This was not the first time that Santa Claus was done with Christmas. It happened every few decades. This time was due to Elf strife and the entirety of the North Pole was in chaos.
“Fuck you Ol’ Mittens,” Santa muttered to himself.
Ol’ Mittens, former Head Elf and former living being, had died in an unfortunate apple cider colonic incident. The doses and times were strictly laid out at the spa. Larger, more concentrated, and longer for human-sized beings, and the opposite for elves. No one knew why Mittens had taken the larger, more, and longer, or why the attendant had allowed him to do so, but it happened, and Mittens died with an ass full of cider.
This, in and of itself, wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. When the Head Elf passes, an election is called and the elves choose their new leader. This is where things got complicated. The two candidates that were nominated ended up being more polarizing than the Poles themselves and the riots, work-to-rules, and threatened strikes ended up almost tearing the North Pole apart.
Santa was, of course, dragged into the middle of the debacle and he had enough when he and Mrs. Claus were violently awoken by the crash of their bedroom window and the sight of the elf Scarfy – the town’s drunken sot – bloodied and beaten, flying through the shard lined frame. The crowd outside chanted for Santa to act. He gave his wife a swift kiss on the cheek and she had not seen him for almost two weeks.
The thing was, this time, Santa wasn’t being discrete about his anger. Typically, he would take the sleigh out for a ride and disguise himself at a bar for a drink to calm down. This time he started by walking 100 miles away from the Pole, giving it the finger the entire journey, before he decided to go back and grab the sleigh. This time he was just going around as himself, sans red suit, and carousing anywhere and with anyone he desired. This time he was also on his way down to the South Pole to skip Christmas entirely and spend it with his brother, the aptly named Atnas. The Claus parents weren’t very creative with their names.
“You know, I am sad he died though,” Santa said to the drinker to his right. They were seated at the wood of a bar situated somewhere in the outskirts of Toronto. Santa hadn’t bothered to catch the name as he stumbled through the door.
“Who died?” the man said.
“Mittens! Ol’ Mittens died!” Santa took another sip from his formerly filled-to-the-brim glass of scotch.
“Who the fugladee is Mittens? Your damn cat?”
The man had been at it longer than Santa and with each question his voice raised a level. Santa matched his volume.
“Haven’t you been listening?” Santa said.
“Who the fuck are you? You look like that damned Santa joker!”
“I am that Santa joker!”
“Fuck off!” The man turned his shoulder away from Santa.
Santa stood up from his stool and took a step back, staring daggers at the man.
“Fuck you!” Santa said and shoved the man off his seat and he crashed to the ground. His pint glass shattering and soaking the floor.
“Both of you idiots…out of here…now!” said the bartender and she started to make her way around the bar. When she arrived, the man was delirious on the ground and Santa was gone.
“Atnas, I just can’t do it anymore. They have gone nuts and taken me along with them!” Santa said into the air of the yellow taxi he was driving. It was really into the Bluetooth in his ear, but one wouldn’t know that upon first glance. He couldn’t remember when he transformed the sleigh into the vintage 1950’s era cab as he had been on this bender for a while, but it happened and now he was running with it.
“Jesus brother, why are you driving down here? We’re magic elves for Christssakes, just transport already. I’ve got the bonfire going and the glasses ready. Clara is bringing the girls over,” Atnas said.
For everything Santa was, Atnas was the opposite. He eschewed the family business for the life of a pseudo-libertine. He did have a girlfriend of sorts in Clara, but they typically did their own things without reprisal from the other. Much like the magic that kept the North Pole a secret, the South was shrouded to human eyes, yet instead of being a wintry Eden, it was a tropical paradise.
“I don’t care about Clara, the girls, or the bonfire. All due respect to Clara of course. Cool those glasses down though, because they are going to get some use!” Santa said and revved the engine around the corner of the quiet residential street he had happened upon. He saw two people standing outside a church and for funsies sped by giving them the finger as he had to his home when he started off. It was really meant for Ol’ Mittens and the elves, but in his condition, everyone else could screw themselves off as well.
“Fair enough brother. Fair enough,” Atnas said. “When do you think you’ll be down here anyway?”
“No clue my friend! Just crashing through Toronto right now.”
“Toronto! In Canada! Open your damn ears!” Santa said, as he made his way into the more urban part of the city.
“You’ll be a while then. I’ll tell Clara,” Atnas said.
“Fuck Clara!” Santa said.
“Will do brother!” Atnas said and ended the call.
Atnas looked up at the sometimes love of his life and smiled. “I’m not sure he’s going to come out of this one babe. Christmas might actually be cancelled.”
“Finally,” she said.