Thursday, 24 December 2015

Santa's Workshop

Merry Christmas! Thought to see this Silly Season through with a Santa and Krampus Flash Fiction ... right in time for the Big Guy in the Red Suit to show. Can't beat irony...


Ever get that feeling that the life you’re living now is just all made up to keep you in line? I have for about a year now.

But that’s not the reason why I hate Christmas.

That’s not the reason why I can’t stand the sight of all the Santa Claus’ at the shopping centres asking kiddies what they want for Christmas.

I hate this time of year because I’ve worked for the very man himself… 

I knew you’d start laughing.

I work in a huge place which stunk of sickly sweet sugary foods with hundreds – no, thousands – of other children he happily call his ‘little elves’ for a long time. It didn’t matter that some of us are beginning to wonder exactly why we are all working for some old, morbidly obese man who only work for one month a year – and yet he knows everything about every kid around.
And oh, yes, his cousin, Krampus, shows up with the ‘Naughty & Nice’ list in around October. I’m tellin’ ya, that dude is fugly, but don’t tell him that, he’d only gloat about it. Santa? Well, he tries not to be too hard on Krampus – not after last year when Krampus turned him into a version of himself… yuk! Scared the crap out of all the youngest elves around the township, I’m tellin’ ya!

But … oh hang on.

I had to put a candy cane in the swear jar. I forgot that we’re not allowed to swear. I’m technically not even allowed to be writing in this diary. I just hope he doesn’t find out I’m doing this.
But he will.
And anyone who ‘turns against’ him are usually demoted to the stables; which is never good, because those reindeer aren’t as cute and cuddly as you think. Comet kicks you when you least expect it. Blitzen bites. Donna is addicted to those stupid candy canes and the rest spit, throw up and poop everywhere but the stables.

But how I ended up here in the North Pole is a complete mystery to me. And why my folks haven’t come looking for is another. Is there a blind spot that this horrible man who dresses in the same dreadful, red, smelly suit every year casts a spell and my folks suddenly forget they have a second child?
This doesn’t mean I don’t know what work is. We all work seven hour split shifts with two one hour breaks. We get paid with free accommodation, free food, free clothes (when we need it), and if we get sick (which ironically, is almost never), we have free home care doctors. But none of us are allowed to leave this place. If we do, we either disappear forever, or we go back to our families with little to no memory of what we’ve been through here.
I’ve heard some of the ones let go from here don’t survive very long out in the real world either. They end up in institutions or they try to come back here and fail… and end up dead.

I have asked to go home, but the longer I’m here for, the less I remember of my family. I think it’s something in the food that makes us forget our family and the outside world. The more I eat and drink it, the less I remember my… um… siblings and I have a mother, I think. Damn! (another candy cane for the swear jar).
This is disturbing and depressing me, and yet I can’t tell anyone. I have tried to talk to the home doctor, but he just stands there looking at me with a questioning expression on his face with his bag in his hand. I can’t tell him how much I hate this place, because he will report it back to the Big Man and he will assess the situation and…

The sharp smell of disinfectant invades my nose and eyes snapping me awake. Restraints hold my arms in place as a doctor sits by my bedside reading through my green diary with a red and white spine.
Looking up, he smiles, “Hi. Do you know where you are?”
I shake my head, “He didn’t like what I wrote, so instead of sending me to the stables with Comet and Blitzen, he sent me…” I look around and see it’s not snowing outside, “He sent me home.”
“He? Who’s he?” the man places the clipboard with my diary on top of it on the table at the end of my bed.
Tears fill my eyes as I struggle to look at him, “I can’t tell you… he’ll know, I’ll be punished with coal in my stocking at Christmas.”
“You’ve been missing for over five years, Beth. You showed up at the local police station dressed like an elf.” He said, “We’ve been trying to convince you that you’re not one, but your ears. How did your ears get that way.”
I tried to cover them, but the restraints stopped me, and I blushed instead, “We all become elfish in the end, when we figure out what has happened to us.”
“You were kidnapped.” He said, “You were taken from your local park when you were only seven years old.”
“And I’m how old now?” I ask.
“And nobody found me?” I cast a stare straight at him, “Has is ever crossed your mind why that is? And why there’s so many children who have gone missing and have never returned… and yet, nobody has found them?”
“Well, you mention the North Pole in here.”  He picked up the book.
I looked at him. I knew he had been naughty all year. I knew why I had been sent home. It was punishment in a way… I still worked for Santa, but I also worked for Krampus. I could see this man was no doctor. He was impersonating one, “You’re not real.”
“Of course I am.”
“No… you don’t understand. You’re not a doctor.”
A laugh bubbled nervously from his mouth, “How can you prove that?”

“Because, I know why I’ve been sent away from the Workshop.” Looking down, I order the restraints to let me go. As if the leather heard me, it unbuckled. Sitting forward, I pick up my diary, “I’m here to find out who’s Naughty and Nice. I don’t work for Santa anymore; I work for Krampus. And you, ‘doctor’ haven’t been nice to anyone this year.”