For some reason, whenever I hear this, a tale something like this runs through my mind…
Christmas Eve, A Year In the Near Future.
Santa Claus – Sinter Klaas, St. Nicholas – approaches the [pick an adversary country, preferably a godless and oppressive one like R_d Ch_ina] border, cruising at near his maximum operational altitude. Already the sophisticated Elven instruments on the dashboard of his sleigh can pick up the first brushes of their ACCM (Anti-Christmas Counter Measures), like the prickly whiskers of a restlessly slumbering, evil dragon.
They had been getting better, with each passing year. Last year, the unthinkable had happened: they had actually managed to exclude him from their airspace! Multiple probes had ended in failure, and the danger both to his increasingly disoriented and weakening reindeer, and to the undelivered presents intended for countless boys and girls, had compelled him to stop trying to penetrate their shields.
But that was then. This was now. The Elves had worked night and day for nearly a year to craft his newest sleigh: a Mark VI, the newest, best, and most powerful sleigh he has ever possessed.
A full moon shines down upon the earth below, as Santa calls to his reindeer for a last effort, takes the sleigh higher, higher… and then into a sweeping dive-roll that would have done a jet fighter proud, straightening out into a low-angle, sloping dive right for the defended perimeter. He can feel through his reins the heart the reindeer put into it, racing faster and faster through the night sky, driving relentlessly at the hostile border.
With his off-hand, Santa’s gloved fingers play across the controls, and around them a coruscating nimbus of Christmas magic takes form. Those who might glance up from below would see only an exceptionally bright meteor, with a teardrop shape and a tail like a comet, sparkling and flashing in crimson and argent.
“On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen! Now, Rudolph – FULL POWER!!!”
A few moments, a deep breath… and the powerful Mark VI, surrounded by its protective nimbus, hits the ACCM perimeter like a thousand bolts of lightning. For one shuddering moment, in which time itself seems to stand still, the vile shields hold. Santa can feel, with senses beyond the merely human, as the malevolent dragon awakes… but awakes to a blinding flash of crimson-silver light, before which it recoils, helplessly…
And then they’re through, the defenses shattering, crumbling, falling away, the evil dragon dissipating with a raging, howling wail that fades to a whimper – and then, to nothingness.
And below them, millions of sleeping children stir happily in their slumbers, breathe a bit more deeply… smiles flit across their sleeping faces… a few of the more perceptive ones half-wake for a moment, then subside into peaceful rest, with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.
This year, Christmas is coming.
This work of original fiction by Thomas H. Harbold is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Please click the link for more information.