“You Better Watch Out” • by Jason P. Burnham

After naughty and nice, Santa had a third list.

The third was longer, and perhaps the most important of the three, for those on the third list required a special approach, a different kind of present. Santa had the third list memorized, lest he slip down the chimney without armor, helmet, and a loaded Christmas gun.

Their gifts were always the same, which offset the hassle of entering their homes; the armor, the weapons.

They never visited him at the mall, unless by accident. Never directly asked for presents, never wrote letters, but he knew what satisfied them, one and all. One collective wish, one aspiration, one hunger.

For the third list, the gift was simple: brains.

The list of the Undead.

Jason P. Burnham is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher. He loves many things, among them sci-fi, his wife, sons, and dog, metal music, Rancho Gordo beans, and equality (not necessarily in that order).