by Stanley Lieber


tags: 1964, mars2, santa_claus, tab2, trolls

24 December. Late.

"Yes, a lack of working capital is holding me back."

"No, I’m not clicking that."



Last Christmas, TAB2 had clicked. It had been a bit of a disaster, ultimately leading to his manager putting him on steps, and he’d never even claimed the working capital. This year, if he had anything to say about it, he wasn’t getting red teamed by H.R ever again. All of his contraband was safely squirreled away in the wall behind his manager’s desk, not even making animal noises or trying to chew through the drywall. He had gotten it done. No more tears.

The trolls lived under the hills which they cranked up in order to peer at the outside world. Dotting the Christmas desert were circular, sprinkled perforations marring the otherwise unblemished complexion of the winter frost, like Oreoes pitched into a glass of milk, or the hindquarter of the original prototype model of the Millennium Falcon. It looked good enough to eat (or play with), if the trolls had been into that sort of thing. As it was they hated Disney, and so they bided their time, staying hungry, which according to local slang must have been a good thing, but mostly just complained amongst themselves about products they intended to buy.

Across the surface of Mars hills clicked back into place as Santa’s sleigh swept the horizon. Chatter online indicated his craft had been spotted gleaming the frozen, shimmering atmosphere twenty minutes prior. All around the world children scrolled feverishly, scouring their Gorgon feeds for war or rumors of war.

I mean, why else would he possibly be here?