by Max Pearson

It crawled out of the ice at the top of the world,
Averting its face from the light.
A sheen from the mist that enveloped of the thing
Made its eyes appear eager, and bright.

After righting itself at a frozen lagoon
Under skies drawn inexorably gray,
This cross between death and a slinking baboon
Shivered slightly, and wandered away.

At a wolf's graceless pace it approached Winter Town,
Its paws trailing blood through the snow.
In quiet resolve went this lumbering clown,
With appetites dark as a soot-covered crow.


The Clauses were snugly asleep in their bed,
The elves were asleep on their shelves,
The toys were gift-wrapped, prayers were said,
And all were right pleased with themselves.

But then on the window a shadow appeared,
And crawled along each pane on glass.
The stench of the beast floated through and adhered
To aromas like nutmeg and fresh-polished brass.

On the mantelpiece, covered with stockings, a clock
Counted hours by knelling a somber 'ticktock.'
(For you see, at the North Pole t'was nary a lock
Or a bolt anywhere.)   Ticktock. Ticktock.

Through a door decked in garland the evil thing crept.
Not a creature was stirring, the good creatures slept.
Down a hallway of tinsel and ribbons and lace,
Went the beast, bulbous nose aloft, sniffing the place.

The shelving exploded with bones, hair, and teeth,
The elves' tiny bodies were rent.
A foreman who valiantly tried to defend them
Now knew what to be naughty meant.

The Clauses were mangled, their soft parts exposed,
The monster was hungry and mean.
Outside, elfen entrails enlivened the snowscape
And splashed color onto the scene.

Twelve restless reindeer, haphazardly harnessed,
Watched stricken the last of the fray.
Their mouths cut by bits, manes poorly tressed,
Awaiting their 'Up! And away!'

The beast, sacks of toys tucked under each arm,

Blood dripping each step of the way,
Loped across Santa's moonlit and powdery lawn,
To lay them, like babes, in his sleigh.


Max City