Other Stories in this issue

Mrs. Bott’s Finest Christmas

by Michael Thomas Smith

About the Author: Michael Thomas Smith is an Assistant Professor of the Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University, where he received his PhD in English. He teaches cross-disciplinary courses that blend humanities with other areas. He has published over 50 different works in over 20 different journals (mostly within the past year). He also has critical work recently published in Symbolism and Cinematic. He loves to travel.


It was the holiday season, and I really needed a glass of whiskey. That being unavailable, I settled for gin.

“I’ll tell you now,” my friend Georgie grumbled over his own drink. “He said he didn’t believe it, but I swear it’s the Lord’s truth.”

“You swear everyday.” I said back in modest dismissal.

Georgie’s mustache overtook the glass as he took another swig; a string of spit stretched from his chapped lips to the glass rim as he put it down. He looked up from under a mistletoe with a drunken pride. “Well, now I have the proof.”

It was the habit of those who frequented the Hog’s Head at the end of the week to recant those “stunners” of stories they encountered throughout their life—oftentimes repeatedly. The Yuletide festivities only added fuel to the raconteurs’ fire. And tonight, Georgie was hot with a new one:

You’ve all heard of the gunman Billy Jones no doubt (and so Georgie began). Billy Jones who knocked off five banks in the course of one week … Billy Jones who topped the most wanted list yet always slipped through the authorities’ fingers … Billy Jones of whom it was said even bullets were too afraid to meet head on and as such ducked and dodged every which way around his person.

Of course you have.

Well, it was late that night in December. It was Christmas Eve, in fact, when in through those very doors, those old wooden doors the color of scotch, who walks into the Hog’s Head but none other than Billy Jones himself.

Story Comments

Dec 9 - Katharina Smietana

Great read

Dec 9 - Perry Fergin

Beautiful! I loved it!

Dec 9 - Joan Moules

Loved it.

Dec 9 - Joan Moules

Loved it.

Dec 9 - Rosemary McKinley

Loved it! Never expected the ending and that is only part of the reason. I liked the subtle and entwined descriptions of the characters.

Dec 10 - Jude Roy

Nice story. Loved the narration.

Dec 11 - Catherine Pennington

I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I did not see the twist coming but it was really satisfactory and a different end to the tale.

Dec 11 - M. A. Monnin

Fun read!

Dec 11 - Tina Jude

A great story! Captivating narration, and I loved the twist at the end. Perfect!

Dec 12 - George Garnet

Well done!

Add story comment: