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I am a sick and twisted cookie.

Written for Chuck Wendig’s blog, a flash fiction challenge on the literal “War on Christmas.”

I present – Peter’s Pains

“Scream Frosty, scream.”

The animated snowman screamed, sounding just like a whiskey soaked old man being jammed with hot pokers.  Those hot pokers were pencil thin, and the sounds of his screams didn’t completely cover the hiss of steam as heated metal plunged into compacted snow.

Black Peter watched, eyes alight as his victim writhed with little stick arms strapped to the table.  A huge black beard, singed from countless half lit chimneys, made Peter look like a pirate gone mad.  His skin was cracked like a miner’s, and stained with coal dust that no amount of bathing would entirely wash away.  Huge, callused hands held the thin, heated rods with an almost delicate care as he decided where to plunge the implements next.  Dozens of small holes already leaked water onto the floor, crystallized ice around the wounds looking very much like glittering scabs.

“You will tell me where that fat bastard is hiding himself,” Peter said.  His voice was rough from coal dust, and very sure of itself.  It was only a matter of time.

The snowman hacked, small bits of ice dribbling from his lips.  Eyes that were far more alive than two lumps of coal had a right to be narrowed defiantly.  Twig fingers clenched in pained rage.

“Never!  Not in a thousand Christmases!”

All around the two, Peter’s minions worked on other captives.  The few survivors of the Army of Nick were wishing they had died with their comrades.  The Pole had fallen, after a month’s siege.

Two grinches, their green fur matted with sweat and dried sugar, held down a gingerbread man.  A third pressed a cloth over the confection’s frosting mouth and poured milk over the rag.   “Milkboarding” had already dissolved most of the cookie’s brothers, eating them away from the inside out.   Their remains littered the floor, gumdrop buttons crushed under grinch feet.

The Krampus was instructing several miniature versions of himself on the finer points of torture.   The Claus had never allowed his demon-slave to breed before, but under Black Peter’s rule Krampus had already sired a dozen imps.  Children were in short supply in the Pole, so they had to make do with elves for their lessons.  The Krampus smiled proudly as imp giggles mingled with elven sobs.

“I have his sleigh,” Peter said to his snowy victim.  “The fat bastard couldn’t have gotten far without it.”

Steam hissed and Frosty tried to hold back the sounds of his agony.  He wished for his old corncob pipe to bite down on.  Tears dribbled from coal eyes, leaving dark streaks on his face.

“You think Old Nick needs the sleigh to travel?  That’s just to carry the toyYYyS!”  Frostry shrieked the last word as Peter ground a hot piece of metal into his eye.  The smell of charcoal was deeply satisfying to the villain.

“You will tell me.   My vengeance will not be complete until the fat man begs at my feet.”

“You fool.  You will never be anything more than sorrow and regret.  You can not kill the spirit of  Christmassss-“

The hiss of steam mingled with the hiss of pain, as Peter became impatient and shoved his implements into the snowman’s mouth.

After the pain subsided, Frosty gave him a torn, half melted grin.   Triumph filled the North’s greatest general even as his tongue and lips dribbled down his chin.  Now he could never succumb and betray his master.

Peter threw his tools down in disgust.  Furious with himself and the obscene, twisted smile of his captive.  For a second he just stood and stared, as impotently enraged as a child who had just opened a lovely wrapped box of tube socks.  The moment passed quickly, and he signaled to a ferocious looking yeti who lurked nearby.

“Take it away, and burn it’s old top hat,” Peter said.  “Then… bring me the reindeer.”

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