All I Want for Christmas

“A Vintage 1977 Port,” Martin says, his arms crossed, thumbnail in his mouth.

“That’s what you want?” says the mall Santa. He wouldn’t let Martin sit on his lap, but he was willing to hear his Christmas wish.

“That’s all I want.”

“I take it that’s a good year?”

“The best,” Martin beamed. “It’s the year I was made, too.”

“Oh, very good, Martin. Well, I hope you’ve been a good boy. Maybe you’ll get your wine.”

“No, no, Santa. Port.”

“What difference does it make?” Santa asks, his black boot padding the floor.

Sir,” one elf butted in. She would be been attractive if she wasn’t so angry-looking. “We have a lot of children waiting. Santa doesn’t have time to argue with a grown man.” She said that as if it was a bad thing.

“What year were you born?”

“I’m not going to answer something like that!” the woman holds her hips. They weren’t very big; she’d probably never had kids.

“Look. It doesn’t really matter,” Martin shoots back. “You look pretty young. Have you ever had a fine Port?”

“I can’t say that I’ve ever had port. No.”

“You’ve been deprived, Miss…” Martin sees Santa beckoning the next child in line. He steps in to cut the boy off. “Now, to answer your question, Port is completely different from just wine.”

“But it is wine,” Santa says.

“And a tiger is also a cat,” Martin wags his finger at Santa’s jolly nose.

“Sir, I’m calling mall security,” the elf says.

Martin laughs with all of his Christmas spirit and holiday disdain rolled into one. She raised the radio to her lips. “Little girl, I merely wish to make sure that Santa understands. I wouldn’t want a Vintage Pinot instead. You understand, don’t you?”

Her dull eyes look like that of a fish staring out of its tank at a troublesome child. “This is Sasha. We have a man here bothering Santa. Thanks.”

“Santa, may I ask for one thing before I go?”

“What is it,” Santa sighs.

“Amnesty. I’d like to think that we’re still square.”

“Of course, Martin. Just keep staying good for the holidays. Maybe you’ll get your Port.”

“Thank you, Santa. You’re a saint. The saintiest!” Martin calls as he jogs away, waving.

“Was that guy for real?” the elf says.

“Only as real as you or I, Elf. Don’t let it worry you so much,” he smiles at the confused child and his perturbed mother who are waiting next. He pats his knee slowly. The child, thumbnail in mouth, moves forward with his mother’s coaxing. Everyone in line takes another step forward.

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6 Comments

Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction

6 responses to “All I Want for Christmas

  1. I like your weirder stories. They give me food for thought and seem to come from your true personality more (though of course not knowing you, this is just a guess).

    In this story, I see a misanthrope drunkard just having his kicks, and the ones who are supposed to be jolly and playing make-believe, the elf and Santa, instead are the dry authoritarians. They need more alcohol. Merrrrry Christmas

  2. this was great.

    “They weren’t very big; she’d probably never had kids.” excellent.

    bursting with reality. so you know, these comments aren’t for “attaboys,” but man, i liked this one.

    “And a tiger is also a cat.”

    cheers.

  3. shortnmorose

    What I love about this one is how frank your characters are. They’re very real, very vivid, and I understand each character’s intentions, motivations, and emotions. Santa is very Santa-y in his wiseness and understanding, Martin is quite the playful adult wanting his vintage port, and the elf is very elfish, goal-focused, and straight-to-the point. Great story and great tone 🙂

  4. Martin… Martian? Eclectic character. Confusing Santa for the sake of it? To demonstrate the silliness of material Christmas wishes?

    I liked the ending, but the degree to which this Santa turned into a philosopher was unexpected.

    Or maybe I’ve just been trained to expect more violence/weirdness. ;n)

  5. I like the irony in this piece and how it really ties the holiday emotions together – silliness, bitchiness/sassiness, humor, and so forth. The way the characters develop in this piece is interesting – they transition a lot and very quickly which can be a bit confusing. I think if this were turned into a longer piece there would be a more generous build up.

    Editing wise, the Martin character is a bit…much and on the verge of annoying. I’m assuming the author wanted to present this character in a more admirable tone but I felt it was a little too ‘eclectic’ – just a strange character for the sake of being strange.

  6. awesomepie

    I was surprised with the positive responses to this story. Basically, my thought was “it’s Christmas and I still need to post something.” I was kind of stumbling through the dark and wasn’t sure what I was aiming for at all. I think Narinda’s criticism on the ending was on-the-mark and S.P.’s analysis of Martin’s character, also true. Fadebot’s right, but I think Santa was probably drunk, too. He was just too laid back to not be drunk or high or something. Anyway, thanks for the comments, all!

    ~ Seamus K.

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