Vampires: Santa’s Naughty List
Copyright 2011 Leslie Ormandy (All Rights Reserved)
He came down the chimney dressed as a Santa. Of course, the fangs, the blood stained beard, and the reddish tinged eyes were definitely not on “The Night before Christmas” pattern, but on Christmas Eve anything dressed as a Santa could come down the chimney – open invitation. His best friend, Stan, was dressed as a freakin’ elf; necessary since the open invite included only one Santa. Stan had always looked better in green, anyway.
“Outta the way, man,” Stan plead, voice echoing odd in the confines of the Chimney. “I don’t like confined spaces.”
Sven would have chuckled merrily had he not shared the aversion. Lots of new-mades suffered that aversion, waking up in a closed coffin tended to leave marks on the psyche. Immortal did not mean undamaged. But he moved quickly one step to the right to let Stan join him. He was careful not to knock the bells on the stockings hanging from the mantle since that tended to announce to sleeping parents that someone was in their living room, and he preferred his meal with a bit less adrenaline rush – it tended to make him hyper like caffeine had done back before.
He was hungry; the first week of Weight-Watcher hungry. He’d only been a vampire for a few weeks – bitch at bar had been above his pay-grade, but he’d been willing to believe he’d gotten lucky – and he’d turned his best bud, Stan, the night after he awakened. No sense in not picking low-hanging fruit. And it would have been too weird to have his childhood shadow grow old.
This house was marked ten ways to Sunday – not believers, four kids -- all on the “naughty” list, parents usually drunk or otherwise impaired, and even better -- house with a chimney. Most of the neighbors would be happy that this family went away, even if went away equaled all died in the house fire to follow the feast.
They stood in the dark assessing the room. The Christmas tree was unlit and standing in the far corner. Piano blocked the built-in bookcases on the Sven’s left with bowls of candy-canes and jellybean bells sitting tidy on doilies while the melting ice in the drinks stained the piano-top where they’d been left sitting on it when the parents toddied off to bed. No milk and cookies set out of the fantasy Santa. Poor kiddies not even trained to give that much to the generous soul providing their plunder. Naughty-list indeed. Sven hoped their blood wouldn’t taste sour; sometimes it did.
Reaching out, Sven tapped Stan’s left shoulder and gestured to the stairs. He and Stan had cased the joint before hitting the roof, and the children’s bedrooms would be found upstairs, two girls sharing one at the front of the house, two boys in another over the garage and father and mother in separate rooms. Sven’s fangs shone in the available light as his grin spread wider; three each.
“I want the girls,” Stan breathed, “I like little girls; they are all sugar and spice.”
“You can have the mother too,” Sven told him. “She looked pretty cranked up to me.”
“Not a problem. I like a bit of contact buzz,” He told Sven as he tailgated him on the stairs, attempting to hurry him up.
“Hey, slow and quiet,” Sven reminded him. “I’d rather take them sleeping.”
“Slacker,” Stan mumbled.
They split at the top of the stairs, Stan edging right towards the girls’ room, Sven to the left and the father’s room. His own belief system told him to pick the low-hanging fruit and possibly drunken problem if the kids woke screaming. While nothing short of holy items could slow him, being shot was bloody painful and usually woke neighbors who promptly called the cops. Rule One: Do not expose the kindred.
He could hear Stan’s footsteps pause and the slow creak of a door opening. The brush of Stan’s body as he slipped through the narrow opening was the last thing Sven heard as his own door quietly closed behind him. The heavy breathing of the humped shape of the man emanated from the bed. Unfortunately, there was a minefield of empty beer bottles littering the floor around the bed and not much ambient light from the loose curtains to get though them silently.
For an instant Sven wondered if the deal that Troy and Zan had cut with Santa was worth it; we vampires got the “naughty-list” to cull – a not-so-gentle reminder to children and parents that they should be moral, law-abiding citizens. But it was so worth it to not have to troll the bars every night worrying about the damn slayers who were trolling the same bars looking for their kind.
Sven edged toward the sleeping form, carefully avoiding the damn beer bottles and hoping not to get a contact drunk. His left big toe pushed one Budweiser Lite into another and the resulting click sounded like a gunshot. “Fuck this…” he thought and leapt over the bottles unto the sleeping form.
“Wha?” was all the man had time to mutter before Sven pulled the blanket away from the neck and Sven’s nails slashed open his juglar. The coppery smell of warm blood filled the small room, mixed with the stale odor from the open beer bottles. Head down, he allowed the blood to flow over his tongue. Just a taste, an appetizer. He didn’t want to spoil the main event – events, there were two young boys just waiting to be eaten.
Stan’s head appeared as the door opened slowly. There were dark splotches on the elf’s outfit and fresh blood staining his chin. Stan never had been a tidy eater. “Two down, one to go,” he informed Sven.
“One down, best for last,” he echoed leaping off the bed.
He was a breeze and a memory he was out of the father’s room and into the boy’s room so fast. He knelt on the floor next to the silent form in the bottom bunk and eyed the exposed throat. As he leaned forward he realized that there was a hand on his shoulder restraining him. He turned with a muttered curse and found himself facing a fat man in a Santa suit. “Not that one,” the fat man old him. “This one made it onto the “nice” list at the last possible moment – dropped his allowance into the Salvation Army kettle as he left the mall tonight.”
Sven wanted to argue, but he didn’t want to be the one to break the deal, so with a deep sigh, he gestured at the top bunk. Winking and carrying the “nice-list” kid in his arms, Santa nodded and backed out the door.
Knowing it no longer mattered since everyone in the house was already dead, Sven reached over the side of the upper bunk and pulled the sleeping boy over the side. As the boy startled awake and started to scream, Sven’s teeth tore the boy’s throat open and sweet blood flowed into mouth. Nothing in life had ever tasted so sweet as the taste of blood in death.
“What was the big-man doing here?” Stan asked slamming open the door. “We didn’t hit the wrong house, did we? I know that Peggy and Sue did last year, and they were staked for it. Wouldn’t want to make that mistake.”
“No, a ‘nice-list’ move by one of the boys,” Sven told him peevishly, carefully wiping the last drops of blood from the corners of his mouth.
“I got one more than you this house? You can have the spare kid in the next one. We have three more houses to visit before dawn.”
“So let’s get moving. Be sure to plug in the lights before lighting the tree this time. The fire needs to appear to have started there. As Santa said, “No bodies, no questions.”
“Sweet,” Stan said plugging in the tree and tossing a lit candle onto the dry branches.
They stood together watching the flames spread before exiting through the garage, two shadows dancing in the spreading light as the house behind them lit the sleeping sky.
Stan stopped and nudged Sven, “Look, up there. It’s Santa.” And together they heard, faintly on the air, “Merry Christmas to all, and to Vampires, good night.”
Merry Christmas to all, and to Vampires, good night.