Thursday, September 3, 2015

(this will get happier)

Post apocalyptic balcony number 13

Barry Lau sat there and watched.
The resonant vibrations
of a dissatisfied society,
destroy the very foundations
of his ideas,
of his creation.

As buildings crumbled
into sea.
He remembered the
dreams of everybody
and saw the nightmares
of life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Post apocalyptic balcony number 13

At first,
Bass vibration from the wall.
Then a voice,

“You ain’t tagged proper, hear bitch”
“Announce, bitch.  The fuck”

Boot, head, back of head wall.
A muffled fog.
Kid Carl, “No, N…”
Boot, stomach.
Boot, chest.
Boot, temple, head pavement.
Boot, stomach.
“Announce, bitch”
“Intentions, bitch”
Boot, Boot, Boot…
Raining pain fades him.
Clouds, a lost mothers arms.

A confident voice,
A different voice.
The husky voice.
A voice saying, “no”.
The voice of an angel.

Just a kid,
In a bed.
Hurting, like never before.

“A cup of tea my child.” The husky voice of an angle.

Post apocalyptic balcony number 12

Kid Carl he stands,
And walks,
In a direction,
From Mong Kok,
Away from all he knows.
To Sha Tin.

The road a ribbon
Revolves under his feet.
The peripheral mountains pass by,
Amah Rock, unmanned tonight,
Observes in silent tears.

His chemically empty legs
Move like solid wooden trunks.
Each step a desperate step
To somewhere afresh.

The white lines move on
Rhythmically slow.

Mountains move by
Offering little comfort,
A silhouette against
City illuminated sky.

City lights become no nearer.

Soon The Blocks begin to pass by.
With Scattered lights.
Heads turn away;
And feet follow away.

A gentle fizzing light,
A low bass hum,
A wall unlit by broken
Offers a place to slump.

(the gentle fizzing light of the lazy orchid)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Lapland Sweat Shops (A Tale of Christmas Rebellion).

Warning this is dark, twisted and explicit. enjoy.  
he Lapland Sweat Shops (A Tale of Christmas Rebellion).

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;”
Dr Clement Clarke Moore 1822

Christmas Eve 1822 - The Heart of America.

Firs that soared to the sky had adorned their winter cloaks of snow. The northern winds brutally alive, bit with icy savage. The lakes were frozen and the coaches covered; hidden away from all but the most determined traveller. However this was not a time of desolation, but of togetherness. Families grouped in merriment, friends joined hands to sing and the working animals put down reigns; no longer fettered by anything but mutual respect. It was Christmas time, a time of celebration. Tales of whimsical myth were told with loving mirth. Open log fires cracked with tranquillity. Presents were given and not only the children smiled. A time to help ones neighbour, and as Dr Clement found out, sometimes, a time to help beyond the call of reality.

It was somewhere past midnight, a lost hour hidden deep in winter’s darkness. Dr Clement washed the day away with a warm sweet brandy. It was imported, probably expensive, a present for a poem he’d written for the towns summer carnival. As he sipped the liquor memories of meadows and angels in white dresses danced through his mind. The towns children whipping up cyclones of dandelion seeds, the brown liquor in his glass swirled, flowed down into him, he smiled and turned to leave his study for a coal warmed bed and a loving wife. The shocked hit him like a Great Western Train, a petrifying pulse paralysed him, he could choke out not one word.

The cloaked apparition spoke, ‘My friend, I mean no harm, I come with a plea.’ ‘Listen, please… I implore you, do not be afraid’ Our, venerable Dr Clement staggered back, hesitantly sitting in his worn leather armchair. Breathless he was devoid of speech.

‘The world is getting bigger, there’s more people now, bigger towns, more splendid cities, yet still I am one person. Saint Nicholas I may be, superhuman I am, a miracle, unfortunately I am not. Every year, me and my hearty team of elves work away in Lap Land, carving, gluing, cutting, painting toys. Don’t get me wrong young man, we love our work, the children’s smiles that are rooted in their hearts are our food and wine. We Love it, we adore our arduous work, after all that’s what we live for. But alas, my friend, there’s too many of them, my friend the monk assures me it will get better, but next year without more help some children will not have a gift to unwrap. Little faces will be scarred with frowns, the year after, the same, then the same. The children will grow up blemished and unhappily descend into evil ways.’ Saint Nicholas stopped, ran a hand through his course Nordic hair. He looked Dr Clement deep into the eyes, a glimmer of a smirk sparkled in his lips; he got up and enthusiastically held Dr Clement by the shoulders, shaking him, he gently continued. commanding his thoughts, with closed eyes he continued. ‘But you, you my friend can help. You have the power of the pen. I have magic stardust, mined from the Milky Way, this stardust my friend, this powder… it can, well it can make your poems become alive. Help me, help me to create a colleague who is equal in virtue, a superhuman person, who alongside me and my elves will ensure every child has a smile next Christmas.’ Saint Nicholas pressed a small cotton bag into Dr Clement’s hand, held his eye for the briefest moment and disappeared.

The poem lay finished on Dr Clement’s oak desk, the sun broke the top of the firs on a distant mountain. The covering of snow glistened with dawn’s omnipresence; it was Christmas Day. Dr Clement pulled open the leather strap on the small cotton bag Saint Nicholas had left, as he peeped inside a thousand stars spiralled out towards him. Gasping, jumping in shock, he quickly tipped the contents over the poem. The first shafts of dawn’s light set each particle alive with a incandescent flair. Dr Clement had created “a right jolly old” Santa Clause, with a fir coat and a red nose, identical in every moral to Saint Nicholas just with a round belly and a hearty laugh. His work was finished, even without sleep his excitement sprouted for the day. He did after all enjoy a good old sprout.

December 1st 2022, Shanghai.



‘MAID, get your fat fucking arse in here’ Little Tommy balled.

Restraining the tears which she forever held back in this luxury apartment, Hue Xai meekly came into the playroom. In her eyes lurked only despair, she had taken the job two months ago, just a temporary position, poor money but enough to buy her darling Xaho Pan a treat for Christmas. Now this spoilt Child, a true product of the modern day degeneration of life, treated her like shit - like a abuseable robot. Did she have to put with this? She knew she didn’t, not forever, just a few more weeks, then that coat Xaho Pan wants, the one like the other kids want, would be his. Kids need to fit into after all. And of course a few treats for her and her husband, maybe some lingerie; maybe a second child. It was at times like this she really missed her husband, her duality, she’d see him tonight, but that was never soon enough. She dreamed constantly of his naked embrace. His strong thighs wrapping around her back, the look in his eyes as they make love, it was making love, when they were kids, in fact for a good few years after they were married it was fucking, but now they made love. The embryonic orgasm would grow, before dissolving the world in pleasure. Without love how could she cope with this brat Tommy and his gutless mother; a means to an ends. And really, the mother, Jane as she was happy to be called, wasn’t so bad, a result of circumstance more than a bad lot. Actually she had a soft spot for Mrs. Harris, with that husband of hers, the bastard. She had to stand up for herself a bit more of course, show a bit of bite to stop her life going to shit, but timidity isn’t a crime especially after years of oppression. Just a diazepam fuelled housewife, inert and desperate. She should make him love her, make Tommy respect her, stand up show some spontaneity, play the cabaret not watch the soap. She felt that some people were born to be treated like shit, walked over like a fucking carpet, a vessel for sperm, child and abuse. Bless her naivety and forgive her submission, but hope on her behalf.

Soon unfortunately the boredom would show up through daytime drinking, then probably a heroin addiction, a life of inner suppression imposed by oppression. The whole aging upper classes are on that shit. She was glad to be firmly not there. Judging by the Harris’ bank balance the extra cash for a further addiction would be negligible, an unnoticed expenditure for slow, self inflicted euthanasia. Unless she divorces, which is unlikely as Mr. Harris’ company frowns upon such activities. They sell family insurance - protection against divorce and messy separations. The company expect their employees to set an example, having employees divorce would encourage the clients, legal fees can be costly and as insurers they would have to foot the bill. For now she knew she still had to put up with that little shit Tommy, so fuck the bitch.

‘I want a fucking Coke,’ he waited then added with malicious intent, in an almost unheard breath, ‘Bitch’

‘One Cola coming up Tommy’ Xai falsely but pleasantly replied.

‘A fucking Caina Cola, not just any old Cola.’ Little Tommy reinforced.

Little Tommy’s mum came in, she knocked passed Xai without eye contact and ruffled Little Tommy’s hair. She turned, sighed and looked displeasingly at Xai. ‘Come on now we pay you enough money not to rile Tom like this. He wants his Caina Cola so he can win a pair of those Caina Cola retro sunglasses, there a must for anyone who’s not just anyone, and there’s a pair to be had in every twentieth can of Caina Cola (probabilities are an mathematical average and may not reflex true purchasing patterns).’ Did she really say that last bit or was that her mind filling in the gaps, it’s hard to know to these days.

‘Yes Mrs. Harris’ she gave the butt fuck in a business like manner, she was a professional care assistant for the rich after all.

Mrs Harris turned to Little Tommy, ‘Now Tom, you know Mummy doesn’t like the word fuck, not since I found Daddy in bed with his boss… the bastards.’ She sighed again, the last phrase was uttered under her breath but failed to conceal the bitterness from Little Tommy. She turned back to Xai, ‘come into the kitchen a second please.’ Xai knew the score, but didn’t walk out. She wanted to see the gutless Mrs. Harris squirm with embarrassment.

Fucking fired thought Xai, she shuffled down the dark wet street. Luckily she had saved almost enough for her beloved Xaho Pan, his new coat, in the style the pop stars wear, she’d buy it for him, a rare treat, she could almost see his lovingly grateful smile. Soon she would be back home in the arms of her loving husband, her husband who was too proud to sodomise his way up the cooperate ladder.

The fast food waste wrappers crunched under her feet, consumerist detritus littering this sprawling city. Across the street was a beautiful lady on the way to an opiate grave. Stood under a sodium glow, a street lamp lit fantasy for any passing pervert, anyone with a few Qwai at least. This world is full of pit falls she thought, how lucky she was, and how she strove to keep her family together, away from the temptations of this tempestuous society. However she was not worried, Christmas would be about her family, and that little fucker Tommy would die one day. So life goes on.

After she’d asked Xai to leave, for forever, guilt rippled across Jane’s mind, she poured herself a large whiskey, carelessly dropping in a few ice cubes, sat down and began to stare at the green LCD clock on the cooker and drifted into thought. She didn’t want the time to fly, in fact she didn’t care what time it was. It was just another day of bored misery. Thinking in monotones she guessed Xai wasn’t so bad, and after all little Tommy is far from loveable; in fact he is a little bastard like his father. It’s a simple truth however that having a care assistant made Tommy more of a bastard, he has a toy to abuse and treat like shit, just another game to him, what’s a defilement of a life to a kid. A kid who needs a father.

Often his unbroken child’s voice uttered… no asserted abuse which made her recoil in loathing, and the longer the maids stayed the worst it got, soon Tommy would be forever lost and he, well he was all Jane had and that’s better than nothing. Reprimand him with abrasive shouts, turn him to a shaking mess. What’s the point, he’ll just walk further away, becoming more lost. Her thoughts spiralled down whenever she thought of action.

She had tried shouting at Little Tommy’s father, James, her husband, but only once. Why she referred to him as this she didn’t know? He put no effort or even time into either role. She had shouted at him to pay more attention, to be there for her and Little Tommy, he was prepubescent for god shake and needed a father, she needed a husband. ‘Please, please’ her whole soul had pleaded over and over again, through her shouts flowed tears. The next time she went for a drink with Eve, her best friend, she came back to find James bent behind his boss John Jr 4th liking his arsehole. All the doors were open and he knew when she was coming back. Taking off her coat, slumping on the couch and crying all night whilst those two bastards fucked for the world was all she could do. They did it on her bed, the bed she had hand made at the start of their marriage.

Now she just drinks whiskey and watches the LCD clock, the numbers stay still as if frozen, for all Jane can tell, they don’t even change. Even Eve has gone, married a dreamer and lives in a bamboo hut on a white sand beach; too happy to write. Jane’s only acquaintance is the lovely prostitute who lives in one of the cheaper ground floor apartments, last year, when Jane was really low she found herself knocking on her door hoping for a kind word. At the same time they chased dragon; bonding through opiates and the disbelief at how the world had rolled out for them. It worked. They are friends now, unfortunately the friendship, which was founded on misery bread more pain, when they chatted, which felt good, the situation never changed, she had no where to hide. Her neighbour floated too high to see Jane’s real need. Jane hasn’t since tormented the dragon, tickle it too many times, it will bite, and your left in a world of needles and craving. She feels that would be the end. The end of what?

Jane’s not stupid, she’s well educated, a top-level graduate from a Red Brick English University, a Bachelor of Science, first class. That’s where she met James, exchanged smiles and sort love through an ecstasy and alcohol fuelled dance. They had loved, she was sure of it. Now Tommy is older she could go back to work, if only she wasn’t so depressed, if only someone would inspire confidence in her, if only James would say a few precious words, if only, if only, if only. Surely to fuck someone loves her enough. Maybe she’s never destined to be the lesser heroine or even the reformed miracle of this tale. Maybe that’s life.

James Harris has a brass plate on his office door that reads “James Harris”. He would often wonder weather this meant he had made it. He would often wonder who would care for his wife and child when he killed himself. The only thing that stopped him killing himself was the 50 or more milligrams of diazepam, he swallowed, snorted or chased daily. What he really wondered was what horror would await his wife and child if he did kill himself. He didn’t think they’d be alive for long after, not in this fucked situation anyway. He loved them and this worried him.

Often he sat wondering where it started to go wrong. Was it when they moved to Shanghai? No they were happy when they got here, a city of the New World, with old enticements. Walking hand in hand along the elegant waterfront, European architectural influences standing firm in the third phase of life. Sitting at a small stall and eating the searing hot oil dumplings for breakfast. The place had felt magical, a waking dream with incarnated beauty. The city’s life had slowly sucked his joy away, day by day and year by year. It was going so well, a wife who he loved more then the ground he walked upon, a career that would surely blossom, indeed within ten years he had climbed to head of the family insurance branch of the corporation and had an income he could barely comprehend. They had a bright future, plans for a family, an early retirement. A white sand beach, easy street.

It wasn’t any particular day, the seeds of evil took root long before, further down than you care to imagine. The insidious growth of capitalism, perpetuated by feeding off innocent souls. Corrupting, eroding morality. On one day however, his life changed forever, more importantly his families life changed forever. That morning had been hectic, three meetings with prospective large contracts for government bodies, family insurance for public sector workers, he’d nailed them and had sushi to celebrate, a long standing favourite.

John Jr 4th slipped a contract onto his desk and pointed to the signature space. John Jr 4th was venerable, he thought, the chairman of a multinational who’s products ranged from soft drinks to space holidays, he didn’t even read the fucking thing. As he signed John Jr 4th smiled and said “you’ve just admitted soul responsibility for the murder of one million peasant children in the Taklimakan Desert, this is a confession that you acted outside the jurisdiction of the company in testing new psychoactive drugs on children.”

There was nothing outside of the conversation. No movements and no sounds. John Jr 4th held James’ eyes, which listened as if waiting for the twisted punch line.

“These drugs were designed to make love permanent. Once taken and after failing into mutual love an unbreakable bond would form. Till death do you part. Even though the pre human trials were extremely promising, all the children who we tested the drug on died within three years of related illness. The finger has been pointed at the trails, blame for the loss of generation. International Media ears pricking up, as a company we’re not taking the blame, we’re the hero who will slaughter the goat – you. Congratulations on your legacy my boy.”

James breathed in and out surrounded by still silence, the world mimicking his respiration.

“Just think of the profits that this drug would have made your department. You could have secretly given it to prospective clients. You would have made a killin’. You did make a killin’ na ha ha, just not of the right kind. It’s your department, and you’re the fall guy, we’ve brought witnesses, forged documents its your day for fame.” With that he turned around and casually shut the door behind himself. He then popped his head around the door, “meet me for lunch at two and we can figure something out.”

James sat there, the words in front of him seeping into his head. Cold, lonely realisation. A grey tense lull where every atom seems poised for the approaching storm.

As it turned out John Jr 4th was in passionate lust for James and half of Shanghai. He had children from several women, some of whom employees, some sex workers, some neither. He fucked men, he fucked children he even fucked animals. Power screamed through and out of his cock, twisting, controlling and penetrating everything around him.

At two at lunch, James was informed he would sleep with the bastard, whenever, wherever and however he pleased. If he did not the papers would be released, he would be executed in prison by fellow convicts and his wife and son would be left to pick up the pieces under the loving guidance of John Jr 4th cock. And so none of this got out he would become disassociated from the people he loved, engross himself in work and sodomy. Harsh call but there was only one answer. The bastard.

Soon after his wife shouted at him, through those shouts flowed tears, as she pleaded, he had to keep quiet, he had been on the phone to that bastard and he had heard everything. That was when John Jr 4th made a visit to the house, that was when Jane’s life began to end, Little Tommy’s never had a chance to start his.

John Jr 4th sat guffawing as he meditated with perverse vanity at how he could fuck people up. He knew he was evil, he loved his evil streak, he felt it was his calling, his purpose. His mind fell towards James Harris, “he is one weak fuck with no balls, but what could James do. He was so far over a barrel he had to concede. Even murdering me would be avenged to grotesque limits by my brother, maybe one of my sisters, anyone in my piece of shit family. We have the power and the money to inspire enough fear to make anything possible. The world is our playground, we decide who falls off the swing, lands badly and never gets back up. Tell don’t ask, control not advice. James is alright, was alright, not a bad guy, replaceable, but of worth. Ideal hands and all that, in need of a chuckle, a game, god for a while, some people fall for no apparent reason”

Somewhere in the middle the 20th Century, Lap Land.

Saint Nicholas stared at the white sheet of ice. It was translucent, but so thick his gaze would never penetrate it. It could be infinite, it could be like his time in here. Long ago he had lost count of the passing moons; time anyway has little meaning when you’re immortal. His arms and his legs were bonded with indestructible hoops of permafrost. The frozen shackles bite icy fangs into his skin. Occasionally he saw the Northern Lights, mostly he didn’t. He was cold, he was hungry and he had no one to complain to. He guessed he was not even remembered. The only thing he could look forward to was the melting of the ice caps; hopefully this would happen before insanity set in.

Steam rose from Santa as he showered, looking over a fiord towards the dark blue sea. He thought, “How beautiful the world is, how beautiful my girls are. How I will stride through Paris this afternoon, find a young brunette girl, follow her for a while, feel my excitement rise. Watch her go home, watch her house, imagine her, her private life, full of my power. Waiting for the last lamp to switch off. Slip in through a window and take the prize back to this forgotten home, here in Lapland. Everything was set for a great day.”

December 15th 1931, A bench next to Central Park, New York.

The skies were a clear blue on this cold December Day in America. Two friends were meeting for lunch, two very successful businessmen, two people who in later years, long after there passing would have top university lecturers referring to them as forefathers of the modern business and the capitalist age.

Henry was the first to arrive, his grey suit was nothing special for his wage, despite a decent enough cut it was still off the line and his matching grey tie did little to liven up this run of the mill appearance. His side parting and trim sides were respectable and conservative. His face looked normal, maybe young for his age but far from striking. Hansom not ugly or ugly not hansom, depending on who looked at him, he was in the middle, a product of the new century, a survivor of the depression, a careful planner and a trustworthy husband. He was also hungry, too hungry to wait for John. He may be a good twenty minutes chairing another overrun marketing meeting no doubt. Henry eagerly unwrapped his sandwiches, the grease proof brown paper held the highlight of his working day. Bully Beef in white bread, his wife would implore him to eat honeyed ham, lemon chicken or topside with horseradish, but something about the uniformity, the predictability, the connivance of his bully beef really made Henry’s day. Just like his car factories he thought: predictable. He could hear his wife, ‘Come on now Henry, we have the money, you can have the flavour, good meat, select cuts from select stores, that rubbish is for the masses.’ Henry would just chuckle, he loved his wife, his friends told him to reign her in, ‘playing cards with the house staff is not fitting for a woman’ they’d say. Henry loved her, he loved her to smile, she loved cards, enjoyed all company; Henry couldn’t see the problem. These little quips she gave him about food, drinks and what not were also a highlight of his day. The way she smirked and spoke, sometimes pouting sometimes pointing a lightly accusing finger. They would give him food for thought all day, especially the way her pert breasts seemed to ride her chuckles. He’d done it again, caught up in thought he’d eaten almost all the four rounds of butties without even tasting his daily treat.

There was John, his bright red tie, his latest slick black suit. His top shirt button was showing and the suit looked like it was hanging, not fitting. John sat down, his face with growing wrinkles gave the impressions of a good few years beyond his fifty. His red nose was timely for the season and his demeanour. He let out a slow sigh, as he slumped against the seat. Within a few seconds sat up with vigour.

‘Alright ‘enry, tough meeting today, went on and on, couldn’t shut ‘em up. Ahh they ain’t got a clue Pal.’ he seemed to let his expensive education slip away in a torrent of words when he was around Henry, in fact around anyone and more and more these days. ‘I’m pushing for the new Christmas promotion, you know what Pal, this is the deal, get that Santa Claus on the placards, I want his Jolly belly laughing wherever you look, I want a big red Santa swigging a Caina Cola, a joyful glint in his eye, a playful smile on his face. I want him everywhere, I want his image riding trams, his bushy white beard leaping out form billboards, everywhere you turn I want the spirit of Christmas to be entwined with Caina Cola. Happiness at Christmas to found in a bottle of Caina Cola, na ha ha, great Pal great, if I do day so myself… I got this Swede, an artist type, good fellow, salt of the earth these Eskimo’s you know, na ha ha, what’s his name now…Heee Hooo Haa Haydon err no Haddon something or other, erm Haddon Sunblom, yeah that’s the one, he’s great, takes them old civil war Nast paintings adds scarlet flair and a bottle of coke to them, brilliant I say, brilliant, this Santa Clause, big fat bloke, red clothes and big red hat, bushy white beard, fat black belt, the friendliest guy you’ve ever seen, genius, we got ‘em now, got ‘em I say, ahh the kids will lap it up, na ha ha, they’ll never stop buying, na ha ha.’ Even after this torrent of words he seemed unable to stop, he did not even seem breathless. ‘Err sorry ‘enry Pal, no more shop talk, was that bully beef again Pal. Me, you know, not eating today, too much of the raw product before I went into the meeting, bit afterwards as well. Gets y’ going, err fancy a sniff pal.’

‘I am good with bully beef, err, thanks anyway.’ He replied meekly, Henry liked his lunches with John but of late, this raw product John talked of seemed to be all John talked about, and he could talk a lot.

‘No worries Pal, I used to get it off the production line you know, kilos of it we had; kept a load back when we swapped it for caffeine back in 1902. We told the workers its toxic, imagine that, the whole country sniffing away, that wouldn’t do would it, give ‘em a little in their cokes, that’s what we thought and a few beers on a Friday. Keep ‘em happy, I little bit of party at the weekends, a few national holidays as a gesture, then back to work, save their strength for menial labour no good them getting carried away, na ha ha, Then it all changed Pal, that Freud Chap, sniffer also, good chap, good ideas, he gave it to his patients he did. Its medicinal you know, helps with headaches and the likes, well, he prescribed them too much, messed with their heads it did and we had to stop selling it, took our bottles out the pharmacies, we even had draft taps in some of the bigger drug stores, they all had to go, we had to stick a load of caffeine in instead, same deal but everyone’s used to coffee or a tea you know Pal, no problems from the media or government there I tell you Pal, na ha ha, we got out before the publicly got bad, just in time as well, those fickle reporters will be the end of this fine free country. Don’t you think? Yeah Pal we had it sorted then making a killing we were, off loading the stuff as medicine. You know me though, I’m sensible, I just sniff a little here and there, takes the edge of the fatigue, peps me through the day, keeps me going, you know, gets me through, its good stuff… Honestly, err honestly its good stuff, it is, it is… No your right though stick to your bully beef, yeah your right Pal this stuff would be too much for the poor, we’d loose control, we need them mechanised, predictable as a machine, as you say in your reports, working hard long hours and not thinking nah, no good for ‘em, ha ha Imagine your cars Pal, they may be individual again, think about it, terrible shame it would be, terrible…’ The every lasting deluge of phases poured and poured forth. As John spoke he seemed to be dancing to the sound of his own voice. He’s getting a bit too much thought Henry, he’d lost track long ago and was watching the city pigeons peck at asphalt.

The clock rung the hour, a bell rang deep inside its heart; they went back to their respective offices to change the world.

December 2nd 2025, Lap Land.

Santa sat, presiding over the workshop, it stretched further than he could see, row after row of industrious elves, working fast, working well, never stopping. They were lined up like robots, each elf connected to a pipe via an intravenous needle, this in turn leads to a drip bag, all the elves connected in identical arcs, the contents of each bag fuelling every elf. The endless columns of drip bags looked like sepia gravestones. The endless rows of elves look like rolling mounds of green grass. The overall effect was not one of life.

Santa cared little for the elves, their eyes were abysses of want, no other emotion remained, they were functional and that was all. It was Mrs. Clause XVII that Santa leered over. He twitches sporadically and a single drop of saliva hangs like dew from the corner of his mouth, like a vision of evil, he stares. His eyes seemed distant but focused, some bones which barely pass for arms are tightly crossed as if he were freezing, his fingers grasp his red suit with all their feeble energy and his taut veins build blue ridges under his translucent skin. There but not there, full of chemical energy he may as well be dead. Mrs. Clause XVII moved slowly from workbench to workbench in red leather underwear. She is pinning the latest attainment goals right in front of each elf, where they can but fail to see how they are not succeeding. Her movement is methodical, almost rhythmical, bend, pin, adjust and move on; bend, pin, adjust and move on; again and again - an echo of movement. Santa loved the way she would bend over, a thong of red leather hugging her lips and deeply penetrating his filth ridden fantasies. It is as if she is dancing for him, and him alone, the others in the room, the subdued slaves, well they could barely be counted as organisms anymore, mechanised and predictable as a machine; they failed to noticed anything but what fed them. The drip, the needle, the flow of toys; The drip, the needle, the flow of toys. A continuous pattern of connecting flows, that led only to decline and desolation.

Mrs. Clause XVII was Santa’s favourite new toy, the latest concubine, a young girl just recently of an age suitable for Santa. Her legs were strong and long, her brunette hair which nearly touched the top of those smooth thighs waved like a torrent of henna down her back, her delicate features with a final subtle shade of make up seemed innocent but ferocious. Santa’s mind rushed through fantasies with her, dances, caresses, penetrations, his mind leaped from image to image like a roll of still slides flowing in rapid motion. For a moment he lost reality, but regained it with the twisted memory of her abduction, in a Paris hovel he snuck in and took her away. The poor are the best to abduct, their families cannot afford to make too much trouble. You just take your pick, pluck them from their sleep, carry them away from their tender dreams towards abuse and drug addiction, to horrific nightmare, only escapable by a very real death. Yes, even at that tender young age in which she was plucked from society he could tell that she would grow into a buxom beauty, and she is well on her way now. His malicious eyes of needs reached for his glass pipe, another good friend of his, another addiction, another perversion.

Sonart, a little elf in a little green felt suit held back a gag, he hated that paedophilic prick. ‘Before the New Year things would change.’ He thought resolutely to himself.

Mrs. Clause II was writhing around on the cushion next to Santa when he hit her in the face with the back of his hand. She did not need asking; she subserviently picked up the filthy purple velvet cushion, on which lay a fire blackened glass pipe. Santa’s glass pipe. Using golden tweezers and a forced elegance, she dropped a crystal rock of purified and dehydrated quinous extract into the pipe bowl. Quinous that came from the jungle covered mountains of Carlmulltra, the fifth planet of Alpha Centuri, her home, her lush paradise of mountains and sweeping plains, a vibrant jungle of smiling eyes. She longed for that home and her near forgotten family, the peace, the calm and the feeling of life which every breath held.

However, she longed for the glass pipe beyond anything else. Any glass pipe, not only that one. Even this life could be tolerated in a quinous nullified reality. Santa’s cracked blistered lips and skeletal face gave a dirty smile as he harshly fondled Mrs. Clause II arse. ‘You’re old darling, you’re past it, look at you, your wrinkles scar your drug deformed face, why don’t you fuck off and die in the freezing snow.’ Mrs. Clause II suppressed a flood of hurt emotions, she didn’t cry anymore. The black cloak of depression encased her mind and would unleash a vivacious weeping concealed deep within her mind; she knew its was safer around Santa to show no emotion other than subservience, she wanted a pipe and not to be thrown out into the freezing snow. She was only thirty-two years old, she should be in her prime, but it was true drugs had taken her youth, Santa had robbed her of a young ladies life. She however had her ways of medicating hurt, or was it forgetting hope; crack quinous the cause and the answer. She diligently put the pipe in Santa’s mouth, held a burning wax candle on the underside, watched Santa inhale and witnessed his mind recede.

The quinous leaves should be made into tea, this lets the reindeers fly at great heights without loss of breath. This hovel of degeneration was unnatural, they changed the path of quinous, and they subsequently changed the path of their lives. Humans and even superhumans need to work with nature, link into nature’s cycles, become one and flow together, a shared vector and a shared destiny. The purification of nature will create imbalance and this is what follows: addiction, perversion and finally death. She was not a reindeer, but needed with every aching bone, with a suit of painfully itching skin to be flying far away from her reality. Santa having taken his hit had let the pipe hang down between his fingers. She pulled the pipe from him, loaded it again and less gracefully floated away from this room, floated far from all her pain and all her suffering to a world she could bear because she could forget.

Both however were spread like fallen corpses on the threadbare cushions, very much on the ground if not seeming to sink into it. Occasionally they jerked, their eyes never coming to the front of their sockets.

After ten or so minutes they came round, shacking as if freezing, speaking in sawn off phrases that made little sense. Now they seemed to hate everything and everyone. They would look at the pipe, hatefully. They would look at each other, hatefully. They noticed little else, not even death’s ever increasing presence.

Every morning after two hours of deep sedative induced sleep Sonart awoke to the sound of a siren. Its shrill cry would piece his morning haze like the explosion of a thousand ball bearings hitting ground. He sat up with a jolt from the cold concrete floor, he tried not to wretch from the stench of sweat and excrement. The room was overcrowded, fifty elves where there was room for twelve, there were four metal buckets for a toilet at one end, Sonart’s end. There were well over a thousand cells like this. All cramped, all festering, and all rife with the misery of life. As a matter of course they all stripped naked, stood and followed each other in the most logical and efficient order to the showers. The showers were broken so they scooped up pans of nearly frozen water and tipped it over themselves. This would remove the last traces of the heavy sedative from their minds. They returned to their cells, dressed and left for forced labour.

Every morning they prepared like this before filing to work, in a long line of elves, a long line of drudging pointed green felt hats which barely even bobbed up and down, all just like him, all the same. No chanis were needed, they were imprisoned by a needle. Well most of them anyway, some like Sonart had duped their captors, escaped the crippling addiction and played along with the hope of a brighter future. However for now they all sat down like a machine in clockwork precision. Every elf turns in time. Pulls the hard wooden stool out from under the workbench. Sits down, eyes forward, no expression displayed other than want. They connected the drip into a permanent vein-piecing hole with habitual nonchalance. Instantly the production starts; toy after toy would rise before each elf. Every elf would work a difference into a single toy at one time, before it descended away from view, it then moved underground to the next stage of assembly, where it would rise before a different elf who worked a different change into the toy over and over again. In this way every elf was connected to every other, by this production process. All connected but all different, every elf performed their monotonous personal task, which was different to their neighbour’s. For every toy that leaves every workbench, a small amount of meth amphetamine is feed intravenously via a drip into the central nervous system of that elf. The meth amphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant, it makes the elves work faster and dissolves their brains. There is no escape, if the drug supply stops, insanity will come knocking within a day. Unless there’s lots of support, which there isn’t. Sonart hates this and he and his fellow rebels will free them, this is their fight, the liberation of their kind. How he and the rebels escaped solely by chance, he is not special, not particularly strong, not a dominating intelligence or not even a natural leader. He just happened to seek out the free and bring them together. He guesses they were just the lucky ones, unnoticed blockages in their drip feeds stopped any meth amphetamines ever reaching them and they had escaped the system. Three-foot high liberators of the Christmas message. This festive period would be the time for action, no longer could he bear the endless rows of sepia drip stands, the rows of the walking dead and this sweat shop worked by mystic elves. With a well thought out plan he and his rebels will shatter the Lapland slave camps and avenge their brutal capture from nature. Santa will be killed and the elves will walk free, he just hopes Saint Nich is alive and holding up.

December 2st 2025, Shanghai.

‘I WANT IT… bitch mother’
‘Tommy, darling’
‘It’s fucking Tom bitch’
‘Sorry Tom, you have to wait twenty-three days until Christmas Day darling, Santa will bring you your new toy, and please… I’m begging… You’re only nine years old… please don’t speak to me like that’
‘What ever, I’m playing a computer game, FUCK OFF’
She left, crying, she’d lost her only child at such a young age, there he was drinking his Caina Cola, in a different world. Even the dragon’s breath from that morning couldn’t stem her tears. She was lost and lonely; she had tin foil and china white, eyes of death and a receding future.

December 3rd 2022, Lap Land.

Santa’s new three-dimensional videophone had already rung several times that day, a callers face growing from the obsidian like box, inflating like a cartoon animal balloon, twisted and shrunken then life like and more. Santa, however, was too wasted on quinous to notice or care. His eyes were still fogged over and his mind far away amongst the stars. He lay on his back, head hanging over the back of a thread bare cushion, his filthy mass of white hair stuck to his head. Decrepitude stemmed from the rot of him and his surroundings.

It was ringing again, the holographic image of John Jr 4th was looking more and more enraged, through the flicking semi solid images, scarlet flashes and clenched teeth were pulsing through half the room - a swamp of digital rage. The perpetual hollowing bored holes deep into his head, injected pain into his central nervous system and shattered his peace. Finally a bone wrapped in flesh reached out and hit the answer button.

‘Get your drug fucked arse of that stained couch, you fucking waster.’
‘Wha’ jesus, fuck, it fucking early, you fuck.’
‘fuck you, its fucking two in the fucking afternoon’
‘Be polite John, man, a very good afternoon to you too, good to hear from you…hello’
‘Fuck you bum’
‘Hey man, less of the bum, I had a shower yeater… a couple… well I don’t fucking smell alright’
‘I wouldn’t know it’s a image and sound only videophone, thank fuck they don’t transmit smell or disease, look at yourself in the mirror, take some fucking pride, your meant to be fucking superhuman.’
‘Sort it out.’

Santa reached for the pipe, dropped in a rock and woke up with the flash of a disposable lighter.

‘Jesus, leave of that for just a few hours Pal, is that new LSD impregnated spray ready? We need all the toys this year to be dosed in it. Pal it’s the dog’s, LSD straight through the skin at the slightest touch, the kids, the parents, a fucking hippie wouldn’t notice this trip it’s so subtle. All those chemicals flowing on Christmas Day, the people of this fine world will be susceptible to any well placed idea.’ The airy videophone image becomes dwarfed by a toothy smile coming towards Santa like a twisted laughing clown. ‘This year’s Christmas Day is sponsored by Caina Cola. We’ll have it all!’ A voice from a mouth contorted by hysterics grew and grew, enveloping the room from the inside.

John Jr 4th relished in his plan, running it over his mind in vain pleasure. We fund the presents for the poor of the world, all those smiling little faces light up with the generosity of our multinational, the public think we’re angels, the stupid fucks, they are the losers who pay over the odds for our products and really buy the presents, they think I’d kill my profit margins to see a kid smile, the dumb fucks.

‘The world will be tripping, and with our subliminal advertising they’ll, the kids, parents, fucking camels will never buy anything but Caina Cola again.’ Santa’s room was fit to burst with pixcelated horror, dust captured in turbulence and light.

Ha John Jr 4th thought, finally we will rule the world with our cooperate dream, with me as king. I will sail this world into the new age of consumerism, blind consumerism where people will just hand all their money over to me and in return… I will just feed them cheap shit; they will give me a fortune. He remember his grandfather’s idea of slipping hallucinogenic drugs into kids breakfast cereal whilst subliminally suggesting the need for consumerism on breakfast T.V. Now the kids just scream want at their parents, his grandfather had said ‘we stole all the children and now we own the world!’ This would be the final step, the passing away of free choice; he would be celebrated by people in black pin stripe suits for centuries to come. He was leaving his mark.

The intensity of colour fortified into a near solid image pressing close to Santa’s face, the voice slowed as higher vocal harmonics strengthened to deliver a sinister emphasis, ‘Just make sure you’re on track, and get away from that fucking pipe, failure has severe consequences, we shaped you, we can obliterate you’. The image rapidly shrunk to a pin head size and flashed as the phone rang dead. The room contracted, breathed and fell to a spongy silence.

Santa sat back, filling the pipe again with a morose smile. At times he wondered if he had gone too far. Should he release the fur coated Saint Nicholas from bondage, bring him up from the deepest depths of the glazier. Release him from eternal imprisonment in ice. Free him, let him sort this out. Santa thought he could jump to his death, leap deep into the frozen ice away from the judgement of others, dead and inert to the guilt of the crimes he committed. Where did it all go wrong, the drugs, the young girls, the enslaved magic elves... Now without the drugs, without his sedation, his escape, he surely could not go on, without the drugs this surely could not have happened. The pain of no hope.

The glass pipe, a possession from the basest facets of debauch, always there to nullify a deeply buried consciousness or pain, as if heaping more soil on top of a semi conscious corpse.

November 3rd 2025, A Forgotten Cellar Deep Below the Ground

‘Come in Miss. Emily, come in. O.K. we haven’t got long before our non-presence is noticed, let’s get straight down to the essentials.’ Sonart looked around pensively, the small group of rebellious elves had gathered earlier and now Miss. Emily had come, the group was complete. She was their link to the outside world and the leader of the Mrs. Clause Clan. Sonart’s face was grave as he spoke. ‘Miss. Emily, have you got the liberty cap mushrooms we need?’

‘Yes, Sonart, fifteen seasons worth of pickings, the best the pastures have to offer. We have plenty. All the free elves of the world rallied to our cause, we now have the liberty caps in liquid form, easy to vaporise and dispense.’ Miss. Emily shared the grave seriousness, but smiled a smile so radiant it could melt every iceberg in the southern ocean. She was a stunning young elf, dressed in black leather with a midnight shade of lipstick to match; she looked liked she could arouse a frozen Neanderthal. Not that she had necrophiliac tendencies, that’s just the way she looked. She looked the business for a subversive leader, an almighty conquest for a lover – a lady you’d want on your side. Without this look there was no way she would have slipped through Santa’s net of degeneration. She has worked for many years, inspiring hope, freeing the Mrs. Clauses that could be freed. She whisked them away from the temptations of addiction before it was too late, she has promised them a better day, and this day is slowly coming.

‘Thank you, Miss Emily.’ Sonart stood calmly, his serene voice with its gentle rhythm caressed the cellar. ‘O.K. you all heard, we have the antidote to the decrepitude of this planet. This Christmas we will put a self-exploding capsule of liberty cap liquid into every present we send out. When the presents open, everyone within a fifty-meter radius will be affected. With the coverage Caina-Cola has so readily given us with their presents for the poor campaign, this will be more than enough. The whole world will be affected, every baby, every child, every adult, even pets and wild animals will receive a dose. Where the populations are more concentrated, the doses will be larger. This is needed as in these areas the people are far more ensnared in their non-animistic beliefs. They’ll need more to be freed into nature.’ Sonart bowed to everyone and smiled. His modesty befits his chiselled face whose shadows danced orange in the candle light.

‘What about the hallucinogenic paint, that Caina-Cola plans to put on the toys the year?’ CamPi asked raising her hand, with a look of concern.
‘It’s subliminal manifestations futile against the power of the liberty cap, even the Christmas Sherries will be washed away for good. Donald, how are the reindeers looking?’

‘All trained to pat Sonart. On Christmas Day morning, they’ll fly from horizon to horizon, covering the whole world in a scattering of our magic dust.’ Donald replied smiling, proud of his work, happy to be up for the fight and eager for the day. He was imaging the beautiful effects of this plan. The world awaking into a new existence, an existence without war and famine, without anger and separation, a unified free world for all to live in.

‘Carmella, err sorry Snow Leopard, I’ll get used to your code name soon.’ Sonart chuckled in loving despair.

‘Look Sonart darling I ain’t going into battle without code names and grappling hooks, we’ve got to do this properly, balaclavas and stealth, that’s the idea.’ Carmella joked but had a seriousness that everyone in the room respected; she would be the front line, an infiltration leader with a practical flare.

‘Quite Snow Leopard,’ Sonart replied, an endearing smile soaked into snow leopard, ‘Does your team know the drill?’

She flashed her hand in a barely noticeable movement, the nine other members of her team jumped to their feet and stood to attention. ‘At ease, friends.’ She replied gesticulating gracefully. ‘Yes we are ready, the five nights proceeding the Christmas Eve present run, we will place the capsules in the toys, hidden of course but waiting to explode, then when the toys are unwrapped, there will be no avoiding the blissful consequences. Our liberating capsules will be on their way. It’ll be like clockwork, we’ve trained hard, many nights spent stealthy sneaking around this castle, observing movements, habits and timetables, and now we know them to a tee. It’ll be smooth, real smooth darling.’ Carmella, was also proud, proud because she was part this movement, proud of her team, proud of her race of elves. Yet again the altruistic elves were helping to save the humans from themselves, at least they didn’t have to flood the world this time.

‘You’re a champion Snow leopard.’ Sonart smiled again, things were going well.

‘Miss. Emily you’ll be able to keep Santa tied up on Christmas Eve?’ Sonart Looked confidently across to Miss. Emily.

‘Yes Sonart, I’ve told him he’s getting a Christmas present this year.’ She smirked with the superior knowledge she had over that bastard upstairs. He was going to get one fucker of a Christmas present; somebody wouldn’t eat turkey sandwiches for months after this feast day.

‘O.K. my team, we know how to take care of the evil imps, those little terrors will try to defend Santa to the last, they have an easy life here; they have no discipline. Too many easy to control slaves, they just shout occasionally to look important. They’re weak through years of laziness and lack of motivation we can take them down easily, we just need to get them too drunk to move and lock them away down here. Locked away they will pay for their treachery to the planet by rotting away.’ There was a murmured cheer throughout the room. ‘So Snow Leopard when our two teams come together we should have a clear run to liberate the remaining thousands of elves, we need to act quick, get them off the drugs, get them back to their families for rehabilitation, Miss. Emily the families know the plan?’

‘Yes they are waiting Sonart.’ Miss Emily replied with a look of sorrow. ‘They will be ready to take back the shells of those who are still alive. Speaking of shells, I’ve found Saint Nich, he’s not holding up to well, he thought I was the human incarnation of Aurora Borealis, I think it’s better to free him after the liberation, he’ll need a lot of attention.’

‘That’s fine its your call on Saint Nich, right that’s all, lets get back before we’re noticed, good luck my friends, we’re going to need it.’ With that he bowed low to the ground, turned and walked out. He knew this was all or nothing, it had taken so many difficult years to get here, this was the only chance.

August 18th 1932, On a Small Island in The Atlantic.

The gentlest of sea breezes moved the air, like a child’s breath rippling through soft neck hair. Drenched in the magnificent embers of a falling sun the tranquil lapping waves wash ashore with faint repetitive splashes. The tethered fishing boats, silhouetted against the sinking sun, danced upon incandescent waves. A fishing hamlet on the mainland is already hidden amongst the blue shadows of dusk. The day is ending and a billion stars begin to appear from deep within the inky blackness of night. Saint Nicholas and Santa Clause stood side by side watching the earth’s spectacular goodbye to the day. The ocean seemed to put the land into perspective, its magnitude dwarfs the green hills, seems to wash away the barren deserts and leaves a single person small and insignificant. The two friends had come here to this small island off the West Coast of Scotland for getting on forty years now. It was there holiday, their rest from Lapland before the final push for Christmas took place. It is breath taking and peaceful, serene in its rocky harshness, the jagged edges quelled by a carpeting of grass. They slept in a small cylindrical castle on top of the only hill, on top of the island; from here the view is panoramic. Inland the mountains just begin to take root, foothills which lead all the way to Ben Nevis and the rugged heart of Scotland, out to sea lay only Greenland then the Americas, but they were lost somewhere in the far distance, many miles past the horizon. Here the two friends just walked and talked, nestling deep in contented happiness. The elves were also on holiday, scattered in different directions all over the globe, visiting friends, catching up with family or simply exploring new folds of land. In a couple of weeks, the Lapland workshops would fire up again and the final stages of toy crafting would take place with gusto.

‘Hey Nich, I off to Black Eyed Johns Cave before dinner, fancy joining’
‘No you go, I’m off for a Whiskey in the library, come and join me when you get back and I’ll put a couple of those Angus steaks on the coals, fry up some chips, batter some onion rings. Maybe a bit of salad, Oooohu. It’s time to eat, there’s no time for caves.’ He Nodded his head in self approval as he spoke.

‘Sounds good, get a couple glasses and a couple of bottles.’ Chuckles came from all over Santa as he rubbed his hands. ‘That sounds very good.’ He nodded to Nich and set off at a hearty pace towards the most distant tip of the island - Black Eyed Johns Cave.

As he neared the cave the crashes of surf against rock became louder. He loved it down here, he loved the power of the water, the thrashing waves, the frothing swell; there was always too much energy; the excess would pulse through him, taking his mind to sublime relaxation. Santa stopped dead in his tracks, shock taking all colour from his face. A man in a black suit, white shirt and red tie sat next to a brief case in the mouth of the cave. He sat smoking a cigarette looking out to sea; looking peaceful, captured by the waves. He thought he and Nich were alone on their isolated island, who was this? How did he get here? Human? Supernatural? Good? Evil? Thoughts of a few splits of seconds that would soon be answered as the man stood up, conveying not a trace of menace, only determination, he confidently strode over to Santa and held out his hand.

‘Hello my friend, sorry for the fright, my Names John and you, I know are Santa.’ Man in Suit spoke with his body which added layers of solidity to his words.

Santa shuck his hand from politeness, he was confused, this man didn’t beat around the bush, he spoke quickly and strongly with a confidence that only comes from success. At least it wasn’t Black Eyed John, he’s was one mean reprobate of a pirate, the type man to eat soup from victims skulls. Anyway if Black Eyed John was anything more than a myth he had died long ago, so who was this man in a suit, who knew his name and had oodles of confidence.

Santa started slowly, gathering time, ‘That’s right, what gave me away, the belly or the beard. What can I do you for?’ Man in Suit still strongly held his hand. ‘Have you come to see the castle? We’ve got some streaks back up there, ready for the barbeque, come back up if you want.’ Man in Suit finally let go of his hand and began to weigh his words with a rapid delicacy, as if he was remembering a speech he spent hours going over in front of the mirror.

‘Thanks but I just had some haddock in the village, it’s good food up here. Lets take a little walk, it’s perfect at this time of dusk.’ They turned to walk along the rough pebble beach, the violent brush strokes of dusk intensifying out at sea. ‘I just wanted to meet you, meet you and Saint Nicholas.’ The emphasis left on the word you making the rest of the sentence seem vaguely superfluous. ‘I’ve this idea see, and I thought I’d swing it passed you, the two of you. You know the work you guys do is well worthy of your superhuman status ’ He looked deep into Santa’s confused eyes and rewound a little, ‘I thought you’d be along here about this time, you’re a creature of habit you know, good habits that’s why I know you’ll love this’ He throw the cigarette butt out to a watery grave as matter of polluting habit.

‘Well what can I say, you know more about me than I about you. It is just amazing here, the endless beating of the waves, each wave different, each wave with the same purpose’ Santa spoke and he began to connect with this stranger, his previous anxiety dissipating like a wisp of smoke in the breeze. It left only his trust to be won; he still had to be convinced.

‘Quite, yeah, this is one of the finest places in the world, a good place for a retreat from your amazing works.’ John seemed genuine enough, even virtuous in the way spoke, with his eyes came a feeling of honesty, but all honesty shows is that you believe in yourself, but at least that’s a start. His fingers, however constantly moved as if something was missing, they were constantly searching for something, this something was not to do with his words, it was something from the subconscious. He lit a cigarette but this did little to relieve the subtle gesticulation which broke through the disguise. ‘Yes, your work’ he continued, ‘it is amazing, truly amazing and that’s what I want to talk about, You see..’ he stopped and turned to look out towards the sea, standing gazing over the waves next to Santa. He clasped his hands together looked at Santa for a moment and gave a smile of determination. ‘I work for the Caina Cola cooperation, and last year to great success we used your image to sell our product, and well I thought I better come and have a word with you about this, see what you think, see if you have any ideas… Any further thoughts.’ He clasped his hands tighter and the tendons rose to white ridges. Turning firmly to Santa, looking directly into his eyes, allowing a slight serious smile onto his lips and the gentlest nod of his head he said. ‘So wha’ do y’ think?’

The pieces fell into place for Santa, this was the man, the cooperation that had used his image, his look – him, to flog bottles of fizzy drink over the Christmas period. Annoyance crept up through him. ‘Well, I’m more into giving than selling, I wasn’t very happy about my image making money, if the truth were told’ there was the slightest venom he his words and he never lost eye contact as he thought to himself: ‘Enough words for now, let him do the speaking, let him do the explaining, let him dig his own grave, best way to handle people like this, arrogant overeducated clueless buffoons. Let them do the juggling, them do the thinking and them make the mistakes.’

‘That’s what I thought, that’s what I told the board or directors, you know what them types are like, arrogant buffoons, but I know what your about so I told them, I said look we shouldn’t make money from a person with near divine morals, we should run it past him at least, see if we can’t put the profits to some good: help some disadvantaged kids, build an orphanage, I don’t know, we’ve a lot of money you know.’ There eyes were still locked. John strained to keep his eyes forward, his now sweaty hands began to unclasp, he’d bated his line, by the look that moved into Santa’s face, he’d got a bite; he just had to land the catch. ‘Well so that’s that, that’s what I’ve come to chat about, how can some of the money we make go back into Christmas, how we can help, help those little kids, make them smile, give them the festivities they deserve. You know your toy’s are the best there is, every kid wants one and thanks to you guys every good kid gets one, every kid that believes anyway. We can also help with the future, a few words of advice here and there, toys are changing as you know. More sophistication, more technology. We can help with the R&D, sorry research and development, the kids will love it; they’ll be smiling for centuries to come.’ He left only the sound of the waves to carve the idea he’d put plainly into the open.

‘Well if that’s the plan, obliviously a lot of kids need a lot more help than others, blankets for the cold ones and such and such, that would have my support with out a doubt, but we try to run the whole thing without money, it is hard sometimes, very hard a lot of times.’ He was really thinking now, ‘there were so many benefits out there, but it seemed a little too easy, Johns comments a little too trite. This isn’t final, he wasn’t signing anything and he wanted Nich here; best just to stop it here’. He looked back towards the sea and spoke ‘It does work, but I guess times are changing…’ His glum smile highlighted his thoughts about these changing times, money becoming more of an issue each year. Looking back towards Johns eyes, looking away from the everlasting sea he half mumbled, ‘there’s only so much magic, and the rest comes from hard labour, and as you say kids do seem to want a little more as the years go by, a little money could be put to good use. It could help, but…’

‘Good I thought you’d say that, how about a scotch, we can run all this by Saint Nicholas and put our feet up. I’ll follow you up in a short while, I just want to walk a bit further, enjoy this view, its not often I get to see anything as serene as this. Don’t worry I know the way around.’

Santa left him, glad of a few moments, happy that he could put this to Nich without John here, he had some ideas about John but Nich would hopefully have some too.

Somewhere in the 20th Century, Lap Land.

Saint Nicholas sat trying to stare through the impenetrable opaque prison wall. This helped him to meditate his thoughts to fruition. A bulging moon sent silver shafts of light down the length of this crack in the ice. The silver light was so intense it seemed to tear through the ice, fracturing the planet. In the moonlight Saint Nicholas saw no life, in its single colour spectrum everything was beautiful but the same, everything looked on the eve of nothingness. Time had eloped.

Turning to nothing but air he said, ‘See I told you Greg, when the moon is this size it’s always bigger than the stars.’
However no reply could be heard, there was no one there. There was certainly no friendly snow beast with a penchant for Hob Nobs cream cheese and sour kraut, who answered to the name of Greg, but when you’ve become forgotten, living encased in an icy prison for many lost years, does it really matter who you’re friends are?
‘And also you see my friend, when the moon is approaching full it saddens me, it reminds me of the start of the end, when that evil man came to our Island in Scotland. It seemed very strange right from the start, right from when Santa came back and got three, not two, but three Angus steaks out from the fridge. What did he say now…’ Saint Nicholas looked to the side, frowned and continued. ‘Yes that was it, he said I’ve met someone, all the way out here on the Island, he wants to help us with Christmas. Yes very odd I thought, he’d either rowed or swam out here for starters, and why was he here now, why not in Lapland, we had an office here you know. I wonder now if it’s still there. It looked out over a fiord so deep it was the colour of a midnight storm cloud, as you sat and looked out over the sea you could almost imagine life erupting from the deepest depths of the ocean. Erupting from the dark depths into to glorious life. It was beautiful the view from that office, that’s where we kept things in order, you know files and such like, which kids were bad which were good, the relevant information. Beautiful it was and maybe still is. But, arr yes something odd there was about him, he looked sincere enough, but there definitely seemed to be something lurking below the surface, it seemed that if you pealed away his skin, slowly mind you, there would lie a hidden truth, embedded deep within his flesh. A very strange man, but Santa seemed to like him, and well I trusted his judgement, after all he had the advantage of youth in a rapidly changing society…’ Saint Nicholas dejected eyes looked to the stars for an answer. ‘ How wrong I was Greg, how very wrong.’

August 18th 1936, Black Eyed John’s Cave.

‘Look Santa, don’t you see, this is the only way, come on now.’
‘Slow down, please. I don’t see why the toys need to have Caina-Cola written on them, John.’ Santa forehand rested in his palm as he sat on flat rock next to John.

‘It’s simple, look, the kids love Caina Cola, they also love trains, lorries, the planes, whatever you make, just stick a small Caina Cola label on them; combine the two loves. Now what’s the harm there. Hey pass your glass over here, have some more whiskey.’ He seemed nervous, agitated and even a little annoyed, his gesticulations hurried and un composed.

Santa slowly passed across his glass, he was distracted in thought, looking at his feet, he really didn’t understand, wouldn’t the kids be just as happy not to see the sticker? Would the kids be persuaded to buy Coca-Cola if they saw the sticker? Every time they picked up their toys it would be there, itching at their minds like an unreachable mosquito bite. He seemed to sense the brutality of this idea, but John was to convincing, such a good talker, he could also see his point of view.

‘Just one sticker, one on each toy where’s it appropriate, I don’t know, you’ve treated us well so far.’

In his pause John interrupted with a chuckle, ‘Yeah we have treated you well, we like what you do, we want to help you keep up to date. This will be a good thing for everyone, the kids will smile just that little bit more.’

‘Yeah I guess, Nich should be here as well you know.’ Santa was looking up now, his arms lightly crossed on his lap.

‘Nich’s an amazing man, amazing ideas, a heart of solid love, but you’re the one with feeling for how the world really works. Leave Nich to fundamentals and you can be the one to take Christmas into the future. Hey but also we could give you a bit more financial help with the Christmas fund, a little extra cash, a bit better food for you, Nich and the elves. That would be good wouldn’t it. You work hard, you deserve a bit more back, a bit of pleasure. Hey speaking of which how’s Mrs. Clause, now she looks like a feisty little elf.’

‘She’s fine thank you for asking, its three years this October, maybe a few kids in a couple of years.’ He answered tersely at first but became more lucid as a personal smile spread from his lips.

‘Hey great, a family of do gooders, is just what this world needs.’ The sarcasm eluded Santa.
‘You want some of this by the way Santa, it’ll perk you up’ John held a piece of old newspaper in his palm, it was barely the size of a post card, on it was a thick line of fine white powder.

‘What is it?’ Now Santa was really confused, it looked vaguely like quinous extract but John would never be able to get his hands on that, would he? ‘It looks like quinous, what the reindeer use for altitude…’

‘Cocaine Santa. It’s OK I do it all the time. It’s safe, it just focuses the mind a little. He took a platinum straw from his top pocket, placed it up his nose, placed the other end at on the start of the line of powder. He smiled a little as he looked up at Santa and breathed in sharply through the straw. Moving the free end down the line, his body seemed to suck with all its strength. He sat up straight and shook his head briefly, smiling a lot more. He then placed the straw in Santa’s hand, ‘It’s probably similar to your quinous.’

Santa thought what the hell and took a deep breath of the times to come.

This cocaine did very little for Santa, later that year however when he tried the same with quinous extract, his mind definitely became focused. He could think quicker, he felt supremely confident, as if he could do anything in the world. Best of all, he came up with such good ideas. Ideas which were as clear as day and would benefit every person who would believe them. At times he believed he had never met anyone quite as good as himself. He felt he was the man, maybe even god. He just wanted to feel like a reindeer, flying amongst the clouds, unstoppable as he soared on thermals and turned in eddies, and he did. John seemed to survive on his extras, so why shouldn’t he, cocaine for humans, quinous for superhumans. John was trustworthy, his ideas were already working wonders in Lapland, and already they had televisions in the workshops, lots of meat to eat everyday, lots more alcohol to drink. Their lives were getting better by the day, more frills and more extras; no more simple living for the Christmas workers, that was for sure.

Many nights were spent dancing under the moon with Mrs Clause, with the silver light spreading over the snow fields, a blanket from under which nothing could escape. A blanket from under which nothing would want to escape, the unimaginable warmth of the iciest spectrum. The huddled herds of reindeer, littered like dark boulders as far as the eye could see, the valleys, the hills, the ice and the purity. All this becoming a part of the dance, as if the music came from this rugged friendly landscape, as if the dome of stars were their ultimate limit and these stars would take an eternity to reach. The Milky Way the path down which they waltzed, swooping in circles, spinning in unity and unfurling to the world. This silver road visibly crosses the eternity of space, a crescent from horizon to horizon. On those moonlight nights dreams became alive, anything was possible and in those stolen moments time dissolved.

Somewhere towards the end of 20th Century, Lapland.

Saint Nicholas’ head was tilted to the right and his mouth hung slightly open at one side as if falling to the ground. His eyes were half open and unfocused. He suddenly jerked up in to reality. His eyes moved from object to object, from side to side. His neck hurried to follow his eyes. Each time they rested on something the stare had a vivacious ferocity. His voice started with an almost a pained shout and trailed off towards the end. ‘You see Greg, no you see don’t do you - Penis the Penguin is correct.’ His eyes moved horizontally from right to left and back again. ‘Correct, yneeeess she knows that it will surely snow when the clouds explode into white dust. It will snow…’ now he spoke very slowly as if choosing only the absolutely correct words, ‘ And when it snows the blanket that covers the world, it will cover all hurt. Every hibernating animal from the smallest grass-eating beetle to the largest carnivore will be encased in the white bliss. Like these walls, their permanence can only be temporary and that is bliss, the lack of eternity. Why, why, why? Well if eternity lasts forever, and as some thinkers say if eternity is bliss, then what is opposite must be insignificant, as it is not infinite and therefore irrelevantly small. So there would only be bliss and no comparison, and this is illogical, you always need to compare to gain meaning. Temporary time must therefore contain bliss, because in non-infinite time you can have that opposite. Do you see Greg. Of course that assumes that infinity can only rest with one side of the coin that is bliss or melancholy, which must be true unless there’s a perfectly even split. But what about the side the coin, the million to one chance, no they cannot be even. So in eternality there is nothing, no good, no bad, no feeling. You don’t understand, I can see in your eyes, Penis the Penguin understands, look at the way she smokes a cigarette.’ He turned slowly to his left and lowered his voice so barely a whisper escaped, ‘we should eat the nonchalant bitch, turn her into a candle or something ’ He turned back raised his voice to a near shout before letting it trail off to a sound like a rustling leaf. ‘ What’s that Penis? No honey I’m only joking there’s far more meat on an acorn, if only it wasn’t winter we could feast. Penis darling you’re by far the best one of us here, you can stand up straight all day in the cold. I wish I had you here when Santa got stuck into the quinous, he would have listened to you, he just looked at me like an old piece of shite, I would cry myself to sleep most nights. They way he just looked at me like I would never understand, he never even tried, his condescending eyes seemed to look straight through me, like I was a sheet of melting ice, soon to be washed away. He would telephone John, laugh away, I could hear through the closed office door. My office, which I open to share and was never allowed back in. As his laughter grew my misery descended, even some of the elves in the work shop seemed to be laughing at me. I felt trapped, I didn’t want to leave my room, the walls of the outside world seemed claustrophobic. What had he told them, what had putting all that quinous up his nose done, he was becoming an animal, savage and base. He had money all of a sudden, money and many girlfriends. Poor Mrs. Clause, she was heart broken the day she fled to Stockholm. Whatever happened to her I wonder. She couldn’t take it, she just left, ran away from the horror that was manifesting. Her eyes caught mine on her way out she seemed to apologise for leaving me. As if to say, ‘sorry for leaving you with him but what can I do.’ What could she do, he already beaten her a few times simply for standing up for herself. She was beautiful, maybe the purest beauty the ever breathed. Her fairy tale looks should have had rose petals showering down over her from ice capped mountains, not a quagmire of hate pulling her through the sodden soil. She had to go the poor darling. She was fractured beyond repair, broken beyond recognition, shattered into a million pieces; she had to go. That left me with him, his plans, John’s ideas to get more money to ‘improve’ Christmas, all they did was dissolve it, letting the ethos erode away and drift far out to sea. They dissolved Christmas like the drugs dissolved Santa’s brain.’ Saint Nicholas sighed, his head slumped and he stared at the floor. ‘Penis, Greg, you’re all I have now.’

Gregorian New Years Day 1940, Lapland.

‘That’s it, there here, the last crates have just come in now.’ John put his arm around Santa’s shoulders and led him to somewhere they could get a strong drink. ‘We’ll have our output exploding now Pal. With all the elves on this shit, it’ll be crazy, we wont be able shift the toy’s quick enough, na ha ha.’ John’s enthusiasm was spreading like a rampant disease, Santa was very much caught in the moment. ‘They’ll love it as well, the chemicals flowing through them, raging through their veins, triggering blossoms of euphoria that explode around their thoughts. Not to panic however, they’ll be a lot more focused, they’ll never want to stop, they’ll keep going for days flying through the bliss without a blink of tiredness. A happy worker is a productive worker after all, don’t you agree, just let them sprinkle a little in their coffee and they’ll work like troopers, they’ll sing along to the tune production. Before long my good friend, you’ll be churning out the Christmas lists in half the time, and then we can start on the sidelines. And that’s where the money’s at my friend, great hey, what do you think?’ John tightened his grip on Santa, embracing him, embracing the shared dream. ‘And then, when this is set up, I’m retiring, off to an Island in the sun, my only sibling we inherit this amazing legacy. I’m too old for all this now. It’s easy street for me from now on’

‘Pour some of that vodka into those glasses and pass the mirror over here.’ The glasses were filled and Santa drew out a single large line of quinous extract onto the mirror and snorted his way into the new phase of the business, with a toast to an x-partner.

Somewhere at the start of the 21st Century, Lapland.

‘I can’t hear myself think, Be quiet I can’t think’ Saint Nicholas cried, his head was rotating in random arcs, his eyes were glazed over and tears streamed down his checks, they froze before they hit the ground. It was hard to tell how long he’d lived in this state, it could have lasted hours or days, but the mound of frozen tears was slowly reaching his feet; it was probably a while. All of a sudden he stopped, looked slightly to his left and with a stern stare burst into hysterical laughter exclaiming, ‘Henry where did you find that pet mammoth? She’s a hoot.’ His laughter now seemed unstoppable like the tears before them. ‘What? Did you say she’s your wife, sorry I forgot you’re a mammoth as well, so I guess that’s your baby mammoth, what’s her name, Rug?’ His laughter stopped, everything was stationary apart from his lips, which moved only enough to pronounce the faintest words. ‘Well so we’re all here, come close my unfiendish allies, do you know when I was little I drew a circle on a piece of paper. The circle was circular but the paper was rectangular, at the time I didn’t know the significance so I placed it scrumpled up in the bin. Now I know that with the angular nature of man, the decisions that are made have a result that alter the vectors of life dramatically, unlike the circles of nature which change slowly in never ending random spirals. Nature and cognition cannot be combined so simply without an intermediate. The pencil was not sufficient. It was like when our little elves started taking the artificial quinous Santa sort out for them, meth was what he called it… He told me it was good for them it would make them enjoy life to the full. I had learnt not to question, the beatings he administered with birch canes were harsh. I had lost my opposing voice. The first generation soon got addicted and had no escape, the poor souls, they were too far gone to oppose the daily compulsory consumption of the drug.’ Saint Nicholas was moving his eyes from left to right and back again now, as if addressing a large party. ‘There minds were lost in a haze, their sparks of imagination extinguished, they were lost. They constantly needed more of the drug anyway, and the only way to get it in was injection. There’s something fundamentally wrong about seeing an elf grey from a deadly overdose, with a syringe hanging from their vein. Day by day I felt as if was going mad, but I felt too feeble to make a stance. The elves couldn’t cope with the high levels of that drug for prolonged periods of time, maybe only twenty or so years, before their brains gave up and melted, leaving them stranded, mindless bodies that soon flaked away and died. It was when the other elves throughout the world heard the rumours, the tales of abuse, degradation and degeneration that no more began to pledge their services. Then Santa began to hunt them down, kidnap them and imprison them with drugs. He would go out at night rip the young ones from their beds, he did the same to young girls. He would bring them back, and that was that. He took so much quinous, he was even smoking it by now, he had fallen from the rocks while walking across the river. He had fallen in turbulent waters of lust. That’s why I’m here, I finally said no, he simply beat me in the head with a ski pole until I was unconscious and I woke up here. He went too far, I would hate to see what happens in that prison now.’ With this Saint Nicholas began to scream, his head once again rotated in random arcs, tears adding to the frozen pile on the floor.

Summer 2025, Lapland.

‘Come here. Come to Santa. I own you; I’m going to break you.’ Santa slouched as he spoke and Wendy’s eyes widen eyes with fear. She saw an old man, a young man passed his age. He stared at her body. His face wrinkled, yellowed, covered in a wire grey beard. Brown black sockets and black eyes that burrow deep beneath the skin, prise the pores apart ripping through flesh. His face beckoned, his cracked lips creaking words, throat rasping , hands clenching.

‘Come here young lady’…’come here and become’

Hands massage and tight sweaty palms caress each other. Faded and stained red suit with matted white fur. Holes with white skin poking through. Toes poking through ripped black leather
Boots. A curling finger as Santa’s voice rose and slowly spoke ‘Come here I said, you little bitch.’ Wendy stood still, frozen by fear.

‘Get the fuck over here.’ Anger trembled through his clenched teeth as spit flew out.

Wendy began to tremble, urine ran down her leg, pooling around the sole of her left foot.

‘You filthy little bitch, are you disrespecting me, are you disobeying me?’ His voice rose, malicious waves hurled towards a young girl.

‘N…nno’ Wendy stammered, silent tears rolling down her dimpled checks. She raised her foot to walk, petrified, lost, confused. Who was this person, why was she no longer in her bed? Where was she? Wake up please she implored her mind, screams came like hurricanes through her body. She collapsed to the floor. She hoped the nightmare would fade to the smell of cotton and the Dorset summer. No fade out, only this man, throwing aside something, standing in full rage, shaking with violence striding towards her, kicking her in the stomach, the side, the ribs, pain eclipsing the room to white, countless blows reaching deep inside her. A hand clenching her jaw, a slap, the jaw clenched again. Words from far away ‘open your eyes and be grateful, bitch’. Her mouth forced open. A sharp chemical taste making her gag. More blows more pain, but something else: reseeding pain, escape, numbness, dissociation, a dream where she is in trouble but ambivalent. A grotesque man pulling at her delicate night clothes, a bad man, pinned down, locked to the floor. On a cloud far away. A burning pain far deeper than any other pain. A blanket of white. Lost.

A room, a lady sat across from her. Scream, a deep scream. The lady still there, she’s crying, sobbing. A full body of pain, deep pain that will never leave. The lady speaks, ‘honey, I’m so sorry, so so sorry. Anything you need call for me, my name’s Emily. There’s cup of coco and ibuprofen on the side. Shall I stay, or leave you for a while.’ Emily smiled deeply, she wanted to take Wendy in her arms, carry her away from all this, carry her to where the pain would go and she would be safe. Emily saw a young bruised girl on the bed, kidnapped, beaten, drugged and raped. She loathed this and would take whatever revenge she could.

Christmas Eve 2025, Shanghai.

‘That’s beautiful Tom, just beautiful, I love you my sweetest cherub.’ Mrs. Harris spoke with a peace that she rarely felt. She was in the house by herself, her little Tommy had gone out, he hadn’t said where, just slammed the door and left. Mr. Harris had told her he was out at work, she assumed sticking his dick up his boss’s poop shoot. Yet again she was left deserted, she tipped some more of her white medicine onto the already burnt tin foil and inhaled a wisp of freedom form life. Now she was wondering through a waking dream, her Little Tommy was painting a picture, he was happy and so was she. The picture was for her and the colours were alive, circling over the page, the reds and the oranges portrayed a fiery passion, whilst the blue soothed the very air you breathed in. The picture was abstract but conveyed love, a heated love that even all the water in the world could not sedate. Everything seemed connected to everything else in this opiate dream. All joined, all loving, together for eternity.

Christmas Eve 2025, Lapland.

Sonart caught the last Imp with his left boot and sent it flying headfirst into a dark cell. The cell was already covered in snoring drunken imps. It grunted as it hit the seething pile of debauch, which was the colour of shit and didn’t smell much better. Looking at them, lying there in that pile, he felt no remorse about locking this scum away, they’d swap there own mother for a shot of home made liquor and think they’d got a good deal. Indeed Sonart had brought every Imp in this place, all eighty of them, with just one hundred bottles of the cheapest liquor available. They consumed until they were sick and now they would pay the price. They wouldn’t see any booze for a long time. Sonart slammed the heavy oak door, pulled the forged iron bar across into the lock and closed the light hole. The first task was over, the first task was a complete success.

She could barely watch but she had no choice. She watched as the last present was wrapped and the last capsule of freedom was hidden away. Carmella couldn’t bare the endless rows of living dead, the endless rows of her own kind, the slaves to addiction and capitalism. This would change tomorrow, freedom lay around the corner. The outside world would be waiting in eager anticipation for there run of the mill pre-packaged Christmas. Some people in this Lapland Sweatshop, however, were waiting for something of unimaginable more importance. There would be no run of the mill Christmas this year, it would be the greatest party the world had ever seen.

Miss. Emily looks deep into Santa’s eyes, deep into the macabre abyss that had become his soul. Placing a beckoning finger in the line of vision, she continuously curls Santa towards her. She looks shit hot. Santa’s already naked and semi hard in his only readiness. Despite his drugged fuelled emaciation he rubs his hands in glee, as he leers over Miss Emily. Her strong legs from hours of cross-country skiing lead all the way to the perfect curve of her arse. Her calves and her thighs stand like aged old oaks with the supple delicacy of saplings. Her black stiletto strappings wrap around her lower leg, climbing to her knees. She stands sideways, her front leg bent with its toes at the heel of the back leg. Her skin is Glistening with a deep tan that is far from Nordic. The perfect curve of her arse is the shape of a rolling hill, carved with precision over of millions of years by the gentlest glazier. The cut of her black leather hot pants lay softly, in a sweeping arc just above the bottom of her delicate cheeks. They are solid leather, and don’t even rise as far as her hips, where yet again her lightly bronzed skin looks as soft as a balloon, but of course, it’s toned to perfection. Her flat, lightly muscled stomach is purposely turned slightly towards Santa, this highlights her perfect stomach and gives a strong silhouette of the back breast against the red silk curtain that seems to flow like a waterfall of blood behind her. She wares a black leather bra, it conceals enough but gives away plenty. Even beneath the thick leather her erect nipples protrude as if to mark the hidden erotic treasure. The valley between her ample breasts look like a leap into the sublime. Most of her long pitch-black hair is platted and falls along way down her back, the few strands that aren’t platted fall tantalisingly across her face down to her chin. It follows perfectly the curve of her almost round face, framing this beauty. The arm that isn’t beckoning Santa hangs just a few centimetres away from her body down by her side. The hand is holding a birch cane held at right angles to her forearm. Her eyes are deeply focused on Santa, you would not argue with her eyes, you would submit and follow. They are a deep hazel and swim with passion on a perfectly white, aqueous lake. Her jaw line flows perfectly into her neckline, which in turn sweeps into slender but strong shoulders. Her lips again are a shade of midnight black and when they move the world freezes.

‘Come here Santa.’
‘Come here on your fucking knees’

Santa drops his glass pipe, it falls slowly towards the concrete floor, where it hits and bounces twice, slowly from end to end before finally shattering into countless fragments. He drops to his knees, never loosing eye contact with Miss. Emily before crawling on his knees, through the broken glass towards her. As he inches forward, she slowly raises the cane. He inches forward more, their eyes still locked, he inches forward more, the cane slowly rises. An inch further forward, the cane an inch higher.

She draws the cane hard across his naked back leaving a bloodied laceration. He whimpers with pleasure.

‘Lie on your fucking back’

He turns over. The trickles of blood are seeping across the floor. He is lost in Miss. Emily’s spell, subservient to all her wishes.

‘Put your fucking disgusting wasted arms behind your head’

The glistening glass shards penetrate deep into his decaying flesh and slash at his emaciated his arms. He shuts his eyes succumbing to the pleasure of pain, he gasps through his chemical ridden and tar filled lungs for air. This rasping breath grates the room, like course sandpaper removing flesh. Miss. Emily flings the cane away. She bends over, without bending her knees, loops a rusted chain into her hand, uncoiling it from the floor. Still bending she turns her head and looks deep into Santa’s eyes, looks through into his soul, as if searching for the final justification and motivation for her action. Half her mouth smiles, on one side, the side facing Santa, her lips turn up and an ominous twinkle or a sinister glint comes across her deep hazel eyes. Her midnight black lips are full bodied and in control, seemingly they lust towards the perverse, seemingly they would make your fantasies come true, but the world is not always what it seems. She unfolds her body, her figure stands straight, her crystal clear eyes captivate her only guest. The room is silent but the chain rustily clinks its slow percussion. The only sound, the only movement. Two hearts are now beating with silent anxious breaths. Letting a foot of the rusted chain loose, she takes a single step forward, a length of the rusted chain hanging down from her grip and swaying gently, the slow percussion drives this song towards a coda.

She starts swinging the chain in a perfect circle. She moves around him, encircling him with her domination, she never looses his eyes, he is trapped, she stalks her prey. The souls of Miss. Emily’s feet crepitate on the glass; the crunch adds to the percussion of the chain swinging. A regular rhythm, regular circles. Minutes pass in this hypnotic standoff, time freezes and consciousness heightens, senses refine, sensations amplify, the outside world floats with the inconsequential and existence is this room only. Her prey is too stupid too know that he his already dead. The predator is too humbly efficient to think of her prey as already dead. She walks her circle, she crepitates, the chain circles, circle crepitate circle, circle crepitate circle, circle crepitate circle, circle crepitate circle. She breaks the spell. Stops. She looks straight at him and speaks slowly and clearly with masterful precision, ‘I am your fucking master now. I am in control. One fucking word and I’ll bite your festering dick off. Nod if you understand.’

He nodded.

She stopped her circling, stood over him, straggling him, the chain swinging in circles. One foot rooted either side of his pelvis, she almost pitied him, pitied his dilated pupils and his withered frame. Pitied his dying and hopeless body. Hate, however outweighed pity and she let the chain loose into his knuckles with a painful crack.

He whimpers but dares not scream, she stares but shows no remorse. He doesn’t want this to end as if this sublime dream is rampaging through his reality. He plays the fantasy to fruition in his head, he lets her have a bit of fun, a few games, a moment of control before he takes over. He sees himself slipping out from under her eyes and roughly grabbing her and throwing her heavily to the ground and jumping on top of her and pinning her down and ripping off her clothes and without mercy pumping her and pumping her and pumping her until he cums. Dreams as everyone knows rarely work out, well not as entirely as one would wish.

Miss. Emily instantly notices this change in her submissive. A flick of a pupil and a twitch of a smile flutter from mind to face; he is no longer subservient. He is having delusions of grandeur, visions of authority, thoughts that will never happen, not at least with Miss Emily here. She raises her right foot, as if she is about to move away and change position. Instead she spits in his face and stamps her stiletto down on his sternum. She breaks his skin and regains control.

Now he screams, now he feels the reality of pain through the ferocity of her reproach. He is pinned to the floor with a pool of blood collecting on his chest around her slender black heal. Miss. Emily secures the chain around his limbs and through his mouth. She moves with an efficiency that leaves Santa no time to struggle. He is imprisoned and trapped and bound. She raises her leg, pulling her heal from within his chest, she steps backwards to his feet and with a look of venomous hate flooding from her eyes she kicks him heavily in the balls, heavily enough to cause a flat thud. Heavily enough to express her hate. She padlock’s the chain and maliciously strokes his wizened hair.

‘Now your fucked, you cunt. Ladies.’

From behind the red silk curtains slip out no fewer than eight of Santa’s sex slaves, what followed was a brutal slow death, devoid of any pleasure.

That Christmas Eve the reindeer raced through the silver moonlight with a love they could barely remember. They flew from one end of the earth to the other, across great deserts, over gargantuan mountains, meandering along the paths of colossal rivers. Their trail of golden stardust was like a comet sweeping the skies, leaving in their wake countless specks of brilliant gold light. This year was the first year for a long time in which true serenity, true bliss and true magic came from the essence of the act. From village to city and country to continent, no homes were missed no people disregarded. It felt like the first Christmas in many years.

A very long night had occurred, much work was accomplished, many elves were freed, many families would be welded into loving relationships after too many years. Many of the elves families, after they were told of the pending liberation, set off to greet their once lost loved ones. Many families set off to Lapland to provide a vigil for loved dead ones. The emancipated masses of Lapland as if released from a spell saw the first dawn surrounded by love and slowly melting glaziers. The were limp, flaccid, grey and half dead, but flicks of life caught deep within their eyes as arms enveloped them. Half dead morphed into half alive. Even with drug addled brains and a limited future they had a future free from bondage. What better dawn than the Christmas dawn. Christmas had brought people together, the elves walked free, dysfunctional families began to function. Boundaries of self dissolved to communal.

Christmas Day

The whole world froze, its hard angular edges melting, freed from the precession of time to the rhythms of naturally lubricated minds. The entire world together and searching. Too few people could comprehend the implications of the coming hours, the freedom that would be envisaged and eventually come.

Pulses of psychedelia were rippling across vast oceans, waves sweeping onshore, each wave reaching slightly further up the beach. The next wave arriving in slightly less time than the previous.

In Lapland the perfect blue sky brushed with the lightest clouds spread across a cold flat white plane. In Shanghai an open plan spiral staircase unfurled to the universe. In the heart of America the fragrance of roasted turkey hugged and enveloped a young family. A fishing community in Scotland stood on a beach and sang in unison to the billowing clouds. Two friends in Central Park exchanged swigs of liquor and watched a bird dance through a cloud of insects. Beauty flowed freely from the sky. Christmas had arrived and melted a permafrost of inhibition.

Tommy cold see his mum. Tommy could see his Dad. They were stood with arms around each others waist. They were smiling, looking into Tommy, looking at him looking at them. Tommy felt an urge, an impulse. He ran towards them, screeching with pleasure as if he had found love for the first time. Wrapped his arms around tightly his parents, felt their warmth, felt their comfort, felt their love. They stood hugging and thinking of long love for as the world around them danced in unison.

Two friends sitting and talking, sharing a bottle liquor, sharing a life. As if they had walked form the Rockies to the Mississippi together, jumped the train and slept in corn fields. They looked like they’d done it all and found the only way. Patting each other, passing the bottle. They glance at the orchestra, the musicians in black and white. Gentle cello notes support delicate oboes whilst light percussion riffs keep the world moving. A slow deep southern voice rings out with Christmas song. The trees and path pick up and dance. The two friends waltz with the world lost in the music, lost with everything. Dancing, tendrals of music and systems of nature entwining to become one. Togetherness and harmony - the same.

A family sit and eat a lovely spread. A glistening turkey with buttered carrots, folding cabbage, rolling potatoes, covered with oozing cranberry sauce and gluppy gravy. Blossoming sprouts served with deep red wine. Plates are filled and smiles fill the room, food passed between people. Laughing and joking feeling the same as each other, equal in spirit, equal in life.

Sonart, hand in hand with Snow Leopard, led Saint Nicholas away from a huge crack in the ice. They smiled breathed in the moment, the freedom, the love, but mainly life. Saint Nicholas excitedly cajoled a tribe of snow beasts and penguins and mammoths, even little kittens to follow him home to, ‘a warm fire and slice cake.’, ‘A cup of tea and a sit down.’

‘At least he seems happy.’ Snow Leopard whispered in Sonart’s ear as her head lent on his shoulder, ‘You know, to be free with his friends, his loved ones. Whoever or wherever they are.’ A gentle chuckle spread across the ice sheet.

John, the family; the epilogue.

With this new sense of togetherness. This new world. There was no time for the cooperation, people were to in love to care about marketing; the Caina Cola empire became unprofitable, the legacy was not upheld, the family lost most of it’s money. John (whatever) the last in the family line died of exposure on a February night on a lonely street in America.