For last year’s NaNo Dare Squad result, I picked the dare to write a short Christmas eve story with three characters from any of my WIPs, one to be the child waiting for Santa, one to be Santa, and one to be a gingerbread cookie trying to survive the night. Naturally I started it halfway through the year and am finishing it off at the last minute. Whoops! xD
[Unfortunately the story is presently incomplete as I cannot finish it before November with my hectic schedule, so here’s the first part.]
The Magic Gingerbread Cookie
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all was quiet as the young boy Desmond awaited Old Saint Nick…
Desmond sat on the couch in the living room and all was dimly lit by the lights of the Christmas tree and an electric candle or two atop the mantle. He wore space rocket pajamas, which made perfect sense for a boy of his age–
“No, I’m from the space age, get it right,” Des rebuked the narrator with a surprisingly deep voice. Never the matter–mind? Beside the point! It was Christmas Eve! Ahem!
Des waited in the living room. It wouldn’t be long till midnight, he couldn’t wait to finally spy out Santa. He admired the tree, checked the fireplace that it was quite cool, and made sure the stockings were all to one side so they wouldn’t flap in Santa’s way too much. Then he checked the cookies, bringing out the milk only then.
It was a lovely assortment of cookies, star-shaped sugar cookies, little cookies pressed with a chocolate, and…gingerbread men.
Des recoiled. What kind of sick freak makes cookies in the shape of people?! He picked up the plate and brought it to the kitchen. No one would eat those cookies! It was barbaric! Someone may as well go all the way and dress up as a xytar before eating a gingerbread man!
He pressed the can’s lever down with his foot, and the lid opened. He brushed the cookies down it, till one last gingerbread woman with dark frosting started to slide.
Do not throw me away. A sharp voice filled his mind.
Des jolted back, and the lid fell shut because of the lighting of his foot.
“Who’s here?” he asked looking around, glad that Santa would be here soon if some trouble maker entered the house.
No voice sounded, so he pressed the trash can open again.
Do not drop me in there, you wretched creature!
Des looked down at the gingerbread cookie. Her face was partially covered by a black icing mask, but her frosted eyes were narrowed. There was nothing about her that was fitting for a Christmas cookie, no jolly red, no snowy white, nothing but black! Maybe a little green…
“What?!” Des said, shocked. Had some Christmas magic enchanted the cookie.
I will not be discarded by such a lowly being as you. She hissed in his mind.
He was perturbed, but also angered. He stretched his foot out and opened the trashcan once more, and lifted his hand to pick up the cookie so he could throw her away.
But her eyes flashed with green and blue light.
I WILL NOT ORDER YOU AGAIN, CREATURE! DO NOT DARE SEND ME TO THE TRASH OR I WILL DESTROY YOU AND ALL YOU HOLD DEAR!
Desmond’s eyes grew wide, so he moved to the island counter and opted to slide the cookie off onto it.
“Fine! Just sit there and turn to crumbs then! What kind of Christmas magic is this?!”
She hissed something again as he left to return the proper cookies to the coffee table. Then he moved towards the couch and glanced at the clock. It was only three minutes till midnight now! Des hid behind the couch with a blanket wrapped around him. There was no way Santa would sneak by this year! His heart beat quickly as he waited.
The little mantle clock struck midnight with a lovely chime.
Des couldn’t believe his excitement, he was still awake, and he would see Santa!
A shiver in the air swept out from the chimney, the walls creaked as though something suddenly weighed down on the house from the rooftop. The silvery chill of winter air seemed to strike down to the fireplace, and there a figure clad in velvet of red trimmed with white fur straightened out from the fireplace, a red sack in hand. Des was shocked. This was not the Santa he knew.
“Merry Christmas!” the woman spoke directly to Des with good cheer.
“You’re Santa?” he asked in disbelief.
“For the evening, yes!” she said.
Des stood up, letting the blanket fall away from him. He stepped closer to get a better look at her.
The fluffy santa hat was fitted around a golden crown, only the rim of it shone on her forehead. Her hair was brown and curly, and her form was that of tall, solid adventurer. No fat santa, no beard, no white hair. What a mess!
“Why.” Des said flatly.
“Why are you complaining?” she asked. “I brought presents, I’m Santa as far as you’re concerned.” she began stuffing the stockings full of surprises made with splendor.
“But–” Des said.
“Dude, you’re as tall as me, you ain’t a kid. Get over it.”
Well, that’s a point. Des considered.
Then she turned to the tree, swinging the sack.
“Ooh, what nice cookies!” “Santa” said.
Des remembered his plight just then, as Santa picked up a normal Christmas cookie.
“Did you send any Christmas magic ahead of you?” Des asked.
She turned to him, confused, “What? No. I only bring the presents.”
“Well, I think, I think one of the Christmas cookies came alive–It’s in the kitchen,” Des added quickly as Kitallia glanced down at the plate of cookies.
“Well, that’s interesting…” Santa Kitallia said with a bit of a grin. “Did it tap dance or something.” She dropped the red sack of gifts next to the tree.
“No, it threatened me when I tried to throw it away.”
“Why’d you throw away a cookie?” she said, as he showed her into the kitchen.
“Because some moron baked cookies in the shape of PEOPLE!”
“Why’s that weird?”
Des stared at her like she was a…heathen except he doesn’t know that term. He gaped at her with an open mouth.
“What?” she said, taken aback.
“You don’t eat things in the shape of PEOPLE!” Des said heatedly.
“I can’t say I’ve encountered it much, but people decorate pies with fluffy bunnies, so…”
“Um, hello, the xytari eat people, and people don’t want to be reminded of that.”
Kitallia looked confused.
“The magic cookie is there,” he said, pointing to the counter. “I threw all the other cookies away.”
Kitallia stepped before the counter, examining the questionable confection.
“That’s a Christmas cookie?” Kitallia said in disbelief. “It looks like a funeral cookie. An angry funeral cookie.”
“No one has gingerbread men at funerals, that’s awful!” Des said.
“Well, it ain’t a festive cookie, bub!” Kitallia replied.
“Like I said, it was threatening me.”
“Maybe it wants to be eaten, that’s the purpose of cookies…”
Des did not have a chance to voice his outrage.
Perhaps you wish to be crushed in my jaws, foul creature!
Kitallia stared down at the cookie as faint blue lines glowed from its eyes.
“You don’t even have a mouth frosted on yourself, dummy!” Kitallia shouted back.
So Des wasn’t crazy, the fake Santa could hear it too.
I am no cookie! The voice screeched in their minds.
“Okay, baked good enchanted with delusions of grandeur, where’d you come from? Arbia? Or are you one of Miss Isle’s failed experiments?” Kitallia demanded.
Confusion flitted across Desmond’s face, he recognized no such places.
I AM THE QUEEN! The voice raged in their minds, and the cookie levitated up, little lines of magic flowing around her.
Des began to shake, but apparently Santa Kitallia was not perturbed by the arcane.
“Oh, wow, what of? The Queen of Candy Land?” Kitallia said, a hand on her hip. “I gotta say, monarch to monarch, you’re really no monarch.”
Santa isn’t a king! Des glowered at her.
ENOUGH OF YOUR INSULTS, I SHALL CALL MY SERVANTS AND YOU SHALL BOTH BE DEVOURED FOR YOUR HEEDLESSNESS!
Kitallia thrust out a fist, and flash of pink light blasted against the floating cookie, pushing it back.
YOU CANNOT DESTROY ME!
More magic surged through the cookie, rumblings began to sound, the house seemed to shake, and little flames began to swirl around her.
Kitallia let loose another blast of magic, getting angry at her tiny target. Des backed up, realizing he was not suited to be near a battle of mages. Even if one was a cookie.
I AM NOT A COOKIE! The voice shrieked in his head.
“Yeah, yeah, cuz people can totally be turned into cookies…” Kitallia said.
“Maybe they can?” Des said.
I AM NO HUMAN, I AM NOT LIKE YOU!
“What do you think she’s calling to have us eaten by?” Des said, worried that aliens would attack. He wasn’t sure if there was a weapon in the house.
Kitallia battled against the cookie flinging explosive spell after explosive spell at her, breaking cabinet fronts and toppling dishes to the floor.
“You’re destroying the kitchen!” Des shouted.
“Well this kinda seems to be dangerous magic!” Kitallia shouted back as the evil cookie shot tiny flames at her.
“It’s not even working!” Des said as Kitallia sent a crackle of energy into the the center of the cookie and nary a crumb fell off it.
You will both fall before me!
“Well punk, if you want to be useful, get your Christmas present out of that sack! You’ll certainly need it if this thing does call its friends against us!” Kitallia shouted.
SERVANTS! THERE IS NO EQUAL TO ME!
“Okay, I see you’re really fun at parties…” Kitallia snarled under her breath.
Des dashed into the living room and knelt down by the red sack and opened it up.
He found a large, oblong package labeled for him, and he tore open the paper, trying to ignore the sound of crashing and shattering emanating from the kitchen. Santa would need to reimburse them for damages, surely. But he gasped, then grinned. Inside was none other than a fully functional plasma rifle. Not a toy gun, a real gun. Des decided right then and there, this strange Santa was better than Real Santa and nothing would change his mind on that.
Unless she blew up his house.
And got them killed.
That maybe was about to happen.
He stood up and stared at what could be seen of the kitchen, fire and flashes of dangerous magic zooming this way and that, shattering plates and vases, cracking cabinets, chipping the granite counters.
He had been a good boy all year and this was the reward for it?
“Die already!” Kitallia shouted at the cookie as another crackle of arcane energy cut through the air. Even though the cookie was dead center, it was only ever pushed around.