Billy, Cindy! To mommy! Now!
My dear children, I need you to stay calm. Can you do that for me? Good, my sweets. I just spoke with The Watchtower. You remember Captain Gordon, Mommy’s night friend? That’s right: the tiny man with the curly mustache who barely speaks and has the hundred-yard stare. Captain Gordon was on his telescope and he saw a sleigh soaring 15 miles north. A red light glows. Ferocious reindeer birds soar. Santa Claus is coming to town.
Billy, don’t cry! Cindy, don’t pout! Please.
He sees. And you better believe He God Damn Knows.
On the count of three, I need you to smile, be nice as a Christmas movie orphan, and follow me to the safe room. Can you do that? Yes, you can, my little babycheeks. I know you can. We’ll be surrounded by mountains of vegetables upstairs. We’ll be protected. One, two—
(“Ho! Ho! Ho!” A roar erupts in night sky. Haunting. Thunderous.)
Sweet cinnamon drops, he rides closer—Three!
Quickly! Up the stairs!
(Distant jingles clang. An Anthem for The Insane.)
This sterile, metallic room stock-piled with vegetables is safe, children. Grab your kale leaf. Grab your carrot stick. And stay calm, my little plum drops. We’re okay now. The vegetables will protect us. For the Great Red Beast despises all things vegetable for it makes Him weak and un-jolly and gassy and full of farts.
Now, are the Oreos hidden? Very good, my darling Billy. Chips Ahoy? That’s my sweet Cindy. Milanos with Dark Chocolate Filling?
What did you do with the Milanos with Dark Chocolate Filling?
Billy, look at your mother! Tell me you hid the Milanos with Dark Chocolate Filling!
Oh sweet child o' mine. How could you?
(A clacking of hooves on the roof. Followed by a Thump of The Fat Man.)
Where did you leave the cookies? Billy, look at mommy! Tell mommy where you left the Milanos!
Next to the chimney? Oh no, oh no, oh no, please tell me it isn’t so. You know the cookies make him strong, you know the cookies make him want to hurt—
(Another Thump of The Fat Man. Now from the chimney downstairs. “What do we have here?” intones The Red Beast. A series of licks from his hungry, wet tongue: sloppy, gross, sexual. “Yum, yum, yum: Milanos.” He consumes! Gnashing teeth, flying spit, all with a disturbing sense of measured control. A relish for the art of destruction.)
Lord save us he feeds! Grip your broccoli stalks tight my itty bitty snow angels: we may have to kill. He knows we’re not sleeping. He knows we’re awake. He knows if we've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake—STOP, SINGING, CHERYL!
(“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Santa roars. “Has anyone here been…Naughty?” The Evil Fat Man savors the word. His Power. Reindeer beat the roof with hooves in furious war beat.)
Stay quiet, my teeny tiny turtle doves. And for the love of God be nice. Remember to —
Cindy. Why are you standing in front of the vanity mirror?
Cindy. Why are you holding mommy’s lipstick?
(“Naughty…” Santa hisses, “Milanos…”)
Cindy! Why are you removing mommy’s lipstick cover?
Oh God, Cindy. No. No. No. Don’t you dare paint that mirror with lipstick!
(Reindeer stomp in violent syncopation: glorious, cruel, unceasing. Like Lord of the Rings but less fake and more scary.)
Why did you paint smiley faces and ponies on the vanity mirror, Cindy?
Why did you have to be so naughty?
Huddle with mommy, children. I love you with all my heart, my tiny-whiny, nicey-icey, sweety-peety gingerbread munchkin butt babies.
His Feast Begins.