Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

Andrew Kirwan-Taylor Clotworthy delighted in telling children all about Santa Claus. He scoffed at those who said to the little ones "There is no such thing as Santa." Amateurs. Boring and passe. Instead, he thought, one should start with a base such as "Santa is evil and hates you. He is coming. Be afraid." From there you could do wondrous things: "Santa has giant machines which record your every action, even your thoughts and dreams. Remember, he is old and bitter. Do you know those children on the back of milk containers? Do you know why they are missing? Santa does." The eighties gave him a new angle: "Santa smokes crack and molests elves for fun." So it goes.

Andrew was short on bank and needed it bad to pay off his 1-900 phone bills. Live sex talk isn't cheap. Lakeside mall was taking Santa applications, and he decided it was time to put his talent to work in the professional field. He dialed the number in the want adds.

"Lakeside mall, how can we help you?"

"I'm interested in the Santa gig."

"All right, do you have any experience?"

"Yeah. I'm fat and alcoholic, and if I saw your old lady it would probably take care of the white hair thing."


He pondered this reaction, concluding he had come on too strong. He tried again a little later. This time they told him to come to the mall and interview in person. He loaded his flask with jagermeister and hit the road.

Lakeside was swamped with shopping mothers and was badly in need of Santas. Andrew was hired on the spot. They sent him to a training room to fit him with an outfit and give him some basic instructions.

"Just remember not to scare the children. Don't make sudden or threatening moves. Sometimes they pee on you or throw up, so watch their faces to see if they look sick or distraught. Most importantly, don't promise them anything. Just say 'Santa will see what he can do.' The job is easy money. You'll be working the next shift, it starts in half an hour."

Andrew was fitted out with a cheap Santa suit which smelled of cigarettes and sweat. A long white scratchy beard and mustache went along with it. He was then led out into the mall and stationed on a large red throne surrounded by flocked trees and huge plastic reindeer.

His first visitor was a young girl; a blonde moppet with wide brown eyes.

"Hohohowaddayawantkid?" Santa muttered to the child on his lap.

"Can I have a Rappin' Ken doll, a Marine Barbie, a pet monkey, and a diamond tiara from Tiffanys?"

Santa looked at her for a long moment. "Can't do the dolls, we ran out. We had monkeys, but they all died. They were killed, actually, by a deranged elf who field stripped them alive with a huge bowie knife. But I can do the tiara. I absolutely, solemnly swear on Santa's honor that, come Christmas morning, you will have a diamond tiara from Tiffanys."

"Yeah!" the girl exclaimed, immediately forgetting about the monkeys. "I just wanted the diamonds anyway," she confessed.

"I knew that. Santa knows everything. Santa knows you are a embryonic gold digger and will make some lucky man very happy one day. Unfortunately, he won't be your husband. Now get out of here. Next!" he shouted.

A young black boy climbed up on his knee. He looked up at Santa with huge dark expressive eyes and said "All I want is for my parents to get back together."

"Hhhuuuggghhhh," Santa exclaimed, feigning a vomit attack. "Get real kid. This is the nineties. Things are only going to get worse. Think of it this way: you get two Christmases. What you need to do is stop bitching and make it work to your advantage. Make them feel guilty, then play them off each other. Next thing you know they'll try and outbuy each other and you'll rake in the presents. It also helps to lie- say stuff like 'Daddy said your gifts won't be as nice as his because you don't love me as much.' Also, cry a lot. That always helps. Now stop your whining and get to work. Next!"

So the afternoon wore on, with Andrew dispensing promises and advice to his young charges. He was nursing a nice buzz with his flask of "Spirit of the Deer" and was actually beginning to enjoy himself until Beau Birchfield crawled onto his lap.

"Ho ho ho! Speak to me, ya little pain in the ass. Whadda ya want? Money? Women? A driver's license? Santa can do it all... if you ask real nice."

Beau glared at him. "You fake. You're not the real Santa. My sister says you guys are all bums. Why don't you get a real job?"

Andrew's eyes narrowed. "Kid, you just brought me down. Get the hell off my lap before I wring your scrawny little pencil-ass neck."

"My name is Beau Birchfield. My parents are loaded and can buy me whatever I want. I don't even want to be on your stinky lap but my grandpa made me. You suck." Suddenly he shouted out loud "SANTA GRABBED MY BUTT! HE'S TOUCHING ME ALL OVER!"

The crowd gasped and surged into action. Beau was pulled off his lap in the confusion, and he was wrestled to the ground by security officers while hysterical mothers beat him with purses. Next thing he knew he was thrown out of the mall.

"You pervert! I don't ever want to see your pedophilic ass here again!" The guards glared at him and left. He sat on the curb, muttering "Beau Birchfield" darkly to himself. And suddenly he had an idea.

There was a new moon that evening as Andrew drove his truck down a Mississippi back road. He finally found what he wanted... two shiny eyes and a rack of antlers caught in his highbeams. Leaning out the truck he brought the buck down with his .44 Magnum. He advanced on the dead animal with a gas operated chainsaw. He muttered "Beau Birchfield," fired it up, and sank the blade into the buck's neck.

It wasn't difficult to find Beau's house in Old Metarie. He watched an idyllic family scene through the large bay window: Mother and father playing a board game with the little brat. He waited until the parents went into the kitchen then with a running leap smashed through the plate glass window with the chainsaw in one hand and head of the buck in the other. Brandishing his grisly prize he screamed "Prancer, the bell has tolled for thee. Shout salvation in king Jesus. You'll need to rise precious early, you sinner there, if you want to diddle the almighty God. He's got a coughmixture with a punch in it for you, my friend, in his backpocket. Just you try it on!" He threw the severed head at Beau, then flung his arms wide fully revealing the blood splattered Santa suit. Tossing his head back, he howled "HO HO HO YA LITTLE SHIT! HAVE A MERRY FUCKIN' CHRISTMAS!" then disappeared into the night.