His competitor slain, Godzilla had turned his anger on a number of nearby buildings. His energy spent, the lizard king had pounded off to the city park. The giant monster laid down, crushing trees as he went, and fell fast asleep.
Jacob stared off at the horizon from Santa’s sleigh, his chin propped up on his fist. “It’s been twenty minutes, Fred.”
“Miracles take time, boy.” The old man was rummaging around in Santa’s sack.
Jacob turned around. “Come on, Fred. Haven’t you messed things up enough?”
“…No.” He shoved his head into the bag and continued rooting around.
“Of course not.” Jacob sighed, returning his gaze to the horizon. He heard a very faint boom. He felt the building beneath them tremble slightly.
Fred popped his head out of Santa’s sack. “Did you let one?”
“That wasn’t me…” An impossibly large shadow loomed over the horizon in the distance, dimming the glow of the city. Jacob half-stood. “What the…”
The shadow grew larger. Two glowing, blood red eyes breached the skyline. Jacob stood and stared. “Fred, what is that…”
Fred crawled out of the sack and stood on the roof. He pulled a telescope out of his back pocket. He gave it a shake, extending it several feet. He held it up to his eye with shaking arms.
He let out a chuckle. “Didn’t I tell ya! It’s our Christmas miracle!”
A sound like a mighty horn sounded across the sky. The air itself shivered, and the massive creature was closer twice over. The massive beast’s eyes cast fear and sorrow on all who fell within their devilish glow.
Its head resembled that of a squid. The many tentacles stretched out into the night, flicking a thick, dark ichor onto the ground below. Perched precariously atop its head was a bright red Santa hat.
The air shimmered again, bringing the dark god Cthulhu before the slumbering Godzilla. The lesser beast stirred, then cried out as he took in the sight of the old god. The lizard king pushed himself to his feet, but still fell several stories short of the mighty Cthulhu.
Despite this, Godzilla roared in defiance. The dark god only stared, tentacles silently whipping at the night. Godzilla roared atomic fire at Cthulhu, temporarily lighting his immense black body.
Cthulhu now answered back. His mighty roar was both mournful and rage-filled, sorrowful and ripe with vengeance. Godzilla stumbled back, the dark green of his scales fading to a deathly gray.
A massive, slimy hand shot forth, capturing the once-mighty lizard. Cthulhu held the creature before him and stared. Godzilla screamed in agony as he was bathed in the hateful red light of the old god’s eyes.
Cthulhu chucked the drained creature into the night. Wherever Godzilla fell that night, it was far enough away that Fred and Jacob never heard him return to earth nor water. The old god turned his attention to the two gentlemen, perhaps hearing their very souls.
Fred was still smiling. He walked towards the edge of the roof, even as Jacob buried himself in Santa’s sack. Fred slow-clapped. “Now that, was fucking, awesome!“
The air shivered once more. The massive head of Cthulhu hovered before Fred. The red glare did not appear to bother the old farmhand. Jacob peered nervously from his hiding place, shivering uncontrollably from what, he knew not.
“You always did know how to put on a show. Love the hat!” Fred held up his hand for a high-five. One of Cthulhu’s many tentacles arced down and slapped against the offered hand.
Fred rubbed the black ichor onto his pants. “Ayup… Now, for the rest of the miracle, if you don’t mind?”
Cthulhu’s black fist hovered over the edge of the building. It opened over the roof, dropping a crumpled figure covered in dark green slime. The figure stirred. A bright white light emanated through the slime covering its body.
A humming came from the figure. The slime exploded off of the figure, revealing the nude body of “Santa!” Jacob popped out of the sack and stumbled onto the roof. “You’re alive!”
Santa Claus stood shakily, covering his jingle bells. He turned to Fred and scowled. “No thanks to HIM!”
Fred frowned. “Aw, now… Don’t be sore, cousin! I fixed ya, didn’t I?”
“Fixed? FIXED! You killed me, took my clothes, and then systematically destroyed Christmas!”
“Well, not all of it! Just for these guys.” Fred vaguely gestured at the carnage down below.
Santa grimaced darkly. “Give me my clothes.” Fred blew a raspberry and flopped his way out of the loose-fitting outfit. The clothing glowed faintly before travelling through the air and onto the grateful Claus.
“Much better. Now…” Santa stomped over to the sleigh. “Excuse me, Jacob.” He reached past the stunned man and into his toy sack. He came out with a small green package adorned with a red bow.
He paced back over to the edge of the building and held it up. “Merry Christmas, Cthulhu. Thank you for the uh, interesting assist.” The old god rumbled in thanks, plucking the package from Santa with a tentacle.
“Back to the depths with you, old friend.” Cthulhu shrugged his massive shoulders. The ungodly horn sounded once more, the air shivered, and the god of old was gone from sight.
Jacob walked to Santa on rubbery legs. “You… Him… Cousins?”
“Unfortunately!” He glared at the old farmhand. “Right now though, we have a holiday to save!”
“But, how? It’s so late, and…” Jacob gestured sadly to the destruction below.
“Late! Ha! It’s never too late for Santa Claus! As for the unbridled devastation…” He returned his attention to Fred.
“Aw… Do I have to?”
“Maybe they’re better off dead! You never know…”
“Oh, fine.” Fred stuck his thumb in his mouth and started to blow. His body began to fill out like a balloon. He became airborne as he grew larger.
“Jacob, my boy! Would you do me the honor of slapping your unfortunate friend out over the carnage below?”
The young man grinned. “With pleasure!” He ran towards the rapidly growing Fred-balloon and gave him a good whack. Fred cried out, floating out over the side of the building.
“There he is. All right! Jacob, into the sleigh, and quickly!” Jacob did as he was asked. Santa urged the reindeer into the night sky as soon as the young man was seated.
Santa circled around the giant Fred balloon. He handed Jacob a slingshot. “Have at it, boy!”
“Really. He’ll probably enjoy it, the sick bastard.” Santa scowled.
Jacob smirked, knowing the jolly old elf was probably correct. He aimed true, firing a pebble into Fred’s side. The old man went off like an overstuffed pinata.
Sparkling snow fell over the ravaged town. Everything it touched shimmered and became whole again. Victims stood, cars fixed themselves, the liquor store was uncrushed once more.
Santa swooped the sleigh downwards, deftly catching Fred’s disembodied head in Jacob’s lap. “Oh, man! GROSS!”
Fred stared up at Jacob, cackling. “I always wanted to be a head in life!” Jacob juggled the head to a spot between him and Santa.
“Will he… um… be okay?”
“Unfortunately,” Santa grumbled. “The rest of him should grow back by the time we’re done delivering presents. YAW!” Santa cracked the reins, sending the unlikely trio soaring into the night.
So it was, through Santa’s holiday magic, that Christmas was saved. Cthulhu retired to the depths to enjoy his ultra-rare 1995 pink crab beanie baby. Godzilla nursed his wounds in the seas off of Japan. Fred? He eventually became more of a man.
And everyone else had a very, very merry Christmas.