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  • Writer's pictureHenry Cavanaugh

Santa's Got Game

To see his own face grinning at him from across the room made Calum’s blood boil. Well, it would have done if he had any blood remaining in his body - or had a human body at all. After all, it was a little difficult for a snow globe to do anything of the sort and that was the form that Calum was now trapped in, and seemingly would be for the next twelve months. Even worse, he knew that just a few inches to his right his fiancée was feeling exactly the same as him, burning with envy as she watched somebody else controlling her gorgeous petite body.

Knowing that the couple currently lounging on the armchair were Santa Claus and his wife though? Calum wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t been at his expense. He’d thought a pair of old lunatics had broken into his home to threaten him and his girlfriend, not that they had actually come into contact with immortal beings who helped deliver presents to every single home in the world. He’d laughed in the old man’s face when he’d introduced himself and had threatened to beat the crap out of him if they didn’t get out of their house but that initial act of aggression had ultimately done him no favours. He could still remember it all so vividly…

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” the bushy-bearded balloon of a man declared, his large gut rising and falling as he chuckled. “Just stay still and quiet for a moment, will you, dear boy?” Calum wanted to tell the other to go fuck himself but the words never left his lips. He was rooted to the spot as if some invisible force had chained him to the ground. “Now, as is the custom, I’d like to explain why you’ve been chosen for this momentous task. You see, this old body of mine doesn’t handle the Christmas Eve travel as well as it used to. I need to be younger and stronger to get through all that and, well, this year it’s your turn to help me. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

Words finally burst forth from Calum’s lips: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Such foul language, young man,” Santa scolded, tutting in disappointment as Calum once again lost the ability to speak. “You see, I could have picked anyone in the world to help me but you… I’ve been monitoring you for some time to make sure you were right for me and let me tell you know, dear boy, you definitely proved yourself! Refusing to donate to charities looking to feed the starving and get the homeless off of the streets during the coldest months of the year; neglecting to spend anything on your parents who cared for you when you were a boy; prioritizing yourself and your lady over all others, no matter how hard they struggle! None of that reflects the Christmas spirit, don’t you agree?”

Calum fumed as a word was forced out of his mouth: “Yes.” He hadn’t meant to say it but there was something inside of him that felt obligated to tell the truth, no matter how much he didn’t want to. He had rolled his eyes at the people on the street gathering money for charity, declined to purchase anything for his young nieces and nephews and had thrown Christmas cards from his family right into the recycling bin. He’d actively made a choice to make sure Christmas was only about him and Kayley and, in the process, had actively doomed them.

“And you, dear Kayley,” Mrs Claus chimed in, stepping forward to press her gloved hand to the younger woman’s cheek, “Were so willing to let him act in such a selfish fashion! You should have encouraged him to be giving, to embrace the seasonal spirit. Have you forgotten everything your mother taught you?” Calum wanted to charge forward and push the woman away from his beautiful fiancée but no power he mustered was enough to break through the invisible bonds that held him.

“Now there’s no need to fear, we won’t hurt you,” the jolly fat man assured the pair of them, “We’re not those type of people. We will be taking your bodies for the rest of the season though… and, given the nature of your crimes against Christmas, I think we’ll be staying as the pair of you for the next year too.” Calum could only watch as the red and white suit began to deflate on the older man, his body losing the mass that had pushed it to its limits. Instead he began to grow taller until Santa was no longer looking up at the bodybuilder but rather looking him straight in the eye. His thick fat legs began to push out with the developing muscles of his quads and calves and his boots stretched to encompass feet that grew several sizes larger.

The bushy white beard pulled in and began to darken until it formed brown stubble along a square jawline. His wide nose thinned and long curly white hair retreated into his scalp to form a more fashionable cut that was shorter on the sides and longer on top, all just as youthfully brown as his stubble. Broad pecs began to push the jacket back apart and the sleeves were once again forced to their limit, only this time they were because of the boulder-like shoulders, the mountainous biceps and the firm triceps. The other man had completely copied his appearance and it was the most terrifying thing Calum had ever seen.

“Now, there can’t be two of us,” Santa remarked, his words spoken in a perfect copy of Calum’s own voice, “So let me just…” He lifted up his hands and clicked his fingers. Suddenly Calum felt incredibly cold and small as he fell to the ground, bouncing helplessly before rolling to a stop at his duplicate’s feet. The world looked impossibly huge around him, as if he had shrunk down to mere inches. As the hand reached down and grasped him, Calum finally began to understand why he felt so different. He was no longer a man but rather than an average decoration that wouldn’t look out of place upon the mantlepiece where he was placed.

Watching in horror as his beautiful bride-to-be befell the same fate as him, Calum wanted to scream out in anger but could do nothing. He and Kayley were forced to watch as their replacements embraced and then kissed, their hands beginning to explore their new bodies.

Calum desperately wanted to reassure his fiancée that he’d find a way out of their predicament but he wasn’t even sure that such a thing would be possible. He wasn’t one to give up easily on a fight but when he couldn’t move or talk, what was he supposed to do?

To make matters worse, an even more terrifying notion slowly began to dawn on him too: once the Christmas season was over, they’d likely be packed away and stored in the attic with the rest of the decorations. They could only hope that Mr and Mrs Claus wouldn’t forget about them up there...

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