Art - Finished The Yule Log - by J.S. Longstreet (Read 141 times)

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The Yule Log by J.S. Longstreet

“Hi there. I’m movie star, Christopher Walken. You may remember me from such festive instruction videos as Help! I’m the Easter Bunny! or Why Am I a Fourth of July Fireworks Display? or Oy vey! I Lit the Hanukkiya! I’m here to tell you, today, how to be...” the man on the screen held up a jolly red suit, “Santa Claus. We’ll take you through the three step program of Ho, Ho, and Ho. Three ho’s you see. Because that’s how Santa would laugh.”

The man, who very well could have been Christopher Walken, walked across the screen to a bench where a toy-making elf was happily at work. The elf paused to blanch when Christopher Walken patted him too firmly on the head.

“What we have here, is what we call an ‘elf’. Funny little things aren’t they? These little rascals are what make Christmas work, you see. So you gotta show some respect.” Christopher Walken looked pointedly at the elf. “Hey pal. You’re doing a great job - keep it up.” Without blinking, the instruction video host sauntered towards the camera. “Now you may be wondering, ‘Hey, who is this man, this Christopher Walken man, and why is he talking about Christmas and elves?’ To you, I have to apologize because clearly my announcer has not preformed his job properly. You have been chosen to help spread cheer and presents to all the little boys and girls of the world.”

The host paused. “Of course, you are wondering, ‘Isn’t that old Saint Nick's job?’ In a way, you are right. There is a jolly fat man, with the rosy cheeks, and that magic nose. Sure, he’s up there. But, he’s a busy man! He’s got lists to check - twice, no less. He’s got gifts to help wrap, elves to train, reindeer to feed, and a wife - oh, don’t get me started on the Mrs.” Christopher Walken gave a short chuckle and resumed, “Sadly though, you see, the world is just too big now for one chubby fellah’ to zip around delivering presents all night. It’s impossible in fact.”

Christopher Walken stepped leisurely through to the next room where elves were busy as bees overseeing several high-tech control panels. Red and green lights were illuminating across the board, and busy elf fingers were tapping away at them.

“Here we have the first Ho. HO-mebase. From here, the elves indicate where the presents will be delivered and act as your go-to guides on which houses should be infiltrated.”

Leaning just off screen to where a barely visible set of hands passed him something, Walken retrieved a yule log.

“This yule log is nothing fancy, sure, it even tastes great.” Dipping his finger and taking a taste, Christopher Walken maintained his gaze with the camera while saying, “Yum.” Followed by tossing the yule log off screen again. As Christopher Walken continued to wander through to the next room, he said, "The marvelous thing about Yule logs we'll cover later, however, they do act as beacons for the little elves back there. So keep your Yule logs safe."

Adorning the next room gifts were literally hanging off the ceiling. On closer examination, one would notice they were slowly leaving the room too. "What we have here is the export area. As you can see, our elf friends here hang these presents on tiny hooks to be carried into the next area. Clever little devils aren't they?"

Bending over to ruffle one of the workers' hair, Christopher Walken received a bitter leer. "Just look at their pointy little ears! Hilarious."

Standing up to look around, Walken resumed, "This export area is controlled by the HO-mebase, and as you can see over here... The little helpers have screens dictating which gift line to hook into."

Walking briskly into yet another room, this one filled with racks of goods to ship, the host paused at what appeared to be a large vaccum hose connected to a furnace.

"Now we come to the money maker! That is to say if these little saints ever accepted an income, which they do not. Can you imagine? Anyhow, this is our second HO... Behold," Christopher Walken made a flourish with his hands, "The HO-lohedral! There's tons of these babies around Santa's workshop. Each one is connected to a Yule log."

Appearing to be half-surprised, Christopher Walken found a small table with milk and cookies. Sitting down, he helped himself to a chocolate chip treat. "Mmm! Oh, the taste... Outstanding! You've really out done yourself this time, Tippy."

A nearby elf scowled as Christopher Walken noisily enjoyed the last of his cookies and left the room. The elf, assumibly Tippy, threw his hat on the ground when the host had left.

“Finally,” Christopher Walken said, while taking a seat in a rustic armchair, “We reach the final HO. There was brief mention of the Yule log, and as you may guess, is the link to your HO-lster. Some people might call this a bag or sack... However, we at the North Pole call it a HO-lster. This is where you’ll keep all the gifts sent from HO-lohedral to your Yule Log. It’s really that simple. Strapped to the golden rope of that tightens your HO-lster closed, is a NNL - Or, if you’re like me and prefer a simpler term, ‘Naughty or Nice List’. The NNL is a lot like one of those newfangled iPals or iCells or whatever they call ‘em.”
Holding up his own NNL, Christopher Walken tapped the screen and a list appeared. “Simply press the screen any-which-where, and the list will appear. It comes with a built in GPS, Nice Tracking System, and internal clock. Technology, right? It changes our lives.”

Suddenly the video tape was paused. A short man with pointy ears and a smart black suit, glared across the class room full of hung-over drunks, each of whom held a miserable expression of bafflement and desire to leave.

The little, well tailored man spoke in a high-pitched, child-like voice. “You degenerates have been selected, as you are so far down the Naughty List, that Santa has decided to give you this one opportunity to redeem yourself. You may choose to follow this video’s advice, or you may slither back into your bar, tavern or pub. Or, in your case,” the little man looked pointedly at a particularly haggard fellow in the class room. “The back alley of Sneaky Dee’s.”

There was a slow murmur arising from the crowd, mostly agreeable to this idea. Rather than this nonsense about Christmas and Ho’s. Well, maybe the Ho idea was alright, given another vowel.

The hubbub was sliced into silence as a rather tall, perhaps 6’ 11’’, appeared to be suddenly standing on the other side of the television trolley. The newcomer leaned on the television with ease, wearing a silky black suit, and black hoodie. There was a small hour glass flipping between his fingers like a coin.

“It’s gonna be a coooool winter,” said the newcomer with a voice so cold, it made glaciers seem like ice cubes.

“As, my acquaintance narrowly explained,” the little man said. “This situation is rather ‘Do or Die’. You have been that Naughty.”

Another hubbub arose up as the men began to find themselves trapped, angry, and craving Asprin. Yet, it was silenced again by that father of all cold voices again. “Not a hard choice really. In fact, if you wanted to skip the middle phase, I’ll gladly take your souls now.” Suddenly, there was a scythe in the newcomers hands. “No takers? Hmm... Never is. Always a pity...”
“Very well. We shall continue reviewing the video, and I will take any questions near the end. We will also distribute Santa suits, HO-lsters and their NNLs. Thank you.” The little man reached above his head to hit ‘play’ on the VCR.

Right where they had left him smiling into the camera, with flickering static of VHS cassettes everywhere, Christopher Walken continued by jumping to his feet and crossing to the next set stage.

“Ah, let’s move along, shall we?” he asked rhetorically. “Now, this room is our simulation. As you can see here, it is a classical living room. Fireplace, stockings hung - with care, of course - a magnificent Christmas tree, and wow!” Christopher Walken threw his arms out in the air, as if unsure what would happen next, “It’s Rudolph! Rudolph everyone, the Red-Nosed bastard we all sing about!”

Sure enough, as the camera panned, a reindeer with a clown nose on was looking impatiently at the wall.

“Sing us a song, Ruddy!” said Christopher Walken.

The camera zoomed in minutely to the reindeer’s face. The bored creature peered just off screen for a moment before returning its gaze to the wall, and finally biting at an itch on its shoulder. Quickly, the camera man returned to Christopher Walken, who was rooting through the stockings.
“Ah, socks? Who gives socks?” Looking back to the audience, Walken resumed as usual. “This household is not standard, especially in the cities, where you’re about as likely to find candy raindrops as you are chimneys. So, to that, we turn to the future. It seems our little elves are one step ahead of NASA, and by the power invested in flying reindeer, have already toured the galaxy. Yeah, I know. Scary, too much information, however you will put it. Yet, that’s how it is. Thanks to the Tyuals of the Andromeda galaxy, we have teleportation technology. It’s Christmas Magic to you, and the little childrens.”

The little man paused the video again, to calm down the bewildered crowd of groggy men. First it’s a free shower, then some sort of Santa something or other, and now aliens? What kind of joke was this?

“Please, calm down, I shall answer any questions at the end of the video,” the little man pleaded. It was hopeless. The Santa candidates were getting restless and upset. Not only was this ridiculous, their lives were being threatened by some punk in a hoodie. Against his better judgement, the little man reached into his pocket and produced a short string of silver tinsel. Only a few of the men noticed this. The rest were unprepared for what happened next. A silver flash of lightning, followed by the bang of seven New Year Party Poppers flooded the room.

The man in the hoodie hunched a bit rubbing the sides of his head. “Could have warned me, at least...”
“Sorry, it’s just... why we get dragged through the mud for this, is just cruel.” The little man noticed many eyes on him. “Ah, good. On with the video!”

“Naturally, teleporting into someones house and delivering presents is all well and good, but how do you know what to take out of your HO-lster?” Christopher Walken’s recorded self pressed on. “That, is an interesting question - and I’m glad I asked it. You will be assigned a mall, and a transmogrified elf as your helper in this task. There, children will line up to sit on your lap all month, for the chance to ask for presents. Along the sideline, your human-formed elf will enter the necessary data into the HO-mebase network via your NNL. That’s about as technical as it gets, for your sake I’m sure.”

Christopher Walkens relaxed on a festive patterned sofa, amidst many pillows. “That’s your job at first, the Mall Santa. You see them everywhere. Some people like to tell their kids that it’s the real Santa, sometimes those people are right. Mostly though, it’s people like you. So far down the Naughty List, they’ve got nowhere to run. That’s alright though, you’re about to become Santa Claus. Santa Claus, the jolly fugly fellah. That’s you. In essence.”

“When all is said and done, Christmas Eve will come quicker than you could imagine. Then the real fun begins. Your elf helper will assist in teleporting you to your assigned homes in the mall area; Where, as you can imagine, it will be your job to lay out presents, stuff stockings, and eat lots of delicious cookies with milk.” Christopher Walken shrugged expansively. “At the end of the night, you’re a free man again. Go back to your bars or whatever it is you crawled out of, and sink back into the same pit so we know where to find you next year.”

Prying himself free of the pillows and sofa, Christopher made his way to the fireplace. Resting against the mantle, and picking up a Christmas card, Walken paused a moment to reflect. “Finally, before we finish here, there is the Yule Log. Funny little thing, remember it? These ones are made with chocolate, and baked with magic. Just imagine how much flour they needed. It blows my mind. Seriously. My mind - Blown.”

Another pair of hands, or perhaps the same hands, handed Christopher Walken another Yule log. This one, he set in the fireplace, which was empty.

“If your house does not have a fireplace, don’t worry. Just... I guess, open a window. If you don’t have a window... Well, I don’t know what you’ll do honestly. You’re kind of screwed, maybe? Anyhow, let’s light this sucker on fire.” Christopher Walken produced a matchbox from his pocket and struck a match. “The trick with these magic Yule logs, is to avoid being singed. They tend to light up pretty quick.”

As an example, Walken held the candle to his log, and it set ablaze in seconds.

“Yeowch! That’s one hot cake. Look out!” Christopher Walken waggled his eyebrows at the camera, though probably not on purpose. “So, as you remember, the NNL directs the HO-mebase with gift directions. The HO-mebase co-ordinates that information for the export system, and the HO-lohedral sucks up presents to magically send them to...?”

Christopher Walken looked largely expectant at the camera, and rewound after a second to his usual expression(s). “The Yule log! The Yule log! Of course, it’s this Yule log! So, the gifts come popping out of this mess, and you put them into your HO-lser. Got it? Simple! HO, HO, and HO!”

Just then a large fat man who appeared wearing a red suit, on camera. “Did someone say, ‘Ho, Ho, Ho?” the man asked, in a practiced sort-of-voice.

Fake surprise sprang all over Christopher Walken’s face. “S-Santa. Ladies and gentlemen, It’s Santa the Claus! How about that!”

“Ho, ho, ho!” the big man laughed. “Just checked my Naughty List, Christopher, and it looks like you’re one notch higher towards the Nice List.”

“Gee Whiz! Golly that’s swell. Just swell. Listen, Santa. I have a huge favour to ask...”

“Oh, what could that be, my lad?”

“Could we sing a Christmas carol for the folks watching? I think it would really lift their spirits!”

Santa Claus considered this, in a way that conveyed he had practiced how to look like he was considering something. “Yes... I do believe this is a good idea.”

“Great. Hit it, gang!” Christopher Walken called. The effect of which, caused the set to change. Walls shifted around them until the pair of them were standing in the middle of a Broadway musical number. Someone started singing ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, however the video was quickly turned off.

The little man in black suit sniffed. “Enough of that. I’ve heard it a million times...”

“You’d think they could re-film it or something,” said the tall man in the black hoodie.
“Yeah... Well.” Turning to audience of stupefied drunkards, the little man cleared his throat. “Er, any questions?”

The End