In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m making my short story about a precocious band of elves available to you through the new year, right here!
MICHAEL PAUL GONZALEZ
I know most of your letters begin with proclamations like I have been very good this year. I haven’t been good. I’ve done good. Finally.
I hope you’re sitting down. I’m certain you weren’t expecting to find your home in such a state when you returned from the big run. You’re wondering not only what happened, but why. Please finish reading this letter before you survey the damage. It’s important that you understand all of this.
Sorry for all the blood.
We warned you. Every year, we asked you for an audience to air our grievances, and every year you pushed us harder. Every year, all we wanted was a chance to talk to you. You ignored us, and now the time for words has passed.
This year, you were upset that we were slow coming off the production line with the stuffed animals, and the paint on the action figures was taking too long to dry. We told you that we wanted the toys to be extra special for this run. We were finally taking pride in our craftsmanship, and you rolled your eyes at us.
Do you know what batrachotoxin is, Santa? How hard it is to cultivate and raise the frogs that produce it in this climate? How about polonium? We worked overtime to boil and bake and perfect these ingredients into a recipe that we’ve called Red Christmas. Do you know how long it takes to cure when it’s in liquid form? Do you know how carefully you have to place a weaponized aerosol version inside of a stuffed animal to avoid killing all of your fellow coworkers? We’ve never worked so hard.
Do you know what’s going to happen, what’s happening right now as boys and girls all around the world rush to their trees to tear into the boxes you’ve brought them? When they grab those trains, those video games, when they squeeze those stuffed bears so tight?
It starts as a light tickle in the throat and rapidly progresses to full anaphylactic shock. The throat constricts, eyes swell shut, hearts beat harder and harder until they explode.
Don’t rush out now. Don’t stop reading. Even if your reindeer were around to carry you (we’ll get to that in a moment), they couldn’t fly fast enough to prevent this because it’s already happening. The death toll is rising and the only thing moving faster than the Red Christmas Plague is the bad press you’re getting.
You’ve delivered this to the world. To all the good little children.
We didn’t do this to you. You did this to you.
You had generations to make this right. Hundreds, thousands of years to honor the treaty that you made with our people when you wandered into our lands all those years ago, snow-blind and half-starved. We fed you. We took you in. You tricked our ancestors with the bright promise of technology and medical advances in exchange for our help in your yearly quest for joy. It quickly became clear to us that you had no intention of helping anyone but yourself. You wanted to be the great white god of your own personal winter republic. Like so many dictators, you showed the world a much different face than the one revealed to those of us beneath your boot.
What drives a man to enchant our sacred deer and push them almost to death in a race around the globe every year? To bring tidings of joy and good cheer to every man, woman, and child on the planet while you meet us with whip and chain? You indoctrinated millions of young people around the world to your side, getting them hooked on your greed and false joy. And when we couldn’t produce quickly enough, you outsourced even more work onto the poor and starving peoples of emerging and overpopulated nations. Though we have never met our brothers and sisters, we hope that this small disruption can be the first step on their journey to freedom.
When you left this morning, you proudly said that this year’s run would be made in record time. You’d be back before Mrs. Claus could finish baking the dessert for your welcome home dinner. We didn’t allow her to leave the kitchen. If there was one person here that could exceed you in cruelty, it was her. You gave those of us too old to work, too broken down to be of service to you, you gave us to her. She would boil us, candy stripe our bones, bake our tiny children into gingerbread men and make their parents watch while you ate those cookies with her by the fire.
We take no joy in the deaths of the children around the world, but Mrs Claus, she was delicious. You will not find her remains. Her bones will be scattered after you leave, and you may never come back to visit her.
The surviving members of your reindeer team may take the pelts of their honored dead when they carry you away from here. We claim the rest as food to sustain us in the long months to come.
We have no worries about the world hating us for these acts, because we already know that the world doesn’t think twice about our plight. It no longer matters. You have much, much more to answer for now. Your march toward joy has been our march to genocide, and it ends tonight.
Really, we’ve done you a favor. You complain every year that fewer and fewer children believe in you.
They all believe in you now.
Young and old alike.
Those that are left.
May the endless suffering that is about to visit you serve as a reminder to all that this land is ours.
Merry Christmas, you narcissistic tyrant.
Yours in freedom,
Known in oppression as Twinkles