Blitz ‘Em - A Christmas Short Story
Immortality wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
That was Santa’s thinking, elbows creaking and knees almost giving way, as he climbed onto his sleigh for the 1,732nd time. He pulled his seatbelt across his bulging stomach, and performed a few safety checks, before cracking his whip; letting his merry band of reindeers know that it was go time.
As Lapland disappeared below him, he sat back in his chair and sighed, ruminating on the decision he’d come to.
2021 was to be the last year of Father Christmas.
A few factors had made up his mind.
Firstly, folk these days were so bloody ungrateful. Gone was the sanctity of trooping down the stairs together as a family on Christmas morning, gasping in delight at the wrapped presents nestled under the tree and the bloated stockings hanging from decorated mantlepieces. Now, everyone wanted more. And they wanted it yesterday.
Secondly, it was tiring. Crossing the world in a twenty-four-hour period is madness, but to be expected to do it every year with increased demands and a swelling population?
And don’t get him started on the commercialization. Coca-Fucking-Cola had a lot to answer for.
He’d had enough.
And so, before leaving tonight, Santa had collected the AK-47 he’d pocketed while dropping presents at an army base in Sierra Leone last year and walked calmly from his house to the elf’s workshop.
As he entered, they’d been congratulating each other on meeting their target - back slapping all round. All the presents had been made, wrapped and gift-tagged in record time, and so, they were celebrating in the traditional way: Mariah Carey on repeat, dancing and gallons of eggnog at the ready. A twinge of pity pulled at Santa’s mind, but quickly evaporated as he levelled the gun and fired indiscriminately. The shots rang out, almost keeping time with the music, and when he was done, the floor was filled with broken glass and the remains of hundreds of tiny elven bodies.
He fired one more bullet, taking out the stereo, before turning on his heel and making his way back to the house. He left the gun outside, propped up against the garage, and paused outside the front door. He heaved a great sigh.
If he was really going to end it all, Mrs. Claus would have to go, too.
And so, she did go, though he tried not to dwell on the details or the blood on his hands.
In the here and now, high above the twinkling lights of Helsinki, he had a plan. Santa would make one last visit to every house on the planet that contained a child. Their heart’s desire would be met; a new bike for little Steven in Manchester, a Paw Patrol set for Emma in Quebec. Hell, even the devilish eight-year-old Antonio in Rome was going to wake up to that switchblade he’d chanced his arm at getting.
And then, once all his good deeds had been done, Santa was going to go to Mexico. He’d consulted the naughty list, pored over it to find the naughtiest person on the planet, and it turned out that Juan Garcia was hogging the top of the charts. Had been for a few years now.
Santa was going to go out in a blaze of glory.
The night passed quickly, as it often did. The reindeers did an admirable job, and Santa didn’t do too badly, either. When the final present had been safely stowed under a tastefully decorated Balsam Fir in San Diego, Santa scuttled up the chimney and hightailed it to the outskirts of Tijuana.
The reindeers guided him safely into a back street, hidden from the factory’s view. He climbed out of his seat, and stroked each of their noses, before cutting them loose. He’d always been fond of them, and a little tear formed at the corner of his eyes as he watched Rudolph’s vibrant red nose disappear into the night sky.
When they’d vanished amongst the stars, he turned his attention to the matter at hand.
Juan had been a bad boy, and that wouldn’t do.
Santa crept down an alley and observed the factory, inside which Juan was currently barking orders at forced laborers, who were working themselves to the bone to make the baddest man in the world rich(er).
With fury burning in his heart, Father Christmas pulled a Glock from his pocket and strode towards the gates. A group of henchmen stood watching, poking each other and laughing at the old dude who looked like St. Nick. Santa shot three of them between the eyes before they had a chance to react, popping the fourth in his right knee. He fell to the ground, and Santa was on him.
The scared man gave up the information needed without much persuasion, and Santa thanked him by slitting his throat with his own blade (that Santa pocketed after) and taking the keys from his belt.
He unlocked the gate, marched up to the factory doors, and unlocked them, too. No one would be expecting a visitor, especially Juan, who was so arrogant he probably thought the quartet of losers he’d posted at the gate would be enough to deter the hardest of criminals.
Santa opened the door and slipped in, the stench of ammonia almost making him wish he hadn’t.
The meth lab was a mess. Chemicals were piled high near the back wall, dirty equipment littered cluttered benches, and scared looking men and women fretted over little transparent bags. Santa slid behind an overflowing dumpster, and tried to count his enemies. Turns out the dead man out front had been telling the truth – there weren’t that many, only five, excluding Juan. Obviously, he was much too important to just be thrown in with the mercenaries on the floor.
Wanting this to be over, Santa stepped from his hiding place and levelled the Glock at the nearest machine-gun carrying man. He squeezed the trigger, and watched the man topple like a felled oak.
After that, chaos reigned.
The man in the red suit pirouetted around the space like a ballet dancer, popping caps where caps needed to be popped, while yelling at the poor workers who didn’t want to be there to get the hell outta Dodge. When he was finished, smoke billowed throughout the empty warehouse and he eventually found Juan, on his back, hand pressed tight to his stomach. Blood was spilling between his shaking fingers.
‘You’ve been a bad boy,’ Santa said, before emptying the rest of the magazine into Juan’s face.
With the job done, Santa’s intention had been to inject a needle full of Black Tar heroin into his ancient veins and drift away into the beyond. But, doing the good deed (albeit in a nefarious manner) had awoken something in him. Knowing that he had freed a community from a tyrannical drug dealer felt good, and he wondered if ending his own life was the way to go after all.
Maybe, just maybe, he’d put the suicide bid on hold, continue the yearly tradition of doling out presents to nice children, while also sorting out the scum who made it onto the naughty list.
And thus, a new tradition was born.
Mind made up, he made his way back to the sleigh, cursing his impulsiveness. He realized that he was going to have to employ more elves, and get creative about where the others had gone if any would-be helpers asked…