The Grinch, Alternate Ending

Originally Published in Death Head Grin, December 2009


He stood there, his grinch feet ice-cold in the snow,

Puzzling and puzzling: How could this be so?

The singing grew louder; it rang out in swells.

Goddammit! He’d forgotten those god-awful bells!

“What’s happening here?  Are they all bloody fools?

They have no more presents! No trinkets!  No jewels!

There’s no more who-hash, nor any roast beast!

No cranberry sauce!  No food for their feast!

This singing’s incessant! My temples are pounding!

This truly is really most very astounding!”

He said with a snarl and looked over at Max,

Who was struggling and almost about to collapse

‘Neath the weight of the sled sinking deep in the snow.

“Ah, fuck it!” he muttered.  “It’s over you go!”

And with one giant heave he hoisted the stash

And it sailed o’er Mt. Crumpit and hit with a crash

The snake-dwelling, trash-smelling, cold ravine floor

And he felt truly evil.  Yes, down to his core.

He looked down and saw the sleigh break into pieces

And presents for nephews and parcels for nieces

Crash into the craggy rock walls of Mt. Crumpit

And he felt good about his decision to dump it.

A dead twisted branch pierced the head of a doll,

A crevasse swallowed up a shiny red ball,

The Christmas trees lay on the ground, limp and dying,

And broken glass rattled like young children crying.

Bits of food fell atop all the rock features

Soon to be eaten by underworld creatures.

He kicked some loose rocks down on top of the sled,

And then, with the ding-donging rattling his head,

He started back down the cold hill to his cave,

With Max at his heels who was feeling quite grave.

Back at his lair, he grabbed Max’s horn,

And hurled it full force and with venomous scorn

At the crumbling rock wall and he screamed from his throat

As he ripped off his Santy Claus hat and his coat.

Then he sat and he stared and he stared straight ahead

And he puzzled as questions buzzed all round his head.

He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming.  It came.

Somehow or other it came just the same.


“It couldn’t have been about presents, you see,

Not about feasts, nor even a tree.

It wasn’t the trimmings.  It wasn’t the trappings.

It wasn’t the mistletoe, boxes, or wrappings!

So what is it, Max?  What’s it about?”

He sat and he stared with his mouth in a pout.

Then he got an idea.  An awful idea!

The Grinch got a terrible, horrid idea!

So awful despicably horridly grand!

“Oh Max!” grinned the Grinch.  “Won’t you give me a hand?

I’ve figured it out.  You must give me a bow.

We were such fools before.  But I’ve got it now!”

“Of course they care nothing for foolish kids’ toys,

Nothing for candies for girlies or boys!

Toys are the symptom.  Nothing more.  Such a breeze!

To really kill Christmas, I must kill the disease!”

Max cocked his long ears.  “Yes, that’s just what we’ll do.

I’ll need this sharp knife – just one.  Maybe two.”

He picked up the knife and examined the blade.

It was old, a bit rusted, but of superior grade.

The metal still shone in the sombre cave light

Then the Grinch, without warning, hurled the knife with great might

At the crumbling rock wall above Max’s head.

“In exactly one year, Max.  One year…” the Grinch said…

*          *          *

They’d had a whole year to make up their plan

“But we have all we need,” the Grinch said, dead-pan.

“We don’t need a Santy Claus coat or a hat.

We don’t need a reindeer – no, nothing like that.

Just one little thing…” And he smiled at the sight

Of the blade glinting soft in the sombre cave light.

The time was approaching; the shoppers were shopping.

The streets were all bustling; the children were hopping.

The trees were alit; the church bells were ringing

And all of those fool Whos were singing-sing-singing!

The snowflakes had fallen; the town was all white.

“Not for long,” the Grinch sneered, his eyes shining bright.

When Christmas Eve came the Grinch felt his blood

Wild and thick, coursing through him, like burning hot mud.

For the very first time in all of his life

He felt full of power, alive, free of strife!

“Let those Whos keep their presents, their roasts, and their cake,

The logs for their fire.  I know what to take…”

The sky grew quite dark as the hours went by.

The Grinch and Max waited – their moment was nigh.

All the Whos lay a-snooze, dreaming dreams without care.

“But tomorrow the nightmares will fill up the air!”

He whispered to Max as they began their walk down

And the two licked their lips as they came to the town.

He walked, with his Grinch feet blood warm in the snow

With Max at his heels, hot and raring to go.

In his hand he held nothing but a piece of cold steel

And he approached the first house, slinking smooth like an eel.

He ignored the fool chimney.  Went through the front door.

The Whos hadn’t locked it.  He dropped to the floor

As he crossed o’er the threshold and slunk off inside

Ignoring the stockings and presents.  He tried

To remain calm and cool in the dead quiet night –

A night almost holy – almost, not quite.

He slithered and slunk with a smile most unpleasant

Toward the bedroom, ignoring each present.

Then he came to the room where the children all slept

Safe and sound in their beds.  Closer, he crept.

Hold a breath.  There they were.  Five angel faces

With smiles on their lips – favoured by graces.

“Santy Claus?”

The Grinch started.  He knew that sweet voice.

It was Cindy-Lou Who, three years old.  He’d a choice:

He could slink off away, taking loyal Max with him

Or go through with the plan.

He made a decision.

He smiled at the sweet little tot.  “Yes, my dear,

You must go to sleep now.  The dawn’s drawing near.

The surprise will be here in the morn.  Not a peep.

Go to sleep, little one.  Close your eyes now.  Sleep.  SLEEP.”

And when Cindy-Lou Who closed her eyes and her breathing

Grew steady and slow, out he drew, anger seething,

His sharp, rusty blade from the breast of his coat

And he carefully slid it across her soft throat.

Then he watched the blood flow out and down to the floor

Soaking the sheets.

And then, ready for more…

The nice little redhead who lay in the bed

The cute little boy, with the dear cow-licked head,

‘Til the whole bed was soaked with their hot sticky redness

And the Grinch was content with their level of deadness.

The drips on the floor, Max licked up until

His veins ran with the taste of a fresh bloody kill.

Just before the two left they looked back at the bed

At the angel-like children – all of them, dead.

Then he did the same thing to the other Whos’ offspring

Slashing their throats; pools of blood as their offering.

Max grew more excited, his teeth pink with juice

Of a hundred and one tiny, innocent Whos.

In between the Whos’ houses, through virgin white snow

A trail of blood formed.  “Come, onward we go,”

Whispered the Grinch as he wiped off his knife

When it’d gotten too sticky to rob babes of life,

Wiped it off in the snow, left a red smear behind.

“Oh my!  What a mess!  I do hope they don’t mind

That I’ve quite bloodied up the fine town of Whoville,”

Said the Grinch to his dog.  “This has been quite a spill…”

He put his old knife, gently, back in his coat.

“You see, no one can sing who has blood in his throat.”

A vicious sneer sat on his blood spattered face.

“Come Max,” said the Grinch.  “Let’s get out of this place.”

The dawn was just breaking when the two started up

With a spring in their step – Max felt just like a pup!

From way up on Mount Crumpit they’d be able to see

The whole of Whoville – every gift, every tree.

They’d be able to hear… Now, what would it be?

What sounds would fill up the dead air?  Wait and see.

They listened, the Grinch and his dog in the snow.

Stood, their ears cocked toward the small town below.

But nothing.  Just silence – dead silence.  And then

A sound strange and new, from all women and men.

What a marvellous sound rising over the snow.

It started in low.  Then it started to grow.

And this sound sounded sad – far far from merry.

It was wailing and crying.  Quite mournful – very!

They heard sounds of anguish, they heard sounds of grief,

Of praying, of screaming. 

“I do hope it’s brief,”

Said the Grinch, quite collected.  “Let’s retire inside.”

And after five hours, it began to subside.

Just a few last whimpers, a sob here and there,

And then, peace at last.  No noise filled the air.

“Christmas,” he said, “doesn’t come from a store.

Christmas, dear Max, means a little bit more.”

A faint stench of blood wafted up through the air

And the Grinch fell asleep, dreaming dreams without care,

Smiling his grinchiest grin, with good reason,

And the Grinch and Max basked in the peace of the season.

The end.