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Friday 6 December 2013

KBR Short Story: Mrs Claus Takes the Reins

by Nerida Wayland

A grumbling, tumbling, rumble shook the ordinarily tranquil town at the tip of the North Pole. Santa Claus patted his bulging belly. His legs ached. His brow sweated. His white, wispy beard sagged.

‘I told you not to have a fourth mince pie,’ his wife reprimanded.

Santa opened his mouth to argue but he instead did a long, low burp.

‘Well, excuse you, Mr Piggy,’ Mrs Claus shook her head.

A dreadful sound escaped from the cushions underneath Santa's bulky bottom.

‘Mr Claus, that is enough! Oh my poor nostrils!’ Mrs Claus rushed to open the frost-covered window.

‘Sorry dear, I’ll be right in a minute.’ Santa feared that was a lie because what he’d actually eaten was ten mince pies, washed down with a mega-sized cup of eggnog and a block of White Christmas. It was Christmas Eve; he'd been so busy and so hungry. Now he was so sick he couldn’t shift from his favourite armchair.

‘You can’t fly around the world tonight, husband. You sound like you’re going to explode!’

‘But what about the children? They’ve been so good this year.’ Santa slumped. The thought of no Christmas was tragic.

Mrs Claus set her knitting aside, grabbed some night vision goggles and made for the door. ‘You rest, my husband. I’ve got this under control.’ And with a reassuring wink, she left. Santa went back to moaning.

Santa's trusty reindeer were shackled to their sleigh. They were resting because, to be honest, they were getting on in years and some of them preferred to lie around watching Reindeer Rugby re-runs on TV rather than training for the big Christmas Eve event. Mrs Claus surveyed them with a critical eye.

‘Gather 'round, Christmas Crew. Sadly, Santa is not fit for flying; he’s grounded with wind and an unpredictable bottom. I am in charge. Reindeers return home to your widescreen TVs. Zippy Zoodles—you’re up!’

In a flurry of hurry, the Zippy Zoodles assembled. There were millions of billions or billions of millions (depending on where you were standing).

For those who are not residents of the North Pole, you may not know what a Zippy Zoodle is. Zippy Zoodles are miniscule animals no bigger than your littlest toenail. They became extinct because humans with very big feet kept stepping on them. Luckily, Mrs Claus, who has a degree in The Preservation of Mini-Beasts, had worked tirelessly to cultivate a new breed of Zippy Zoodles. Faster than the speed of shoppers at a sale, more powerful than a toddler’s tantrum—these tiny creatures would revolutionise Christmas!

As the reindeer wives, fit from years of running after baby reindeers, were hooked up to the sleigh, the Zippy Zoodles piled in. As the sleigh took off and hovered on high, the brave little critters with parachute-laden gifts began free-falling to the world’s children below.

Mrs Claus and her merry band of zippy creatures and mummy reindeers ho-ho-ho’d across the starry night sky.

Christmas was saved!

Nerida Wayland is a mum of three, wife of one and PhD student of Children's Literature. Find out more about Nerida here.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here