PodCastle 239: Catching the Spirit


by Heather Shaw and Tim Pratt

Read by Big Anklevich, of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine

A PodCastle Original!

Pretty much nobody knows how, exactly, the Christmas Spirit started to spread. One theory goes that a child in Meridian Mississippi was bitten by an infected reindeer, and then spread the plague at her school Christmas pageant, where it jumped to a couple of long-haul truckers who hit the interstate on Boxing Day and took the condition nationwide. One epidemiologist is convinced it’s a prion disease, like Mad Cow, spread through tainted Christmas hams. I saw a neurologist on TV who believes it’s a brain disorder brought on by heavy metal poisoning, spread through tainted high-fructose corn syrup in the candy cane supply, and I met a man in a bar who drunkenly explained that it’s caused by an insidious parasite that lives in evergreen trees. And of course we’ve all heard the right-wing pundits screaming their conviction that the Christmas Spirit is a biological weapon invented by radical Kenyan socialists to force redistribution of wealth.

They’re all wrong. I know the truth about the Christmas Spirit, and how it started to spread. In a way, I’m the reason for the season.

Rated R. Contains some adult themes, and drug use.