Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ho Ho Ho

Christmas is just around the corner...after Halloween and Thanksgiving, anyway.  I wouldn't be surprised if some stores already have some decorations on sale.  You can't start that Christmas marketing too soon.  Today's prompt:  Write some Flashy Fiction about what Santa's up to at this point in the year?



    “Janet, Would you, please, have one of the gals bring me the file on Sector R-3498-m?”
    “Yes, I know it is on the hard drive. I just don’t feel like running around on that screen this morning.”
    “I do use it. I sent out two e-mails last night.”
    “I heard that!”
    “Yes, I will try to use it more – but not before my morning coffee break.”
    “That reminds me, have Mrs. Clause come in as soon as she gets her. She had out the cookie-book this morning and I am looking forward to some fresh-bake.”
    “Today at one?”
    “Thanks, I forgot the shipment was coming in. Please, have Ben meet me at the docking site about 12:45. He better bring along a couple of the younger-elves. They will know better than Ben and I what all the stuff is about.”
    “I-phone, I-pad, I-this and I-that ....who can keep track of all the I’s . It was so much simpler when there was less-stuff to inventory.”
    “Ya, I remember complaining about all the batteries when the battery-operated toys and gadgets hit the market. We were really scrambling to have enough to go around. That was the first time we had to outsource....”
    “Oh, Thank-you Mary for the file.”

    “Hummm, I smell coffee. Good timing dear. My head was beginning to spin with all theses number.”
    “Here, let me have that tray. Let’s sit by the bay-window. Wonderful to still have a bit of sunshine to enjoy.”
    “Snicker-doodles. I was hoping that is what you would be making. The crews will really like these. Still warm too. I love being spoiled!”
    “How is that new oven working out – convection or some such name?”
    “Great, am sure your team of gals will put it to good use.”
    “Remember when you could whip up a double batch of cooking and it was enough for the whole gang for coffee-break? Things were so much simple then. Now we use a tram to deliver boxes of cookies to all 30 sections each morning.”

    “Oh, excuse me dear. Don’t leave; I hope this call is short. We need to get planning on the program for the dinner next month.”
    “Been trying to reach this guy for a week. You’d think that salesmen would be more prompt about returning a call on an order for a trillion gadgets.....”
    “Yes Janet I’ll take that call now. “


    Caribou Corners.
    A lifeless tundra as some might see it.
    Barren and cold. Hundreds of years old
    And aging fast. Every last woman and man
    Born as raised in this place will defend her beauty
    As their undying duty to God and this gentle land.
    Coming into the light of a bright Aurora Borealis night.

    We get busy around here once Labor Day comes around. And I know, it doesn’t help getting everything done in one night and sitting with my feet elevated until the Autumnal Equinox. It isn’t all that great for my waistline, but hey, it’s a part of my charm. Although my back hurts. But I can’t worry about that now. There’s much to do between now and the Solstice. That’s when it’s “Showtime”!

    The scene is astounding as the snow is mounding,
    Providing a hiding place for every small face playing;
    The little ones, gloved hands and half frozen cheeks,
    Peek around the corner, pulling back just in time.
    All work and no play makes for a dull day, or so they say.
    But their work IS child’s play! Fun and games, by any name,
    Will bring as much joy as any hand-made toy.

    Out of my big picture window, I see the glow reflecting off of the new fallen snow. It adds to the mood and that’s good. It’s hard to gear up for the best day of the year when the skies are clear and sunny. It’s funny, for a warm and fuzzy guy, I’m not a big fan of the warm and sunny. Heh, go figure! The diminutive ones are catching a good game of snowball. There is no fight up here. It’s just a game of back and forth. So what if once in a while you take one in the “moosh”! They’re having fun for now, but later today we will get serious (but not too) and put our work on the front burner.

    The breezes freeze the lake, preserving its serenity,
    Offering certain sanity in its perfection. From any direction
    You can hear the sounds of icicles forming, their chime
    Performing a symphony in harmony with all of nature.
    And those of small stature add their voices, soft lyrics
    Of an unknown, but haunting melody lifting in song,
    As a throng of caribou comes closer to add their flair proudly.

  3. CARIBOU CORNERS (Continued)

    Oh, it appears that the games have ceased. It sounds so peaceful out there. I can see handshakes and embraces, happy faces and traces of a wistful nature. I think they know the time for play is over until the “Big Day”. I love this part, where the gather near the frozen pylon holding hands and singing their songs. Beautiful renditions of all the Missus’ favorites. I love all of these carols as well. Ha ha, look over that ridge! The reindeer are coming home to begin their preparations as well. It’s a swell time to be alive and I am glad for the reminder that this season is more than just shopping battles and commercialism. Peace and goodwill should be a daily ritual. But, I’ll keep working toward that end.

    “WoooHoooooooooo!” the lumbering trumpets blare loudly.
    “WoooHoooooooooo!” the response from behind the stables.
    The call drips with familiarity, which is a rarity for these parts.
    Hearts torn apart; old friends, lost loves, familial ties that bind
    Not unlike the leather strapping that harnesses their power.
    From my chair nestled near the hearth of comfort and longing,
    I smile inwardly. Warming me. A knowing nod and smile.

    The beasts have join in the song. Loud and powerful, their wail tells the tale. It’s time to begin. Much like the factory whistles, it calls all present to be accounted and small groups are mounted on their backs to carry the elves back to the Grand Hall for our meeting and “Get Re-Acquainted Soiree”. The first of many for the season. As I’ve said, “all work and no play…” It keeps the spirit fresh and the morale never sullies. It is so warm near the fireplace, I had better get moving before I start to nod off. I hear Mama in the kitchen clattering her pots and pans; her not so subtle reminder that the time has come.

    The while I spend in unending service
    For the nervous and the innocent,
    Is quite reminiscent of the hours spent at my father’s knee.
    The fountain of knowledge and truth was he: mentor and teacher,
    A preacher of the spirit that has run through my ancestry
    Like a common thread woven into the fabric of my life
    And all the lives it has come to influence!

    I get quite reflective and slightly melancholy at these moments. I recall many people who have gone on to the “Big Workshop in the Sky”. So many people who had carried the spirit of Christmas with them three-hundred sixty-five days of the year. And whether they were from Calcutta, India or Buffalo, New York or Liverpool, England, they all perpetuated the spirit and made my job so much easier to perform. I have been handed the mantle of this day from sons of Christmas wiser than I. I’ve done the best I could and hope I’ve made them all proud.

    For in the confluence of this charming hamlet, the gamut is run.
    Charity is the everlasting gift. Given in a spirit based in pure love;
    Given from Him above. It beats within each of us; a joyous thrill.
    When everything is still, you can smell the peace and goodwill.
    The evening saunters homeward, the little ones retire,
    Burning with desire of this their hallowed homeland, Caribou Corners -
    A pleasant little knoll. You know it best as the North Pole!

    This place puts the biggest smile on my face. It is home and I am surrounded by my “family”. Every last person in this charming villa has become a part of me and my appointed task - that of making Christmas the best of times in this sometimes insane world. Unadulterated by the trappings of avarice and greed, each having what they need to live a happy life. Just like me and my wife, we are happy to call Caribou Corners…er, The North Pole our home. And do me this favor. Keep the spirit alive in your heart for all your lives. It is the fuel of this joy. And also remember. I’m watching!

    I am Santa Claus!

    1. The pieces in italics is a poem from my upcoming Poetry Chapbook, "I Am Santa Claus". The Flashy Fiction fleshes out the back story.

  4. "When Are You Due?"

    I’ve always heard it said that expectant mothers begin “nesting” just before they deliver. Every year about this time, I wonder if the same can’t be said about my husband. You wouldn’t believe the flurry of activity that has begun, even before the heaviest flurries of snow head our way.

    Mr. C has already starting his annual primping and preening. While his helpers are well under way with ensuring the goods will be ready for delivery, that jolly ol’ husband of mine is more concerned about his appearance. I don’t always know why, because on that most important day, he works so hard NOT to be seen.

    Nevertheless, I have it on good authority (Mr. C isn’t the only one with eyes and ears everywhere) that he’s been making additional stops at Rudy’s Round Delights for afternoon sweet-tooth-fixes, and logging some extra time at The Vixen Spa for special attention to that ever-growing beard of his.

    His own (sexy, in my opinion) physique is not the only order of business. The Dasher Haberdashery is also on pins and needles in anticipation of their attention to Mr. C’s finery. It wouldn’t suit his reputation to have less than white trim or to bust a seam when reaching for the reins.

    Oh, and speaking of reins, each and every detail of that ride of his is being inspected, too. Each sleigh bell is being polished and tuned. Harnesses are being checked and rechecked.

    Yes, I do believe my husband is nesting, in anticipation of his delivery date.

    1. Really Cute idea- Santa nesting in anticipation of his delivery, ha.

  5. North Pole Paperwork

    Mrs. Claus walked into Santa’s office just in time to see him slam his fist onto his desk in frustration, sending the stack of papers in front of him scattering across the room. She sat the tray of cocoa and cookies she had been carrying down and began to gather the strewn papers.

    “Now Papa, that’s not exactly what I’d call the Christmas spirit,” Mrs. Claus said.

    “It’s this jingle-jangle paperwork. It was one thing to make my list and check it twice, but all of this?” Santa waved his hand across his desk. “FAA forms to obtain permission to enter restricted airspace, contract negotiations with the elves’ union, requests for waivers to reproduce patented toys…I’m a toymaker, not a paper pusher. Oh, and Mrs. Johnson has sent me a third letter asking for reimbursement for cleaning costs for sooty footprints on her new carpeting. And she doesn‘t even have a fireplace…or children! I swear, I think I‘d be better off shutting the whole operation down and we can retire to a condo in Boca Raton.”

    Mrs. Claus just smiled, reached into the pocket of her apron, and pulled out a folded piece of paper.

    “Perhaps you should read this before you start calling any realtors.”

    Santa unfolded the paper to find himself staring at the shaky penmanship of a seven year old, scrawled in blue crayon.

    “Dear Santa,
    Hello. How are you? I have been very very good this year. This year for Christmas I don’t want any toys or books or clothes. My daddy is a soldier, and I just want you to bring him home so I can hug him for Christmas.

    Santa took a deep breath, exhaled, then wiped away a tear.

    “You know, Mama, I would gladly give up every bit of magic I’ve ever had to not read another letter like that. I guess sometimes it takes the innocence of a child to remind us all what Christmas is really about.”

    Mrs. Claus leaned over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, then squeezed his shoulder.

    “Now go on and get out of here,” Santa said, motioning Mrs. Claus toward the office door. “Christmas will be here before we know it, and these papers aren’t going to push themselves!”

    1. My son spent two tours in Iraq so I really appreciate this story. Thank you

  6. Good stuff, everyone. Thanks for sharing!