which doesn't make us sound gay at all.

NATHANIEL: Anita bless us, every one!

ANITA: I... I had no idea that Nathaniel felt so neglected and unhappy about not celebrating Christmas! Even though he DID say so this morning, and I shot him down. Well, there's only one thing to do - wear a Santa hat when I have sex with him.

ASHER: That's it, I can't take any more. We're done with Christmas present, okay? Time for the future. My time in this particular assignment is so brief it'll end on the stroke of two o'clock!

Nathaniel and Micah fade back out and the room suddenly is during the nighttime again. Asher sighs heavily and starts to fade out.

ANITA: Wait! We haven't fed the ardeur, and I haven't had the chance to remind you that nobody has ever shown as much love and acceptance as I have.

ASHER: Enjoy your time with the Vampire of Christmas Future - I know I'm going to be enjoying that one!

ANITA: Bah fuckbug.


The clock strikes two, and Anita whips out her gun - loving described - from her holster - whose upsides and downsides are listed - and shoots the clock to bits.

ANITA: Damn! I live such a dangerous and edgy life, I shoot without even thinking. That's the tenth clock this month.

Suddenly a very muscular blonde vampire who looks about fifteen appears in the room, smirking at Anita.

ANITA: Byron! The barely-legal gay vampire stud!

BYRON: I am the Vampire of Christmas Future, ducky. And what ho, cheerio, pip-pip, old bean and old boy. I'm British, in case you haven't guessed.

ANITA: Are you calling me a boy?

BYRON: Okay, "old girl," ducky. Not that I called you a Cheerio or a bean either.


BYRON: Er, okay. Well, ducky, let's get on with it.

ANITA: Right.

She starts removing her tiny miniskirt. Cue descriptions of leather sliding over skin.

BYRON: What are you doing?

ANITA: You said to get on with it. I haven't had any for a whole two hours, and you look like a sixteen-year-old but are old enough for it not to be icky-gross if the readers can rationalize it away.

BYRON: Have I mentioned lately that I'm gay?

ANITA: Yeah, so?

BYRON: It means that when I have sex I like to-


BYRON: Okay, fine. Let's just get moving to the future, which is what will happen if you continue treating all your men in such a callous, loveless way.

ANITA: Hey, you didn't call me "ducky."

BYRON: You think I seriously talk like that? I had a bet going with London about how long it would take you to figure out that I was having you on.

Anita starts huffing with righteous rage as the living room fades away, and we see a beautifully-decorated suburban home with an enormous glittering Christmas tree, pretty holiday statuary, and a vast heap of presents. Richard is sitting near the tree, staring glumly into space.

BYRON: Here is Richard, at his white-picket-fenced home some years in the future. He looks so lonely.

ANITA: He deserves to be lonely! He broke my heart and made me miserable-

BYRON: Wait, I thought you dumped him.

ANITA: Shut up. It's all his fault, because he wouldn't accept me bonking dozens of men and killing whatever gets in my way. And he kept trying to shove me behind a white-picket fence instead of a black iron gothic one!

BYRON: So basically you're delighted by this?

ANITA: The best Christmas present ever!

Suddenly the door flies open, and a tall attractive blonde woman walks in with an armful of presents. A couple of beautiful small children are running ahead of her. Richard jumps up and hugs the kids with a huge smile on his face, then kisses the woman.


BYRON: It looks like it, ducky. She and Richard bonded over how horribly you had treated him, and eventually they fell in love and got married. Turns out she cared a lot less than you did that he's a werewolf. He's living a picture-perfect life in the suburbs.

ANITA: TRAAAAIITTOOOOOOORRRS! How dare they be happy! And how dare he fuck someone other than me! Hah! The sluts probably scream MY name when they have sex! Which they never do, because sex is only good when it's with ME!

BYRON: Next stop, the Circus of the Damned.

The scene fades away and suddenly shows the Circus of the Damned, filled with gorgeous ornaments, vast tinsel-covered trees, and evergreen boughs decking every wall. Vampires are standing around talking and having fun. JC is walking through the party; cue descriptions of gliding like a cat, muscles that shouldn't be there, long legs, freakishly high boots, fluffy poet's shirts, double-eyelashes and long curly black hair.

BYRON: And here obviously is the future Christmas party at the Circus of the Damned. Looks pretty much the same, except even more decorated than before.

ANITA: And Jean-Claude looks hawt. I wonder if I can have sex with him in this vision.

Suddenly JC veers over to one of the sofas, where Asher is sitting in a red-and-green sweater and jeans. They kiss passionately, then cuddle on the sofa in a contented manner.

ANITA: HOW DARE HE! He's cheating on me, the bastard. I'LL DUMP HIS ASS!

BYRON: Too late. He already dumped yours.


BYRON: Eventually Jean-Claude got very, very sick of having to dance attendance on you all the time, only getting the occasional shag, putting up with all your rage fits and whining, and dealing with all the diplomatic disasters that you cause by mouthing off at the wrong vampires. You spent all your time finding new boytoys to service the ardeur and new were-groups to become queen of, and no time to be his human servant.


BYRON: Well, he tried to talk to you about it, and you got angry and brushed him off because you wanted to have sex with Nathaniel instead. But that weekend, he realized that he had someone who loved him unconditionally, desired him physically, and was capable of talking to him, laughing with him and supporting him as Master of the City.

ANITA: Of course he did! Me!

BYRON: So he eloped with Asher to Las Vegas. They're planning to adopt a Chinese baby.


The sight of the cuddling Jean-Claude and Asher fades away, and suddenly Anita and Byron are on a rainy, miserable street full of homeless people huddling in the alleys.

ANITA: What the hell are we doing here?

BYRON: Does the guy in the cardboard washer box look familiar to you?

Anita glances at the person, and sees urine-colored kitty-cat eyes and long red hair.

ANITA: Micah! How the hell did he end up in this miserable place when he should be at home shagging me?

BYRON: He doesn't have a home anymore. After many, many weeks of blatant slashy tension with Nathaniel - which you failed to notice - you walked in while they were having wild screaming gay rumpy without you to watch. After you tried to kill both of them for daring to cheat on you - you were shrieking something about it being your right as the Nimir-Raj - you kicked them both out of the house.


BYRON: And Micah had nowhere to go after that, since he has no job, no skills, and no friends whatsoever. He couldn't go to the coalition since you rule it, and none of the vampires gave a damn about him. 

ANITA: What about the pard?

BYRON: Micah is totally subservient, spineless and generally pathetically un-alpha. He couldn't keep a layer cake together, much less a pard. Without you to bully them into staying and insist on sex, they all wandered off into other pards, leaving him in charge of nothing.

ANITA: Then what?

BYRON: Well, ducky, since the only interesting thing about him is his freakish gallon-jug-sized willie, he could only get a job as a penis puppeteer and hooker at a sex circus for people with were fetishes. Except they fired him for constantly moaning to his clients that they weren't nearly as wet and tight as you. Now he's turning tricks on the street.

ANITA: So's Nathaniel, I bet. Without ME and my protection, and the amazing powerful sex I offer, he'd be fair game for anybody.

BYRON: Weeeeeellll... not exactly, ducky.


The entire scene fades out, and now we see a college campus with students wandering by in little groups.

ANITA: Huh? Why are we in this place? What does this have to do with Nathaniel? He's a super-sub stripper and pomme de sang! That's his role in life!

BYRON: Well, not anymore. Remember, you kicked him to the curb once you found him screaming, 'Give it to me, Micah! Who cares about Anita? Fuck me in the ass!' So Jean-Claude got him a therapist, enrolled him in college and let real life take over.

ANITA: What? NO! He can't do that! He's so dependent on me it would NEVER work!

BYRON: Oh, it is. He's doing pretty well and is majoring in social work to help other people less fortunate than himself.

ANITA: I help people less fortunate than myself! I have sex with them! I show how much I love them, unless they're old, female or ugly. W-wait... don't tell me....

Suddenly a short boy with short auburn hair, a pretty, tall blonde girlfriend and an armload of textbooks appears in the doorway. They kiss passionately.

BYRON: ... he has a loving girlfriend, he quit stripping for a secretarial job, and he cut his hair. He's going to be an independent, confident, contributing member of society.


BYRON: We have one more stop to make, ducky, before this tour of Christmas future is completed.

Suddenly the college campus fades away, and we see a tiny run-down shack sitting in the middle of the graveyard, with dozens of mangy cats swarming in and out.

ANITA: What the hell is this place?

BYRON: This is YOUR future, Anita Blake.

ANITA: Ah, so I'm in this graveyard doing a raising for lots of money.

BYRON: Not really. Since you turn down any potential clients for not being worshipful enough, your stock has dropped considerably. You're considered too unreliable and arrogant to employ, so you're basically living on a measly pension given to you by Jean-Claude.

ANITA: Th-th-that's okay. After all, I'm still queen of all the weregroups and Jean-Claude's human servant.

BYRON: Not anymore. Remember, he and Richard dumped you? And you dumped Micah too? You don't have a job, friends or a "sweetie." Now the only companions you have are sixteen cats that you only sometimes remember to feed, and you spend every day trying to seduce the mailman into "feeding the ardeur." Oh yeah, and you're now forty.


She punches Byron in the jaw, and wakes up strangling the window curtains. Sunlight is streaming in the window, and the sound of happy laughter is coming from other houses.


ANITA: What happened? The chair is my own! The living room is my own! The room is my own! The houseboys are my own! I will live in the past, the present and the future, and I have discovered the true meaning of Christmas!

Nathaniel wanders in in pink footie pajamas. Cue descriptions of floor-length hair and lavender eyes.

ANITA: Quick, what's today?

NATHANIEL: Today? Why, today is Christmas day!

ANITA: It's Christmas day! The vampires did it in one night! They can do anything!

NATHANIEL: Of course they do. They usually do it to you several times in one night.

ANITA: Nathaniel, to show what a tolerant and loving person I am, and because you dream of a Norman Rockwell Christmas, I will wear a Santa hat when I shag you tonight and flog you with a piece of holly. Maybe I'll buy a cheap turkey and let YOU cook it.

NATHANIEL: Anita bless us, every one!

ANITA: Now to go make sure that the terrible predictions that Byron made never come true. And there's only one way to do that! So first... Nathaniel?

NATHANIEL: Yes, mistress?

ANITA: I'll personally cut your and Micah's gigantic penii off if you ever think of sticking them in each other without my permission. Remember, I'm always watching. You can give off slashy subtext because that's incredibly hot, but anyone who actually has sex with someone other than me for their own pleasure is dead.

We then see Anita barging into Richard's parents' home, roaring his name at the top of her voice. Richard is chugging egg nog with his brother and looking over their presents.

ANITA: Richard, get over here and talk to me. Maybe shag me in the bathroom.

MR ZEEMAN: Richard, the Whore of Babble-on has turned up for you.

RICHARD: I knew it. She always has to wreck my Christmas. Well Anita, if you don't like me spending the holidays with my family, you can take that and stick it up your cavernous -

ANITA: Oh forget that. I'm just telling you that I love you and hate you, and I will personally shoot you with silver bullets if you even consider marrying Ronnie and living happily ever after. Got it? You have to hung up on me for life! You don't get to be happy!

RICHARD: You're insane. Even more so than usual.

Scene changes: Anita is stomping into the middle of Jean-Claude's lavish Christmas party. Various vampires groan as she stomps by in her tiny boots, heading straight to where Asher and JC are sitting together.

ANITA: Jean-Claude, Asher, I understand that you truly and deeply love and desire one another, and in the spirit of Christmas, I want to tell you-

JEAN CLAUDE: You're going to let us resume our relationship, ma petite?

ANITA: No, I'm telling you that if you elope to Vegas and/or adopt a Chinese baby, I'll hunt you down and stake both of you. I'm a Federal Marshal, so I can do that whenever I like.

All the characters appear around the Circus of the Damned - Asher and JC hold hands behind a poinsettia, Nathaniel crawls obsequiously around Anita's bare legs, Micah sits there being boring, and Richard flips through his address book looking for Ronnie's number.

NATHANIEL: Anita bless us, every one!

RICHARD: Shut up, you creepy little hairball.

ANITA: Bah fuckbug.