|A Felony of Birds|
by Edward Sullivan
“Trust me I’m your sponsor.” Jimmy led me down Clark St. on Christmas Eve. “You've earned this. After tonight you won’t want back on the junk ever again. All you had to do was stay sober and drug free for the past two years to prove your commitment. I wasn’t even allowed to mention this till that happened.”
“I don’t know man.” He was looking at me with a rapturous smile. “It seems a shame to get clean just to get high on something else after two years.”
Jimmy just smiled wider. “I know it seems counterintuitive man. Just trust me once you have Kringle there are no other drugs. They only give it out on December twenty-fourth and the rest of the year you don’t bother with anything else because literally nothing else is worth it.”
I shook my head for the tenth time tonight. “Jimmy this is nuts. Why do they only give it out one night a year? Why do we get it from free? Who are they?”
He looked up at the night sky. It had started snowing lightly. He caught a snowflake on his tongue. “Look I told you earlier I sponsor at Narcotics Anonymous so I can sponsor for people to have Kringle. It is all real. Let’s just say it is a charity thing, think of them as Santa’s little helpers, OK?”
He was leading me into a less than desirable part of town. We finally arrived at an older looking warehouse. There was already a line at the door. All folks lined up two by two. Apparently everyone brought guests to this party.
We got close to the door and I could see in as the next pair went in. It looked like an airlock. You know those set ups that have an inner door and an outer one? One won’t open till the other closes. Eventually we were next.
“Jimmy, I'm really not sure about this.”
His smile was so friendly and he spoke with such a confident, calm inflection that it almost didn’t matter what the answer was, it was all in his tone. It rang of trust and safety, a bastion of therapeutic affect. “Listen Eddie, have I ever steered you wrong? I've always been there for you right from the beginning right?”
“Yeah Jimmy. Sorry I sure it'll be fine.”
The outer door opened and we went in. I heard gears and locks cycle. The inner door opened. This situation was already weird, but I wasn’t prepared for what was inside by many a measure.
“Are those midgets holding guns, Jim?”
He cringed at the word. “Dude, they're elves, don’t say midgets!”
The little guys right inside the door holding what looked to me like full auto assault rifles painted like candy canes were disconcerting in their little green tunics and caps. That was nothing compared to what was further in. To start with there were lots of elves everywhere. The far side of the warehouse had sleighs lined up like a giant stock car race starting line. That wasn’t the weirdest either.
Jim was looking around smiling, and he had a tear in his eye. “Oh Eddie, this is my favorite night of the year. It doesn’t get better than this.”
“Jim there are hundreds of naked Santas in here with us. What kinda freaky stuff did you get me into?”
He looked like he was going to answer but a third elf stopped in front of us. “Put out your hands please gentleman.” We did and he placed a gelatin based capsule in each of our hands. That wouldn’t have been all that weird but it looked like it was filled with red and green glitter. At this point I swear to you I have not lost my sobriety, honestly. When the thing touched my palm I heard sleigh bells. “Guests please ingest your Kringle.”
Jimmy looked at me. “You came this far man. You got to do it or they will give it to you in the end without the teeth. They never have to do it after the first year cause you’l want it for the rest of your life, but it is so much easier if you just trust it the first year.”
The elves actually looked like they meant business and might be able to follow through. I figured this was weird but if Jimmy could swallow a capsule of glitter, so could I if it meant not being shot or violated.
“Cheers and down the hatch Eddie boy!” The lead elf handed us some dixie cups full of water and we took our medicine.
The little elf mimicked opening is mouth so we would so him our empty mouths and we did. “Gentlemen this way if you please.”
He lead us into a side room together and turned to leave. “I will return for you in a moment.”
I shook my head and looked at Jimmy. “What the heck is this weirdness man?”
Jimmy looked like he was blurry. No not blurry just getting bigger. He struggled to take his clothes off. “Quick Eddie get naked or the clothes will rip. The elves will store them for you.” Now that he mentioned it my gear was starting to feel tight.
I stripped mostly out of panic. I watched as Jimmy grew a white beard and put on what seemed to be two hundred pounds right before my eyes. “Jimmy what the heck? You just turned into freakin’ Santa Claus!”
Jimmy put one hand on his big jolly belly which jiggled like a bowl full of jelly. He hooked a thumb and gestured over his shoulder at a wall mirror. I saw that there were two Santa Clauses in the room.
I smiled and then laughed. “Ho Ho Ho” That was when it kicked into my brain. Pure uncut Christmas Spirit. That was how he got everywhere in one night.
“Merry Christmas!” Santa bellowed.
“Merry Christmas!” Santa said right back to him.
John David Rose - This is a funny Christmas story with just a pinch of thought provoking darkness to keep it from being too campy. - John
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