(Artwork above is from a 70s Playboy cover by Haddon Sundblom, who is rather more well known for his other Christmas art.)
Christmas Eve, and Santa was more stressed than he'd been in months. Lists to check (twice), an elf rebellion to quell (the little buggers had gotten into the egg nog and were refusing to finish up the last few toys), last-minute transportation arrangements to handle (Rudolph, usually reliable, had been found dead drunk in a snowbank, muttering something about being a misfit). Santa wished grimly for a drink, and went back to rechecking the "naughty" list.
"Awwww. Is Papa all stressed out?" he heard from behind him.
Turning, he beheld a vision. A Christmas hat cocked at a jaunty angle. Golden hair framing an angelic -- no, make that a devilish smile. And the shortest red robe he'd ever seen. Not to mention the spectacular body it was just barely hiding.
"Here," she cooed. "Let me take care of that." And she spread her robe like she was unwrapping a gift.
Ten minutes later, Santa was feeling much more jolly. "Ho! Ho! Ho!" he boomed cheerfully. "I've gotten my present; time to get all the good girls and boys their presents too!
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Claus," she grinned.
"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Claus," he replied, and kissed her tenderly.
Your challenge for today was to use the picture above and write a flash fiction of 121-199 words. Additionally, I provided a key phrase I wanted to see used somewhere in the submission:
"...unwrapping a gift..."
Nobody's checking word counts, or for the key phrase, but you're only cheating yourself if you break the rules. Unless you're doing it to earn a spanking (in which case, see me after class).
Special Bonus Director's Commentary Track:
This was partially inspired by Jimmy Buffett's highly amusing island-flavored Christmas tune "Ho Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum" (listen to it on Youtube here; lyrics are here if you really have trouble figuring them out). Who has more reason to be stressed during the Christmas season than Santa himself? I mean, the number of things he has to keep track of must be just ridiculous. And aside from the odd household that leaves out cookies and milk for him, how many people ever say thanks? I like to think that Santa's wife does what she can to help keep him unstressed, and I also like to think that someone who's that cheerful must have a very happy and very active sex life. So I wrote a little piece where Santa gets a nice bout of happy holiday sex from his loving wife and the problems he's dealing with just melt away. If you don't like that, well, humbug to you. :)
Eagle-eyed readers, or at least readers with the same exposure to children's TV specials, may also have noted the tip of the hat to the old Rankin-Bass animated "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" holiday special, both in the title and in the piece itself. I will never tire of watching that; there are so many happy memories associated with it. I never thought Rudolph was a misfit, but then that may just be because I was something of a weird misfit myself, growing up. And "Papa" is just what Mrs. Claus calls Santa in that special; there's no Santa-daughter incest going on here. :)
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Please note that there is no participants list this week as I am traveling for personal and business reasons and have limited access to email and to Blogger. I hope you enjoyed this week's pic and challenge. Check back here on Monday for the next challenge, and if you have any photos or artwork you'd like to see in a future challenge, please send them my way.