—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

541 773-3373

Santa woke in a wonderful mood on his 21st day of Christmas, thinking he was going to Trinidad, one of his favorite places. Trinis are wonderful people, who live much more for today, than tomorrow. Plus, he loved their work to live outlook on life. So many people live to work, making their jobs more important than their real lives, than their family.

He shook his head as he rolled back his covers. He could never understand why so many people seemed to love their work more than their children. In his way of thinking, your life should be about your kids, not about whether you got a promotion. Heck, one can always get a new job.

Plus, the hustle and bustle of Port of Spain and St. James with their gorgeous night life, made Trinidad a stop on his December Christmas tours every year.

But when he made his way into the kitchen, still in his pajamas, Mrs. C said. “I’d really like makowiec (pronounced mak-lov-yetz) for desert tonight.”

“And you’re telling me, because why?”

“Because I’m needed with the elves all day, so I won’t have time to make it.”

“But I was going to go to Trinidad today.”

“I don’t ask all that much from you.” She smiled.

“Okay, Poland it is. Besides, I live to serve.”

So after a hearty breakfast of fried eggs over easy, just the way he liked them, with bacon, corned-beef hash and hash brown potatoes too, he set off with a smile, because this morning, instead of going on about his diet, she served him his favorite breakfast, something she hadn’t done in over a year.

She must really want those poppy seed rolls. He smiled, because he loved them too. But what’s not to love, they’re filled with dried fruit, chopped nuts and those wonderful liquor soaked raisons.

And then it dawned on him. She was up to something. The makowiec wasn’t for her. She wanted something. The breakfast, the pastry for desert. He laughed, he was on to her.

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Santa took a slow, well for him, ride the long way around the world, wondering what Mrs. C was going to ask of him. It wasn’t like her to use subterfuge. Usually, she just came out and said what she pleased.

Ah well, he thought, when Rudy and crew speed up as they flew over downtown Warsaw, coming dangerously close to the once controversial Zlota 44 skyscraper.

“The roof,” Santa thought to Rudy, loving his new power.

Landing on the roof was a breeze and taking the elevator down was easy as pie, though people were awful chatty. He supposed it was his gorgeous brown Father Christmas suit. But whatever it was, it was nice. The people he met on the way down and in the lobby all seemed happy and pleased to meet him.

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Out on the street, people nodded and waved and a few honked their horns when they passed by.

He didn’t know where he was going and like George Harrison said in that song he loved so much, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take your there.” And as he finished the thought, he spotted a trio of Lucy’s young looking, female minions talking to a young man, who had a hammer and cycle star on his hat and that made him smile, not at the pretty minions, but the fact that young people wore the old Soviet symbol like it was nothing more than a decoration.

The minions were asking directions, so he waited till the pseudo Soviet saluted goodbye and approached as the minions were looking at a map.

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“Excuse me,” Santa said and the girls looked up. “I’ve never seen minions who needed a map.”

“We didn’t used to,” the blonde in the middle said.

“But you have to now, because why?”

“Lucifer stripped us of our powers, so we’re just hanging out, till God grants us the power of wings.”

“And this is going to happen soon?”

“We hope so, but maybe not, because there’s quite a queue.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. Minions are leaving in droves, even the novices,” she said. “Ever since you defeated that unknown evil, most of us have seen the light, so to speak.”

“I’m glad.”

“But you should beware, word has it that Lucifer has something terrible planned. He’s really mad.”

“I’m be on the lookout, but right now I’ll bid you three a Merry Christmas and be on my way.”

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Less than three minutes away from the minions he spied Sebastian, a particularly evil and loyal to Lucy with a fault minion and he was wearing starter wings. They’re not visible to humans, but Santa saw them clear as day. And if Sebastian was moving up to God’s side, Lucy was in trouble deep. No wonder he’s upset.

He turned back the way he’d come, wanting to avoid Sebastian, because the Big Guy would take a dim view of him, if he messed with a starter angel. They were considered free before they had their starters or after their training and their wings had grown out, but the Big Guy wanted all immortals to stay away from them while they were in training or suffer his wrath. Even Lucy wouldn’t approach someone with starters. There were just some things that weren’t done.

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So, he wandered till dark, nodding, smiling and sometimes shaking hands. Everybody was so friendly and he was feeling very good about it all. Then, a short time after darkness feel, he came across a taxi rank. He climbed into the back of one and said, “Can you take me to a place that serves Corona?”

“Dos Tacos has Corona?” The Cabbie said.

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Ten minutes later, he was in the best Mexican restaurant in Poland. He went straight to the bar, ordered his Corona and got it. And that made for a happy Santa. So, beer in hand, he decided to check out the people in the bar and to his surprised, he found it full of Satan’s minions, drinking, laughing, happy.

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At first he was surprised that his Santa sense hadn’t gone off and warned him, but then he figured it out. He’d never seen happy minions before, which meant he was in no danger here. That’s why his Santa sense had remained quiet. These minions were all in that line, waiting for their starter wings.

Lucy must be livid.

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He left the bar after finishing his beer, turned down a dark alley, which looked like a perfect place to call Rudy from, then he remembered the makowiec for Mrs. C, so he left the alley by the way he entered it, saw a pastry shop across the street and made for it.

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He saw just what he needed straightaway, well not quite, he preferred his makowiec with frosting and these had powdered sugar on top, but he knew Mrs. C would whip up some frosting and pour it over the powdered sugar, so he was in for a double treat when he got back to the North Pole.

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Back in the alley, he found a group of black leather glad male and female minions, one with a baseball bat in hand, but again his Santa sense had not gone off, so he wasn’t worried.

“Can we get you to take our picture?” The minion with the bat held his phone out to Santa.

“Glad to be of service.” Santa took the phone and made the photograph.

“The Devil is planning something terrible,” one of the girls said, as he handed back the phone.

“You’re not in the queue are you?” Something about them told him they weren’t wanting to be angels.

“No, we’ve left the Devil, but we’ve chosen mortality instead of wings.”

“You’ll die then,” Santa said.

“True enough, but not tonight.”

“Well, if you change your mind, God will be listening.”

“We know,” the minion with the bat said, “and you should know this, millions are going to die. Think nuclear war or a plague. We don’t know what, but it’ll be bad.”

This was his second warning and this one was more dire than the first, but still Lucy wouldn’t harm millions for no reason. The Big Guy wouldn’t stand for it. Besides, Lucy was a buy your soul kind of guy. He liked to give people a chance, knowing that if he gives them what they desire, they almost always sell it.

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He left the alley, having decided to wander the streets with Mrs. C’s pastry for awhile, which turned into hours. He lost his sense of time as he tried to figure out what Lucy could be up to. But in the end, unable to think of anything, he thought called Rudy and waited.

He liked to think in black and white terms. On one hand you had good, the other evil. There was up, there was down. But sometimes yellow crept in, chasing away the shades of grey, because the world wasn’t a black and white place. Neither were Heaven or Hell.

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He needed to be home with her pastry before his wife woke, so at daybreak he summoned Rudy and sat back in his sleigh as his reindeer pulled him home, flying mere meters above Warsaw’s skyline.



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