by Cheryl Ann Farrell
“Ho, Ho, Ho,” Kris shouted to begin the annual festivities on Christmas Island – a tradition for as long as anyone could remember. The week-long party included dancing, running about, and plenty of drinking. One big “hurrah” before the Christmas work began.
“Are the mermaids invited again this year?” Mrs. Claus asked.
“Of course! Mermaids love a good party.”
“I don’t know. I’ve not seen her since last year.”
Halia – a blue tailed mermaid – flirted heavily with Kris last year which led to a romantic liaison. Consequently, she gave birth to 100 eggs. These eggs hatched into little tadpole-like creatures – hideous though as each had the head of Santa – beard and all – and Halia’s blue fish tail. Mrs. Claus schemed to scoop up all the creatures and kill them, but Halia prevailed by taking them all out to sea. And vanished.
By day three of the festival, both forgot all about Halia and her brood. Until a drumbeat was heard in the distance approaching with the chant: “HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! HO!” With each stomp, the “HO!” got louder. Kris woke from a stupor, “What the f—?”
The sea shimmered with movement of hundreds, if not thousands, of these sea creatures from his spawn. They were a cross between a mermaid, Neptune, and Santa – each holding a spear as they headed inland stabbing everything as they went. “Where’s our PAPA? HO! HO! HO!”
These creatures slithered and propped themselves up to stab at anyone of the Kris Kringle Crew. Kris grabbed his pants, flipflops, his red suit, and headed for his canoe.
“If I don’t escape, Christmas will be gone.” Once in the canoe he headed for the North Pole. He relaxed until he heard tapping. Kris turned around. One of the spawns made it aboard!
Quietly it squeaked out “Papa?”
“Papa?” it said again with a wide grin that showed off his Piranha teeth while tapping his spear on the bottom of the canoe.