This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt is “250-Word Story Chain, or, The Blog-O-Phone.”

Everyone knows that Mossfallow Wood has the best—free!—Christmas trees around. Everyone knows that once Old Man Wiggins leaves town for the month, it’s time to charge in past the no trespassing signs to claim the perfect pine and drag it home. People even camp out to nab the best shot.

As Wiggins’s F-150 trundled down the road, Cal Ostafinski revved the engine of his pickup. He had a reputation to maintain, after all, as having the largest and most well-decorated tree on his block despite his meager salary working on a Matryoshka doll assembly line.

“OSTAFINSKI TREE BREAKS NEW CITY RECORDS FOR HEIGHT, ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION” the page-six story had said on a slow news day. Ostafinski meant to keep things that way.

A half-mile away, Beth McHugh twisted the throttle on her snowmobile with attached snowtrailer. Her children’s most recent whining was etched into her consciousness:

“Mom, we want our tree this year! We have ornaments from school that need hanging!”

“Fine, fine, fine! Bring Mommy her chainsaw and climbing spikes.”

On another side road, Alan Nussbaum gunned his Subaru with the roof rack, his conversation with his daughter fresh in his mind:

“I have to go out there early to get a tree big enough to impress everyone on the block, especially those finks Ostafinski and McHugh.”

“But Dad, we’re Jewish.”

“It’s the principle of the thing!”

And so all three charged into Mossfallow Wood, unaware of the others and of what awaited them inside.

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Ralph Pines

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