Story 3

Santa Claus Incorporate

Santa looked at himself in the mirror. It was all still there. The huge, white beard. The big, red clothes. The same, old stomach.
"I still look good", he told himself up in his mind as he walked over to the bag of presents. It had grown huge over the last couple of days. So had all the other bags with the others names on them. It was amazing how business had grown. From being a one-man-with-about-a-dusin-elves-project this really had grown. Now he had hired about twenty more huge, fat, white-bearded old men like himself, and they all looked just like the real Santa Claus, wich was him.

Suddenly one of the little elves in their usual green clothes came over and said, "They are all ready to go. Will you fire the gun yourself?"
Santa took out his little start-gun and walked over to a place where everyone could see him. He looked over at the other Santas, and sighed. Then he lifted his gun, and fired. It was just filled with blanks. In order to make the new Santas do their work properly, he had made the present-delievery into a speed-contest. The three men first back with proper delieveries would get each their dream-vacation. The others had to stay for six months to help the elves with the usual preparation stuff.

The gun was fired, and all of the Santas ran towards their sleighs and hurried out with their reindeers into the open snow. Santa Claus stood behind, watching them fly to each of their directions. He knew that there would be two elves for each man, watching that none of them tried to cheat. Once when someone had cheated, there had been one of the greatest trials in the entire history of earthlings. Santa still wished he could have changed the sentence... Execution!

He walked back into his deskroom, closed and locked the door, and sat down behind his desk. There he started fiddling with his start-gun. The only purpose he had left, was to fire it every Christmas Night. The rest of the time all of the elves and the hired Santaes would prepare for next years Christams Night. It had all turned into business. They even bought the presents now. All the mines, oildrills, shops, factories, etc... They all was meant to collect cash so that they could give the presents to the children all over the world. Oh, how he hated it. The whole, rotten system. Almost all of the elves had turned greedy. If they didn't get money, they didn't work.

He looked at his start-gun, his only purpose. Oh, how he missed the wind through his hair, the enjoyment of the rides, and all the happy laughs from the children he had met by accidents. How had he lost it? How had it all started? He knew the answer. If he just hadn't asked that young elf about what could be done better... Oh, what a mistake that had been. In just about five years Santa Claus Incorporate had grown to one of the biggest industries ever. And on the top, where Santa should have been, there was a bunch of American investors who didn't bother to ask him anything about what they should do next.

Santa looked at his start-gun once again. Then he threw it into the garbage can on his right side. He opened the drawer, picked up his other gun, the real one wich he had been given for self protection.
"Self protection", he thought, "I never had to worry about that before. Now people try to assassinate me every damn Christmas season."
Then he got a thought into his head. He raised his real gun up, ready to fire.

Outside, the elf that had suggested it all, came and knocked on the door. He got no answer, so he knocked again.
"He must be out", he thought. As he turned around there was a big bang. He thought quickly, and smashed the door open with his great strength of speed. As he saw the body of the Santa Claus laying over the desk, a smile went over his face. Now he was the top guy, and no one could stop him. And as he left, the gun was lifted, and fired again...

Agnar Idsøe
14. December 2002


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