Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
Dasher hid behind the stable, knots twisting in his stomach and the acrid tang of adrenaline in his mouth. He could hear the screams of elves and reindeer echoing throughout the compound, and smell blood and charred flesh on the air. Flames licked from the windows of several buildings, and the toy factory was fully ablaze. A ragged hole gaped in the side of the factory near the doll production line where the rocket blast had hit. Dasher took a quick peek around the corner, just in time to watch as three burning elves ran out of the hole and flung themselves into snowdrifts in an effort to extinguish themselves–just one more horrifying sight etched indelibly into his memory. He added it to the others he’d collected tonight.
“What’s going on, Dash,” asked Dancer. Her breath was coming short and shallow, and there was an edge of panic in her voice.
“Nothing, baby,” he replied. “You have to calm down. I know you’re scared. I’m scared too. But you have to calm down. Come on, breathe slow and deep.”
A sob hitched in her throat as she tried to regulate her breathing.
“I know, I know. Hold it together for me, okay Dani? We’re not going to make it out of here unless you can hold it together.”
Her breathing calmed, but panic still filled her eyes. He hoped it would be enough.
The chatter of a Kalashnikov rang out from somewhere on the other side of the compound. Dasher wondered who had made it to the weapons locker. The whoosh of a rocket grenade answered the rifle fire. He turned back to Dancer.
“The battle has moved on. The yard should be clear.”
“Why is this happening,” she asked.
“I don’t know, baby.”
He and Dancer had been cuddling in the hay loft after supper when the attack came. The concussion from the rocket strike on the factory knocked them both to the ground, and they ran to the barn door to see what had happened. That was when they saw him – twelve feet tall, with three foot curved horns like scythes, and covered in fur. It was by pure chance his back had been to them.
They watched as he fired another rocket, this time at the Kringle mansion, blowing the front door and foyer to smithereens. Donner and Comet stepped out of the sleigh hangar and rushed him, but the Krampus had gored them both with a single sweep of his hooked horns. After that, he’d reloaded his rocket launcher and headed off toward the factory, while Dasher and Dancer had cowered in the barn, listening to the carnage and death.
After the mayhem had moved away, Dash turned to Dani.
“We have to get out of here, Dani,” he said.
She said nothing and only stared at the open barn door, and the patch of Comet’s blood glistening in the snow.
“Come on, babe,” he said, nudging her to her feet with his antlers.
“What are we going to do,” she asked.
“If we get to the hangar, we can get our flight gear on, and we’ll just fly out of here.”
“What about everybody else?”
“We can’t worry about them right now. Think of Donner and Comet – we can’t help anybody if we’re dead. Now let’s go.”
She was sluggish and dazed, but she was on her feet.
“We need the keys,” she said.
“We’ll need Kringle’s keys, to open the flight locker.”
Even on the edge of panic, she was thinking clearly enough to remember the keys.
“You’re right,” he said. “We’ll have to get to the mansion first. Come on.”
They’d made it to the mansion unmolested, and Dancer hid in the tree nursery while Dash snuck in and snatched up the hangar keys. Now they were making their way back to the hanger. Dash peeked out from behind the stable again, trying to pinpoint exactly where the Krampus might be. After the initial salvo, there had been no more rifle fire, and there were no signs the battle might be moving back this way, but there was fifty yards of open ground to cover between the stable and the hangar. Dash strained to hear anything that might signal approaching danger, but aside from the roaring of the flames, he could hear nothing.
“Okay, Dani. I think the coast is clear. Let’s go.”
They charged across the fire lit yard. As they approached the hangar door, a bone chilling laugh sounded out from behind them.
“Two more naughty ones for the pile.”
Dasher shoved Dancer toward the hangar door.
“Run, Dani! Run!”
He turned to face the Krampus.
“Come on, you monster,” he shouted, and charged the beast.
The Krampus raised his rocket launcher to fire, but Dasher closed the distance too quickly, and the rocket propelled grenade sailed past him into the wall of the hangar.
“No,” Dash shouted as he slammed into the Krampus, and the two of them collapsed to the snow.
They rolled over and over, the Krampus clawing and biting at him as he raked at the monster’s face with his fore-hooves.
“Die, die, die,” Dasher screamed.
They finally rolled to a stop. The Krampus was on top of him, pinning him down.
“You first,” it growled, and raised its claws for a death blow.
“Hey fuckbag,” came Dancer’s voice from the direction of the hangar.
The monster turned to look, just as the sleigh, jet engines roaring full blast, flew out from its berth and slammed into the Krampus’ back, folding him in half like a rag doll. Dancer leapt from the sleigh, just as it flew into the Kringle mansion and exploded.
Dasher crawled over to where Dani lay battered gasping in the snow.
“We did it. I think we did it,” she said, gazing into the flames licking up the side of the house.
“You did it, baby,” he said. “I’m so proud of you. Come on, let’s see if anyone else made it.”
As they headed toward the other end of the compound, they passed Kringle’s body lying lifeless in the snow.
“What will become of Christmas now, Dash?”
“I don’t know, Dani. I don’t know.”
Sean M. Kozma is a writer, sound designer, and audio technician living in Los Angeles, and working in professional theatre. He also works behind the camera on independent films as production manager, assistant director, and line producer. Originally hailing from southeast Michigan, he has worked as a dishwasher, a fry cook, a delivery driver, a taxicab driver, a dispatcher, an engraver, and an office drone. He is currently writing a novel, among other projects.