Tim is dead. His fingers dab the cologne that gives her hives across his collar. His hands ruffle that collar in the way she always fixes when he’s in front of people. His wallet, usually home to a few token twenties, bulges with deceptive singles. Timothy observes Tim’s corpse: dressed a little too crisp, hair a little too mussed, wearing a seven-o’clock shadow that he really ought to shave off before the party. Not a thing about the dearly departed would meet his mother-in-law’s approval. If his mother-in-law would always use his full name to oppress him, then he will give it to her with a smile calculated to be just phony enough to bother her without being able to call him on. It took four of her Christmas Eve Bashes to kill Tim. This Yule, Timothy reigns supreme.
This piece popped into my head reading the first line of Michael Tate's story, "Darkness Surrounding."