Now the final DSD post of 2010! Have a good night folks, and enjoy this story as we head into the last weekend of the DSD flash fiction challenge.
Santa Must Die
By Cormac Brown
Winter is a hard-ass dominatrix on carpenters, and she has been beating on Victor like he owes her money, plus interest. The heavy late fall rains have washed away the last of the season's jobs, and an unusually long and heavy snow have...well, let's just say the Artic Circle has come to Maine. Victor's winter fund that was supposed to have lasted till March is now threatening his vintage nickel collection.
He has taken the miserable job of department store Santa because his ex-wife promised their son a Power Wheels Jeep for Christmas, and she told Victor that he better come through or she’ll get him for the back alimony and child support he still owes.
On the other side of town, Pino grumbles to his bodyguards, "Mistresses suck, and rarely the way you want them to." This mighty Mafia capo is at the mercy of his goomar, Cece. She knows that Pino’s wife goes to Florida for the holidays, but this year she refuses to go to his house.
The disgruntled boss dials his phone and barks, “Mickey? She’s stayin’! Get back here and pick me up!”
"The Mistress won't come to Pino, so Pino goes to The Mistress," whispers Giuseppe to Flavio. Pino sits down with a huff and throws his phone against the wall.
Outside of the department store, Victor is wondering how it all went sideways. Maybe it was the third brat losing his water and wasting Victor’s third pair of Santa pants. Or maybe it was that that yipping little snot of a manager wagging his finger in Victor’s face. Possibly Victor shouldn’t have punched that manager…or the security guard…or the other security guard.
Well, he’ll catch worse from his ex-wife once she finds out he’s been fired. Time to get drunk and Victor will have to get it to go, as no barfly wants to sit next to a urine-soaked Santa during the holidays.
As Mickey pulls up front with the limo, the bodyguards gather around Pino like dogs that want to go for a ride. The capo barks, "Watch my kid!" at Giuseppe and Flavio. He and the others leave before the duo can react. The pair is in a panic, because what they know about parenting wouldn't fill the fortune of a cookie.
“What if he wakes up?” whines Flavio.
“We gotta make sure that it stays quiet,” mutter Giuseppe.
Victor hates to cut through this ritzy neighborhood, but it’s the fastest way home. Damn, all that malt liquor is crushing his bladder. He might as well jump over that wall and whiz in that yard. Who wants to risk getting arrested for public intoxication and indecent exposure?
As Victor signs his name in the snow, he takes in the expanse of the mansion and its grounds. What’s that in the distance? No way. Is that a Power Wheels Jeep on the back porch? Jesus, there are three of them! Surely these rich asshats won’t cry if I take one!
Meanwhile, inside Flavio asks Giuseppe, “Do you see what I see?”
“Yeah, a third-rate Santa is watering the boss’s favorite oak!”
“Look at the balls on this one, he’s coming towards the house!” grunts Giuseppe. “Get on the other side of the sliding door, and we’ll nab him when he gets to the porch.”
Victor cannot believe this, it’s a miracle! The hardest part was getting it over the wall, but Christmas is saved! Christmas…hurts, and like a motherfucker, too! Who or what just hit him? Jesus, it’s some angry goon with a blackjack.
Flavio steps on Victor’s chest, and the words “maim,” “kill,” and “disposal,” swirl around the Mafioso’s brain. “The penalty for stealing from Pino Patriarca, even if it’s kid’s toy, is death,” he mutters.
Giuseppe is about to reach for his 9mm in his coat, when the sliding door opens again. The little nine year-old Pino Jr. chirps, "Where's Papa?"
All three of the men visibly shudder and stiffen. Giuseppe calmly explains, "He’s on his way to the North Pole, Pino Jr, to personally deliver your letter to Santa.”
“Then who is that?” Pino Jr. points at the poor underfoot Victor. Then comes a pause so pregnant it could give birth to quintuplets. Finally, the child says, “Is that Santa?”
Before either henchman can reply, Victor chimes in, “that’s exactly who I am. You didn’t come to the mall today, and I didn’t know that your father was trying to get a letter to me.”
“You weren’t going to kill Santa, were you, Uncle Giuseppe? Please, please tell me that you won’t kill him,” says Pino Jr. with trembling lips.
Victor brightens, “No, no, he was going to help me, Pino Jr.” He musses his hair and whispers, “you see, I’m going to bring you the Xbox Kinect on Christmas morning that you asked for, but I have to take back one of those Power Wheels Jeeps, and give it to a less fortunate child.”
The tears of Pino Jr. evaporate as if little vacuums are in his tear ducts, and his face turns harder than the pearl marble that his ancestors used to mine from the Sicilian quarries. Pino Jr. folds his arms and sneers, “Che cazzata!”
Victor isn’t sure exactly what he said, but he knows by the tone that the kid just called him a bullshitter.
“Lui è un bugiardo e lo emana l'odore di urina,” the tyke says flatly.
“He says that ‘you are a liar and you smell like piss,’” Giuseppe translates for Victor.
Pino Jr. glances back coldly and says, “ammazarlo,” before he shuts the glass door.
With that queasy feeling in his stomach, Victor asks Giuseppe, “Just what does ‘ammazarlo’ mean?” His answer comes in the form of a .22 bullet in the back of the head from Flavio.
“I’ll get a tarp from the woodshed,” Giuseppe says. Flavio grins…not over his kill, but in knowing The Boss will be so proud of the chip off the old block.
“Cormac Brown” is my pen name. I’m an up-and-slumming writer in the city of Saint Francis and I’m following in the footsteps of Hammett…minus the TB and working for the Pinkerton Agency. Some of my stories have appeared at Powder Burn Flash,Six Sentences, Flash Fire 500, Clarity of Night, Thrillers Killers ‘n’ Chillers, Astonishing Adventures Magazine, Crooked Magazine, Needle Magazine, Dark Valentine Magazine, and Beat To A Pulp. You can find me at Cormac Writes.