Forgotten Toys

Contributor: T. M. Black

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Santa loaded the ammo belt of candy canes into the machine gun and cocked it. After a long night delivering presents, he hated the idea of facing the forgotten presents, but like every year they waited for his return, and so he readied for the frenzy.

The full moon sprayed enough light over the barn-style workshop to reveal the wooden doors were open, revealing a gaping, black mouth. While no alien toys were built by the elves that year, or mad hatter tea party sets, any toy was capable of brutal attacks. He knew that well, and rubbed the scar on his hip through his red suit.

The night had flown by without a hitch, and he thanked the cloudless skies. Even when they hit England, where a gale tugged at the sleigh, the reindeers didn’t grumble. But once he landed the sleigh, things felt very wrong. Someone was watching him.

He stepped closer to the shed, snow crunching beneath his boots, and stopped when a white teddy bear, sporting a red bow around his neck, spilled out from within the darkness. In one hand, the plush toy gripped a whip and in the other a whistle. The bear cracked the whip by its side, causing a puff of snow to loop about its feet. The toy pressed its hand to its mouth and a high-pitched shrill screamed through the silent night.

Santa’s finger twitched from the sudden sound, and released a round of candy canes into the bear. Bam, bam. The toy’s body was thrown backward into the blackened shadows of the workshop.

“Ho Ho, to you too, little bear.” Santa lowered the weapon.

The repetitive thudding from within the barn made Santa tense. Tens, if not hundreds of teddy bears, in a rainbow of colors, dressed in every manner of costume from a catsuit to a Spiderman outfit and even a blonde Marilyn Monroe bear, poured out from the building. They were all newbies. Santa would never leave behind so many toys. He stumbled backward.

Unlatching a mistletoe grenade from his belt, he pulled the ring and threw it into the mass of bears. A pop sounded, and a thin layer of green vapor enveloped the toys. Bears stopped their march and instead turned to a nearby toy, kisses each other, over and over.

But when another throng of bears emerged from the workshop, Santa gasped aloud and pulled the trigger, projecting a shower of candy canes into the toys. That did little to stop them. He recoiled, and hit the wall of the reindeer stables, fumbling with a new ammo cartridge. But the bears poured around him too fast.

They tugged at the hems of his red pants, climbing up his legs. Their tiny sharp teeth found skin. He kicked, whacked them with his gun, shouted, but nothing helped.

Then he spotted Rudolf sauntering from the workshop, his chin high in the air.

“Rudy, buddy, help me.” He threw a zebra-colored bear off him.

The reindeer grunted and flashed his white teeth. “Maybe you shouldn’t have left me at home on the most important day of the year.”

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I am a marketer by day and storyteller by night, which means I make up a lot of things. When not with my family, I’m writing or reading.
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