After the joyful experience of writing Christmas stories for Tales by the Tree (buy it!), I could not resist the invitation to thoroughly besmirch Santa’s reputation for Ruth Long’s Bad Santa Blog Hop 2013. Hope you enjoy the next 494 words.
The pale skin resisted for one tantalising moment before parting under his assault. He dug deeper, searching for the pulsing vein, and grunted his satisfaction as it was pierced. He sucked greedily, and the hot blood coursed down his throat, new and fresh. It flowed easily, spilling from his lips and staining his whiskers. Above the usual iron tang, he could taste cinnamon and sugar. She’d been eating scones.
At most houses, of course, he simply collected the blood. Even his huge belly could not hold the blood of every child in the world. So he stored it, up in the ship – sorry, sleigh – taking a few drops from a slit made under the tongue with his fingernail. The amount taken was not enough to be noticed from a single child. When multiplied by the number of children in the world, however, there was more than enough to sustain him through the year. He drugged them first, of course. It would not do for them to waken during the process. A handful of – well, let’s call it Fairy Dust – ensured that there would be no sudden nightmares for the little darlings.
This child though, oh this child he had not been able to resist. Tired and peckish after a long time-slowed night, he had been slow to sprinkle the Dust. She had been awake when he had arrived, face flooded with delight as Santa appeared in her bedroom, her wide blue eyes twinkling with life and surprise, blonde tresses framing a face full of joy. Her expression hadn’t slipped as he threw himself at her and ripped the nightdress down over her shoulders, exposing her vibrant skin. His teeth ripped at her neck before the beatific smile had left her face.
It never ceased to amaze him, the blithe acceptance by humans of his existence, of his immortality. Their assumption that he was benign and loving. Did they never question how he managed to return, year after year, century after century, never aging? That they fell constantly for the smoke and mirrors of the merry outfit and the cheap gifts spoke volumes for their blinkered idiocy.
A rattling gasp close by his ear told him that she was close to death. Swiftly he drew his nail across his wrist, loosing his own blood. He pushed the girl’s mouth against it. Her lips moved only slightly, sliding weakly against the bloody skin. She was almost gone. He had left it too late.
No, wait. She stirred. She lapped at his blood, then sucked harder to draw more out of him. She was feeling The Thirst. His timing had been exquisite. He twisted his fingers in her hair and tore her away from him. She snarled and tried to bite him. He grabbed a mince pie left out for him, dipped it in her blood and crammed it into her gore-streaked mouth.
“Now, little girl, come with Santa. You’ll enjoy being an ELF. Ho ho ho!”