A Prince of Festivus

A Prince of Festivus

by Chumley Roylott

It is December 23, and I find myself alone in the great empty Stoke Moran. Again I must set up the aluminium pole next to my writing desk, so that I must air my grievances in writing, for some later audience to learn. My grievances, alas, are the same as last year.

Sherlock Holmes killed my father and still has not been arrested nor sent to prison nor hanged by the neck until dead. John Watson has ignored requests for a published apology for his grave insults and slander of me personally. And my step-sister never visits and expects me to come to Christmas parties, even though I am an adherent of Festivus, as my father before me.

My father was the King of Festivus.

The world would know this, if the cursed John Watson were honest in his writings about the dates matters occurred. In fact, if that thrice-damned Watson were honest at all, the world would see a different side to matters entirely.

I am not as Watson described, neither “hideous” nor “distorted,” or “the baboon” as Sherlock Holmes referred to me. And as a child, I was given to momentary seizures, which one would think a medical doctor would recognize and have some sympathy when when that supposed “doctor” sees a child writhing upon the grass.

My father, Grimesby Roylott, was an actual doctor, whose revolutionary medical treatments from milking the venom of rare snakes into saucers eventually put my condition into permanent remission. It was during one such chore that the devil Holmes and his minion Watson rushed into my father’s bedroom in the middle of the night and caused the snake he was working with to bite and kill him.

And kill him on Festivus, at that.

Father called upon Holmes and Watson at their flat, to wish them compliments of the season, to share airing of the grievances and invite them to join in feats of strength, the two time-honored Festivus traditions. They were apparently new to our customs and did not respond, then felt so guilt later that then made a surprise visit in the night, to try to reciprocate before December 23rd was properly over and done. The absurd story they made up to cover up the fact that they accidentally caused his death is one that shows the great flaws in the British police and justice systems.

There is not a herpetologist on Earth who would believe their story, yet every law officer or justice in England somehow thinks that snakes are excellent climbers and can be trained like a dog or rodent to respond to whistles and attack commands.

But I needn’t dwell on my grievances too much. Let the record show that I did go into town today and wrestle Jimmy the blacksmith, as is our custom. We took turns tossing each other about, just as he and father used to do on Festivus, which is always good for a laugh. I have no grievances with Jimmy.

Nor do I have grievances with Major Frampton, who comes by to talk of my late step-sister Julia and happier times. His opinion of John Watson is quite different from my own, the two men having served together in the war. Major Frampton has suggested that enlisting might improve my character, which is true. I must admit that I have picked up many habits from the wandering folk, who like to set up camp on the grounds of Stoke Moran during their season, which do not make me any more agreeable to London society.

Perhaps one day, I shall go to London for the season and air my grievances and show those folk my newest feat of strength, bending revolvers. The serum derived from the Santa Prisca swamp adder venom by my father not only resolved my seizures, it made me quite ready for our annual Festivus feats of strength. Quite ready.

And on that day, I might become the very bane of Sherlock Holmes’s existence, and show him what a back-breaking chore a proper celebration of Festivus can be.