Noir Santa Claus
Santa, sad, sitting at the diner counter all by himself. Nursing a cup of coffee he spikes with peppermint schnapps. Thinking to himself, how did I get here, how did I come to this. Alone, friendless. He worries he’s perceived as pathetic, a dirty joke. The waitress couldn’t care less. She’s bored, tired from being on her feet, world weary, craving a cigarette.
He ruminates over all the mistakes he’s made in the past, so many that Mrs. Claus and the elves will have nothing to do with him. The children don’t believe in him, or they’re scared of him. All over the world, his imitators are mocked, a job as a shopping mall Santa viewed as a job fit only for those down on their luck, alcoholic, or both.
When he started out, his intentions were good. He was filled with love, generosity, joy. He wanted children’s faces to beam with joy and wonder at the gifts he would leave. He envisioned a world full of abundance and love, where everyone felt cared for, had what they needed, what they desired. How did it all go so terribly, terribly wrong.
He had started to feel unappreciated, taken for granted. Where was the recognition, the awe? He was left store bought cookies and instant hot cocoa. He could see in the cupboards they had craft beer, Christmas ales, good bourbon. fresh pastries, charcuterie, French cheeses. A luxurious feast was not for him. No one gave a thought about what he needed or liked. The world was filled with takers who had no respect for the givers.
Every year, the letters from the children became more demanding, threatening, even. They wanted lots of big, expensive things. If they didn’t get exactly what they wanted, they would whine, cry, scream, and stomp their feet, their fat faces turning purple with rage. More and more the letters threatened Bring me this…or I will hunt you down and kill you with ninja swords, lightsabers, machine guns, karate kicks….They threatened to burn down the North Pole, the little arsonists, all because they couldn’t even stand the thought that they might not get their own way.
Just how was he supposed to respond to all this? All of the threats and abuse would make any saint depressed. No, he thought, he wasn’t going to have it. He wasn’t going to take it anymore. And that might be where his troubles began. And yet he didn’t see any other choice. It was either kill or be killed. You are either the victim or the victor. And as it turns out, there is no grace or glory in being either.
He started to get serious about his naughty list. In the past, very few were on that list. He had been a forgiving sort, overlooking a little harmless mischief, thinking most children were basically good at heart, despite any little troubles they might get into. It was the nature of childhood to make mistakes, test boundaries, try out lying and stealing to find out what it was like. But now he thought of the children as incorrigible little monsters, greedy and selfish, oblivious to how their actions affected others. Cruel to animals. Contemptuous of the environment. Disparaging of the disabled and less fortunate.
The worst anyone had ever gotten was a little lump of coal in their stocking, as a gentle reminder to try to be good, try to be better, try to get along and give to others. That was going to change. He didn’t like these little brats. Entitled, arrogant, self-serving, narcissistic turds. They were going to get theirs but good, and he was going to give it to them. He was bringing it alright. Bringing it with a vengeance. Santa Claus started envisioning sadistic plots that would have made the Marquis de Sade shiver and shit his pants involuntarily.
Marbles that were really balls of still slightly soft clay wrapped around sharp pins, so that when the children picked them up, the pins would prick their little fleshy fingers, skinny little streams of blood dripping on their pajamas and fancy clothes, making anything they touched stained with blood.
Chocolate bars that were really formed from reindeer feces and cleverly chemically treated with artificial chocolate fragrances, so they wouldn’t know until they bit into the lousy bars of shit.
Beheaded and ghastly deformed dolls that leaked poison from their vinyl pores as soon as they were touched, causing disfiguring rashes and uncontrollable vomiting.
Robotic Jack-in-the-Boxes programmed to pop out and detect the adult head in the room and shoot it right in the face with a gun. The kids would watch Mommy or Daddy’s head explode, and the blood would splatter on the walls.
Board games with pieces coated in Anthrax. Candy laced with arsenic. Toys packaged with dozens of live, poisonous spiders.
When he would visit their houses, first he’d kill all the pets and smash all the family photos. Rape everyone in the house with dildo-shaped Christmas ornaments he would then scatter, bloody and broken, throughout the house so the family, exhausted and traumatized, would then cut their feet on the shards.
He felt powerful, victorious. He was winning. But how long could the sadistic Santa spree last? Word got around. The police and then the FBI got involved. There was a warrant out for his arrest. He was being hunted. The reindeer turned on him, refused to fly and aid his escape. The elves wouldn’t hide him in their homes. Mrs. Claus rejected him and went crying and lamenting to her sisters.
He evaded capture for as long as he could, but really, Santa Claus had no talent for crime. He didn’t have the skills that would have helped him hide from the police. With all their technological bells and whistles and surveillance and interrogation techniques, it’s a wonder anyone ever got away with anything at all. Of course, Mrs. Santa Claus cooperated with law enforcement. She was afraid they’d lock her up and charge her with something if she didn’t.
There was no justice, not in Santa’s mind. All those many years of giving, undone by a short murder and crime spree. How could that be? He went to prison, fell in with some clown school drop-outs gone bad. They were as disappointed and cynical as he was. They had fallen so far from what they originally wanted to be. The world had disappointed them. And they had disappointed the world and themselves.
When they got out, they tried to put together some kind of gang that would rob 7-Elevens. It was an ill-fated endeavor. Enough YouTube videos were made out of security camera footage to make them all easily recognizable laughingstocks.
Mrs. Claus wouldn’t talk to him. She blocked him on her iPhone and on Facebook. He couldn’t get any woman to talk to him, much less sleep with him. So here he was, just getting by day to day, drinking and waiting to die.