posted on Dec, 4 2021 @ 02:29 PM
T’is The Season. . . . . . To Die.
It was two days before Christmas and here I was, sitting in my office matching shots of cheap bourbon with every time I’ve been shot. I wanted
to stay somewhat aware so I wasn’t counting the exit wounds. Not that it mattered much.
That’s when she walked into my office. I smelled her before I saw here. Gingerbread, cinnamon and spices all wrapped up in a body with more
curves than the New Jersey Turnpike. Mrs. Claus. Not the kindly old grandmother everyone thinks of. This lady put the “damn” in damned good
Before I go any further, I should introduce myself. My name is Nick Steele. A private investigator up here in the North Pole. Not all elves make
toys and blast sunshine out their asses with songs and glee. I handle the darker side, the underbelly of the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop.
I sat back in my busted office chair trying to stay calm as she sat in the only other chair in my office. She paused a moment, lit herself a
cigarette in a simple act that would have taken most films from a PG status straight to X. I still waited for her to speak first.
Realizing that she wasn’t going to win the silent but deadly contest she spoke first. “Santa has gone missing.” She took another pull of
her cigarette and I never wanted to be a Pall Mall more than I did now.
Clearing my throat, I said, “He’s gone missing before. They even made films about it, what’s new about now?”
“This time is different. He’s left no note, there was no indication of trouble, the last time I saw him he was in his office checking his
list. Twice.” She put out the cigarette finally and I was grateful. I might even be able to stand up now without embarrassing myself. She pulled
out a bundle of notes and tossed them on my desk. “You have two days to find him, Mr. Steele. Don’t disappoint me.” She got up from the chair
and left, leaving me with the scents of a warm fire mixed with stale cigarette smoke.
I sat in my chair for a moment, finished my drink and grabbed the cash. Looks like I’ll be having a Christmas after all, I thought. I grabbed
my fedora, my coat and left. I went looking for Santa.
My first stop was at Presents. A popular dive bar underneath all the glitter and glamour or the workshops above. Vinny Delmonico owned and ran
the joint. He was a bitter elf that took a dark turn after people stopped buying VHS cassettes. I stepped into the bar and saw Joey, the bartender
who seems to never leave. I always wondered if he even slept. I asked where Vinny was and Joey tilted his head towards the back offices. I tipped
my hat and headed back.
When I walked through the door into the back storeroom I was greeted by the sight of Vinny pissing into half empty bottles of rum. I closed the door
and leaned against the wall and said, “If I ever catch you doing that to your bourbon, I will shoot you.”
Without turning, Vinny said, “It’s for those pissant bastards that make accessories for man-buns. They seem to like it and so do I.” He zipped
up, screwed caps onto the bottles and placed seals across the tops. “Are you here to finally pay your bar tab?”
I looked at Vinny, then at the bottles, then at Vinny again and said, “Next time, when I have a full bladder. I’m looking for the Jolly Old Elf.
Seems he’s gone missing and I’ve been hired to find him.”
Vinny scratched himself, “I haven’t heard a peep Nick. No rumors, no gossip. Ever since Marketing opened up the topside with B&B’s and even
inviting tourists, I haven’t heard a word. Business has actually been booming.” I turned to leave and he added, “You might want to talk to
Rosy at Sugar Plums. She’s been seeing a lot of traffic.”
I nodded in thanks, swearing off rum for the rest of my life and headed towards Sugar Plums, the hottest strip club in the North Pole.
Walking in Sugar Plums I was assailed with darkness and strobe lights and the smell of desperation and sweat. Sadly it felt like home. Rosy was
sitting near the back at a table by herself watching the girls on 3 different stages. Rosy was another disgruntled Elf who made her claim to fame
with the Easy Bake Ovens. Then feminism kicked in and she lost her job. I still miss her cupcakes but would never say so to her face. She might
look as sweet as an innocent Elf but she was quick with a knife and her tongue was twice as sharp.
I sat across from her and nodded, she nodded back and watched the end of the floor show before she spoke. After it was over she lit a cigarette and
said, “Here to pay your tab, Nick?”
I smirked and said, “That’s a more popular phrase than Merry Christmas, but here, ”I handed her a few bills, “This should keep me out of
trouble for a few days. I have some questions.”
Rosy took the cash and said, “You’re looking for Him, aren’t you. Words already gone out. I haven’t heard a word otherwise and things have
been pretty calm here.”
I lit a smoke, “Any new faces, new games in town?”