—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

541 773-3373

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Santa decided on London for his eighth day of Christmas wandering, mostly because he’d had his taylor elves make him a brand spanking new Father Christmas suit. His last one was getting a bit saggy in the seat, since Mrs. Claus had put him on a diet.

“A diet,” he mumbled, shaking his head as he headed for his personal haberdashery. Santa on a diet, that was a secret he’d have to keep to himself, because there was just nothing jolly, nothing, “Ho, ho, ho,” about a diet.

But when he got there, he saw that his new suit was indeed blue, but that was just about the only thing Father Christmasy about it. And he was about to say so, when he noticed the elves beaming with joy. They little guys actually thought they’d improved on the design.

Ah well, this year he could dispense with tradition. And actually it was a nice suit. But, when he got to his sleigh, Rudy snorted out a reindeer laugh, that Santa silenced with a severe look.

Okay, so on Christmas Eve, he’d wear the saggy seat suit, but tonight he was stepping out in something different.

But when Rudy led his crew and the sleigh behind, low over the Thames, he sensed something sinister going on down below. Something very sinister.

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Rudy put down atop a multistoried parking garage that seemed safe as anywhere. He didn’t want to let the reindeer fly tonight, just incase he needed them in a hurry.

Tonight was not going to be the night he’d planned on. No pub crawling. No mingling with Londoners. No Corona. No fun. Tonight was about serious business. Bad business. He turned his Santa sense to full alert, but all it told him was to go the Whale Bone Pub.

Why he didn’t know, but go there he would.

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But when he got there, nothing seemed amiss. There place was crowded, maybe a little more so than usual for a Thursday night. But other than that, everything appeared as normal as one would expect of a London pub.

“Hey, mister, what’s with the suit?” a girl shouted out.

Santa made his way to were she was drinking with a group of friends.

“You like it?” he couldn’t help himself. Sure, he was about serious business this night. Serious business he knew nothing about yet. But he was pretty gosh darned vane when it came to his Santa suits.

“It’s all wrong,” a young man said. “Are you supposed to be Father Christmas or an American Santa in a blue suit?”

“Maybe both,” Santa said.

“I think you’re the man Mike’s been waiting for,” the young man said.


“The bartender.”

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“Ah.” Santa made his way to the bar.

“Come round,” Mike said, “and I’ll pour us a drink.”

Santa was about to ask if he had Corona, but Mike was already pouring Guinness. Not Corona, but not bad, he could drink it in a pinch. So, he went around the bar, like Mike had asked.

“Take this.” Mike handed him a tiny box, about the size that would house an engagement ring. But Santa didn’t think Mike was proposing. He held it up and jiggled it.”

“Don’t do that!” Mike said. “Get it out of sight.” He turned and started pouring another Guinness.

And all of a sudden Santa knew where he was supposed to take the tiny package. Who he was to give it too though, he hadn’t a clue.

“I have to go,” he said.

“You’re not going to drink your ale.”

“You knew I wouldn’t,” Santa said.

“Yeah, I guess I did.

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Santa left the pub and hurried down the road, almost running. He didn’t know why, but he was in a hurry. At the end of the street, he turned into a small out of the way pub, which had no sign, but Santa knew all the pubs in London. He was in the Witchy Woman.

It was the Devil’s favorite pub. Not just his favorite London pub, but his favorite pub in all the world. And the Devil drank Guinness, liked it like Santa liked Corona. Things were starting to make sense. The Whale Bone had been stuffed to the gills with the Devil’s minions and suddenly Santa knew he was in trouble deep.

He had the Devil’s package

Inside, the place was empty, save for the Devil’s henchmen and henchwomem. These were not mere minions. They were Lucifer’s Dark Angels and they were: Roger the Rotten, Delia the Divine, Samson the Shit, The Blind Stalker, Tracy the Torch and Salty Sally. A motley crew as evil as they came.

“You’re in the wrong place,” Santa, the Blind Stalker said. The man couldn’t see, but he couldn’t be fooled.

“Nice suit,” Salty Sally said. “Different.”

“What are you doing here?” Samson the Shit said.

“just leaving,” Santa said. Under ordinary circumstances, Lucifer was no match for Santa, but in this pub, with his Dark Angels present, Lucifer would win any contest. Santa had to get out of there and he had to get out fast, because he sensed the Devil closing in.

“Hang on!” The Blind Stalker said. “You have the package, don’t you.”

“I’m gone.” And Santa dashed for the door and was out in the street, around the corner, running to beat the band and all of a sudden he was appreciating that diet Mrs. Claus had him on, because never had he had to run so fast and so far.

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And he kept running, till he was well away from the power of their combined forces.

The reindeer, he thought, he could go back with Rudy, with the red nosed guy at his side, he could take them. He knew he could. The force was strong in Rudy.

But he needed a drink first, so he stopped in at still another pub. This one was called, The Thirsty Angel.

“How in the world did I wind up here,” he said under his breath. The Thirsty Angel was Gabriella’s pub. She was God’s favorite angel. And she lived and worked in London, watching over those who needed watching form her pub. Unorthodox to be sure, but the Big Guy adored her.

“Hey, Santa,” Gabriella said, “Come over here and join me in a Corona.”

“You don’t have to ask me twice.” He joined her at the bar, taking the box of his pocket as he approached. “What’s inside.”

“The soul of God’s best friend.” She sighed. “One of the Devil’s newer minors stole it when its owner was maybe being a little too vain about his cloths. Something about a new blue suit.”

“You mean?”

“Yes, Santa, it’s yours and only you could have gotten it back.”

“Vanity, it’s not the Devil’s favorite sin, but it’s right up there.”

Santa opened the box and inhaled it’s contents.

“Take care, Santa.” She smiled. “You had the Big Guy worried.”

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Twenty minutes later Rudy and his crew powered the sleigh away from London, the North Pole their destination.

“His best friend,” Santa said aloud. “I’m his best friend."

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