Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 10: WHY SANTA’S A JERK

Posted: 22 December 2012 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , ,

Ed Brubaker is one of the few people who’ve challenged me this year who I haven’t met. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, since Ed’s mind throws out stories that spear your brain, punch you in the gut and leave you gasping for air. I’m kind of scared he’d do the same to me in person.

In his spare time, he rings doorbells at night and runs away.

Title: Why Santa’s A Jerk
Word: hymen
Challenger: Ed Brubaker
Length: 200 words exactly

Despite the common wisdom, it’s not Batman who smells – it’s Santa. He smells of mulled wine, and of clean air after rain, of roasting chestnuts, and of reindeer shit.

And, though I stand with my head lowered, ostensibly ignoring the crowds, I smell him clearly.

No-one sighs with disappointment like Santa Clause. Saint Nicholas learned to sigh hundreds of years ago; he’d had to time to perfect it.

I feel his hand on my shoulder, briefly.

Santa insists on three things from helpers: respect, a work ethic, and virginity. Yeah, sure: my hymen broke even before my first night on the job. Well, what the hell else was there to do when we weren’t working?

He found out, of course. The exile was more painful than the transformation, but they both hurt dreadfully.

Now I spend my Decembers watching others preparing for the season’s merriment, while I stand in a shop window, my plastic antlers atop my plastic head, and curse Santa and that fucking tell-tale Rudolph.

Santa’s never stays long; he’s off to visit Dasher, Vixen and the rest of them whose names I can no longer recall. I hope they’re well.

I wonder if they remember me.

© Lee Barnett, 2012

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: Why Can’t Reindeer Fly? – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 02: Around and Around Again – challenger: Wil Wheaton
Day 03: Hell Comes To Greenland – challenger: Jason Arnopp
Day 04: It Shines Like Mud – challenger: Greg Rucka
Day 05: Frederick The Unopened Package – challenger: Amanda Palmer
Day 06: Under Hetty Pegler’s Tump – challenger: Warren Ellis
Day 07: The Impossible Box – challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Away In A Manger – challenger: Tony Lee
Day 09: Typos and Typography – challenger: Kieron Gillen
Day 11: The Wrong Christmas Cookies – challenger: Matt Fraction
Day12: The Christmas That Wasn’t – challenger: Jamie McKelvie

“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, are available from, and in some countries on Amazon. ebooks available from the author; email for details.

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