Note: So the nine day component of the Blog Festivus is complete, but I decided to expand the story into a serial telling. I hope you will continue to read and leave your comments!
“No! You must not say anything Rudy Two!”
“But Dad,” Carrie said. “Santa can take care of this!”
“No,” Rudolph said shaking his head. “Even Santa cannot take care of this.”
At the Reindeer Training and Flight Center, or RTFC, Donder slipped down the hall to the dormitory-style rooms. After two nights of searching, she had narrowed down the possibilities for finding clues to Clarice’s whereabouts to this section of the building. She knew Rudolph, Carrie and Rudy Two were scared to death.
Poor Clarice! Her only fault was being so devoted to the most famous reindeer ever. How she could deal with his incredible prima donna attitude was a mystery to Donder. She had rapped the glowing beak of Rudolph more than once, trying to literally knock some sense into him. Nonetheless, Clarice was first of all her friend and secondly reindeer folk. Reindeer folk were people too, she thought.
Muffled voices came from rooms along the hall as Donder silently peered into the windows on each door. The young reindeer here for flight training were marking the days until their winter break, which was two days away. That mean they were consumed with preparations for their parties to notice Donder.
She was glad, because she felt like she was getting close.
“What can I say Cupid, diaper boy has his bases covered,” Cassandra Peek said.
“That miserable little punk is determined to ruin everyone’s Christmas,” Cupid groaned.
“What about an injunction,” Persephone offered.
“No good. I had three turned away this morning in front of the judge,” Cassandra replied. “It looks like we go to trial on December 20.”
Dasher reluctantly went to the door to answer the bell. Since his loss at the races ten days ago no one had seen or heard from him.
“Who is it?”
“Prancer, let me in!”
“We have to talk.”
Prancer looked nervously both ways. He knew being seen with Prancer would raise questions, but he trusted his wiser friend’s advice above anyone else.
“You know,” Prancer said, his hoof resting against the door. He leaned forward, resting his forehead against the door as his mind raced back to the night in Mississippi. When Dasher jerked open the door, Prancer went sprawling onto the entry hall floor, drawing a deep hearty laugh from his forlorn friend.
“Aren’t you going to help me up?” Prancer asked, staring up from the floor at his friend who was bent over double, laughing so hard tears rolled down his fur.
“This is all standard contract stuff, you know appearance fees, makeup endorsements, promises never to be a member of Santa’s Sleigh team again, just your basic paperwork.”
“Wait a minute,” Vixen said. “Let’s back up a minute. What was that about Santa’s sleigh?”
“Darling if you want to be an international film star you cannot be dashing around the world pulling a sleigh laden with toys!”
Vixen looked at Sharon Douglas, her Hollywood agent for a long moment as she tried to think of her life without the joy of delivering toys on Christmas Eve.
“Can I sign everything and leave the sleigh paperwork for later?” Vixen asked.
“Listen honey, I went out on a limb to get you this role. The studio expects all this paperwork to be faxed back by COB today. If you don’t want to do it, I am sure they can find another, perhaps Dancer. I hear she is looking for a new gig.
Vixen hesitated for a moment, then took the pen in her paw and sealed her fate with the team.
“When did all this happen?” Blitzen asked Santa.
“It started with Dasher ten days ago, then Dancer. Vixen is off in Hollywood. Cupid is supposed to fly out to Las Vegas today for the trial about the name. I have no idea where Donder is,” Santa lied. He could not be sure what was going on, so had to keep one of his most trusted reindeer in the dark. “Can you try to find out what is going on? I need to concentrate on the lists.”
“Santa you know I will always have your back,” Blitzen said.
“Yes I do.”
Dancer walked alone through the decorated Christmas trees that were in sight of the SC Inc. campus. For the umpteenth time she tried to figure out how she had lost the mirror ball trophy. She saw Comet walking towards her, but unaware she was here. She dived behind a clump of heavier fir trees to wait for him to pass. She knew Vixen was gone and feared Comet would be looking for a rebound relationship. She loved Comet once, but he broke her heart and she would not let that happen again. While she was waiting for him to pass she noticed Percy Pogue talking with a larger man with a dark mustache. The man’s mustache was twisted into points on the ends, which gave him a menacing look. Dancer felt a chill when she heard his deep hearty laugh ring through the trees. She wondered who he was and began to inch along behind to follow him and find out.
Rudolph was sitting at the table in his kitchen, giving his children a better explanation of the situation now.
“Several years ago there were two organizations that supplied all the toys to Santa. One was the Elf Workshop, which has been doing it I guess since Santa’s start. The other was an organization known as Global Toys and Electronics Warehouse or G2 for short. G2 wanted a bigger piece of the action and tried unsuccessfully to buy out the Elf Workshop. They even tried a hostile takeover during the Nineteen Eighties, but Santa blocked the effort with his majority stake.
The man who owns G2 is Atnas Sualc,” Rudolph was saying until Carrie stopped him.
“How do you spell that?”
Rudolph nodded knowingly as he spelled it for Carrie. “A..t..n..a..s..S..u..a..l..c.”
Carrie’s head snapped up from the paper where she wrote the letters her father read out to her. “But that is…”
“Yes,” Rudolph said, bobbing his head slowly.
“So what does he want with mom?” Rudy Two asked.
“Do you remember the incident in Mississippi?”
“Yes,” his children replied in unison.
“As part of the settlement the team agreed to fifteen year probation. As long as we had no other major incident, nothing would be printed about it in the human’s newspapers or online anywhere. Sualc is not a patient man and wants the team to fail now so he can take over everything.”
“Is that why Uncle Dash and Aunt Dancer are not part of the team?” Carrie asked.
“I believe so,” Rudolph replied.
“So this man wants you guys to crash?” Rudy Two asked.
“He wants us to fail to deliver all the toys by Christmas morning,” Rudolph replied.
“Whoa!” his children replied.