(Author's Note: Welcome to the "More the Merrier 2010: Adult's Only" edition. The T-rated version of this same collection is available on Snapplelinz's profile.

The rules of this year's holiday collection are pretty straightforward:

1) You can write about any theme and any holiday celebrated between the months of November through to January.

2) Each story submitted this year must be a oneshot. There is no limit on word length. If you have multiple parts to your fic, you can create a page break at the end of each part in your oneshot to indicate that there is a new part to the story.

3) If you have any queries about the collection or stories you wish to submit, you can send them to Snapplelinz, The Hurricane 13 or Lodylodylody. Just be sure to set up a docx connection with either one of us when it comes to submitting stories.

I look forward to seeing this year's entries. Without further adeu, I give you the first entry in this year's collection. Enjoy.)

The Ghost of Christmas Future by The Hurricane 13

On the cold, dark, deserted streets of Boston, young Cody Martin walked alone in the snow, his gloved hands buried deep in the pockets of his thick, white jacket. It was a little after 10:00pm and he had just finished helping his boss, Wayne Wormser, close up the Paul Revere Mini Mart for the holidays. It had been a busy day as lots of people did their last minute shopping before the big family dinners that would come the following day. Cody was supposed to be off and didn't usually work the late shift, but agreed to come in and help Wayne with the rush. The shop was only a block away from the Tipton Hotel where Cody lived with his mother and brother. Cody was a little nervous. Although he'd walked this route many times before and later at night, he'd never done it alone. He'd always had friends with him or, at the very least, his brother. The movie theater Cody and his friends frequented was just on the other side of the Mini Mart. Something else was different about this night, too. Cody was being followed.

The blonde teenager thought he heard something behind him, but when he turned to look, no one was there. He turned and started to hurry a little faster toward the hotel, but was grabbed from behind by a large man who placed his dirty, worn glove over Cody's mouth and dragged him into the alley behind a dumpster. Once he figured they were out of sight, the man whispered in the boy's ear, "Empty your pockets, kid." With his free hand, the man pulled out a knife and flicked the long, shiney blade out. "Unless you want a hole in your throat that is." Terrified, Cody did as he was told and reached slowly into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet and then into his front pockets, emptying out the remaining cash and loose change, and tossed it all onto the snow covered ground. The man loosened his grip on Cody as he started to bend over to pick the items up. Cody took the opportunity to struggle free. The man started to reach for him, but Cody kicked him hard and swift between the legs and started to run. The tears streaming from his eyes as he ran as fast and as hard as he could down the alley were turning into icicles in the freezing winter air. As Cody reached the sidewalk and rounded the corner, a patch of ice caused him to slip. He fell hard, his head hitting the concrete. The sharp pain dazed Cody as he struggled to get up. The world started to spin as Cody stumbled forward, but he was too late. The man had already recovered.

The man shoved Cody down and grabbed him by the foot. The boy was too dizzy and confused to cry. He could faintly feel the wetness in his hair through the burning pain of sidewalk salt in the wound on the back of his head. The man dragged Cody back to their previous spot behind the dumpster and stood over the boy victorious. He pulled out his knife and showed it to his fallen prey, kneeling over the teenager's stomach and leaning over so they could see each other face to face. "I like to watch people's faces, look into their eyes as they die," the man said. His stringy black hair framing his dirty, bearded face and fog pouring out from between his yellow and brown teeth with every word. Then, he plunged the knife into Cody's chest. Cody cried out in horror, but couldn't sustain it for long. He gasped for breath as his lung filled with blood. The pain overtook him as his breaths got shorter and quicker. The man leaned forward, closer and look directly into Cody's eyes which were wide with fear. Tears rolled down the boy's soft face. The man leaned in even closer and licked the tears from Cody's left cheek. He whispered in the dying boy's ear, "My name's Eric. I hope you have a merry Christmas." Eric laughed. Then, as Cody took his final breath, Eric kissed him on the lips.

Eric sat as still as he could in the dingy, smoke filled basement. A joint in one hand, the other gripping the arm of the chair he sat in. It was Christmas Day and Eric's friend, Tommy was using a home made tattoo kit to brand the letters "CM" into Eric's right arm at the bottom of a list of about 19 other initials that ran from the top of his shoulder to his elbow. "Another one, eh, Eric?" Tommy asked, pausing to take a drink of his beer and hit off of Eric's joint. "That makes twenty."

"Yeah, this one was different though. He was young," Eric said. "Couldn't have been a day over sixteen. I feel kinda bad."

"You shouldn't. You got your money and he got a free trip to Heaven." Tommy let out a laugh at his own joke, but Eric didn't think it was funny.

"I suppose..."

When Eric sat down for dinner that evening, alone in his cluttered, cold apartment, he continued thinking about the young boy from the night before. He tried to forget about it, but the images of the other 19 victims started filling his head. He started feeling nauseated and went to the bathroom to throw up. When he returned to the kitchen, he was met with a horrifying sight, young Cody Martin leaning against the wall.

"Oh, hey, Eric." The boy said as if they'd been friends forever.

"You're supposed to be dead!" Eric inspected the ghost. The clothes were the same as from the night before, the hole in the white jacket was surrounded by dark red blood stains. The hair on the back of the boy's hair was also matted together and stained with blood. "STAY AWAY FROM ME!" Eric shouted.

"But that would ruin the fun," Cody smiled. "Don't worry, Eric. You're in no real danger. I'm not even real."

Eric pulled the gun he kept in the waistband of his pants and fired at the boy, emptying the clip. The bullets just passed right through and hit the wall on the other side. "WHAT ARE YOU?" Eric squealed.

"You could say I'm the ghost of Christmas future. A manifestation of your subconcious," Cody said as he started moving toward his killer. "I'm here to show you the wrong of your ways." Eric backed away, through the kitchen and out the sliding glass door onto the balcony. Cody walked calmly right through the door as if it weren't even there. "Come on, Eric. It's not all bad. I get my life back and you get a free trip to hell."

"WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?" Eric screamed. Cody ignored him and stepped closer. Eric pinned himself against the guard rail. He looked over the edge. Fifteen floors down, the snow covered sidewalk looked up at him. He felt the warmth in his pants as he peed them in fear.

"I hope you have a merry Christmas," Cody said as he suddenly lunged forward and shoved Eric. The man slipped and stumbled backward over the rail and began his free fall. Eric blacked out as the sidewalk rushed toward him.

The shock of the fall jolted Eric out of his sleep and he sat straight up in the bed in panic. He was soaked with sweat despite there being no heat in his tiny apartment and his bed reeked of urine. Disoriented and still recovering from his apparent nightmare, he got up and stumbled into the bathroom to wash his face. While looking in the mirror, he noticed that his newest tattoo, "CM" was missing. Confused, he went back into the kitchen and walked out onto the balcony. It was night out and a gentle snow was falling. He looked down the street. On the cold, dark, deserted streets of Boston, young Cody Martin walked alone in the snow, his gloved hands buried deep in the pockets of his thick, white jacket...

(AN: Hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I enjoyed writing it. I have to give a lot of the credit for this story to someone else though. This story is based on a very short story called "Manhattan" written by a friend of mine named Colby Corino. His version was a lot shorter and I took it and adapted it and expaned it into what you see above. I just wanted to give credit where it's due. If you're interested in reading the original, let me know and I'll link you. Thanks again for reading and please review.)