Number six…. I should intoduce you to the Holiday that started it all! Chris Kringle is a bad mother– shut your mouth! LOL From Santa’s Claws available at Changeling Press! *g*
“I’ve done it.” The man in the black, pinstriped suit snickered as he stood at the head of the large, rectangular table.
Behind him, monitors buzzed as their pale blue light cast shadows along the glass walls of the now-silent office. “With the fall of All Hallow’s Eve, I have achieved my main goal. Christmas now enjoys a world-wide popularity and a planetary net worth that is immeasurable.”
“Bastard,” hissed a tall, pale lady in black as she sat up in her chair.
“So sorry, Evey,” he crooned. “Did I touch on a sensitive subject?”
“You know damn well what you’ve done, Khris Kringle,” Halloween snarled as she rose to her feet.
“I have achieved greatness.”
“You’ve stuck your red and green claws where they don’t belong. None of us is going to stand for this.”
“Good.” Khris chuckled as an imposing figure dressed in solid black rose to stand at his side. His black sunglasses and suit sharply contrasted with the paleness of his skin and the silver of his hair. “Then you can sit down for this. Or do you want to go the way of Boxing Day?”
Everyone turned to stare at a wide monitor that showed a cowering man who looked almost like Khris, but who possessed a meek and fearful form.
“You can tell your goon to back off,” Halloween sniped, rolling her eyes at the perceived threat. “You may have controlling rights now, Khris, but I’m still the number two woman around here. It’ll take more than threats.”
“No.” He chuckled again. “It just took a freak snowstorm in October to do that.”
She sat down.
“Good.” Khris motioned for his man to step back as he reclaimed his own seat. “I’m so glad I made my point.” His smile was charming yet aloof as he examined the other Holidays at the table. “And it seems that the big three is merely the big one and the two that precede it.”
“People will remember me,” Thanksgiving added, sniffing in disdain. His portly figure quivered in indignation. “They will never forget.”
“Of course not.” Khris smiled. “Which is why we have Black Friday. So during their meals and times of family togetherness –” he shuddered “– they have something interesting to talk about. Mainly getting up early in the morning to increase my own personal net worth.”
Thanksgiving lapsed into silence.
“This is getting us nowhere,” an outraged voice cut in.
“You have something to say to me, Valentine?” Khris steepled his fingers under his chin, the look in his eyes glacial.
“Maybe you’re not as in control as you’d like to believe.” Valentine snapped his fingers, and a screen appeared to his right.
“Something you’d like to show all the kids in class?” Khris asked. Not one hair on his elegantly coifed gray head ruffled as he stared at the upstart Holiday.
“Just this.” As Valentine spoke, the screen came to life and there, in full color and perfect HD clarity, was a group of Elves.
Unlike their childish cartoon counterparts, these Elves were tall and imposing. Their muscular forms were dressed in the latest Nicolas St. Nicolas lab coats and lederhosen designed for the intelligent Elf in mind. The severe cut of the pinstriped shorts and suspenders saved the outfits from looking cute, and the deep burgundy of their lab coats showed that these Elves meant serious business.
“My elvish think tank,” Khris acknowledged. “They’re bred for intelligence, not dissension.”
“Or so you say.” Valentine smirked as one of the Elves lurched to his feet and shouted something that sounded suspiciously like, “It’s raining revolution in this bitch!”
As the Holidays watched in various degrees of shock and amusement, the tall, dark-haired Elf did his best Norma Rae impression.
“For too long, we have been oppressed, my brothers!” he shouted, leaping on top of a metal table, kicking off piles of electronics and papers. “They use us for our minds, yet they refuse to let us see the world to expand those minds. How can we flourish when we’re trapped here at North Pole Industries until our minds are no longer viable? This is our reward for our services? There’s more for us out there, brothers. I say we tear down the walls that hold us and seek a new way!”
The scene went blank, as did most of the faces of the Holidays who sat awaiting Khris Kringle’s reaction.
His laughter shocked them.
“You mean this Elf?” Khris nodded to Jack Frost, the sinister, ice silver man at his shoulder, who tapped the wall behind him twice.
The doors burst open, and two Elves with platinum hair, dressed in black suits and with serious demeanors that screamed security, dragged a bound and struggling Elf into the room. They shoved the dark-haired Elf unceremoniously into a chair. He looked around, more angry than scared, at the collection of Holidays.
“So.” Khris rose to his feet. “You want to tell me what you did, Valentine?”
“I-I-” the Holiday in red stammered. He ran his hands through his wild, blond hair and shoved back from the table. “I have no idea –”
“You know what happened to the last Holiday that openly defied me.” Khris slammed both hands on the table and leaned forward, his eyes intent on the shrinking Holiday of Love. “You’d better come clean, Valentine, or I will end you faster than you can say gunpowder, treason, and plot.”
Guy Faux yipped and slid under the table, though no one noticed. All eyes were riveted on Khris and Valentine.
“I would never –”
“I’ve got two words for you, Valentine. Snow day.”
“All right.” Valentine broke. “All right. I-I gave him a soul mate.”
“Elves don’t have soul mates,” Khris argued. “They’re created to come up with ideas that generate profit for me and the companies I represent.”
Valentine held firm. “I found him a soul mate and struck him with an arrow of true love.”
“True love for a creature who has never felt sexual desire? Right.”
Valentine frowned. “I assure you my arrows are that powerful.”
“My Elves never leave North Pole Industries –”
Valentine’s confidence seemed to waver. “I got a name, and I — uh –”
“You got a name.” Khris sneered as he settled back into his seat. “Go on.”
“I got a name, and I had my minions pay her a visit,” Valentine finished.
“You connected my Elf with a Holiday?”
“No,” he mumbled.
“Speak up!” Khris roared. “I don’t have all day.” He looked over at the dark-haired Elf, who glared back.
“It wasn’t a Holiday or a Holiday minion. It was…”
“Go on!” Khris roared, making the other Holidays jump in shock and fear.
“It was the technician.”
“The technician who came up with the screen design,” Valentine all but squealed. “Her name was on the design specs. And when I investigated her, I realized some humans can hate you as much as we do.”
“A human who hates me?”
“And he will continue to self-destruct until he gets his woman,” Valentine pointed out, looking quite fearful now.
“So he doesn’t know why he’s acting out, just that he’s missing something inside.”
“Yes.” Valentine shuddered, his face almost as pale as Khris’s hair.
“And she has no idea her grumpy mood is because her soul is seeking its other half?”
“N-no,” Valentine almost whispered.
The smile that spread across Khris’s lips made more than one Holiday shudder. “Marvelous. Let’s get these two together.”
“What?” Valentine screeched. “You can’t be serious!”
“I cannot kill a viable Elf. And if I keep him here, he’ll infect others with his madness, or at least slow down production. So I’ll just have to bring them together.”
“What?” Valentine looked as if he would faint.
“Are you deaf?” As he spoke, Khris flexed his fingers, and long, black claws grew out from underneath his fingernails, claws he raked over the table, sending curls of wood flying.
“I’m going to do your job for you, Valentine, and do it more efficiently. I’m going to create a true love match.”