As the Bells Jingle

by Tim Clair

                        As

                            The

                                    Bells

        J         I        N G L        E

Snowfall. Cheer fills the air. For some, the cheer has a different effect. For some people, when they hear the word cheer, all they hear is the harsh sound of snow. Sometimes snow doesnt have to mean laughing all the way. Maybe the only thing snow is good for is examining the prints, following them and seeing where they lead. And sometimes where they lead isnt always to the North Pole, but maybe away.

                                Sometimes.

Snowfall. Cheer fills the air. The bells jingle and a sense of merriness fills the air. Elves all around are putting the finishing touches on the toys Santa will deliver to all the good boys and girls. Santa walks in with a smile the size of the North Pole. He tells his elves of wondrous things. Most importantly of all, he tells them of a surprise, one involving Mrs. Clause. The elves face lit up as they heard the news. Happiness filled the hall. Happiness is a strange thing. It takes hold of you when you least expect it and it lets you go even quicker. All the children on Santas naughty list knew this principle. Every Christmas they would wake up with hope in their eyes and butterflies in their stomachs only to be greeted by coal. Santa never knew what this felt like. All he felt was unending joy. Songs rang around bearing the unexpected news: Mrs. Clause was having a baby!

There are two principles in life that should inevitably be addressed. One: Happiness and its fateful dilemma, and Two: Unending. Unending, a phrase which here means, in Santas case, untrue, for all good things must soon come to an end. The months passed and the baby within her grew. Many long nights did Santa stay up with Mrs. Clause as she dealt with the pain of carrying a child. Most nights Santa would find himself sitting by her bedside, comforting her. Then it happens. The big day finally arrives. Mrs. Clause finally goes into labor and before Santa realizes it, the child is born. Santa holds the child in his arms and looks down upon it, as the bells jingle.

It is at this moment that Santa is acquainted with the second inevitable principle of life. All the long, stressful nights at Mrs. Clauses side, all the merry joy the thought of the child brought him, had all faded away into the abyss that is the North Poles heart. The newborn child he held in his hands felt cold. Its snow like skin held an exceptionally pale complexion. The one thing that captured Santas attention the most was the childs nose. Beneath its black pebble eyes was a long, orange carrot nose. Santa puts the child down and slowly looks up at Mrs. Clause. In Santas mind, things had turned very Frosty. Suddenly laughter began to blow in through the window. It was coming from the elves. They stood outside taking in what they thought was the upmost hilarity they had ever experienced. They had known the entire time. They had pretended to laugh with Santa. They had pretended to cry with Santa. They had pretended to celebrate and make merry with Santa. It had all been a lie, these past nine months.

Santa glared at the traitors. He walks outside, grabs one by the neck, and squeezes. Santa squeezes until he hears a satisfying pop, and then lets go. All of the other elves stare at the corpse that they see lying before them. Santa tells them that if they want to avoid a similar fate, then they had best listen and do as he says. He rounds up all of the elves and leads them onto a large wooden ship. Santa informs them that this ship will be bond to their ultimate destiny. He walks off from the ship right as a man emerges from the captains quarters. The captain of the ship explains that he will be making good money off from the elves and that they are going to a new home, where they will be putting themselves to good use.

This was not enough for Santa. He demanded more satisfaction. It was time that he set his sights on a place where if you had a red nose, you werent allowed to participate in their games. Santa makes his way to a place he hadnt been to in many, many years. This was the same place he had desperately tried recruiting what he had thought would be his most valuable asset. Where was his companion now? As far as Santa knew, he was a traitor too. Before long, Santa found what he was looking for. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, in the flesh, stood alone in an empty cave. All except for the fact that the cave was no longer empty. Rudolph knew that this moment was coming. Santa slowly approaches the reindeer. Rudolph lowers his head in submission. Santas hands reach for Rudolphs two back legs, and then lifts them both up off from the ground. Santa intensifies his grip until Rudolphs legs went limp in his hands. Santa violently jerks the legs back until he hears a loud snap. He starts to laugh as he proceeds to detach one of Rudolphs legs and walk away. At that very moment the abominable snowman jumps down in front of Santa. Santa takes the detached leg and plunges it into the monsters heart, hoof first. Blood slowly oozes out of the abominable beast and onto the snow.

The thought of blood ran thick through Santas mind. He still had work to do, for the day was not over yet. There were two more perpetrators who still drew breath. Santa makes one last trip back home, where he knows that they will be waiting. He enters what he used to call his chamber, but he knows that he truly has no home now. Santa finds Mrs. Clause in bed with none other than the fiend that sent him on this blood driven quest himself, Frosty the Snowman. They were cradling the newborn baby in their arms before Santa demanded that they put the child down. Frosty gets out of bed and approaches Santa with means of nullifying the situation. Santa takes no mind of what he hears. He takes an axe and hacks away at Frostys knee, causing the snowman to fall towards him. Santa grabs Frosty by the throat and quickly slams him into the ground. Frosty lies on the ground wailing in excruciating pain, begging Santa not to end him. Unfortunately, Santa can hear nothing but the dropping of blood in his mind. He grabs the desperate creature by the wrist and drags him into the fireplace. Santa sees the remorseful look on his once faithful wifes face. He sees the tears and the agony that she expresses. A smile slowly creeps onto Santas own face, the last smile that he would ever bear. The small smile grew into a wide grin as he dragged Frosty to the fireplace.

What happens next, even Mrs. Clause would not believe. Santa steps into the large fireplace first, and then pulls Frosty in. The flames quickly grow and engulf the two men. Mrs. Claus watches as she sees the carrot nose fall off from Frosty. His body begins to melt and collapse, leaving only Santa still standing. Santa stood erect, still gleaming at Mrs. Clause, the spectral grin never leaving his face, as the bells jingle. Mrs. Clause leaves the snow child in the bed and leaves the home, with intentions of never looking back. She embarks on a long, tumultuous walk through the snow storm, heading somewhere else. Behind her, she leaves a trail in the snow. Snowfall. Cheer fills the air. For some, the cheer has a different effect. For some people, when they hear the word cheer, all they hear is the harsh sound of snow. Sometimes snow doesnt have to mean laughing all the way. Maybe the only thing snow is good for is examining the prints, following them and seeing where they lead. And sometimes where they lead isnt always to the North Pole, but maybe away.

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