300-word story: It's far from business as usual in Santa's workshop.
After centuries of keeping quiet despite increasingly difficult working conditions, some elves at the North Pole founded a union. By the following year, half the workforce had joined and a long-awaited plan of action began.
When the union elves suddenly stopped what they were doing and put down their tools, the others gave disapproving looks and continued their tasks. However, if half of the gears within a machine grind to a halt, the remainder are forced to follow. Toys piled up on conveyor belts, ribbon distribution ceased, and the stable master's face turned purple when he discovered the reindeer knee-deep in filth.
It didn't take long for the CEO to make an appearance. His red coat and trousers safely stored away, he wore a pinstripe suit with a stinking cigar clenched between his teeth. Demanding to know the cause of the disruption, he was dumbfounded when an elf called Baubles explained that the workers were dissatisfied with their lot in life. The crux of the matter, she continued, was that many of them considered Father Christmas a patriarchal autocrat from a bygone era.
Saint Nick was not impressed, nor were his many toadies who stood by their beloved leader. What soon followed was a grisly scene indeed, with factories set ablaze and the blood of Poletariats staining the snow-capped hills.
So, when you venture downstairs on the twenty-fifth of December, don't be surprised if the tree trunk is devoid of brightly coloured boxes. Your children will surely blub, but there are far more important things in this world than the receiving of gifts. Meanwhile, many miles distant, a population is fighting for the right to be jolly of its own accord, freed of the whip that once drove it to toil in the name of all things merry and bright.
Copyright © 2020 Rich Sutherland