To round off the year of 2015, a year without proper hoverboards, jetpacks or self-lacing shoes, we had a contest to write a story about killing the fatman aka Santa Claus.
* Kill Santa. And none of this dream sequence $#!T kill him proper!
* Create an original freestanding character(s) who pulls the trigger or cuts his head off or poison's him; how you choose to dispatch Santa is up to you but it must be an original freestanding which means they're not from a previous fan fic you wrote, or linked into a fan fic universe you're writing, this person (or persons) is totally new. New, original, freestanding, string free, fresh and other buzz words
* Get in done in 12 days, like the 12 days of Christmas.
So we had a record number of entries and we need to decide a winner. Which is where you the writers and the casual readers of the FF section come into play. Over the next...ten days...hell let's make it 12 like the contest time, SO over the next 12 days you have to read and then vote on which story about killing Santa YOU liked best. You can write a small critique on each about why you like this over that or you can just go @thatonetherethanks and be done.
If you wrote, you vote. But also attempt to round up your friends, neighbours and enemies to 1) vote and also 2) come play in the next one
Below in the spoiler boxes are the entries. Oh and happy new year, happy kwanzaa, happy whatever
The man walked with a limp. Crimson stained his formerly white jacket, and a bullet was embedded in his lower calf. He'd bitten off part of his shirt and bandaged the wound twenty minutes, but even now it continued to turn red, his blood saturating the grimy, torn fabric. In his hand? A Desert Eagle, three bullets left in the chamber. And upon his arm, the emblem of a Delta Force marine.
He trudged through the narrow hallways, adrenaline still surging through his veins, his eyes glancing back and forth at every shadow. It'd been five days since deployment, and things had started out smooth. They'd called it a typical op, just recon before the big guns could roll in. Iqualuit was the closest city to the North Pole, and they'd figured scouting it out would be easy.
It'd been three weeks since they'd heard from any officers in Iqualuit. The 19th had been deployed, and they'd made their reports on time; casualties continued to stream in. Too many men sick. Too many men dead.
The disease hadn't yet raised any alarms back home, but in the Pentagon, activity buzzed. Quarantine was instantaneous; no planes had made it in or out of the city since the first confirmation of outbreak. Was it a bioweapon? Some sort of new weapon of mass destruction, built in tandem with the Canadians for clandestine use in the Middle East?
Captain Trevor Dillinger didn't know. He just kept on limping, gun clutched under blood fingers.
They'd sent a contingent in before Dillinger's squad. The 19th had been deployed to oversee the safety of Iqualuit's citizenry, a meager 7,000 people. In theory, it would be an easy job, but that was before the first reports started coming in. Crackling radios screamed about martial law, chaos in the streets, et cetera, et cetera. To Captain Dillinger, it all seemed a distant memory. They'd received their orders, and they'd see them through. He remembered the plane ride from Sacramento to Maine, then boarding the helicopter. He recalled checking off his weapons, slipping on the gas mask, along with several layers of padded, white uniform.
The cold was truly brutal in Iqualuit.
And now, his skin was exposed to the elements, the tattered remains of his combat jacket barely covering his white, shivering flesh. The gas mask had been cast aside, the cracked visor impairing his vision, preventing him from making any shots---
I've shot Americans,he remembered, leaning on the wall. His hand left a smear on the blue-gray drywall, clumsily bandaged in an effort to reduce the pain. Broken glass,he remembered. Exploding cars. Shrapnel.
Once more, the Captain looked back to their landing. Winds forced the chopper down, his squad disembarking as routinely as ever. They were confident, joking over the microphones, fiddling with their guns' magazines, sliding down snowdrifts on their long march into the ghost town. He remembered the first shot that had come their way, ripping through one man's hooded head, entering cleanly through his goggles and leaving out the other side.
Captain Dillinger couldn't recall the man's name. He limped on, pushing off the wall, stumbling for a moment, then continuing down the hallway.
After that, they'd taken refuge behind a buried Chevy, firing wildly off at the source of the attack. Screaming for cover fire into the crackling radios, they'd cowered behind the vehicle for an entire three minutes before one of the privates chucked a grenade over the hood, their assailant's fire stopping with the skull-rattling explosion.
Idiot,he'd wanted to scream. How were they to know what was going on, who they were fighting? A rogue terror operative? Or a frightened civilian? Kill confirmed,the private had mumbled, clutching at his rifle. They all shuddered, then pressed onward. They left the two bodies to be buried by the blizzard.
The wind picked up, roaring through the streets of Iqualuit. They were surrounded by broken windows, snow building up around them as they marched relentlessly through abandoned shops, wrecked supermarkets, and deserted hotels. Bioweapon? Really?said one, gesturing all around. If it's a bioweapon, sir, where are the bodies?
Shut up,he'd told the marine. He wasn't in the mood to talk; they had a casualty. Captain Trevor Dillinger didn't experience casualties.
Flashlights on the ends of their rifles, they slipped down into the sewers. A snowdrift had covered the road, blocking off any access they might've had to the city center. As it turned out, taking the sewers had been a costly mistake.
Surrounded by the remains of Iqualuit's innocent, they clambered out of the manhole, some screaming for their mothers, others totally silent. They slipped the street cover back over the ground, letting the snow bury it once more. What bugs had survived had escaped with them, along with the unforgettable smell of a hundred rotting dead.
I can't do it,said one. This's bigger than us, Cap. Call it in. Bring reinforcements. We don't even know what the f*** we're dealing with.
Captain Dillinger disagreed. Their radios had been down since the blizzard had hit anyhow, but he couldn't bear to tell any of the men that.
He came to a flight of stairs. Clutching his pistol, Dillinger grasped for the railing, pulling himself upwards. Cameras followed his every move, buzzing and whirring from the corners. Cold winds tore through the building behind him, wisps of snow overtaking him as he hauled his body to the second floor...then the third...then the fourth...
As he climbed, he looked back on the first flag they found.
Tattered, red-white-and-blue. A speaker at the base of the pole. It was playing patriotic tunes from home.
What the f***?had been the unanimous reaction. Confusion and unease soon turned to abject terror as bullets tore through the air towards them from all sides, the ambush killing another two under Dillinger's command before he could rally them to a cover position. Snow blinded all, pure white pierced by lead as more men fell to the frozen ground. It was a calculated maneuver, a trap orchestrated specifically to eliminate Dillinger's squad.
A half-hour of desperate fighting. Horror and confusion on both sides. Dillinger's rifle barrel flared, the gas-mask-wearing Captain sliding out from cover to clip the last insurgent in the leg. The blizzard intensified, the men moving out from cover, mourning their dead comrades, checking themselves for wounds. None escaped that ambush without a battle scar.
...fifth floor...sixth floor...
It'd only taken five minutes to drag their hostage into the nearest building. Kicking down the door, they tossed him into the middle of the destroyed bank, snow filling the corners. They'd interrogated the wounded man, trying desperately to learn what the f*** is happening,as the private put it. Why'd you kill Donnie. Why'd you kill 'im? Why's everyone f***ing de-
The Captain pushed him aside, not taking a second look as the private fell to one knee, losing his already unsteady footing on the ice. He'd reached out with gloved hands, brushing snow from the shaking man's jacket. He was only half surprised to see the US Army logo underneath. Of course it'd been the 19th firing upon them; of course it'd been Americans they'd been fighting, they'd been killing. None of them had wanted to believe it, but now, with the truth staring them in the face, they'd had no choice but to accept it. Some couldn't even make that choice, instead dismissing it as a looted uniform. He killed one of our boys and took his coat.
So what do we do no-
The private's gun had flared, their captive's body jerking backwards unnaturally, as though some sadistic puppeteer had suddenly yanked on the man's strings. He'd tumbled to the ground, blood pooling into the snow. Shocked silence.
What? He killed Donnie.
Nobody moved for a second. They just stared.
They picked up the dead man's radio. Reinforcements incoming,it'd crackled. Do not engage.
Panicked nights. Low rations. It was hell on ice.
Sometimes, the 19th would find them; they'd never shoot first, which the private had insisted was a mistake. Another marine took a bullet, and they'd had to leave him behind. They collected his ammunition before leaving his body tucked in a fast-food joint, the ground frozen solid and the windows riddled with bullet holes. All the while, they wondered why.It was all they thought. Why?
They'd not stopped, for they'd had no choice. Off in the distance, they could see the main building, filled with lights. Silhouettes moved behind the windows. Iqualuit's survivors? They had to know. Hungry and sleep-deprived, they did whatever they had to do. They had nightmares. They heard voices on the wind. They shot first.
Their group, down to five men, had been considered the elites, the top soldiers of the entire Delta Force. Thus, the precision with which they'd been picked off had been truly demoralizing. They were alone, without orders, and fighting Americans. Living the dream? Hardly.
The last charge had not been heroic. Men fell as the snow stopped, Dillinger deciding that it'd be the only chance they'd get. Running low on ammo, their only option had been to engage, before the patrols found them first. The five slid down the snowdrifts, rifles blaring out a terrible symphony that would stir the Devil down in Hell.
No, we'rein Hell, remember sir?
Shaking, they'd charged through the encampments, morale crashing as a grenade blew away a marine who was justtoo slow. Desperately, they plowed on, shooting without aiming, raising guns up from behind cover to send hot lead out towards the soldiers. Snow fell once more. The next hour was a violent blur. The Captain had been shot, and he'd torn off his shirt to bandage the wound (or was it his friend's shirt?). He'd limped past the enemy, who had dropped their weapons. SuRrrEnder,they'd said. He'd blocked out the memory. In its stead, there was only the mission.
He remembered it now, more clearly than ever. The mission was to assassinate the commanding officer. It's as though they'd made him forget...
He stumbled through the door into the deserted hallway, only moments before filled with dancing civilians. He could hear the music below, pulsating through his feet and carrying up into his jaw. The cameras watched him; he watched the cameras.
It was a long walk down the hall.
The door was open.
He stepped through, Desert Eagle shaking in his right palm.
He'd entered a magnificent office room, one that seemed to have been re-purposed into some sort of military command center. He held up the Eagle, quivering as he waved it around the room, wildly seeking out his mission objective. It was all so clear now, his purpose; once he'd killed the commander, he was free to die.
"Out here," came the voice. It was deep, and melancholy. It'd come outside, carried on the harsh wind through the room. Papers blew around at his feet, reports of failure that would never see the light of day. The party intensified beneath.
"I know what you're here to do. Killing me won't make you feel any better, Captain,"said the voice from outside. "It won't make you feel like a hero."
What was left of Captain Trevor Dillinger cocked his weapon.
"Killing me won't get you the answers you deserve,"he continued, turning halfway around to face the Captain. Red-gray coat. White beard, short-cropped. Sad eyes. "Killing me won't solve anything, no matter how much you want it to."
Dillinger growled. Something about Donnie. Something about a virus.
"Virus...there was no virus, Dillinger. It was you. It was all you."
Dillinger narrowed his eyes, raising the weapon.
"Fine. Just do it. Be a hero, if that's really what you want."
Slowly, deliberately, Dillinger pulled the trigger.
There was a flash, a crack like thunder; Trevor was blind, the recoil throwing him backwards.
And with that, Santa tumbled from the top of the building, landing in the snow beneath.
The Santa slayer:
"Another year, another try." Said Odium the guardian slayer adorning his perfectly white armor. He had a sword by his side. A spear and collection of various arrows across his back. A strange bow in his left hand and a grappling hook in the other. Each of his forearms was equipped with miniature dart launchers and rocket launchers. On each thigh was a thin foot long knife. Across the rest of him were various explosives and gadgets. But everything was pure white. Even his ninja like mask with infra red, thermal, and x-ray vision lenses were white from the outside.
His target, santa clause. The scariest creeper of the Earth. The guy who knows when you're awake and sees you when you sleep.
Slipping through the snow covering his hiding place the six foot four white soldier darted forwards. A former member of the white assassins, a group of some of the most dangerous killers in existence, he could move through the thick snowy air like a monkey through trees. He'd been trying to kill santa for ages. He hadn't even made contact with humanity for who knows how long. His age, who knows. He certainly didn't. There he was. On an ash colored flying sleigh with his fiery reindeer leading him through the sky just like the dangerous grouped raptors of long ago. You might be wondering how to address this man who is so intent on killing santa clause. He no longer has a name. So he simply goes by white warrior if he were to be asked.
The arrows from his bow shot forth one acter the other like bullets from a semi automatic. Each one of a special design, explosive, incendary, freeze, rupture. First he'd create a gap, then he'd set it aflame from within. Then it would freeze around that and the last would obliterate whatever the ice had touched. Thus bringing down the sleigh.
But then the elves came. Little flying coal demons things. They jumped in the way killing themselves as santa escaped.
"No!" He roared his plans foiled yet again, "You can't do this to me! NO!"
Suddenly he realized it. One of them was going back. Back to santas house. He couldn't belive he'd been so stupid. It was so simple. Set a trap in his house.
Silently and with the movement of the snow he followed the demon at subsonic speed until it disappeared. A normal person would have thought it got to far ahead. But right now he was angry and saw the way it had disappeared, head first feet last. He fired an explosife arrow at its direction and it hit dead on a window throwing off pieces of debree at him which he dodged. It slowly came into focus. Like words getting closer. With a deep breath he rampaged forwards sending arrows right and left and up and backwards as the elves attempted to defend the workshop. It took him all night and day. And just as he sat in the already covered in snow debree he could see him in the distance, his target. His final target.
"It's time we end this you fraud!" The white warrior roared.
Santa leaped from his sleigh the eight foot giant landed with a shock to the ground causing snow to shove away from him and cracks to form in the ice.
"You're finished!" The white warrior growled pulling out his spear.
The, clad in glowing embers, bearded man pulled out a huge flaming stone from his bag and it formed into a giant sword.
"No, boy, you are!" He struck the ground with the bottom of the sword throwing the white warrior off his feet.
Before he could even understand what was happening santa had leapt over him and driven his sword through his torso twisting it till an enormous gap formed. The white warrior feinted from the pain and a good thing too as the sword burned off the bottom half of his body and plenty of his corpse.
As santa began reforming his workshop an odd thing happened. The wounds began covering themselves in ice and rehealing. The white warrior blinked his white and grey eyes searching around calmy. He stood up lifting his spear behind him and throwing through the unexpecting santa's chest. He ran forwards his sword flying from its scabbard and cleaved off santas head. As he fell he cought on fire burning away.
"Hello," A voice from behind the white warrior said. He turned around to see a snowman with a top hat, a scarf, and a smoking pipe, "You just killed santa clause." Frost said, for that is who it was, "He was a fake of course but people don't care now that it's 3015. So I'm afraid you'll have to take his place, Jack Frost."
"What?" He asked confused.
"That's your name, Jack Frost. And you will now be both santa clause and yourself. A duel life." Frosty explained, "Come, we have plenty to discuss." Frosty started rolling away gesturing for Jack to follow, "Come along then, Time waits for no one."
It was Christmas Eve. As soon as the sun set, the first and only snowfall of the year began to fall from the Los Angeles sky. All the stores were closed for the holiday, so that the employees may be with their family in these precious moments. They knew they could be their last. The streets were empty as the wind howled, carrying the white, powdery snow across the city under the glow of the street lights. Rather than listening to the festive music of the season and watching Christmas specials on TV as per tradition, families all over prayed that they would survive the night. Minutes seemed like hours, hours like days, as time seemed to slow on this fateful night, each painful second ticking away as the innocent wondered if they would live to see Christmas Day. Then, they heard it.
The bells. The ominous, lone jingle of a single bell, which slowly grew into a massive chorus as the source of the sound grew nearer. Electronic devices flickered to black, lights dimming to nothing, the full moon and clear sky being the only light shining on the suburban Los Angeles cul de sac in which our story takes place. The citizens, however, were prepared for this, as they were every year, lighting candles and holding them to their windows as tribute. Mothers calmed their crying children as the man known as Santa Claus made his landing on the entry end of the cul de sac. There he sat, the great, grim, Nordic warrior, clad in furs which had long since been stained blood red from countless years of battle. His sleigh was pulled by an octet of tortured slaves, survivors of previous Christmases that Santa had deemed worthy of life in his service. The metal collars these slaves wore were studded from the inside, causing intense pain as Santa Claus wrenched the leather reins in his hand, bellowing a hearty, sinister laugh as he did. Their feet were bloody and raw from running, toes black from frostbite as they shivered through their tattered garbs. They donned matching grimicaces of pain as they marched their grim march to the end of the cul de sac. In preparation for what was soon to come, Santa Claus gripped an ice-cold bottle of Coca Cola in his fingerless-gloved hands, squeezing the cap between his teeth and yanking the bottle away from it, spitting the cap aside and downing the beverage in a single gulp before throwing the bottle aside as well, shards of shattered glass disappearing into the steadily accumulating snow. They had arrived at the end of the cul de sac.
Santa Claus raised his reigns, choking his slaves and bringing them to a halt. He swung himself to the side, stepping out of his sleigh one leg at a time, revealing his massive stature. Standing at nearly eight feet tall, the jolly executioner slid a great axe from the back of his sleigh, the heavily-weighted head causing even him difficulty in lifting it. Hefting it over his shoulder like a lumberjack, he trudged to the front of his line of slaves. Through his large, white beard, he bellowed, "Sing!" and his slaves sung. Through strained throats the eight forced a chorus, singing Silent Nightas Santa Claus observed his surroundings. "I will gain a new servant this year."He spoke grimly and with little emotion, raising his axe as he did. Giving no other warning, he brought the blade down into the foremost of his slaves, the eldest of the eight, cleaving his torso in two at the clavicle. Blood sprayed from the gaping wound as the slave's innards began to spill from his body, a shocked stare forever frozen on his face as his former master tore his collar from the reigns, dropping the body in the now-red snow. "Present your champion!"he bellowed once more to nobody in particular. The annual battle was to begin.
This was a time in which Santa Claus had come to resent his status as bringer of gifts, as he had gotten nothing in return. The world's greed had driven him to madness over years, and the North Pole steadily declined into economic collapse as stores cut Santa's profit by higher and higher percentages of holiday present sales. Then, one day, the jolly man snapped. There was indeed something truly broken in his brain, as he savagely murdered all elves in his employ, committing a successful genocide in a single night now known as the Black Christmas. This night also marked the last year in which the holidays were peaceful, as Santa soon began his search for new workers. Year after year, the Jolly Man came, donning Nordic weapons and garbs as he did, proclaiming himself to be Odin's Wrath. He demanded to be presented with a champion of the people, which he would duel to the death. If the people failed to present a champion, they would never live to make the same mistake. If they did and he lost, the first-born child of all would be abducted and enslaved, put to work in Santa's sweatshop. The Saint in Red was as of yet undefeated, having reused to kill his most worthy opponents and chaining them to his sleigh as a reminder of the people's past failures. And here they were today, just as they had been for countless years before, annual slaughter having become the norm. But this time, things would be different. This insignificant L.A. cul de sac was gong to change the world.
"Present your champion!"Santa once again bellowed, slamming his axe onto the pavement, the crack echoing through the neighborhood and shaking nearby houses. Silently, the residents of the cul de sac exited their homes in their heaviest winter gear, shivering not from the cold, but from the presence of the bearded killer. One towered above the rest, escorted in shackles by a pair of police officers, who dared not draw their guns, for the weapons of the weak bring death upon all who bear witness to such an act of cowardice. The man they held in chains was known simply as Ezekiel. Yesterday, he was serving four life sentences at the ADX Florence. Today, he served the people. The officers escorting him offered little in the way of inspiring words, but spoke nonetheless. "You win this, you go free. You lose, you can get used to these shackles." A turn of a key was followed by a quick push as Ezekiel approached the grim warrior before him. Ezekiel was a large, Hispanic man, standing at 6'8 and weighing in at 350 pounds. A giant among his peers, he still stood a full foot shorter than his opponent, but showed no fear as he approached. He had stapled a black and white traditional Lucha Libre wrestling mask onto his face, chains still hanging form his cuffed wrists. Despite the cold, he stood shirtless, wearing only the pants of his dingy prison jumpsuit. A mere six feet away from his opponent, Ezekiel could feel Santa Claus's hot, heavy breath on him, see every line and detail in his mangy beard and stony face. So much pain buried under his thick hide. It was evident that this was a man who had seen suffering. "Make your move."The grim remnant of Saint Nick commanded, axe ready, granting his opponent the first strike.
"Tú no eres santo."Ezekiel whispered through clenched teeth as his arms began to split apart at the forearm. Ezekiel struggled to mask grunts of pain as piercing blades sprouted from his forearms, seemingly made of metal and three feet in length, creating a sickening sloshing sound as they did. Arms and blades dripping with blood, Ezekiel forced a smile, before unleashing a fearsome battle cry and lunging at Santa Claus, left arm outstretched towards his opponent's neck, right arm coiled next to him in preparation for a strike to Santa's ribs. However, the Jolly Man had prepared for such an attack, and responded accordingly. Holding his axe so that the blade rested under his forearm, the pommel pointing outward, Santa quickly jabbed the handle of his weapon towards his opponent's face, knocking Ezekiel off balance and blinding him as he swung the rest of the axe upwards. The axe-handle's midsection collided with Ezekiel's upper arm, which Santa followed with by gripping the top of the handle directly under the head of the axe, quickly pulling the handle towards himself to prevent escape and dropping to one knee, pushing the axe handle down as well. Applying pressure to Ezekiel's forearm, Santa snapped his opponent's elbow backwards over his knee, the crunch being followed by a grunt of pain. This small victory was, however, short-lived, as Saint Nick felt a sting on his stomach, followed by a dull, yet intense radiating pain throughout his abdomen. A quick glace downward revealed that Ezekiel had used his other arm and its blade to impale him through the back, puncturing several organs as he did.
The onlookers stared in suspense as Santa Claus quickly stood and turned, pulling himself from Ezekiel's blade, spilling blood as he did. Ezekiel quickly scrambled backwards as well, regaining his balance at what he thought to be a safe distance from his opponent. However, he failed to account for the grim warrior's physical reach, as well as the range of his axe, and only narrowly avoided a blade as he supported his broken arm, which Santa Claus reciprocated by taking a hunched posture and holding his wound when possible. Having put all his weight into the previous swing, Santa was off-balance, giving Ezekiel an opportunity to strike. Lunging forward once more, Santa this time opted to block with his forearm, grunting as the blade of Ezekiel's intact arm impaled his. Face to face, Ezekiel only saw Santa's yellowed, rotted teeth in a sinister grin before his vision flashed white, the Jolly Man swinging a fist into the immobilized Lucha Libre's face. Foot on his downed opponent's chest, Santa pulled the blade from his arm, and raised his other leg in preparation to stomp on Ezekiel's face. This, however, was prevented by a blind swing upwards, which had fortunately planted Ezekiel's blade in Santa's leg, throwing him off-balance once more and sending him toppling to the side. In a quick motion, Ezekiel turned himself with his legs and plunged his blade into Santa's thigh, using it as leverage to pull himself upward, yanking his blade outwards once more and attempting to stab Santa Claus in his neck, but instead hitting the shoulder when his opponent moved aside. Three hard punches to the temple knocked Ezekiel on his side, when Santa Claus took the position on top. Fist after hammer fist rendered Ezekiel's face a bloody pulp, as Santa reached to the side for his axe, intending to use the head to end the battle. Having assumed Ezekiel incapacitated, Santa Claus had not expected a sudden burst of strength from his opponent, who swung his blade into the Jolly Man's upper ribs, just barely missing his heart as he rolled on top of him. This, had, however, trapped his good arm, to which Santa responded to by reaching outwards, now close enough to grasp his axe. Holding his opponent's arm in place, he snapped the axe into a much shorter length, swinging the improvised hatchet into Ezekiel's forearm, splitting flesh down to bone above his blade. Another swing severed the bone, causing Ezekiel to collapse onto Santa Claus, his arm separating from his body just below the elbow.
Blood poured from Ezekiel's wound at an alarming rate, staining the snow red as Santa began to pull the axe had downwards into Ezekiel's back, crushing ribs and lacerating his back. Knowing he had only one option left, Ezekiel ripped into Santa's flesh through bloodied and torn lips, his broken teeth tearing through Santa Claus's throat. As Santa Claus choked and sputtered, blood filling his lungs, Ezekiel rolled to the side, exhausted and losing blood. The snow turning red below the Jolly Man and Ezekiel, the latter of which attempted to scoop his severed arm back towards him, the former futilely grasping his throat, nobody stepped forward to save either. Ezekiel's body went numb as his vision began to darken around the edges. He had been a fool to believe they'd let him go free. But they had been wrong in assuming that he would be no match for the tyrant that was Santa Claus. He had ended the suffering of generations to come, and that was reward of him. "Me voy con dios."Were Ezekiel's last words before falling unconscious and, not long after the authorities stepped forward to remove the bodies, died of blood loss.
On Christmas Morning, America awoke to the news that Santa Claus had at last been slain. The holiday became a celebration of the world's freedom from the tyranny of Santa Claus. Ezekiel had died anonymous, but not forgotten by those who witnessed his battle. He was not a good man. A murderer, in fact. A tool of the people, genetically and cybernetically experimented on. But he had died a noble death that had not been ignored by all, and his death is now celebrated alongside Santa Claus's death on Christmas Eve, as well as the liberation of Santa's slaves on the North Pole.
That is, until next Christmas. Santa Claus is a corporate mascot, and where there is humanity, there is greed. He may not return in the same form, but he will return. In fact, he never left. We've dug our own graves.
The one called Nicholas arived in the North lands countless years ago, he was blessed with a power he called the spirit. When he arrived he'd discovered an unusually small but strong race known as elves.
Nicholas using the power of the spirit enslaved them in a state of unnatural bliss, they would work themselves to death in his shop with happy grins.
For centuries the servatude went unchallenged but one day an elven girl named Sparkle lost her smile. For reasons no one understood she had been released from the spirit. She looked around in horror and confusion at the conditions her people allowed themselves to live in as the jolly fat man and his wife were treated as gods.
She spent days thinking there was something wrong with her, she thought she must be delusional but she began to notice when elves died at their stations they were shuffled off by others with dead eyed grins and replaced without a second thought.
She snuck out early one day and was shocked to see dead elves tossed in a ditch to be burned. As her rest time arrived she sought out her twin, Twinkle.
He was tall for an elf and nearly as strong as the reigndeer he was tasked with feeding. He was happily fluffing his straw mat in the stall preparing for a nap. Sparkle tapped his shoulder, "I need your help."
Twinkle turned with a genuine smile for his sister, "Anything for my sis."
She began telling him of what she was going through while he stared in disbelief, he moved to comfort her but the two noticed a shadow hanging over them.
They looked up to see Nicholas towering above with a hateful look. He looked to an elf named Bezel and two others, "Take them both."
They were dragged away by Bezel and the others to a pit well away from the shops. It was rimmed wil jagged ice spikes and several young elves rotting at the bottom. Twinkle looked on confused but Sparkle had a realization, other elves had become resistant to the spirit and Nicholas was culling them.
She had no time to express the thought, Bezel burried a blade in her back. Twinkle was stunned but before he could react an elf came at him. He caught his attacker and threw him off but the other two joined.
He fought hard but he took on several wounds. Eventually he slipped and fell down the pit. As he struggled to get up Sparkle was tossed toward him. He fainted from blood loss and the others assumed him dead.
Twinkle woke among the dead elves, as he looked on the bliss that the spirit had once filled him with was gone and as he saw the body of his sister it was replaced with a rage no elf had felt since Nicholas arrived.
He began to climb using the jagged ice which sliced into his hands. His anger dulled the pain. He'd been told his whole life that Nicholas saved them from the harsh cold but Twinkle noticed he barely felt the harsh wind against his exposed skin, another lie meant to endear the master.
He marched with purpose toward his home. Several elves were surprised to see the bloodied Twinkle enter the barn without a word. He grabbed up an ax and released the reigndeer from their stalls as he started toward Nicholas' palace.
He was blocked at the gate by many guards but the deer he'd spent his whole life caring for protected him. They charged through the ranks hurling guards away as Twinkle marched on.
As he got to Nicholas' private quarters he stopped seeing Bezel standing guard. The soldier elf ran at Twinkle with a dagger and a dead eyed smile. Twinkle smacked him hard across the face with the axhandle then kicked him into the wall.
He then smashed a hole in the door and entered to see Nicholas checking names on a list. He turned with a shocked expression to see Twinkle. He then gave a look of relief and a little chuckle as he stood over the angry elf.
He lifted a walking stick and attempted to crush Twinkle's skull but was stunned when the elf caught it and held firm. Twinkle then broke the stick with his ax and then smashed the butt of it into Nicholas' ankle shattering it and causing the large man to fall to the ground. He then began to beg for mercy as the elf hopped on his chest and stared down. Twinkle answered by burying the axhead in his skull.
Across the North lands the elves suddenly stopped working. As Twinkle left he heard the screams of Nicholas' wife as her personal servants made her pay for years of abuse. He then went back to his barn and found his mat and nodded off as the shops began to burn.
How Tom Turkey Saved Christmas Despite Himself
Executive Conference Room of Holiday, Incorporated
Tom Turkey slammed his feathery fist on the oak conference table and gobbled furiously. "This is outrageous!" he fumed. "Who does that Fat Man think he is?!"
A small cherub midway down the table who was fluttering just above his chair looked to the bird officiating the meeting and said, "Now Tom, name calling is no way to..."
"Back off, Cupid!" shouted the furious fowl. "No one ever encroaches on your holiday, do they?"
Cupid landed on his feet in the chair, then sank to a sitting position, only the top of his head visible over the table. Sadly, he mumbled, "Just Hallmark."
They all groaned, and Father Time said, "We've all been there."
"Exactly!" shouted Tom. "And how did it make you feel?" he asked Cupid.
There was no answer from the little winged man. He just plucked his bowstring forlornly.
"How 'bout you, Lucky? Anybody ever mess with March 17th?" Tom challenged.
"Aye, boyo, dey're always after me..."
"NOBODY ASKED ABOUT YOUR LUCKY CHARMS, LEPRECHAUN!" screamed the turkey.
Clearly trying to control his anger, Lucky looked at the ceiling. With his voice shaking, he said, "Ye do a few commercials, and..." he shook his head as he trailed off. Looking back to Tom, he said, "I was going t'say, 'me pot o' gold,' ye daft duck."
"Which you made doing those commercials," Tom sneered. Then remembering something, he reached into his pocket, and said, "Oh, by the way, here's that piece of gold I borrowed last year."
"Oh yeah," chimed in the others, and everyone slid a gold piece across the table to the leprechaun. Cupid's coin sat on the edge as that's as far as the hand peeking over the table could reach.
Lucky raked the gold coins in quickly, then put one knee up on the table as he stretched to reach the one in front of Cupid. As he scooted back into his chair, he said, "Ye're just mad, Tom, because de only company dat ever calls ye fer a commercial is Tyson."
Tom gasped in exasperation. "They wanted to pluck my feathers and slather me in butter!"
"Mm," came a voice from the far end of the table. An old man with bushy eyebrows smacked his lips a couple of times before saying, "That reminds me. Did anyone else skip lunch?" He looked around at the group with a grandfatherly smile as he quietly typed into a laptop.
Turkey glared at Father Time and said, "I'm really glad you go on vacation in a couple of months. Baby New Year is so much easier to deal with."
"Oh, surrre," balked Father Time. "Little brat's always introducing new resolutions and making promises he doesn't keep. Swell guy."
"I like him," came the muffled voice of Cupid from below table level.
Father Time just raised his eyebrows as he continued keying.
"You like everybody!" scoffed Tom.
"Yes, he does," said a snowman sitting next to Cupid. "Even you."
"Oh, shut up, Frosty!" barked the turkey. "The only reason you're even here is that Santa couldn't be bothered to show up! Again!Too busy stealing holidays, I g-obblegobblegobble!" the bird squawked as a snowball hit him in the face.
Lucky laughed. The others snickered.
Tom slowly wiped the snow from his face, breathing heavily with anger. Suddenly, his hand darted out and grabbed the carrot off of Frosty's face.
"Hey!" shouted Frosty. "Dad's nod ride! Gib dad bag!"
"Got your nose," Turkey sneered, ticking the carrot in front of Frosty like a metronome. The eyes of Santa's stand-in followed it back-and-forth a few times before Tom suddenly swiped it upwards, flicking the brim of the snowman's hat and tipping it backwards off of his head, causing him to go inanimate. Tom bit off the end of the carrot, then jabbed the rest into the side of Frosty's head, causing the large snowball to list slightly to one side, and one of the coals that made up his eyes to pop out of its socket and bounce onto the middle of the table.
The room went silent. All looked at the immobilized snowman in shock, not knowing what to say. The silence was only broken by horrified gasps when Frosty's one-eyed head tumbled into the chair next to him, burying Cupid in a pile of snow.
Further muffled by the snow, the small voice of the cherub called out, "I'm okay!"
"Enough," said the voice of quiet horror, sending chills down the spines of everyone there.
All turned to the one member of their conference that hadn't spoken until now. His eyes and mouth danced with firelight from within, and his pumpkin head burned with an unearthly flame. His neck creaked like a dry branch as he looked around the table at the group.
"Oh, how rude of me," remembered Tom. "You all know Jack O'Lantern? He's heading up Halloween while Sam Hain is on leave."
The group mumbled their greetings in unison. Licking his lips, Father Time added, "Now I want pie."
Jack looked at the old man silently. Small flames flickered in his eyes.
Time just shrugged and became very interested in his laptop, still typing steadily.
With a voice that seemed to echo from within his hollowed out head, Jack's voice floated through the room, "I have to agree with Turkey. Claus is overstepping his bounds. Christmas commercials even ran before Halloween this year. He must be dealt with."
Tom sat back in his chair, steepling his fingers together as he smiled. "I'm glad to hear you say that. You're used to horror, O'Lantern. I think the job should fall to you."
Jack's neck groaned as his head snapped around towards Tom. "Me?You want..." He sputtered and coughed violently with the surprise, the wind of it blowing out the flame in his head. His voice suddenly went normal. "No! I couldn't possibly!"
Tom looked at him with displeasure.
"It's not in our budget! Myers and Krueger are killing us with all of the litigation their actions have brought on the company! I simply can't," his voice broke. Hoarsely, he added, "Hain would have me back in Sleepy Hollow so fast I'd lose my head!"
"Fine," said Tom, reaching behind his back. Bringing his hand back, he now had a shotgun. Cocking it, he seethed, "I guess if I want something done, I'll have to do it myself!"
"Does that mean the meeting's adjourned?" Father Time asked as he typed.
"Yeees, we're adjournnned," Tom mocked. "Just what in the world are you typing over there anyway?" demanded Turkey.
Time stopped. Then he smiled and said, "Why, the minutes, of course."
Standing abruptly, Turkey raged, "Ooooooo!" and stormed out of the room. All watched silently as the glass door clicked shut behind him.
Pulling a stick lighter from his pocket, Jack stuck it in his mouth and snapped the trigger, relighting his flame. "I think I could go for pie now too. I'm buying. Who's with me?"
Father Time paused with his laptop half closed, looking a little sick.
Cupid stood in his chair, waist deep in the snow from Frosty's head, and looked at Jack with disgust. "Dude!" he chirped in his childlike voice.
"What?" said Jack.
Lucky answered, "Isn't dat like... cannibalism, lad?"
Jack gasped sharply and his flame went out again, "What?! No! Omigod! NO! I...I mean..." He stuck the lighter back in his mouth and snapped the trigger again. "How could you even think...? I wantpecanpie!"
"Ohhh!" they all said, smiling with relief and nodding their heads. Then they all gathered their things and headed out the door, discussing their plans for the holiday.
As the door swung shut behind them, Father Time called out, "Is it okay if I still get pumpkin pie?"
North Pole, Santa's Workshop
Santa sat at his desk behind a mountain of paperwork. He was correlating letters of children around the world from his Inbox with the names on his Naughty and Nice lists. The letters from children on the Nice list were placed in the Outbox for the elves to process, and the letters from children on the Naughty list went into the trash. It didn't matter what they wanted- they were getting coal. Oh, he still read them for expressions of remorse or possible selfless requests for others, but most of the time he was met only with disappointment.
Gazing out his window at the mountain of coal behind the reindeer stables, Santa thought to himself, It seems that the Naughty list gets longer every year. He shook his head sadly as he looked back at the pile of letters on his desk that he still had to go through. Even in disappointment, his eyes still had a twinkle to them, if dimmed just a tiny bit.
He hated to admit it, but that mountain of coal only made everyone's jobs easier: it wasn't as hard for the elves to keep up with the toy orders; he had less stops to make on Christmas Eve; it wasn't as much weight for the reindeer to carry; and the coal was packaged mechanically and delivered by UPS. He preferred Fed Ex, but he felt the gloomy brown uniforms put an extra note of disappointment on the deliveries for the naughty. Something for them to think about for next year.
Santa sighed deeply, took off his glasses, and tossed them on the desk. He rubbed his eyes with his fists and yawned softly with an "Oh. Oh. Ohhhhh."
Just then, the front door slammed open and a cold wind swept in. Santa's head jerked up in surprise. "TOM?!" he shouted. Tom Turkey shuffled in stiffly, clutching his wings around himself, teeth chattering wildly, and shivering uncontrollably. "Tom! Tom, my dear bird! What on Earth are you doing all the way up here? Why didn't you call?" Santa fretted as he ran to the door. He pushed the door shut quickly and ushered Tom in towards a plush couch in front of the fire. Taking his coat off, he draped it around the the bird's shoulders, put his red hat with the white ball on Turkey's head, stoked the fire with the poker, then sat in a wing chair at one end of the couch, angled towards the fire.
Pouring a cup of hot cocoa for his unexpected guest and one for himself, Santa said, "Goodness, me, Tom! Why are you up here in this weather? I was not expecting a frozen turkey tonight," Claus chuckled.
Tom shivered heavily as he attempted to turn his stiff neck towards Santa. "Ha," his teeth chattered several times, then, "ha," he finished. He sipped on his cocoa, which helped his shivering to subside noticeably, then leaned a little closer to the fire. "I'm f-freezing my t-tailfeathers off, and y-you're making j-jokes," he said.
"Nowww Tom, you know I didn't mean it, and you'll thaw out soon enough. But sit right there! I'm glad you came! You can save me a trip! Just let me grab my lists!" said Santa excitedly, and quick as a dash, he headed into his office.
Hurriedly, he shuffled the long papers through his hands, scrolling through the lists for everyone at Holiday, Inc. He found Baby New Year, Cupid, Father Time (of course, the old rascal), Jack, Lucky, and Sam. Confused for a moment, Santa thought, Where is Tom? Could it be? No, certainly not. Not Tom. Still, he picked up the Naughty list and scrolled quickly to the T's. He gasped when he saw Tom Turkey's name, and dropped the list with horror on his face when he saw why. "Frosty?" he choked. Turning quickly to the door, there stood Tom in Santa's coat and hat, with a shotgun pointed right at him. Whether still shivering from the cold, or from what he was about to do, it was hard to tell.
"Tom, please," said Santa sadly. "You don't want to do this."
"Yeah, J-Jelly Belly, I d-do." He shivered hard, then said, "C-Christmas has been p-pushing Thanksgiving out of the w-way for f-far too long, Claus! That's going to s-stoptonight! And I-I'm going to have a v-very," he shivered, "happy Thanksgiving."
Santa shook his head as he reached into his pocket. Withdrawing his hand, he was holding a lump of coal and a card. "Take these," he said. "It's the last things you'll get from me. Add them to the fire and warm yourself up."
Tom sneered. "You'll b-be warm where y-you're going t-too, Fatty. Ho, h-ho, ho!" he mocked, and then he pulled the trigger.
The shot echoed in the small office, and Santa fell hard to the floor after hitting the wall. Tom glared at the fallen Claus, then walked over and kicked the body. "It's p-pasttime I did th-that!" he shouted. He headed for the door muttering, "Good for n-nothin', lousy-" but stopped when he kicked the coal Santa had dropped from his hand. Noticing the card, he picked both up from the floor and walked out to the fire.
Pulling the coat around him with one hand, he tossed the coal on the fire as he sat down, and turned the card over in his hand. He read what was on it, and jumped up in surprise. "No!" he exclaimed. Then he dropped the card, fell to his knees, and shouted, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
The card lay in front of the fireplace, soft light dancing over the face of it. It read:
If something should happen to me, put on my suit. The reindeer will know what to do.
Tom's screams echoed into the night.
The Nice List
Christmas Eve 1974 - Bernville, Pennsylvania
Seven year old Christopher Nett throws a snowball at his adopted, ten year old sister, Amy, who retaliates with a barrage of snowballs. Christopher lays in the snow laughing as Amy plops down next to him.
Amy pinches her little brother. "Careful Chris, you don't want to be on Santa's naughty list. The Krampus might come and eat you."
Chris squeals with laughter. "Ha ha, if anyone is going to make the naughty list it's you Amy. Why'd Principle Wormwood send you home? Cuz you beat up the pretty girls again? They keep stealing your boyfriends?"
"Don't make fun." Amy said, punching her little brother.
"Ow! What the heck." Chris moaned. "Geez, sorry."
"It's okay. School isn't easy for me. Not like it is for you, little genius," Amy replied. "What new invention are you working on now?"
"A jet pack." Chris replied. "I'm going to fly up to Santa's sleigh in the sky and ask him for the action figure I want."
Amy hugged her little brother. "Merry Christmas, dork. Love ya."
Four A.M. - Christmas Morning
Chris wakes up abruptly.
'It's time. It's Christmas. I bet Amy's up already. She always beats me to Christmas day.' he thinks as he jumps out of bed and runs towards the living room.
Christopher walks into the family room, surrounded by presents. The Christmas tree has an extra shine to it. The decorations look even more perfect, snow falls out the window and the fireplace is giving off an extra warmth.
He sees the present he asked Santa for. A San Francisco Samurai action figure. The Indomitable Few was the coolest Saturday morning cartoon on television and S.F. Samurai was his favorite character.
There was a note from Santa Claus.
I was happy to get you that new toy you've always wanted.
Such a nice boy,
Unlike your adopted sister, Amy.
I put her on the naughty list.
Stay a Nice Boy, Christopher.
Christopher squealed with joy. He yelled out. "Hey Amy. Look who made the naughty list."
He turned around and saw Amy crouched near the Christmas tree, with her back to Chris.
"There you are. I didn't see you there when I first walked in," he said as he walked over to his big sister. "Check it out Amy, Santa got me the toy I wanted. Looks like you were on the naughty list. Ha ha."
Amy did not respond.
"I was just kidding, Amy. I'm sure you got something from Santa. Mom and dad probably got you something too," he said to his sister. "Why aren't you talking to me?"
Christopher felt something sticky under his bare feet. He looked down and saw a pool of blood spreading out from Amy's body.
The Naughty List
Eight Years Later - Christmas Eve
Nice Boy put on his armor. His arm sleeves had retractable blades on them. He strapped a jet pack on his back, his San Francisco Samurai action figure tied to the back. His helmet was emblazoned with the words- Nice Boy. Grabbing his spirit locator and a detonator, he was ready.
One last thing before he went to war with Santa. A red, bloody sack.
He stood in the neighborhood that he had estimated had the fullest collection of nice kids. Turning on his spirit detector, he waited.
Soon he saw a blip on the spirit detector screen. Santa was headed this way.
Turning on his jet pack, he flew up into the night's star filled sky, waiting for Santa. The sleigh came straight towards him at an insane speed. Nice Boy extended his blade gauntlets and flew straight at Santa's reindeer.
He flipped over Rudolph and flew in between Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, straight into Santa's sleigh. Cutting the connection to the reindeer, they flew off while Santa's sleigh floated in the sky.
"Ho, ho, ho! Well, what do we have hear? Is that young Christopher Nett?" Santa said with surprise. "What are you doing way up here, young man? You should be in bed, waiting for your Christmas gift."
Nice Boy stared at Santa Claus.
"That's not a nice way to greet people, young man." Santa said. "You should speak when spoken to."
"You killed her." Nice Boy said.
"Are you referring to your adopted sister, Amy?" Santa asked. "Of course you are. You've been very upset about that, haven't you?"
"Why?" Nice Boy asked. "Why did you kill her? She was my best friend. You took her from me."
"You are mistaken. I've never killed anyone." Santa explained. "Unfortunately, I have a dark companion, who takes the lives of naughty children, such as your adopted sister. He goes by many names. You know him as the Krampus."
Nice Boy held up the red, bloody sack in his right hand. "Oh, I know it was the Krampus who killed my sister."
He unloaded the sack on the floor. The Krampus' head rolled over Santa's feet. "The Krampus might have killed Amy but it was you who put her on the naughty list. You are the one who's responsible for her death. The Krampus kills the children you put on the naughty list."
Santa stared at Nice Boy. "You're adopted sis.."
"Stop calling her that. She was my sister." Nice Boy yelled.
"She was a school yard bully." Santa replied. "Do you know what she did to young Molly Watkins? She bullied that poor girl every day until the poor girl had to move away. Your sister deserved to be on the naughty list."
"She didn't deserve to die." Nice Boy yelled as he lunged at Santa, stabbing his bladed gauntlets into his fat belly.
Santa laughed. "Ho ho ho."
Snow sprayed out of his belly into Nice Boys face, who fell backwards. Santa grabbed his neck, tore off his jet pack, lifted him up and swung him to the side of the sleigh, holding him over the side.
"Christopher Nett. Haven't I always put you on the Nice List? Haven't I always given you what you wanted?" Santa asked. "I think it's time I put you on the Naughty List."
Nice Boy reached onto his jet pack and grabbed his San Francisco Samurai action figure. "Take it back. I don't want it anymore. I don't want any of it. I just want my sister back."
Santa looked down at the action figure. He looked back at Nice Boy with a hurt look on his face.
"I don't believe in you anymore." Nice Boy yelled as he shoved the action figure into Santa's belly.
Santa dropped Nice Boy over the edge of the sleigh. He fell through the snowy sky. Looking up at Santa's sleigh, he took out a detonator switch. Unknown to Santa, Nice Boy put a mini nuke inside of the S.F. Samurai action figure.
Santa's sleigh exploded.
Nice Boy fell to the ground, landing in a snowy patch. A star sparkled in the night's sky.
"Did you see that? That was for you. Merry Christmas, Amy. Love ya."
It’s that time of year. Everybody is out for shopping, buying gifts and handing them out to poor b@$t@rd$. I, on the other hand never wanted a gift in my life. Why? As a kid, I’ve always wanted something special. But Santa didn’t bother to read it on his good, f**king list. Not even one bit. I’ve been a good boy. I’ve been helping out my parents, did the cleaning chores and such and such. Heck, I even did my homework without my parents telling me. You know how kids never listen to their parents? They just sit right here, staring at the TV screen, playing video games all day and all night long. Yeah, they did that pretty much. It’s funny that I’m sitting here in my apartment building, staring at the wonderful gifts lying around the Christmas tree in someone else’s room. All those gifts...Bah! Humbug! Who needs them?
I had a hunch that Santa would come to several apartments in New York City. I’ve been living a low-life after I’ve returned from the war in Afghanistan. It was brutal if you ask me. I went to great lengths in training and you bet it was that harsh. The training ground provided me the necessary skills to defeat the one thing and only...Santa. People wouldn’t say he’s a thing or whatnot. I would say he’s the Father of F**king Christmas. My buddies have talked about how their kids received their precious gifts. I didn’t care at that time. I only listened to them. I did fake laughs. HA! HA! HA! Of course, Santa wouldn’t laugh like that. You know what I mean.
Anyways, here I am sitting on the bed, looking out the window, and still waiting for Santa to arrive. How do I know that he will arrive? Well, to tell you the truth, I’ve been searching for him ever since I’ve returned to my home country. I’ve asked my fellow scientist to travel to another dimension, the North Pole. There were others, who hated Santa too. They were called the "Santa Suicide Squad." They had their own reasons to kill him.
I’ve joined them and tried to kill Santa. Somehow, Santa’s Elf guards managed to beat us to death. I survived and returned to Earth with a broken arm. I’ve always tried going back. But it wasn’t the time of Christmas. You see, there’s a catch here. You can only hunt Santa down within twelve days of Christmas. Once you kill him, then it’s over. Santa is gone for good. But that doesn’t mean Christmas is over though. Many people were led to believe that Santa isn’t real. But hey, I do believe in Santa. That’s because I know he exists. With the scientist’s proof of alternate dimensions, it makes sense where Santa really comes from.
I don’t know if Santa knows that I’m still alive and coming for him. But then again, I’ve prepared all my life for this very moment. I will not fail this time. I’ll do whatever it takes to kick Santa’s @$$, even if he sends the elves here to kill me on sight.
Speaking of the elves, here they come. They knew where I was. I had my gun ready. They had their weapons lock and loaded too. It seems that their weapons looked like toys. But they weren't toys for sure. I never asked myself how Santa knew I was here because Santa is like God. But he isn’t God. I can prove that.
The elves barged through the door. They shot several rounds across the living room. Flying bullets came through the door in my bedroom. I ducked behind a chair, thinking of a plan. There must be a dozen of elves out there to get me, one man and only. I’ll show them what I’m made of. Jerry Christ will not go down on Christmas Day. I’m not kidding. Christ is my last name.
I opened the door quickly in my room, threw a smoke grenade, and then went back to my cover. I saw the elves were blinded by the smoke screen. Now, it’s my chance to shine.
“HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas, motherf**kers!” I shot all of them. Some of the bullets came through the smoke screen. I got hit on the leg and then the arm. It wasn’t a nice plan, but it was necessary. I needed to catch Santa before he goes back to his homeland.
Once the elves were dead, I quickly went out the building. One cop noticed what was going on. He said, “Hey! You there!” I shot his leg and said, “No time, mister. I have Santa to catch.”
There were other elves waiting for me. They hid behind a snow-covered car. I knew this was going to happen. Of course, Santa will send his stupid elves just to fire one, strong man. But I can’t allow the waiting time to prevent me from killing the fat b@$t@rd. I have to wait another year to catch him, another twelve days. That’s heck of a wait and no Santa hater would want that.
I can see Santa coming out of a chimney from the other side of the building. Usually, Santa comes alone at night and does his work. But this time, it’s different because Santa had naughty boys on his wishlist. He was aware of what was going to happen to him, which is why he had backup, just in case.
The elves were shooting on sight. The injured cop tried calling me back and screamed in pain. I didn’t listen to him. I jumped behind another snow-covered car. I looked at both sides, trying to shoot the elves. It was kind of hard to notice people around at this time of cold weather. It was chilling that I forgot to put my jacket on.
No time to wait. Santa will be leaving at this very moment. I looked at my watch and the time says “11:45 pm.” At mid-night, he will go back to North Pole. If that happens, Christmas will be over this year.
I took out a grenade and flung it over to the other snow-covered car. It blasted in seconds. The elves were dead. I continued running.
When I reached the staircase, I banged the door, hearing the sounds of the reindeer galloping the rooftops. I held my gun steady, looking out for Santa. Santa saw me, whipping his reindeer at full speed ahead. I shot Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. It screamed, which sounded something like a horse. Anyways, I ran behind the cart, held Santa on his neck. Santa hits me on the back. I almost fell off the cart. At that moment, I found myself above the sky along with the fat b@$t@rd.
“You’ve been a very, very naughty man, Jerry.” Santa said. He punched me on the face, twelve times. My gun fell off. I tried to keep my vision clear in this cold weather. Then, I remembered I had a kitchen knife.
My Dad gave me a gift at the time, Mom died of breast cancer. Everything had fallen apart since then. He worked so hard to support me in every way. He even couldn’t afford the precious gift, which I’ve wanted like any other kid out there. But I’ve always wanted something from Santa and thought he'll give it to me. That was my mother to be well again.
Instead, I had been given this kitchen knife. Then, I realized what to do with it. To kill Santa was my destiny, to kill him for not saving my mother.
I took the knife out of my pocket, switched to its blade position and stabbed in his eye. Santa screamed louder with pain that anyone couldn’t hear his loud, grumpy voice. I’ve told him why I’m doing this. I took out the knife away from his eye and stabbed on his tummy twelve times. Pools of blood came out. Santa almost fell, and I held him on the sleeve.
“I’m...not Jesus.” Santa said. “I...only give...gifts.”
I didn’t say anything. Of course, I know that Santa wasn’t God or Jesus Christ. But asking something for a gift doesn’t mean it’s an item. It’s something precious that’s important to you, someone you cared about.
“I know,” I said to him. “I know.” I let him fall into the cold abyss of New York City. I held the whips tightly, so that I could ride along the way back home. There, I saw a bunch of cops surrounding the apartment. It was too late to pack things before I left New York City. Luckily, I have backup, just to cover me. Not to mention, I have my own personal doctor. I needed to see her to treat my injuries.
The next day, I’ve told the scientist about what happened to Santa. He was stunned at first, but actually believed me. Without him, I wouldn’t know where Santa will head off next.
The scientist have decided not to use the portal in order to access the North Pole, since Santa Claus was dead. But I've told him, we needed it for future use. Who knows if the war against Santa was over.
I’ve checked the local news. There were reports of the death of Santa Claus everywhere, even in all channels. It was a horrifying moment for all families and kids to find out that the Father of Christmas is dead.
With the use of reindeer, I had to fly away and hide from the authorities, since I shot that cop outside my apartment. That’s the least of my problems. But the worst problem is that Miss Santa will find out what I did to her husband. Yeah... revenge is never sweet.
i shot santa. And I shot his deputy.
the fat man didnt see it coming, no siree.
right between his red glazed cheeks and out the back of his head
it wasnt a merry chrsitmas, because he was dead
next i will shoot that horrible bunny
and ruin easter, isn't that funny
“For a fat %$#& in a red suit who only works one day a year, you’re a hard man to find!”
Santa Claus stopped. He was partially in, and also out of the chimney. Standing on the roof at the far end; partially illuminated by Christmas lights and his cigarette, stood a man dressed in dark blue jeans, black top and black trench coat who’d surprised the jolliest man around.
“Language like that will get you on the naughty list,” chuckled Santa as he stepped out of the chimney onto the snow covered roof.
“Been on you’re damn list since I was seven, you judgemental bastard!”
Santa was taken aback by the venomous retort. “You seem to know me but…”
“Check your list fat man,” sneered the man as he flicked his cigarette at Santa’s shiny black boots. “Check it twice.”
Santa squinted as he looked the man up and down from top to toe. “Coleman. Gethin Blake Coleman. Born nineteen seventy four.”
Gethin slow clapped as he walked forward; step at a time, deliberately. “Correct.”
“Nineteen eighty one; pulled sisters hair, wet the bed, lied about who spilt the milk, didn’t feed dog!” Santa recalled causing Gethin to stop. “Nineteen eighty two; again bed wetting but this time with blaming the dog, stole chewing gum from local store, pushed Trevor Tyler into mud, broke plate...shall I go on?”
“Petty, arbitrary reasons,” Gethin grunted as he pulled a crowbar from his inner coat pocket.
“You’re going to mug me?” Santa asked in almost disbelief.
“No Santa,” Gethin corrected as he spun the crowbar in his palm. “I’m going to kill you.”
Santa noticed flecks of liquid leaping off the crowbar, and upon landing on the white snow their colour really stood out. Red. Blood red. He looked over to see his sleigh parked on the neighbouring roof but his trusty reindeer…
“Dasher? Dancer? Prancer?”
Gethin smiled as he tapped the bar into his palm. “Got all of them. Vixen. Comet. Donner, Blitzen. Even than red nosed freak you added in the thirties.”
Santa gasped. “Rudolph?”
“Can’t have you escaping mid way now can we?” Gethin pointed out. “How’s it feel?”
Santa breathed heavily into his hand as he surveyed the corpses of his trusty charges. “You’re a monster.”
“No Santa, I’m vengeance. I am every disappointed Christmas come back to haunt you.”
The large man in red reached into the large brown sack at the foot of chimney removing a large candy cane.
“I was half expecting a lightsaber,” Gethin sneered.
Santa winked as he separated the cane to reveal a long razor sharp katana. “Will this do Gethin?”
Gethin nodded in agreeance and dropped the crowbar onto the roof with a clang. Santa smiled warmly. “I am so glad it didn’t come t…” Santa paused as Gethin drew a large handgun from his jacket.
The shot echoed through the night exploding the chimney as Santa leapt for safety, his belly wobbling like a bowlful of jelly. Gethin aimed again as the fat man bounced up to his feet with remarkable agility and charged at him.
“You’re a very, very, naughty boy,” Santa chastised as he ducked the shot and closed the gap between them.
“And you’re a dead man!” Gethin replied, KER-BLAMMO!, as he shot into the roof trying to trip up old St Nick but he deftly flipped over it and landing within striking distance. A white gloved hand smacked the gun off into the yard below with surprising strength.
“Many have tried,” Santa said as he took a fighting stance of Pankration, one of the world’s oldest martial arts. “Easter Bunny. Tooth Fairy. All better than a little boy with a misplaced grudge.”
Gethin snarled as he lashed out but Santa hit out with a straight kick with the bottom of the foot to the stomach knocking the wind out of him. Santa moved behind his now crouched opponent, placed a knee into his back, scooped up Gethin’s right arm and pulled it back; hyper extending the limb at the shoulder and elbow with minimal effort on Santa’s part. Gethin roared in pain.
“Get off me you fat %$#&!”
Santa shook his head as he pulled back on the arm some more “You killed my reindeer.”
“That’s not…all…” squealed Gethin. Santa paused as he pondered the statement, stroking his bushy beard with his spare hand.
“What have you done?”
Gethin writhed in pain but unable to move.
“TELL ME!” roared Santa, his face turning the same shade as his hat and coat. He grabbed a handful of Gethin’s hair and twisted his head to face the no longer jolly man. “WHAT! DID! YOU! DO?”
Gethin’s face contorted into a twisted smile. “I can…show you…but…you may have…to let me…go.”
Santa released Gethin’s hair and summoned the candy katana to his hand, the blade sailing to his palm. He pressed the blade against the exposed neck. “If you’ve…”
Santa smashed the pommel of the sword into the back Gethin’s skull. As Gethin lay prone Santa removed some tinsel cuffs to bind his hands.
“Start talking!” Santa barked into his ear as he hauled him to his feet.
Gethin nodded at the sleigh. “Check the box.”
Santa shoved Gethin forwards and they made their way over. Splattered across the roof was reindeer blood and the carcasses of magical reindeer. Sitting on the seat was a yellow box tied with red ribbon; the bottom of the box was wet.
“What’s in the box?” Santa asked tentatively.
“You know,” Gethin said.
“WHAT’S IN THE BOX?”
Gethin shrugged. “It’s like that cat box poison thing. You need to open it to find out even though you already know.”
Santa kicked Gethin’s legs out from under him, sending him to the floor. A large black boot crunched onto his groin making Gethin scream. Santa ignored the noise and turned to the box. His eyes welled with tears as his mind raced; horrific thoughts plagued him.
“Longer you tak…” Gethin’s mocking was silenced as Santa stomped again on his baubles. Slowly he pulled the red ribbon free. With a deep exhale he lifted the lid. It was seemingly stuck but after centuries of present wrapping and unwrapping, Santa skilfully took off the lid.
Lying in a puddle of water was the decapitated head of Frosty the Snowman. Shattered coal eyes, broken carrot nose; and a hand grenade in his half melted mouth with the pin removed thanks to the string attached to the box lid that Santa had just removed.
“Merry Xmas you filthy animal!” laughed Gethin as he rolled under the sleigh. The box exploded. Santa managed to get a hand up to protect his face but the shock of seeing his old friend allowed most of the blast to bypass his magical defences; ripping into his face, singeing his beard.
“W-why?” gasped Santa as he held his damaged check on.
“You told me I was bad,” Gethin said. “When I wasn’t. You sent me on a path, sure I made my own choices but you started my journey and every single year reminded me I was bad, naughty, NOT GOOD ENOUGH! And it took years but I finally found you…do you know how many knockoff Santa’s I’ve killed? Poor bastards dressed as YOU sitting in shopping centres just trying to make some cash. All dead because of you! Anyway, I found you and now you’re going to die.”
“You’ll ruin Christmas,” coughed Santa who wobbled to his feet.
“Just like you ruined mine!” Gethin snatched up the candy cane katana and drove it through the beard, through his neck and out the back of Santa. The fat man convulsed like a bowlful of epileptic jelly; crimson blood staining his snow white beard. Gethin kicked him in the rotund stomach sending him off the roof and crashing to the ground. Gethin scooped up the hat of his fallen foe, sat down on the roof, pulled a crumpled packet if cigarettes from his pocket and lit one up, watching jolly old Saint Nick die.
“Happy holidays,” Gethin coughed through the cloud of smoke.
The Death of Bishop Nicholas of Myra
Outskirts of Myra, Eastern Roman Empire, 6th December 343AD
The man dressed in scale mail draped over cotton poked the remains of the dark skinned old man dressed in rags with his spear, before turning to the five other figures all stood around the desert well.
"He is dead." The man announced in heavily accented Parthian, his words translated and repeated in Latin and then German by the people watching him. "Bishop Nicholas of Myra is dead."
"We need proof of his demise." A pale skinned woman hissed in Latin, her blonde hair stained red with blood, as was her leather armour. "We take the head and nothing else." She added, as a massive man with a plated beard dressed in chain-mail and armed with a long sword strode up to the corpse and raised his sword.
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire, 3rd January 344AD
The Roman guards stepped over the bodies of the six mercenaries on the steps, before presenting the severed head of Bishop Nicholas of Myra on a plinth before the Emperor, his bored face showing little emotion to the grisly presentation.
"By God's divine grace, tell me of your demise." The Emperor ordered the head, a single ray of light striking the forehead of Bishop Nicholas. Seconds later the jaw dropped, and the vacant eyes rolled in their sockets to stare at the questioner. "I order you to speak!" The Emperor hissed.
"I had escaped prison in Myra," The head groaned, "but your men pursued me, as did the mercenaries that you hired to kill me. You went to the corners of the earth to find my killers, consorted with Saxons and Franks, bartered with Scythian Head-hunters and Skirmishers from Kushan. You even dared to ally animals such as the Goths, Lakhamids and Picts, just to kill me. And why? Simply because you feared that the people of this Empire would demand that I sit on a throne. A throne that I never wanted in life, and despise even more in death."
"Continue in a civil tongue lest your soul be dammed bishop." The Emperor warned with a harsh tone.
"I fear you not Emperor, I have already been judged for my deeds in this life." Nicholas stated bitterly. "Old friends who will remain nameless aided me in my release from prison, and a fair number of them aided me in my flight from the city. Alas our enemy was already closing in as we cleared the gates."
Outskirts of Myra, Eastern Roman Empire, 6th December 343AD
Dust rose from the desert road, as five horses thundered east away from the town, their riders urging their mounts on as fast as they could. Not fan behind them a pair of horses were in hot pursuit, their riders, a blonde haired woman armed with a sickleand a dark skinned man dressed in cotton armour, a recurved bow slung over his shoulder charged after the fleeing holy party.
"Your holiness we need to buy you some time." A man dressed in the armour of a roman guard announced. "It is as we feared, the Emperor has sent mercenary forces to facilitate your execution." He added, as an arrow flew past, only just missing the Bishop's horse.
"It is as we feared, the Kushan horse archer we saw the garrison talking to as we left is trying to kill me Trebius." Nicholas sighed, as he and his 'bodyguards' veered left to avoid colliding with an oncoming wagon laden with salt. The minor redirection was enough to slow the fleeing force for half a minute, allowing the Scythian to pull alongside Trebius.
"Your holiness go, I will deal with this barbarian!" Trebius ordered, swinging his gladius, only for his shorter foe to duck under the blow. Now unbalanced he struggled to reposition himself in the saddle as the Kushan Horse Archer galloped past. "It ends here, you will not touch..." He stopped as the Scythian sliced her sickle through his neck, the head hitting the floor before being trampled under the horses hooves.
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire, 3rd January 344AD
"And so passed the guard captain of Myra." The head of Bishop Nicholas sighed, as the Emperor took a drink from the ampora of wine, before handing it to one of his attendants. "Had all our enemies been behind us maybe we would have escaped, alas the rest of the mercenaries were waiting on the road ahead of us."
"Continue your tale bishop." The Emperor yawned. "Amuse me or I will have someone through you into a sewer."
"Very well oh most holy of Emperors." The head stated in a somewhat sarcastic tone. "As I mentioned, our enemies were on the road ahead of us, as well as behind us."
Outskirts of Myra, Eastern Roman Empire, 6th December 343AD
The remaining horsemen continued along the desert road, a few arrows fired at them by their pursuers. As the road ahead narrowed due to a steep drop on one side and a cliff of stone on the other.
"Your holiness, should we go back for Trebius." A short wrinkled man dressed in colourful robes asked, as the horses filed two abreast along the cliff path.
"Nay Lucius, I fear even your healing hands could do little for him now." Nicholas sighed, as he looked back and saw the Kushan Horse Archer cease his pursuit and lower his bow.
"He's stopped coming." A tanned man dressed in rags gasped, as all four men looked back to see their pursuers seemingly give up the chase. It was only a horse snorting from up up ahead that dampened the fugitives jubilation. There standing on the road ahead dressed in Romanesque armour with a metal face plate was a man mounted on an armoured horse, one far larger than the Roman mounts standing before it.
"A Visigoth Knight!" Nicholas gasped as the knight kicked his mount forward, before hefting a two handed mace from his back, the ornate head seemingly glowing in the late afternoon sun. Before he had even reached his prey, panic regarding the Visigoth, with two horses throwing their riders over the edge, followed by the smash of flesh striking armour as the knight smashed through the four horseman, mace blows crippling the horses and unseating their riders.
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire, 3rd January 344AD
"And so me and my companions fell." Nicholas croaked, his voice brimming with emotion. "They all died on..." He stopped as the Emperor clicked his fingers and a slave holding an amphora of honey stepped forward.
"The truth no longer amuses me." The Emperor yawned as the slave dripped honey onto Nicholas's forehead. "Entertain me, lest I allow the flies and wasps to devour you."
"Very well." Nicholas moaned. "We survived our fall but alas our mounts didn't..."
Outskirts of Myra, Eastern Roman Empire, 6th December 343AD
Lucius stood over the man dressed in rags, his hand running down the patients back, his charge screaming as Bishop Nicholas of Myra was helped to his feet by a man dressed in a grey toga.
First Trebius and now Jacob." The man lamented. "Such cruel fate that they should die in the company of a doctor, priest and grave digger."
"Jacob is not dead yet Charon." Nicholas stated. "Lucius is a fine physician, and we are now out of range of those mercenaries." He added, as the scrub off to the side rustled slightly. "And I believe there is a well close by to wash his wounds should we need to." He added as Lucius got to his feet, and begun to walk to the pair of gentlemen. Reaching halfway he stopped and shuddered, before dropping to the floor an axe stuck out of his back.
"By the lord..." Charon gasped as three men burst out of the scrub, and charged towards Nicholas. The first was dressed in leather, a pair of axes in his hands, his long dark hair sporting pieces of brash and briar. The second carried a short spear and had scale mail covering his tanned skin. The last was blue eyed and blond haired, his beard plated, whilst his shield and armour emblazoned with his clan crest.
"Frank, Lakhamid and Saxon." Nicholas announced, as the Saxon stomped on Jacob's body whilst his comrades advanced on the living men.
Taking a deep breath Charon took a step forward, before covertly motioning Nicholas to run. "How dare you raise arms against me!" He boomed, as Nicholas backed away, his hands crossing himself as he turned away from Charon and headed to the well. "I am Bishop Nicholas of Myra and I demand..." Nicholas dared not look back as Charon was silenced.
"This one is an imposter!" The Saxon roared, as he pointed toward the rapidly retreating Nicholas. "Run him down!" He snorted, as the sound of hoofs and screaming horses were heard in the distance. Stirring the Frankish Axeman flung one of his weapons at Nicholas, the adhoc projectile hitting him in the leg with its haft, the blow stunning him momentarily.
"Lord protect me!" Nicholas gasped, as the armoured mount of the Visigoth Knight appeared before him, the man dismounting and walking slowly towards him, his mace swinging. Before the Knight reached the Bishop, another attack came from behind, as the Lakhamid lashed out with his spear, the tip piercing the holy man's side. "Lord protect me, and strike down my enemies!" Nicholas cried, moments before the mace smashed into his chest.
Withdrawing the Visigoth and Lakhamid regrouped with the other mercenaries as Nicholas crawled away.
"Shall I strike him down with an arrow from afar?" The Kushan asked, as he knocked a projectile in his bow.
"And risk damnation from the heathen god of the Empire?" The Lakhamid stated. "No let the venom squeezed from viper fangs and mandrake root take effect and send him to the afterlife."
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire, 3rd January 344AD
The Emperor clicked his fingers, and the slave holding the amphora drizzled the honey over Nicholas's face, the severed head coughing and choking.
"I grow bored of you and your tale Bishop." The Emperor stated, as he left his throne and walked past the severed head. "No one will remember you in fifty years Bishop. The world will forget Bishop Nicholas of Myra by the end of the century, of that I swear!" He snapped, as he stepped over the bodies of the dead mercenaries, oblivious to the solitary speck of snow, accompanied by the sound of bells ringing across the city, landing on the cheek of the slain holy man.
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. He had imagined this moment for years upon years. The day that Saint Nick would get what finally was his.
DING, DONG! DING, DONG! The clock chimed throughout the house, inflicting memories of long forgotten.
Santa had stepped in from the outside, his red coat covered in the purest of snow, while his white beard began to crystalize at the ends from the coldest of days. His notorious smile had disappeared, a hopeless frown signaling despair.
"Its a bitter cold tonight," he said with a venom of something verily wrong.
"Peter?" The name rolled out with as much fear as surprise.
"You sound surprised, Nickolas," he said with a devilish grin. "You can call me Black Peter though. Its much more grim, don't you think?"
"How did you get here?" Santa asked as if he had seen a ghost.
"You mean how did I survive your farewell gift?' Black Peter stating an obvious alternate version from which Santa opened. "No one is here, Santa. I killed them all much like you attempted years ago with me."
The charade of a jolly, old man quickly melted at the revelation. Only to show the narrow eyes of a warrior years prior. "You are an abomination, Zwarte."
"Abomination?" Peter shouted with an unrivaled zeal, leaping onto the chestnut wooden desk which centered the room. "Hypocrite! We used to be friends, Nick. We used to be friends, but then you left me to rot."
"We were never friends, Peter." Santa snapped at the allegation.
"I know that now, you fat bastard." Black Peter did not hesitate with his words. He had known the man draped in red for as long as he could remember. The moment he had waited for was just feet away from him. Every word Santa would say he had imagined. Every retort calculated. All of it due to that one day. "I was your scapegoat so you wouldn't tarnish your good name."
"You went too far into the abyss, Peter."
"Who is the one that pushed me there?" Peter pointed at the man before him. "Did your elves know about me? How about your chariot of reindeer dashing through the snow. It makes me sick just thinking about the creature behind all this - which is you."
"Get out of my house," barked Santa, attempting to shut down the line of questioning.
"Did they know the truth, Nick?"
Santa's face began to redden. His voice reaching another decibel. "I said get out."
"Did they know the truth, Nick?" Peter asked once more.
"Get out of my damn house!" The warrior true screamed with force that rattled every glass ornament near. His anger began to effect his breathing, panting heavier and faster as he threw something which Peter easily avoided.
"They don't do they?" Peter answered with a revengeful satisfaction. "You have a good scheme going on here, Nick. I have to give it to you. The day you tried to snuff me out of history I laid in the snow where you had left me, a blade through my chest and as I began to bleed out I finally realized it. I realized the true nature of your Christmas. It was your damn list."
"You completely had me in the dark. You compartmentalize really well. The whole you take the good kids and I handle the bad ones. That was the devil in you, Nick. I didn't realize it until an epiphany came to me that cold, dreary night. You freakin' rank your kids. Why would anyone do that unless you had a reason. They are a threat to you."
"You are insane."
"I could be but what are you? Words bounce off me and stick to you like glue." Heckled Peter as he pulled a golden cube from his jacket, the grooves and angles each glowing a bright light from within. "Either way, I am the one with this."
Santa's eyes opened widely at the object which Peter possessed in his hands. He could do nothing more but reach for it while only voicing a stutter. "How did you find that?"
"It was lying in plain sight, if one was willing to go deeper into the rabbit hole of possibility," Peter answered. "Is this really the First Gift?"
The gleam of greed and awe in Santa's eyes answered the question for Peter. "It's priceless."
"It sure is. It's like my own version of a mystical 8-ball. It is exactly how I pieced together your whole scheme once I discovered your name etched into this find device. You were the number the number one kid on a list as well. But being the number one kid not only gets you a Red Rider BB gun, it also gets you a chance at being Santa Claus himself."
Santa stepped back in shock.
"You aren't the first Santa. Its a position. A position in which you only have to work two days out of the year and pretty much remain immortal as long as you maintain the beard with the moniker. The thing is, as long as you split the list there are no witnesses to see you eliminate your competition."
With a rage in his eyes, Santa Claus grasped his broad sword and strikes downward, splintering his desk into pieces. A mist filled the room, varying types of wood dust trickling down like snow.
"I knew it. Someone has been a very naughty boy over the years." Peter laughed at the satisfaction which seemed to defeat the man before him.
"I'm going to rip that Gift out of your blackened hand." Santa uttered, pure determination oozing from himself. The truth he had kept hidden finally revealed, and that was a threat he couldn't afford.
"Such words, Nick. What would Belsnickel think of such action?"
The name stopped Santa frozen. How would Peter know of that name, he thought.
"That's right, Nick. I found Belsnickel. The same dope that got handed the naughty list before me. I figured if you weren't the only Santa, there had to be another guy toting around coal."
"Treachery?" Santa calls out, whirling his broad sword once again toward Black Peter, this time his attack parried by Peter.
"There is no such thing. Only good and bad, and you have made the naughty list quite often," Peter says with a thrust of a blade into Santa's chest. "Ferliz Navidad, bastard."
The Boy Who Killed Christmas
The world of a child is an alien one. It is a realm of fantastical creatures, wishes, and magical thinking, all governed by the premise of belief and acceptance. Herein lies the power to change the world. And what better time for these virtues to reach their peak than Christmas.
Billy, however, was smarter than most children. At the age of eight he was familiar with the properties of acids and elements. He was a child of science and yet, unable to cast off his belief in magic. He pondered the concept of a benevolent entity, recording and organising mankind’s deeds into two individual lists. This irresistible gullibility, he said, was a childhood flaw that needed to be extricated. He would test the theory of the Santa Claus.
It was the early hours of Christmas. Billy, after a bout of excitement, was sound in bed. It would have been impossible for Billy to have heard him, for he made no sound despite his frame. His form was obscured by the darkness. In his hands was a box shaped present. He bounced joyfully as he walked towards the television and planted the gift he held so tenderly. There was a sadness in his eyes. He smiled, for Billy had left milk and cookies on the table near the couch.
His schedule was worldwide, but he would spare a few extra minutes. His mind had been on Billy, the lonely boy from a troubled family. This year, Billy was able to raise over five hundred pounds which he would use to buy presents for sick children. This, Santa felt, was deserving of a reward, so he moved his name from the naughty to nice list.
It was then that Billy awoke, the sound of a heavy thump jolted him from his sleep. He trailed down the stairs to have his theory confirmed. He froze as Santa Claus lay on the floor convulsing, the cookies scattered across the floor. He stretched his arm for assistance, but there was no response. Billy took a moment to compose himself.
‘Hydrocyanic acid,’ he smiled. ‘Otherwise known as cyanide.’