On December 24, 1976, Sgt. Vardeman “Vardy” Odom drew the short straw from Old Ezell’s broom and landed himself Christmas Eve desk duty at the Wayne County Police Department. He expected nothing more exciting than a drunk to pass by his desk that evening. What actually came through his door, though, quite nearly changed his mind about Christmas Eve desk duty.
“Short Straw” does not appear in A Consternation of Monsters. In fact, it does not feature a monster at all (unless you count the slow march of death in his plaid sport coat). However, the story does feature two characters who appear in multiple stories in A Consternation of Monsters in a based-on-a-true-story Christmas tale intended not to chill hearts, but to warm them.