Not a creature was stirring…except for 3 elves.
Winter opens a window, then slips inside the cabin. Joyous stuffs his face through the opening. Nippy swings a leg inside the kitchen as his other foot remains planted in the snow.
“Ummm…a little help…” Nippy says.
Joyous pulls Nippy’s hand and bumps his head against the window.
“Hey! Don’t elfhandle me! I’ll help myself. Thank you.”
Nippy pivots his spine and sways underneath the window as Winter drags a finger along an oak table, and then hovers her nose over a pie. She inhales an aromatic essence, then squints a blue eye at a puffy, sugary pastry. Steam floats above a stone goblet—silvered streams of vapor swirls like an eternal vortex.
“Oh! My Favorite!” Winter says while wrapping a yeti skin covered hand around the stone goblet. She sips the minty tan ocean inside. Joyous sniffs the puffy, sugary pastry, and Nippy leers above a plate of golden cookies sprinkled with chromatic snowflakes. Nippy’s fingers twitch across his lips.
“Ummm…are ya sure you wanna eat those?” Joyous says.
Nippy bites into a golden cookie.
“Why not? It’s not like Santa’s gonna eat ’em.”
Joyous sniffs the plate of cookies.
“Yeah. You make a very compelling point.”
He bites a golden cookie, and then his eyes roll back into his skull.
“Oh, my frost…so good…I don’t blame that holly jolly bastard for convincing the little one’s to leave him a plate full of these…where is the yeti milk? Oh! There it is! See what I mean? Santa has it made…well…had it made.”
Nippy chews into his fourth golden cookie.
“I’d squeeze my ass down a chimney for a plate of these cookies.”
Winter puts down the stone goblet, then drags a glove across her mouth.
“Will you two snow angels stop stuffing your face! Let’s grab the real list and fly to Festive Village. The list is probably somewhere in the bedroom. Yuck. Wait. Shhh. Do you hear that? Mrs. Claus is coming! Okay—I’ll sneak into the bedroom while you distract her.”
She clinches a golden cookie between her teeth while vanishing into the adjacent living quarters.
A voices emerges out of the dead silence.
“Thumpy thump thump, thumpy thump thump…oh! Look at that! You two are practically frozen solid! The hills of snow are unforgiving this time of year.”
Mrs. Claus looms near a garland smothered threshold. She walks into the kitchen and drags her hands across a white apron—black biological grease drips down the fabric. Mrs. Claus smiles. The eyes in her round face swivel and peer through spectacles balanced upon a crooked nose.
“Your jingle bells must be ringing! Why not come inside and roast them by the open fire.”
Winter hides underneath a table as Mrs. Claus leads Joyous and Nippy near a decorated conifer. Prismatic bulbs blink within jade needles. A fireplace growls and burps sparks into the room.
“Have a seat on the Sasquatch skin rug, just don’t get too close to the fire, my dears! We wouldn’t want there to be an accident, right? Not on this holly jolly evening.”
The fire’s reflection dances within her spectacles.
“Forgive me. I’ll be just a moment.” Mrs. Claus says.
She vanishes into the kitchen. Nippy paces around the decorated conifer, then glances toward a red blinking bulb. A severed hand dangles from a rusted hook. Other deathly ornaments hang from the conifer’s limbs: fingers, eyeballs, feet, and various unmentionable parts.
“Joyous! There’s a finger in the tree!” Nippy says.
Joyous covers his mouth.
“I think I know who’s finger that belongs to!”
Winter steps on her toes.
“Okay. Shhh. I got the list. Let’s hop on Rudolph and fly to Festive Village. I know where we can stay the night. No one will find us.”
The floorboards squeal.
“Do you hear what I hear? Yes, yes, yes—three little elves getting cozy by the fire.” Mrs. Claus says.
She grips a kitchen knife and points it at Winter.
“We know who’s been naughty or nice, don’t we, my dear? You see that spot near the blue bulb? I’m going to hang your pretty little hand there, and then feed what’s left to my fire…and let me tell you…my fire is hungry…my fire will always be hungry.”
Nippy looks into the swirling orange and sees black bones charred into burnt relics.
“Even the naughty deserve a stocking full of coal! Haha, or bones.” Mrs. Claus says.
Winter grips her icicle.
“I’ll poke your fat gut full of holes! The list is mine, and my friends and I are leaving.”
The fire dances insides her spectacles.
“We’re going to have a silent night, my dear.”
Mrs. Claus drags the kitchen knife across her wrist—the metal edge eats through veins as black tendrils pierce through their fleshy prison and hang toward the ground like jungle vines. She slices through her wrist, then the black tendrils entwine into a twisting spiral. A guttural groan expands her wrinkled throat as if she were a bullfrog.
The black tendrils melt and Mrs. Claus stands in the center of an oily puddle.
“The naughty is the embodiment of evil.” She says.
Her legs sink through the grotesque oasis until she dissolves through the bubbling tar pit. The tar flows toward a massive nutcracker, then seeps into its wooden combat boots. The nutcracker shakes as its arms rise upward while gripping a lance.
“Hey Joyous, that’s the nutcracker we helped build last week, right?“
Joyous scratches his scalp.
“Uhhh…yeah! I knew that nut looked familiar. I carved the lance, remember? I made it real sharp too! Yeah. I know. I know. We’re not supposed to do that, but boredom told me to do it. Don’t look at me like that. Please.”
Nippy and Joyous stare at each other.
“Shit!” They scream as the possessed nutcracker jams the lance across the room and impales Joyous’ hat. He slides the hat off the lance and places it back on his head.
“The lance is sharp but her aim sucks.”
Winter stands on a nearby couch and points the icicle at the possessed nutcracker.
“I’m gonna carve my initials into your forehead!”
She jumps onto the possessed nutcracker’s arm as it rises and lifts her toward the ceiling. The wood cries while the articulating limbs stutter. Winter slides down the arm and latches herself around its neck. The possessed nutcracker’s mouth drops open, then bashes the lower jaw against its teeth.
“I got something you can eat…” Winter whispers.
She crawls across the possessed nutcracker’s face and wedges the icicle inside its mouth. The icicle pierces through the rough of its wooden mouth like a diabolical toothpick.
Nippy removes the garland from the kitchen’s threshold.
“Joyous! I have an idea!”
He wraps the garland around the possessed nutcracker’s legs as Joyous rips the lights off the decorated tree, and then wraps it around the wooden legs, in the opposite direction.
“Okay…ummm…are you ready? 1…2…3…PUSH!”
Joyous and Nippy place their hands upon the possessed nutcracker and push until tears swell their eyes. The wooden monstrosity tilts, then collapses into the fireplace.
A blue flame floats across the possessed nutcracker like a tidal wave.
Winter rolls to the ground while blue flames eat the wooden monstrosity. A faint scream echoes from its open mouth: I’m on fire but I’ll never burn! I know you hear me. Once you’re on the list…always on the list…the light of my demise will forever outshine your meaningless life…!
The three elves retreat and climb out of the kitchen window.
“Over there! Come on! Rudolph is waiting by the cliff.” Nippy says.
Winter wipes soot from her eyes.
“You two sugar cookies could have told me your brilliant plan! You almost got me killed.”
Nippy scratches behind his pointy ear.
“Oh! I forgot that the paint we used was recalled about five years ago. Something about being too combustible…well…I guess it was true! Haha. Oops.”
Winter shakes her head as Joyous laughs.
“Right! I forgot about that.”
The possessed nutcracker marches out of the burning cabin—blue fire wraps around its wooden frame.
“The naughty is the embodiment of evil.”
The three elves board Rudolph, and then he jumps off the rocky ledge as the possessed nutcracker falls down the cliff, then explodes into a million pieces.
“Holy shit! That stuff was really flammable. No wonder I was lightheaded after using it.” Joyous says.
Winter extends a middle finger toward the descending wooden fireball.
Nippy removes the half eaten peppermint stick from his pocket, then takes a bite.
“That’s all, folks.”