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Better Not Cry

by on June 9, 2012

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, Ermingard had been seduced by the dark side of the Sporky Force (or, more specifically, by Twilight) and had turned to sparkly evil, stealing the stuffed manatee named Millicent that contained the dreaded Something Device, and handing it over to her new leader, Susan. Little did she know what Susan planned to do with it. I know, but I’m not telling yet. Instead, we’re going back to Catrina’s epic battle against the horde of sheep, already in progress…..

Catrina wasn’t thinking anymore. She had lost herself in the pure joy of battle, fighting without thought, almost as if she and her Sporksaber were one single weapon. It was a very philosophical moment, or it would have been, except as previously established she wasn’t really giving too much thought to philosophy. She moved automatically, her Sporksaber flashing here and striking there, her boots kicking out in well-placed snap-kicks, ducking and rolling and stabbing with the elegant grace of lightning, and still they kept coming. On and on and on, thousands of sheep, each one carrying an absurdly sharp sword or battleaxe or javelin which they meant to stab right into one of her vital organs, or even non-vital, they didn’t really care. Not one of their blades came near her, at least, not at first. She cut each sheep down as they advanced, and moved rapidly on to the next, and the next, and…..Catrina, immersed as she was in the melee, gradually became aware of a little voice niggling at the back of her mind. The little voice pointed out that, skilled as she was, she was only one person, and the sheep were legion. Also, she was beginning to slow down, ever so slightly, and she was developing a rather annoying cramp in her left knee, and then an arrow nicked her on her arm, and the little voice spoke rather more insistently that she was in very serious trouble. In fact, she was probably going to die. Catrina wondered distantly what her post-death fate was going to be this time. Ghost again? Character Heaven? Character Hell? Maybe she would be reincarnated as a newt. Catrina very much hoped it wasn’t the newt-reincarnation; she’d once had a pet newt and it was alright in its way, but she didn’t want to pursue being a newt as a lifestyle choice.

Then she tripped over a small rock and fell, and the tide of sheep surged towards her. “Well, this is it,” Catrina said resignedly, and prepared herself to be skewered by sheep. All at once there was a sudden flurry of red and green, and a strong arm snatched her out of the snow and scooped her up, and next thing she knew the sheep and the mountainside were dropping away below her. Catrina turned to see who had so fortuitously rescued her, ad gasped. She was standing in a sleigh. Bright red, painted rails, sprigs of holly here and there, a holder for hot cups of cocoa, drawn by a group of reindeer (including one with a shiny red nose)….she knew that sleigh. And the driver, holding the reins and laughing a great jolly laugh…..”Holy cow!” Catrina exclaimed. “You’re Santa!”

“Of course I am!” he boomed happily, as the sleigh slid into a swirling red and green wormhole that had just appeared in the sky. “And right on time, too, so to speak: another moment and you’d have been done for!”

“Well, yes, and I’m grateful for that,” Catrina said. “But how in the world did you get there, wherever there was?”

“Whenever is more like,” Santa corrected. “You’ve been in the 42nd century, 4191 specifically. I came there because I’m Santa, and I’ve got pretty fair control over the space-time continuum, on Christmas Eve anyway. How else do you think I get all the presents to all the world’s kids in one night? Have some cocoa, by the way?”

Catrina accepted the drink and found she rather liked it; in fact, it was the best she’d ever had. “Right, so, next question, where, or when, are we going now?”

“2016, I’m afraid,” Santa said. “I can only go back to the same Christmas Eve I started from. It’s a bit complicated, all this time travel business, and I try not to think about it anymore than I have to.”

“I’m sure I can get back to my own time from there a lot easier than 4191,” Catrina said. “And…I don’t suppose…” she scuffled a bit nervously, “I could maybe help with some of the presents?”

“Absolutely!” Santa said, laughing his big laugh again. And so they cruised on, back through the time currents until they’d reached the modern-day world.

***

“Ermingard, thanks so much for getting me that manatee. You really don’t know what that means. But now there’s another crisis. There’s a couple of people who’ll be here in a minute or so, one of them’s Catrina, and the other’s not really important. The thing is….they’re on Team Jacob. And they just came back from the future, where they stopped Edward from ever being with Bella again.”

“Oh….they are going to pay for that. Splat is coming. Splat is so very coming!”

“I thought as much.” *giggles sociopathically*.Β  ”

***

The sky was still dark as the sleigh cruised with a faint jingle bells over Edison City, but a few faint hints of dawn were just beginning to appear to the east.

“We’ve only a little bit left to do,” Santa explained. “I had just about started on that hotel in downtown when I left to go help you. We’ll just pick up where I left off, eh?”

Catrina was too thrilled to speak. She’d always wondered how Santa Claus did what he did every year, and she’d never stopped believing in him, not really anyway. The sleigh scraped gently down on the hotel roof, the reindeer came to a stop with a clatter of hooves and rustle of bells in their harnesses, and Santa and Catrina clambered out, their boots crunching on the snow that lined the roof. “Ah, I love nights like this,” Santa said, his voice full of Christmas joy, “the stars, the children dreaming of sugar plums, the snow and the lights….it’s just as my wife says, she-”

Catrina hadn’t been looking at him, she had been staring out across the sleeping city. She heard his voice go silent, and heard another sound too, an odd sort of thwip. Catrina turned, and saw Santa gazing with blank astonishment at the gleaming spork-arrow that had struck quite without warning in his chest. “But….not tonight…” he said, in a vaguely puzzled way, and then he fell to the ground.

Catrina flew to his side, the words pouring from her, “Oh no, oh no no no you’re Santa you can’t die you can’t!” She tried everything she knew, checked his pulse, did CPR, but it was too late. She couldn’t save him. But there was something else she could do about it. Catrina, her face red and blotchy with tears, rose to her feet. Her Sporksaber slid into her hand and ignited in a burst of red fury. She cast a rapid look around, searching for the person who had done this terrible thing. Then she saw a shadowed figure standing on the roof of a skyscraper across the way. Catrina ran for it, tearing across the rooftops and making a flying leap over the gaps between the buildings, and the figure ran towards her with equal fury, as clouds gathered overhead and it began, appropriately, to rain. They confronted each other in a wide rooftop amidst dirty slush. Catrina stared in shock. “Ermingard?”

Sad music began to play in the background as rain pelted down around them. “You turned Edward against me!” Ermingard yelled.

“You have done that yourself!” Catrina snapped back.

“You will not take him from me!”

“Your own sparkles and your lust for vampires have already done that,” Catrina replied. ” You have allowed this…Susan to twist your mind until now you have become the very thing you swore to destroy. Not that I remember that you ever swore to destroy sparkly vampires, but still.”

“Don’t lecture me, Catrina,” Ermingard said. “I see through the lies of the Spork Brigade. I do not fear the sparkles of the Cullens as you do.”

Deciding to skip to the good bit, Catrina replied, “Ermingard, my allegiance is to the story! To literature!”

“If you are not on Team Edward,” Ermingard shot back, “you are my enemy!”

“Only a Twilight fan deals in absolutes. Wait, that was an absolute statement, wasn’t it? Who wrote this? Anyway. Put down the spork-arrows, Ermingard,” Catrina said, going a bit off-script, “or I will end you.”

“You will try,” Ermingard said, right back on script.

The sad music cued up, joined now by a dramatic choir, as Ermingard loosed a spork-arrow at Catrina, and Catrina’s Sporksaber flew to meet it. Neither of them noticed that, a few rooftops back, Susan had leaped into Santa’s sleigh and gave the reins a decisive crack. She, the sleigh, and the Something Device disappeared into the Christmas-magic wormhole, just in time to escape yet another big kaboom in the city below, as spork again met spork, and the explosion catapulted Ermingard and Catrina clear across the rainswept city, the inhabitants of which had no idea what had just happened. As dawn came though, a good bit of the city’s children awoke to find that their trees were strangely without presents. For the first time in centuries, Santa hadn’t come, and no one knew why.

This has been a fairly intense episode of the Catrina Chronicles. For previous episodes, go here. To find out whether Christmas can ever be saved and Susan’s latest evil plan defeated, stay tuned for Episode 46, coming soon. Thanks for reading!

 

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2 Comments
  1. WHY was this episode not written around Christmas? Still, it’ll definitely do for Christmas any year πŸ˜‰ At least if it has a happy ending. And also, it could have been for Christmas in (almost) July, which weirdos in this place I live celebrate ’cause they want Christmas to be cold πŸ™‚

    btw, LOVE the whole Twilight theme you’ve got going on. Especially the Team Jacob references. It’s a crack up πŸ™‚

    • Well, Catrina’s had a Christmas episode already, I think. It’ll probably become a tradition.:P
      Ironically, I’ve never actually read Twilight, and never mean to; I dislike the series on principle. Heh.

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