Red Sleigh Down

Red Sleigh Down

“Rednose 1 to Sleigh, we’re experiencing some strong headwinds, but we’re gonna hold it steady for you. We’ll be over the target area in five,” says Rudolph into the microphone, leading the reindeer as they fly through the night. 


Santa’s sleigh whips through the arctic air, being pulled by nine reindeer, decked-out in top-of-the-line tactical optics and armor plating. The Sleigh is heavily armored and armed to the teeth with a 30mm rotary cannon, a 40mm cannon, and a 105mm howitzers, all exclusively firing flaming marshmallows. The sleigh also sports a litany of imaging systems, target acquisition, and radar systems. Santa’s sleigh is manned by a team of nine reindeer and four elves, with Santa in the pilot’s seat, guiding them all.


“Jingleman, begin a thermal and infrared scan of the area. Sugarfoot, Snazzyflakes, Candymittens, stay frosty,” 


“Yes, Santa,” barks back Jingleman as he pours over several screens and displays. Sugarfoot sits facing out the back of the Sleigh, his face covered by a high-tech helmet-mounted display. He silently observes the snow-covered valley below.


“How are we going to get this beasty back anyways,” asks Snazzyflakes with a thick cockney accent.


“Did ya not read the mission briefing ya moron,” answers Candymittens in a distinctly Scottish accent, “Imagine that, Mr. Big Gun not thinkin’ he needed to read the briefing.”


“Cut the chatter. The Blizzard isn’t the only danger that could be lurking out here,” growls Claus and the team falls silent.


As if on cue, something slams into Santa’s sleigh, with a pounding *THUMP.* A few more ruby streaks burn by the sleigh.


“We’re taking small arms fire,” calls out Jingleman over comms, “I’m not picking up anything on thermal. Shouldn’t be an issue, it’s just small arms.”


“The fact we’re taking any fire at all is concerning,” retorts Santa Claus, “And if you haven’t noticed, that’s pretty accurate for small arms fire. Rednose 1, bank sugar-side.”


“Roger that,” answers Rudolph, banking the sleigh into a shallow right banking turn, bringing the sleigh back in the direction of fire.


Claus continues, “Candy, prepare to open fire when a target is identified. Jingleman, find our shooter!”


“Ay sir, I’m locked and loaded,” replies Candymittens.


“I’m running infrared, but I can’t see anything,” says Jingleman, “I’m trying low-light, but the brush is really thick.”


Several more tracer rounds streak past the sleigh. “I can’t shoot what I can’t see,” mutters Candymittens, “Whatever it is, it’s hiding in the trees down there.”


“Well we can take care of that,” says Santa, “Prime the M.O.A.M.”


“Turning Plum, ascending to M.O.A.M engagement altitude,” interjects Rudolph.


The sleigh makes a hard left turn and begins to rapidly climb hundreds of feet before leveling out. Jingleman flips several switches and a pair of doors swing open from underneath the sleigh. A marshmallow the size of a compact car lowers in between the bay doors. A control panel sits in the middle of the mallow, with wires sprouting out of it. Chocolate peppermint bark fins sprout from the back-end of the marshmallow. The mother of all marshmallows.


“M.O.A.M primed,” parrots Jingle back to Claus. “Fire when ready,” replies Claus.


Jingleman stares at his screen, a crosshair centered on the large swathe of forest below. 


“Mallow away,” says Jingleman in focused monotone. The marshmallow releases from below the sleigh and falls towards the ground, whistling as it falls. It shrinks away, but then suddenly a bright flash illuminates the landscape like the middle of the day. A shockwave tears through the trees covering the whole area in melted, gooey marshmallow. Acres and acres of land is covered in the burning marshmallow.


“Well that’s a proper brush burnin innit? Nothin’ alive down there anymore,” says Snazzyflakes.


The sleigh flies away through the silent night, with nothing but the sound of buring forest.


But then suddenly,


*CRACK*


The sound of small arms fire echoes through the night. 


“I see something in the trees,” shouts Sugarfoot, who squeezes off several streams of mallows.


A burst of tracer rounds flash at the front and the sleigh lurches into a spin. The left rein is sheered in the gunfire, preventing Santa from trying to regain control.


“Dasher is hit, Dasher is hit,” yells Rudolph. “I’ve lost left rein control,” says Santa, a slight edge in his voice.


“We’re spinning in,” shouts Jingleman, “Everyone, brace for impact.” 


Jingelman presses a red button on his console and screams, “MAYDAY MAYDAY, RED SLEIGH DOWN.”

 

Narrated by Brandon Warner

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