"Family Christmas" with the Brennen's was never all that enjoyable for Joe. Sure, there were the fireworks - usually illegal ones that his grandmother had bought at a local convenience store - and all the open fires, but he never got to ignite TNT. And, in his opinion, that was what made any event. A bit of TNT goes a long way, after all.
But despite all his premonitions, this Christmas was turning out okay. Sure, only half the house had burned down so far, but the rest was sure to follow - eventually. Leaning back into his mother's sulpher recliner, he took in the scene in front of him.
As usual, there was the ritual igniting of the gifts (Aunt Fizzle had just exploded the little scraps of trinitrotoluene she had received from Grandpa Teentee) and the burning of the Christmas tree, but this year his siblings had splurged for flamethrowers for their children and they were playing in the back yard with their new toys.
All in all, it looked to be an okay Christmas, Joe thought.
He eyed his new flamethrower attachment, which was leaned up against his chair. He was considering ambushing the kids with his trusty F-L153, but he liked to keep it for long-range flamethrowing. If only he'd brought his portable one.
His grandmother walked up to him, leaning on a walker.
"Well, Joe, why aren't you doing anything?" she asked in a raspy voice.
Joe sighed, seemingly being absorbed into the recliner. "I'm tired, grandma."
His mother grabbed her cane. Shoving the point painfully into his stomach, she replied, "We Brennens NEVER get tired. ESPECIALLY when we're around explosives!"
Joe shoved his grandmother away, causing her to slip and fall backwards onto the tile floor. Ignoring the loud crunch that ensued, Joe formed a steeled look.
"Yes!" he muttered. "That's right, ma, thanks for getting me into the spirit. I'm going to try out that new flamethrower attachment!"
His mother offered no reply albeit a groan (that sounded suspiciously like "I'm going to kill you") but he was too busy making his F-L153 attach to the new equipment.
It was an interesting new idea, he thought. Instead of the normal flamethrower idea - which would spray flame directly out - this attachment actually let it fire 'bullets' of flame.
"Sweet," he muttered, slinging the strap over his shoulder and walking to the front door. Outside, snow drifted down gracefully. It was a beautiful sight.
But Joe didn't really like beautiful sights.
He shut the door behind him, the force of which causing a plastic vase inside to fall to the floor.
"Oh, yeah," he muttered, shaking his flamethrower a bit. A smile slowly spread across his face.
"Let's see how this thing works."
He aimed the muzzle at a rather large (abnormally so) pile of snow and pulled down on the catch.
NOTE: THIS CHAPTER IS NOT COMPLETE. I HAD TO USE THE PUBLISH OPTION TO SAVE IT AS FOR SOME REASON THE "SAVE AS DRAFT" OPTION DID NOT WORK. SO IT WILL BE FINISHED SOMETIME. SOONER OR LATER.