The elf tasted good; almost as tasty as the elf sugar cookies my mom used to make me back when I was a child. They always had sweet sugar-frosting. I always ate the head first. I smiled at the remembrance and wiped the bits of stray blood off the sides of my mouth. I always had been a bit blood-thirsty. Of course, now it was all about blood; elves could keep their heads.
“Come on Sam,” Troy hissed at me as he finished his own tasty elf treat. “We gotta keep the element of surprise on our side.
I smiled a toothy smile at him as I gave him the hand-gesture that told him to fall in behind me as I moved ahead of him towards the Santa’s Workshop section of the compound. I figured there would be a few elves hanging out around the workshop catching their breath after the long haul leading up to Christmas Eve.
We glided through the cold still silent night lit only by the occasional environmentally correct outdoor lights and the glow of light from windows. As we rounded the corner of one of the empty POD toy-storage units, Troy hissed, “You’d think Santa would splurge on some UV lights. His place is just a happy meal waiting to be ordered.”
“Must be the economy,” I hissed back, “he gives it all away. He should make parent’s pay. Now shut your yap before someone hears us and hits the alarm.” I was just as happy Santa didn’t have UV lights like some of the Alaska towns did now in an attempt to keep vampires out. UV and vampires don’t mix. I shrugged off the memory to the burns the UV had inflicted on my when I ran into it, and moved forward. Troy shadowed me silently; we glided soundlessly over the hard-packed snow.
Santa’s Workshop was really easy to find, even in the dark; there were signs all over the place. It was almost like Santa wanted to make it easy for intruders to find their way around. I know I shouldn’t complain when people make it easy for us, but still, it sort of takes the fun out of the hunt.
Two rows over and one down we arrived at the workshop. It was lit all over with pretty outside lights in a red and white candy-cane scheme. My ex-wife would have loved it. I could almost hear her saying, “oh, how pretty,” in her fake falsetto voice. That was a part of my life I was happy was over.
“Sam, Sam!” Troy whispered in my ear, calling me back to the present. “Look at them, there!” There were two of the elves just closing the door behind them. We could hear them calling “good nights” to the elves still in the workshop as they left. “I get the little girl one.” He always preferred females when he could get them. Personally, I didn’t care much which I got, so long as I got.
We stood motionless in the dark as they dithered back and forth on if they’d go have a drink at Santa’s Kandy-Kane Inn or head home to put their feet up. The female was opting for the feet-up while her companion was lobbying hard for a drink. Troy and I, we just wanted them to make up their minds and move away from the door so we could find a nice quite place to eat them. The one I’d already had really hadn’t filled me up; elves were small after all.
I could feel Troy’s patience starting to slip as we stood watching our dinner arguing just out of reach. About the time I knew he’d break and go rampaging into the workshop, they sauntered away from the door. As luck would have it, they were heading our way, still arguing. We melted into the darkness and went even more still as they passed us without noticing us.
When they turned the corner we broke cover and moved after them. There, in the darkest spot between the two street-lights we took them. It was over in a heart-beat. Playing with our food tonight was out of the question. If they screamed someone might hit the panic button. Santa might not have taken all his stakes with him.
Troy had practically torn the female elf’s head off in his rush to get her blood. I had snapped my male’s neck to prevent him making any noise – although the sound of a snapping neck in the quite of a North Pole night is actually quite loud – and took long pulls out of his jugular. God! The taste of Santa’s Elves was exquisite. Better than any fine wine I’d ever experienced back when I was human. It went straight to the head in the highest high you could ever imagine.
Finished, we moved the bodies into a nearby doorway to a puddle of shadow where hopefully no-one would notice them until morning – or in the hustle-bustle caused by Santa’s return around daybreak. We expected to be safely gone long before then.
Soon we were back in our safe-spot outside the workshop waiting for the next elf to exit. We silently played rock-paper-scissors to decide who would get the next one out if it came alone. Thirty rounds later, with Troy ahead, damn it – I was really hungry, those two elves had hardly put a dent in it – another one exited. I swore silently as Troy tensed preparing for his next course.
As he stepped off the workshop step the door opened again, and two more males came out. “Hold on Jebb,” the taller of the two told the first Elf, pulling on his heavy jacket as he talked. “We’ll come to the pub with you. It’s been a long work-month. I haven’t even had time to get a decent drink, what with the double and triple-shifts to make tonight’s delivery schedule. I want a hot-Chocolate Cow*.”
Echoes of, “You’re such a sissie,” and “That’s a girlie drink,” and “We’ll, I like it, and I’m man enough to drink what I like” filled the air as they moved away from us.
As Troy and I moved after them the door opened again, and a steady stream of elves came out, shift over and materials stored away, all apparently headed for the Kandy-Kane Inn for a few drinks. My mouth watered.
The trick would be in taking that many without allowing any of them to escape and raise the alarm. Of course, if any of them started screaming it wouldn’t be good for us either. We might be stronger than them, but nothing moved faster than an elf. In a fair fight, outnumbered like we were, they might just be able to stake us.
Knowing the odds, we pulled back into the dark spot to decide what to do. We could go after the ones who had just exited, or we could wait for the next ones, hopefully in a smaller group.
“I’m hungry,” Troy growled in my ear. “I vote we go after them. Who knows how long it will be before the next one leaves? We can take them; they’re elves!”
I was hungry too, and the sight of my meal just sauntering blithely away over-rode my sense of self-preservation. Instinct kicked in, and we were gliding through the shadows after them. We’d pick the stragglers off first; cull the herd. I gestured towards the two males lagging behind the others, apparently too intent on arguing about the relative merits of two different types of wood-glue to notice they were falling back. Of course, they also thought they were out for a safe stroll to the Inn.
I took the one on the right, silencing him silently with one hand over his mouth as I used the other for the pressure to twist his head, breaking his neck. Again, the snapping sound seemed loud to me, and the sudden quiet behind them, where before there had been loud argument, would have alerted more observant elves. But this pack just kept moving inexorably towards their drinks. I pulled my dead elf into a shadowed doorway nearby, and sank my teeth into his neck. He was sweaty and less clean than the earlier two had been, and the taste of a heavy, musky cologne rolled through my mouth with the first few pulls of blood. It wasn’t a pleasant taste. If I hadn’t been hungry, it would have put me off. But after the first few pulls, the blood had washed his neck cleaner, and his blood was the same ambrosia the earlier two had been. It was sweeter than normal human blood; maybe because it was condensed?
Blissfully dropping my now empty blood-container on the dirty hard-packed snow, I saw Troy having his blissful way with his own. His eyes were slitted, and he had a happy look his face never wore in other situations. Then he, too, was dropping his elf in the doorway; he used his fingers to clean around his mouth, sucking the last bit of blood off his own fingers.
While we’d been having our way with our two elves, the others had turned a corner and vanished from our sight. I gestured towards the corner they had vanished around, but as we moved from the shadows we heard shouts in the distance; then the sirens went off.
“We gotta get outta here,” Troy told me – ever the stater of the obvious – as we froze in place to decide which way to go. “We’re outnumbered, and now that they know we’re here, we’re toast if they catch us.”
“This way,” I told him, “leading him down the nearby dark alley which was labeled, “Run-way,” in a very appropriate manner, I thought. We could hear the elves we’d been following coming back towards where we’d just been. They would discover the bodies of their friends and then the chase would be on. We needed to vanish before then. We picked up speed, rushing like a cold wind from one shadow to the next shadow.
“Steve! Steve’s dead!” echoed in the silence.
“Brett’s dead too!” followed a second later.
The noise which followed that discovery was the typical mob noise; it was impossible to pick any one strand or voice out of it, until, “They’re heading towards the Run-way!” That I could understand quite clearly since it was the last sentence I wanted to hear.
I was racing for the Runway because I figured there would be fewer elves out in that usually deserted area. After all, Santa had left on his delivery schedule hours ago. I didn’t figure too many elves hanging out in that cold, empty place until just before dawn and Santa’s return.
“I can’t believe we’re running away from a bunch of little elves,” Troy grumbled as he raced beside me.
“They may be little, but we’re outnumbered, and they have lots of stakes; and bows and arrows they make for little kids,” I added as I ran as fast as I could for the Runway. There would be lots of trees and darkness just beyond the landing area. We could fade into the woodwork.
The tramp of – what seemed like – countless feet echoed behind us, closing in on us. No one moved faster than an elf.
I was despairing of making it to the safe dark when, to my surprised eyes, a sleigh suddenly banked right and nine really large reindeer landed on the runway pulling the sleigh behind them. The sleigh cut off our escape to the front, and the ever increasing mass of elves behind us cut off our escape to the rear. The roar was deafening in the cold air.
Then Santa yelled for silence as he pulled a large cross-bow machine gun from the seat next to him and aimed it our way.
The elves fell instantly silent. Only the sound of reindeer panting from the effort of landing the sleigh could be heard.
I knew my days were numbered as I looked down the shaft of the arrow.
“We need to talk,” he shouted to the mob behind us. “I’ll take care of this personally. Go home. Get back to work. Go have a round at the Kandy-Cane Inn on me.”
They were so well trained that they didn’t even mutter as they turned and headed away from us leaving us to the big-guy.
I wondered why I wasn’t dead already as I watched the elves move away.
Soon, only the reindeer; Santa; Dmitry, his head elf; Troy; and I were left at the end of the runway.
I was even more surprised when the big-guy got off his sleigh and walked towards us. Of course, with his stake-Uzi firmly covering us, it wasn’t as though we had a chance, and we knew it.
I have never been so surprised in either of my lives as I was at his first words, “Sam, it is fortuitous that you chose tonight to show up at my compound. I’ve been waiting several years now for a few resourceful vampires to make their way here.”
Frankly, I was pole-axed. Not only did he know who I was, but I was, weirdly, welcome?
“You see, for the last few decades I’ve been concerned by the way the world is going. Every year there are fewer and fewer children on my “good child” delivery list. It seems like parents everywhere have run out of ways to enforce good behavior – or maybe have lost the will to enforce civilized behavior. The world is going to hell, and I’ve been helpless to stop it. If children aren’t on my list, their parents just go ahead and buy them presents and pretend they are from me.”
I exchanged a long look with Troy, relieved by Santa’s long monologue. I was sensing there was going to be something at the end of it for me; other than my sudden death.
“We need to reinstate some sort of real penalty for being bad, for being naughty. It struck me several years ago that some sort of deal could be worked out; mutually beneficial. Your sort kills the good humans with the bad humans; indiscriminately. What if you were provided with a list of “bad” humans and in exchange you left the “good” humans alone? The good humans would have a better, more civilized world to live in which the “bad” humans would not be around to ruin. Being on the “naughty” list would have real repercussions for both child and parent.”
I smiled a long slow smile as I realized I was not only being offered one hell of a deal; it was a deal I could live with.
“We get to eat as many of the “naughty” ones as we want? You stop staking out their houses and invite us in?” Troy asked. “No more worrying about Santa, vampire slayer?”
“That is what I’m offering you. I see it as a way to create a better society.”
“But what about in the future when there are fewer naughty ones?” Troy asked, beating me to my own question. “If they understand that they’ll be killed if they’re bad, won’t they stop being bad?”
Santa shook his head sadly. “I’ve lived a lot longer than either of you. Human nature being what it is, there will always be bad ones, predators and administrators, praying on the good ones.”
“Um,” I interrupted as Santa finished speaking, “but what about tonight. We ate six of your elves.”
“Collateral damage. I will want your word that, in future, you – all of your kind – leave my compound alone.”
“And the elves who saw us? Will they leave us alone?”
“I’ll simply tell them that I dusted you. A bit of dust under new-fallen snow, they will never know the difference.”
“You’ll just let us go?” I asked in surprise.
“I’ll do better than that; I’ll give you a lift to the most “naughty” boy’s house.”
Imaging my shock short minutes later when I found myself sitting next to Santa on his sleigh. And as we rose, magically, into the night sky I smiled my biggest smile ever; Santa had given me the most wonderful present ever. I’d never go hungry again.
I wasn't planning to provide any more stories for this site, but then the voice (you know, the one that whispers in the back of your mind -- the Muse that just won't shut up) started giving me lines for this. One line led to the next line led to the next line, and before I knew it, here it was. So, may your Christmas be Merry and Monster-free.
Leslie Ormandy, Webmaster simplysupernatural-vampire.com