Friday, December 5, 2014

12-5-14 Writing Warm-up
5:16 PM

12-5-14 Writing Warm-up

12-5-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Robert Chew, All Rights Reserved -
Characters and Story © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

"Area's S&C, Ma'am. Double-K will see you now."

Emma still could not believe who was speaking to her, but she managed to splutter a reply. "Ahum...S and C? I'm not sure I-I-"

The gun toting elf--yes, elf: green hat, Christmas-colored outfit, pointy ears and all--cut her off. It was like he'd heard the statement thousands of times. He waggled the end of his ceramic-bodied, snub-nosed, laser-sight-enhanced M47 around casually with one hand and replied crisply. "Secured and Cleared, Ma'am. Standard Operating Procedure." His voice was as cold and cutting as a gale straight from the North Pole.

Emma blinked and grasped blindly with her right hand, subconsciously seeking Bradley's palm. When he did not take her hand right away, she looked down her arm to her hand, to where her husband's hand should have been. He was there, stock-still and staring wide-eyed into the literal maze of fully decorated and lit Christmas trees. They were standing amid hundreds of the towering, fragrant, sparkling giants. 'If the whole thing were not so surreal, it would have been incredibly beautiful', she mused to herself.

Emma felt something cold and hard press into her lower back: the elf's high-powered, high-firing-rate weapon, urging her onward with lethal intent.

"Ma'am, Sir, move along. Double-K will not be kept waiting."

Emma could not have imagined that such a small, squeaky voice could sound so frightening.

Still utterly dazed at the whole affair, the couple walk-staggered along amid the labyrinth of festive ornamentation. Several twists and turns later, they came to a small clearing where they saw him. THE MAN HIMSELF. Emma felt her breath catch in her throat as she looked, and somehow, it was all made more real. Of course, it was real enough when they were sleigh-napped in an actual levitating, technology-studded sledge, and it had become even more real when the elves had appeared in sparkling bursts of mind-clouding psychotropic gas, but now...NOW, after seeing the red suit, the white beard, and all...

Now it was somehow absolutely, undeniably real.

Santa walked up, a smoking, stinking cigar clenched comfortably in his teeth, its red light reflecting off his white beard like tail lights on a snow bank. He was almost exactly like all the stories Emma had ever heard, except for one thing: Santa's eyes.

There was no sparkle in those dead orbs.

The cigar bobbed from one corner of the "jolly old elf's" mouth to the other. "Time to pay up, Mr. and Mrs. Preston."

Emma was taken aback. Bradley was mute with disbelief. 'Pay up?' she puzzled. Finally, she managed. "S-Santa, Sir-"

Saint Nick raised a ham-fisted hand, with fingers outstretched. "Th' name's Kris Kringle. Ya can call me MISTER KRINGLE." The growling laughter that followed rattled some crystalline ornaments on a nearby tree.

Emma blinked again, completely confused. "Ahum...oookay. Mister Kringle, I-I don't understand. What do you mean, exactly, when you say, 'Pay up'?"

Kringle narrowed his brows. "Ya know how this works. Ya use the threat of me all year long to keep those little nightmares you call children in line. I deliver the goods, on time, on the day we agree to. Now, it's time for me to get paid. Ya didn't think I did this out of the goodness of my heart, now did'ja?"

Kringle's resounding laughter at Emma's horrified, surprised expression was enough to make Christmas trees drop their needles and machine-gun-toting elves to smirk.

Despite everything, the only thing Emma could think was, ' does shake like a bowl full of jelly...'


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