The Terrible Incident at the North Pole
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus ... Thank God! he lives,
and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay
ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make
glad the heart of childhood."
by Francis Pharcellus Church [The Sun editorial
(21 September 1897) in reply to a letter from Virginia
The sled dogs had somehow gotten loose and joined the havoc. Some
huskies were squabbling over parts of dead elves, while others
were feasting on reindeer carcasses. Dasher and Prancer were
still staggering around with entrails dragging, trying to gore
one of the nimble dogs, but their deaths were inevitable –
just like Comet and Blitzen and all the others. Rudolph, with his
nose so bright, had been immediately hit by an RPG, as was
Santa's sleigh – torn wrappings and ribbons, shattered toys
and gifts lay strewn about, an alien litter almost more
devastating than the carnage itself. It was a terrible
Color it crystal clear and sparkling bright.
Two terrorists stood over Donner, arguing about the distinction
between caribou and reindeer – they were used to arguing
about the finer points of doctrine without any basis or
substance, convinced that their devout opinion and cherished
conviction was sufficient persuasion. Such bigotry had inspired
others to conquer vast territory, so their ambition to rule the
whole world was not untenable, at least in their own cosmology.
Their disagreement was only pro forma – in another
time and place, like the Americans and Russians they loathed,
they'd be complaining about food or women or sports – but
their enmity was focused, if only temporarily spent.
Color them black.
The story could be read in the frozen blood that painted the
snow. It could also be read in the detritus scattered by ruthless
commandos, careless of effect, intent upon their objective. All
of the structures were dilapidated and exposed to the elements.
Santa's workshop was, quite simply, trashed – nothing
worthwhile was salvageable. The Christmas kitchen was utterly
destroyed with sugar and flour mixing indistinguishably with
drifting snow, so white and clean in many places, so tainted in
others. Candy canes were unspeakably striped. Colored sprinkles
mixed indiscriminately with ice crystals while chocolate chips
were scattered among the moose pellets. A disarticulated baby
doll, torn and ragged, was propped up beside a one-eyed lop-eared
teddy bear in a serendipitous tableau that made them witnesses to
this obscene vivisection. A solitary raven, the traditional
prankster of arctic climes, hovered in the pale sky above this
defilement, as if in command. Faraway satellites also watched,
but no one in charge noticed. Good people had always
been hostages to radicals, regardless of their excuses, and this
was just another episode in the decline that had befallen this
remote outpost of Americanism.
Color us white.
Most of the elves had died bravely at their posts, dedicated and
diligent to the end. A few had tried to resist, but toys were no
threat to genuine weapons, and improvised barricades were no
match for modern armaments. Although riddled, Mrs. Claus had
probably suffocated in an avalanche of cookies. Santa, in his
stocking feet and still clutching his old pipe, had been
decapitated by the mullah commanding the lead assault force. That
smiling countenance, representing the Evil Empire of
Extravagance, would never more send forth a hearty
"Ho, Ho, Ho!" in greetings of the season. The
severed head of this secular god of infidel America would
be paraded for the delight of the faithful as proof that Allah
was great – the greatest! These righteous soldiers would
praise Him far and wide by slaughtering the giaour!
Although the intelligence services of the various departments,
from DHS and DoD to DoS and CIA, had alerted the nation to a
probable attack, escalating the readiness level and curtailing
military leave, the repeated cry of wolf had dulled
everyone's attention – the warnings had become more of an
inconvenience than a valid prediction of vague harm that no one
could isolate. The politicians had milked the Cold War for
decades, keeping the pot stirred and everyone upset in
anticipation of re-election to pork barrel ripoffs – and
then one day, when nobody was looking, the threat vanished. But
these medieval zealots were too primitive to be ignored and too
rich to be co-opted. They were too unsophisticated to comprehend
the back-scratching of go along to get along
realpolitik, so the Great Consumer Society might actually have to
change a few of its habits before this little annoyance – a
trifling sand flea nip – could be forced to disappear.
Color us pink.
In the North Pole region, for example, the reservists were called
to duty and the bases were locked down, but nobody
expected a dog sled assault on an innocent target
– and until Christmas Eve, nobody realized that the strike
had been so effective. Instead of awakening to a glut of presents
crammed under decorative trees, all of Christendom awoke from
sugar plum dreams to the grotesque display of Santa's head in
Mecca! Intercontinental missiles and stealth bombers were useless
against a fanatic Islamist wielding a jambiya! While we had big
ticket Star War fantasies, they had visions of Muhammad
riding down the kafirs on his white horse – bloody sword in
hand! These bathrobe-wearing camel jockeys were trying
to turn our most reverent celebration into a travesty, turn our
merrymaking festivities into a horrible spectacle, turn our
dreams of green into a nightmare of red!
Color us blue.
Having beached under the cover of fog amidst the clutter of ice
flows, trekking inland to their objective, their departure was as
inconspicuous as their arrival. A pale moonlight illuminated
their operations, but they were too far under the radar
for the gadget hunters to even suspect their nefarious
activities. Although they yearned for martyrdom, their discipline
was enviable – they would live to fight another day, they
would have another chance at paradise. This commando contingent,
shrouded in secrecy and operationally undetected, could teach the
braggarts of America's finest alot about technique. And
if they refused to learn, then they too would become true
believers – terminally convinced!
Color them crimson.
America had begun as a Land of Opportunity, but somewhere along
the evolution that all peoples undertake, its live and let
live brotherhood had become a license –
freedom was just another word for no limits.
And the privilege of do your own thing had become the
grossest vulgarity in every form of indulgence and manner of
excess. We had not only lost our perspective but lost our
compassion – and we had no idea why the rest of the world
hated us. For the sole superpower, it was an amazing
accomplishment – the Leader of the Free World went
from the most beloved to the most detested in a single
generation! Our immorality would be laughable if it weren't so
pathetic. Our gluttonous profiteering had developed an
international killing machine so efficient, so
implacable, so relentless that our enemies preferred suicide to
Color us green.
Our solution to this dilemma is to build a better bunker while
fighting unpopular wars as cheaply as possible. Our adversary's
solution is to let the final battle – what the People
of the Book call Armageddon – begin here. They believe
it is God's will, so they praise the Lord! Annuit
Color us yellow.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that
I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the
earth in the clear day: And I will turn your feasts into
mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring
up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I
will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof
as a bitter day. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that
I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a
thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they
shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the
east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and
shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young
men faint for thirst."
Amos 8:9-13 KJV Bible
by Achill Kerne
... who is a combat disabled veteran and freelance writer of
enigmatic works published in obscure literary magazines,
evanescent chapbooks, and other cultural ephemera; his home is a
haven to wildings, host to misfits, and hostel to other societal