A Mid-Summer Killer Christmas Round Up
San Francisco author and stagehand Nick Baker sent me a copy of his Christmas horror story, Santa's Rapture, today. In Baker's tale, Santa, decides that the world is a bad place filled with people who will only continue to ruin it. So, he does what any quasi-governmental leader would do: he buys a lot of lasers and bombs and stuff.
With most of his elves supporting his decision to go to war with the humans, Santa figures out a way to clone himself, and take his message, and weapons to the people. The book is unrepentant holiday fantasy. In one chapter, Baker has Santa bust into a penthouse in Japan, kick a man out a 30th floor window, then shoot another in the head with a shotgun in front of two hookers. Scenes like that got me thinking about other versions of less-than-cuddly holiday characters. Here are a few:
Jack Frost (1996): A deranged killer is reincarnated as a bloodthirsty snowman, or, as he describes himself in this scene, the world's most pissed off sno-cone.' And he shoots icicles from his hands!
Silent Night, Deadly Night: This is the satanic Santa classic. A boy's parents are murdered by a man in a Santa suit, and it messes him pretty bad. When he is all grown up, the boy dons his own Santa costume and takes out all his screwed up feelings on others ... With an ax. This scene shows the dangers of sledding.
And then there's author Neil Gaiman's very short story "Nicholas Was:"
Older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.
The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.
Once very year they forced him, sobbing & protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves’ invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.
He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher.
You can hear Gaiman reading it here.