I’m sick. I wrote the longer version of this off the top of my head, and posted it, asking friends for input as to shortening it. One friend took me up on the offer, and so here is David Griggs‘ shorter, well edited version of my story. Thanks David!

The doorbell rang.
“Good grief! Who’s that?” shouted Teela, shocked by the unfamiliar sound.
“Don’t they know we might be sleeping?” muttered George.
It was late afternoon, dusk barely creeping over the Vermont sky.
“Can’t they go around the back?” grumbled their son Ed as he brushed past the Christmas tree to see out the window.
“Should I move this thing? George asked, examining the board nailed across the front door. The dogs were going nuts.
Teela stood on the other side of the Christmas tree from Ed. Neither could really see what was happening. Was someone singing?
“Should I get a gun?” whispered George, shuffling aside Christmas presents to reach his rifle.
Ed nearly tipped the tree over as he squeezed forward. Peering, he saw several people knee-deep in snow, singing.
“They’re singing.” Ed announced.
“Singing?” asked George, one hand on his rifle as he pulled on his snow boots.
“Should I sic the dogs on ‘em?” asked Ed.
“Let me see who it is first.” said Teela.
George growled at the dogs, who stopped barking and milled around his feet, tails wagging.
Teela stretched to see over the lace curtain. “Looks like that new family from church.”
“The ones from Michigan? Or Minnesota? said George, putting down the rifle and pulling on his coat.
“Someplace out west. Anyways, looks like they’re leaving.”
George opened the back door and set the dogs free. They raced down the driveway, but George grunted at them and they stopped just as a car raced by. They jumped onto the porch. Foil went everywhere.
“What was it?” Teela asked.
George held up a paper plate. “Cookies or sumthin’.” he answered. “Hope they weren’t chocolate. Damn fools.”
“They won’t bother too many others tonight, ” Ed said, gesturing upwards, and snow began to fall.

The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1rMYd-ci