######Worked on this for like a week. In any case, I’m proud of what I did, it even sort of inspired me to be a writer. Nevermind, I just realized my brain is melted. Hope everyone enjoys and good luck to everyone else.
WARNING: LONG READ(it’s broken up into three parts though, and each part is broken up into “scenes”)
And Battle Goes On: A Christmas Story
“It would be nice,” Bucket thought. He turned on the speaker in Cabot’s room. “Marshal, what do you think about decorating the place up, in a holiday spirit?”
Undoing his boot laces, Cabot immediately replied, “Hmm, I didn’t think of that. It would certainly distract the crew, might even make a few homesick.”
“Is that necessarily a bad thing?” Bucket questioned.
“No. I didn’t say that.” Cabot collected his thoughts. “I know some would be opposed, thinking we need to focus on the mission at hand, but perhaps it’s them who need it most.”
“Good to hear, and if anything goes wrong while we’re gone, we can blame it on the devil.” Bucket said, sarcastically.
The speaker cut off.
Val awoke quickly. She tried to remember where she was while grabbing her poison dart gun. “Go back to sleep,” Caira mumbled. Valerie remembered it all-Shear, her comrades, the mission- in a flash; she lowered her weapon slowly.
“Do you hear that?” Val asked.
“What is it with you and hearing things in the night?” Caira grouched, “it just sounds like music; it’ll help you fall asleep you know.”
“No, that’s not just any music.”
Abe wondered why Parnell had been in the bathroom for the past 40 minutes. He only took this long when he had eaten Hank’s grilled canyon eel. The soft sound of music captured his focus. “What the fuck? It can’t be. That sneaky son of a bitch!” He wasn’t surprised or angry that Parnell would get up early for Christmas eve; he just felt like shouting profanity.
He walked out their cabin and out to the briefing room, not surprised at the decorated tree.
Hyde sniffed once… twice, three times. “You smell that?”
“Do you hear the sweet, soft music?” Markov was in glee; he finally had his chance to be Santa.
Hyde ignored Markov’s question, “that right there is the smell of burning meat. I love the smell of burning meat, and I love eating it for Brady Bunch.”
“Ha ha ha,” Markov chuckled, “you like the ham? Yes. It is delicious.” Markov turned on his light and grabbed his santa hat.
They both got up out of bed to find everyone else doing the same; they all wandered to the briefing room, drawn to the christmas music.
“Good morning everyone.” Bucket’s head swiveled around and addressed Cabot, Lennox, Hyde, Markov, Torvald, Lazarus, Jack, Maggie, Daisy, Sunny, Caira, Val, Parnell, Abe, Crow, Griffin, and Hank, who were all sitting around the large, metallic table. “On your way here, you heard the holiday music playing throughout the ship, unless you’re deaf of course,” the music played, “I played it to ‘set the mood’ as you would say; it also worked as a perfect alternative to the normal wake up alarm.”
“Why are we listening to this crap Bucket?” Val said so bluntly it almost sounded like a statement rather than a question.
“Woahoho Wolski, cheer up. Santa give you coal or something?” Abe heckled. Everybody sighed internally.
“Abe,” she turned directly toward him, unhinged, “clearly something is going on and I want to know what.”
“Yeah, yeah, of course you would,” Hyde commented.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Val knew exactly what it meant.
“Everybody calm down,” Cabot firmly said, “give Bucket your time.”
“Thank you. I thought it would be nice if we took a break from the mission tomorrow, in respect to the holidays, yes, but also in a well needed break.”
“There is no need for a break. We only need to hunt the monster,” Tovald said.
“Break? Break? Who needs a bloody break?” Griffin asked.
“I’ve noticed that all of you humans are susceptible to growing weary, even world famous huters. You’ve all grown cranky, and quite frankly, a little mean.” Bucket said with an emotional twang.
Cabot elaborated, “the point of the matter is that every single one of you is important out there, and teamwork is of the utmost importance when taking down these beasts. We have all gotten a little unappreciative of one another, what just happened can attest to that, and it needs to come to an end.” He quelled most opposition.
“I can back that up,” Parnell agreed.
“Yes. You make a compelling argument, even if only discussed because of a childish holiday,” Lazarus’s voice echoed.
“Oh goodie. I’ve already decorated the place up,” Bucket joyfully added. His chassis started to hand out the morning’s breakfast. The room fell silent for a moment. The clang of silverware could be heard throughout the ship.
“So… I was thinking, and I was wondering who was going to be Santa… I mean, someone’s got to dress up right?” Sunny stared at Hank, who didn’t budge.
“Yes. I thought you would ask little one. It is time for Markov to dress up for the Christmas.” Markov was too excited.
“Hee hee,” Sunny giggled, “awwww, Markov, you’re funny.” Markov’s stomach fell like a stone.
“Yes. A funny joke.” Markov tried to smile.
Griffin mused, “I think what Sunny here is trying to say, is that Mr. Hank ought to dress up, ain’t that right?”
“Aw hell. I’m Santa every year, every where I go, you know that.” Hank responded, defensively.
“Right, you look like one,” Sunny explained.
“Why can’t Lazarus or Griffin be Santa? They both got beards don’t they?”
“What? Me be Santa? Your half mad there.” Griffin refused.
“I’m no mere clown,” Lazarus stated.
“Hell,” Hank paused, “I don’t care, I’m done being Santa.”
“So then, Markov will take up the duty.” Markov peered. Sunny completely ignored him.
“Aw come on Hank.” Sunny pushed.
“Hank, if anyone were to be Santa it’d be you.” Caira jumped in.
“I can’t argue with that,” Maggie said.
“No. I ain’t doin’ it. Thanks for the breakfast Bucket. I’ll be in my room if anyone needs me.” Hank mumbled, setting his silverware onto his half eaten breakfast. He walked out of the room.
“Huh.” said Crow.
“What? What is it?” asked Lennox.
“Slim,” Crow explained, “not here… huh.”
“Yeah… Val hates christmas, Bugman hates christmas, hell, only medic who doesn’t hate christmas is Caira," said Abe.
“Actually, I’ve never celebrated christmas before," Caira explained, “it’s not really a common thing on Earth.”
“It’s just kind of archaic you know. Bigger, brighter things to worry about.”
“I hear you,” Val said.
“Well, gang. Better make it a bright ass christmas,” Abe chuckled.
“I think I got a trick up my sleeve,” Parnell said.
“Ah yes.” Bucket concluded.
One by one, the team got up and prepared. They didn’t know exactly when it would happen, but there would be a monster spotted, and they’d be needed. Tomorrow would be different though.
Alas, it wasn’t christmas day; the alarm did toll. Cabot’s heavy metal boots could be heard stomping down the corridor.
“Come on people let’s go, it’s only stage one for so long,” he commanded.
“Hold on, the Thunder Child’s got a slight malfunction,” Lennox yelled back, from her room. “Damn, thing, why won’t you close,” she said under her breath as if it wasn’t complying just to spite her. Meanwhile, Jack slipped in.
“Hey, uh, Lennox,” he squealed.
“Do you uh, you know what Sunny likes? Like for a christmas present” He asked, scratching the back of his head.
“Woah, uh, another time?”
“Stop being a wise ass, you know I was talking to this piece of junk.”
Cabot boomed, “Lennox! We drop in 30 seconds, get your ass in here!”
“I’ll be there in time,” she responded; she continued to Jack, “I don’t know, Sunny’s a girl, girls like jewelry, right?”
“Uh, I guess so but does Sunny like jewelery?”
Lennox was focused on fixing the Thunder Child; “Yeah. Of course she does. She probably like tinkering with things more but hell, why wouldn’t she like jewelery.”
“We can leave with Markov instead!” Cabot was serious. Markov was not, however.
“There! Fixed right up.” Lennox hopped into her suit. “Arthur.”
“Yeah.” Jack was stunned.
“Close this hatch for me.” She motioned toward a panel on the side of the mech’s leg. He closed it. She started towards the door, the footsteps beating the floor. She paused without turning around, “good luck with your gift.”
Lennox turned around in her hulking suit, looked at her son for a moment, and then stomped toward the evac room. Jack wanted to imagine she was smiling behind her glowing red helmet.
Dim light fluttered in from all directions, but there no shadows lied upon the bleak gray of the Laurie-Ann. The monstrosity was loosely strapped to the hull. He stared at the stars, but more importantly, he tried to forget the memories surfaced by the thoughts of Christmas. “Damn,” he said, but the sound didn’t go anywhere. He undid the buckle holding him down; “if only it were that easy,” he thought.
The entry bay opened up, and he walked through the first doors. The room’s pressure stabilized and he took in a breath for the first time in four hours.
The ship’s inhabitants were mostly asleep by now. Crow sat in the large room with the viewing window facing the cold, drab, and empty world when the creature meandered in. “Slim,” greeted Crow.
“Crow,” a hollow voiced returned.
The alien with a glass of water walked to the open chair and slumped down into it. The room stood quiet, and empty. The room felt like a vast vacuum; it wasn’t much different than where he was before. He lifted the glass to his mouth to take a sip but he drew a blank; the glass froze near what could’ve been a face. Crow sat down and leaned his back against the wall, next to the tree. They both relished in the silence.
The aberration feared his past. The holidays only made the memories worse. He used the battle to forget about them; why would his friends do this to him? They weren’t his friends.
On the contrary, Crow took pleasure in his memories; he knew that he would eventually look back on this very moment with the same pleasure, and that’s all he needed to be content.
An hour passed.
The monstrosity’s feet scraped the floor as he stood up. He glided toward his bed that only made him feel more alien.
Sunny awoke to Daisy licking her hand. It was wet, rough, and cold. “Good girl,” she said, she giggled after Daisy’s tail started to wag. “Do you know what day it is?” Daisy’s wide glassy eyes stared back at Sunny; Daisy could smell it and she prodded Sunny for answers.
“Shhhh. You can’t let anyone know… I want it to be a surprise.” Sunny slipped out of her bed. She creeped out of her room; Parnell and Daisy were right behind her.
“Merry christmas, Sunny,” he said.
“Merry christmas to you too Parnell,” she smiled widely.
They both had planned weeks in advance for christmas and had carefully chosen gifts for everybody.
“Everything wrapped and ready to go?” Parnell asked.
“Yeah,” she said in a sort of wonder, “ this is gonna be awesome!”
All of them now in the viewing room, the room with the large window, Sunny opened a hatch on the side of a present, and dropped some of Daisy’s dinner in. “Sorry girl, I didn’t know how else to do this without ruining it.”
“Daisy’ll be alright; she’s tough.” Parnell encouraged.
Bucket was listening to them the entire time and only now interjected, “I see you two are up early. What is that?”
“Almost forgot about you Bucket,” chuckled Parnell.
“Well… it’s a present.” Sunny explained.
“I gathered that. I meant,” Bucket paused for an instant, “what’s inside it?”
“Bucket!” Sunny giggled, “that would ruin the point!”
“Oh, yes. I suppose. I guess I can safely assume it is for me then?”
“No, I’ll tell you that much.” Sunny said.
“Well then. That’s no fun at all.”
“We still got you one Bucket, don’t worry.” Parnell said.
Abe walked in, yawning, “When’s breakfast?”
“Merry christmas to you too, Abe,” Bucket grumbled.
“Right, right. Merry christmas everybody,” Abe clarified.
“Breakfast should be done SoonTM enough.”
“Good, I’m starving.” Abe fretted.
“Ain’t that right,” Hyde agreed, walking in, “Where’s this ham I’ve been getting Jimmy’s of?”
More hunters flooded the viewing room where Crow and Slim were only an hour ago; eventually everybody had joined them but Jack, Hank, and Slim. The lights slowly brightened, eventually crescendoing into glimmering tiny festivals of red, white, and green. After minutes of wishing each other a merry christmas, they headed into the briefing room for breakfast.
“Oi, Bucket, this right here is fuckin’ paradise,” Hyde complimented.
“Yes. A welcome change.” Torvald added.
Jack stumbled into breakfast, late. He wasn’t going to get up early if he didn’t have to.
“Did you guys see all those presents? There’s so many! I mean-,” Jack lowered his mask, which he always kept around, “the Jackal is enchanted by all these presents.”
“No. I didn’t see any presents at all. Where were they? Caira was obviously being sarcastic.
In his hero voice, “down the stairs, in the-,” he stopped, resuming in his own voice, “hey wait a minute, I-I mean,” he switched back to his hero voice, “the Jackal cannot be fooled by your trickery, he sees all traps from a mile away.”
“Right,” Val gestured.
Everyone continued to eat their food. The sun started to shine behind Shear.
“Ho ho ho,” a voice echoed down the halls.
“Hahaha, I knew you’d cave in mate!” Griffin said.
“Yeah right!” Hank returned, “you’er all surprised, admit it. None of you thought cousin Hank would dress up as dear old Santee Claus.”
“Well I’m sure surprised. Good costume Allen.” Cabot nodded.
“Why thank you Cabot,” Hank said. Everyone’s mood was lifted by Hank’s surprise, besides Markov who took off his santa hat and put it on the floor; now it only represented everything he hated. The hunters finished their breakfast, and moved back into the viewing room. It was time to open gifts.
Cabot’s boots clanged as he walked down the grated steps that entered the viewing room on Cabot’s left side of the room; at the bottom of the flight, a doorway led to the cabin hall. The tree was off to the right edge of the room while a door to the right of the tree led to the evac room.
With the glimmering lights hung around the window, almost framing it, the broken, glowing colony of Shear looked beautiful. Most of the light was coming from the window and christmas lights, creating silhouettes on the back wall.
Abe, Caira, Val, and Parnell were seated on a bench near the cabin hallway. Griffin was leaning up against the wall next to them, while Hank, dressed from top to bottom as Santa Claus, was sitting in his own chair in front of the window. Lazarus, Crow, Torvald, Hyde, Maggie, and Lennox sat on a longer bench up against the back wall to the right of Cabot. Daisy, licking her paws, was in the middle of the room while Jack, who was squatted next to her, pet her. Markov was alone on a stool set in the right corner of the room. Sunny was standing next to the tree, waiting for Cabot to enter.
“There’s our captain!” she said, “we’ve been waiting for you Cabot.”
“Next time start without me,” he smiled. Cabot took a seat next to Lazarus and listened in.
“Last christmas I only had Daisy with me,” said Maggie.
“Yes. It must be difficult,” the Lazarus man said, talking to Maggie, “knowing christmas as a time of bliss and joy, and seeing only destruction around you, alone.”
“I don’t really care for it anymore,” she elaborated.
“Like most things yes?” he poked, “the holidays are a peculiar thing. Traditions we cast many hopes onto. A primitive coping system for primitive people.”
“There is only one sufficient coping system: revenge,” Torvald resounded.
The conversation from that point on blurred out. Cabot remembered his daughter, his wife. The emotions swelled him, confining his thoughts. “Revenge,” he thought. Cabot pushed the darker thoughts out; he had resolved his problems before, but was prone to doubt, as anyone would be. The sound of metal grinding against the floor returned him to reality.
Sunny started to push the large wrapped crate from the tree towards Torvald. The present screeched along the floor and the wrapping paper tore.
“You need any help with that, Sunny?” Abe asked. Parnell jolted up and started helping her. Everyone’s conversations started to came to a close as their attentions focused towards the center of the room.
Even Parnell was having trouble pushing the crate. Even though it was only 3 feet in height, it was also heavy, and the friction was fighting against both of them. Nonetheless, the towering man was able to move the box within arms-length of Torvald.
He grunted, “the pain is worth it.” Everyone chuckled a little.
“Okay Torvald. You can open your present now,” Sunny invited.
“A present,” Torvald stated.
“Yup, just for you,” she said.
“I do not want it.”
“Torvald, you big grump, open it.”
“No. Only bad will come of it. I’m sure.”
“I worked hard on this please…” she begged.
“Torvald, if you don’t open that present I will confiscate all your gear. No more killing monsters, no more revenge.” Parnell threatened.
“What!?” Torvald exclaimed. Even he was surprised at the emotion he displayed. “Fine. If I must.”
“Thank you,” Parnell said.
Torvald, stood up from the bench, his robotic knees whirring. He lumbered toward the crate, and stared at it for some time. “What is it,” he asked.
He knelt down beside the box. When his knees thudded the ground, Daisy lifted he head and stared at the box; her head inched forward with every sniff. His hands reached the sides and ripped the paper open enough for him to view what was inside; his eyes widened with curiosity.
“Well what is it,” Val groaned, her eyes rolling and all.
Torvald beholded a tiny Trap Jaw pup soundly asleep. It’s eyes fluttered open and looked back up at Torvald. He stared into the animals big gleaming eyes. The pups tail started to sway back and forth. It lifted its body up and pushed its nose through the bars.
Maggie squinted at what she saw, poking through the crate. Everybody leaned forward in their seats.
“Uh…” Torvald stammered.
“It’s a trap jaw silly!” Sunny explained.
“A young pup to be exact,” Parnell said.
Daisy approached the crate. “How did you find one? Where are its parents?” Maggie questioned.
“We found it all alone,” said Sunny.
“We think its parents were killed by a Goliath,” Parnell speculated.
“Poor kid,” Griffin said.
“Yeah. But now he’s got a new family,” said Parnell. #foreshadow
“It’s a he.” Torvald said.
“Yup!” Sunny exclaimed.
Torvald picked up the puppy and placed him on the ground. The trap jaw sniffed at the metallic floor.
“Alright, alright, I don’t know if I can top that but I, mean old Abe, got Caira a gift.”
“Oh, please. Don’t pull any jokes.” said Caira.
“Abe. You’re making a fool of yourself,” Lennox warned. Even outside of her armor, she held herself powerfully.
Abe ignored Lennox’s advice and pulled the round shaped present, about 2 feet wide, from under the tree. He slid it to
“Okay then. Big round thing.” she said, lifting it onto her lap. She tore off the wrapping.
“What’s a tire?” Abe mused, “that’s a grade A big black donut.”
“Thanks, Abe,” she said sarcastically. She’d notice that it was engraved “Best Scientist on Shear, Caira Diaz,” later.
Sunny motioned to Hank, who met her in the center of the room. After exchanging a few words, Hank walked towards the tree.
“Alright, folks. Santee Claus is here to give out your gifts.” Hank said.
Cabot watched as a 40-year-old man dressed up in a Santa Claus outfit handed out christmas presents to a team whose job was to kill giant, hulking beasts. Bucket’s head floated down next to him.
“Marshal,” Bucket murmured.
At this point Shear’s sun was in full view. The Laurie-Ann was in low-orbit, low enough for a thin atmosphere; sound was distant and muffled but clear enough for conversation. Bucket’s head floated out and around to meet the creature, staring into the star.
“You’ll go blind you know,” the head said.
The creature was silent. He breathed slowly, recycling the oxygen. The light of the star casted deep shadows. Behind them was only the magnitude of deep space. There were notably less stars looking outward from the edge of the Far Arm.
“Tell me Slim, what does sad feel like?” Bucket, a robot, did know how sadness felt, even if it was inorganic; he was only testing the malformation.
“Cut the shit, Bucket. You know better than anyone what feelings feel like,” it returned.
“My word, you know-,” he paused. The blue eye flickered on and off. Bucket was thinking. The freak looked over at the head. Nothing happened for some time.
Then, the blue light steadied. The head started to rotate around, drifting around the monstrosity, who tracked the head subconsciously.
“Ahh,” Bucket sighed in a melancholy delight, “It’s beautiful isn’t it.” They both stared at the web of stars sprawled out before them. “It makes you feel so small.”
“Yeah,” the creature scoffed, “it’s crushing.”
“Crushing? I wouldn’t say that, just-” the light flickered again, but only for a moment this time. He continued as if he was rushed, “it’s uniting. We little people with our little problems, worrying about them just the same. We can all cherish our own little points of view, while taking into account the infinitely miniscule shred of importance we encompass.” They were both silent for some time. “It’s something to admire at the very least.”
More silence. The creature looked back at the sun. Bucket joined him. The creature started, “So… in this so called infinite universe, there’s another Slim out there right.”
“And what if that Slim, isn’t called Slim, or bugman? He’s just a man. It’s shameful… at the least. This universe is built for sadness, and we all have the god given privilege of being in it together. Right.”
Bucket thought on this for a while. “You know you are right. Somewhere in the universe, there is a Bucket who isn’t called Bucket. He is, in fact, called RR-40a and has no freedom of his own. Maybe he holds onto the past even harder than you do. What wild jealousy I feel for RR-40a. Merry Christmas, Slim,” he mocked.
The head floated away abruptly. Slim told himself he would’ve been ready for Bucket to leave at any moment, but he was instead left with a lingering feeling of loss. He pondered on it.
Daisy and the new trap jaw were running around the tree. Maggie followed them around, laughing a genuine laugh. Gobi squaked at all of them on top of a branch. Torvald watched his gift intently, like a scientist. Griffin, ale in hand, walked over to the lone hunter.
“What’s got you down Markov?” asked Griffin, squatting beside Markov.
“I do not want to talk about it.”
“Course you do.”
Markov shrugged. “I do not like that Hank is Santa. This is all I will say.”
“Croikey. I thought you were kidding back there,” Griffin stood up, “Santa Claus, you mind coming over here a minute?”
“Why of course not,” Hank replied.
Markov looked up at Hank, standing in front of him.
“What can ol’ Santee Clause do?” Hank asked. Griffin whispered in Hank’s ear. As he did, a smile crept onto Hank’s face. Griffin pulled away after a few sentences. Hank turned around and faced the rest of the room.
“Alright folks. Cousin Hank is feeling a bit tuckered out.” Hank said.
“Aww come on Santa.”
“Who said anything about San’a? Santa is just getting started!” The rest of the hunters looked confused. Hank turned around and handed Markov his hat and his white beard(which Hank wore over his normal beard).
“There is new Santa! Gloriou-pfft-pt,” Markov spit out the sweaty beard hair, “Glorious Santa!”
Markov imagined the entire room cheering in his glory. It was more of a laughter but it was no difference to Markov.
At that moment, Bucket’s head flew in. “What did I miss,” Bucket asked, truly curious.
“Markov is uh Santa now… I guess,” answered Crow.
“Hey Santa Claus!” Parnell motioned, “I got a gift for you to deliver.”
“Ah. Duty calls,” Markov moved over to Parnell and grabbed the thin 7 by 5 wrapped gift. Parnell lifted his eyebrows and nodded over to Jack.
“Heh-heh-heh,” Jack said. He was blushing red throughout his entire face.
“No really I like it Jack!” Sunny said. She was holding up a necklace, similar to Jack’s, with bones lining a tube with a cupcake inside. Markov patted her on the shoulder.
“Battle charm yes? Ha ha ha.”
She smiled at Jack, “yeah, I’ll wear it every drop okay Jack?”
“The Jackal has won, victory,” he said. They all laughed together.
“Here, Jack. It is a gift. From Santa Claus.”
“Oh, okay,” he plucked the gift from Markov’s hands, brought it up to his ear and shook it.
“I’d just open it if I were you,” Sunny said, smiling.
He picked at the wrapping, eventually tearing it away.
“Left… Dead 4?” he said.
“Left 4 Dead,” Parnell said; he’d snuck up behind Jack. “I know, I know, it’s old.”
“How old? I mean it’s a disc right?”
“Yeah. Back from the good early 21st century.”
“Wow! This must be really rare! Like… a relic! How much did you get this for? How much would it sell for?”
“Grandfather gave it to me. Along with other things. Don’t forget, just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s not good.”
“What?” Parnell asked.
“Oh nothing.” she said; her head started to drift, “Slim!” she said, hugging him.
“Hey kid,” he said with a slight smile.
“Where you been buddy?”
“Just looking at the stars; they’re beautiful,” he panned over to Bucket, and looked into the single blue circle and saw a smile, “like little christmas lights,” he laughed.
Sunny pulled on his arm, “come here, we got something for you.” He resisted at first, but then followed. She pulled up a decent sized cardboard box. It wasn’t wrapped, however; it just said “Alex’s” on it.
Slim looked at the writing and hesitated.
“Go ahead,” said Parnell, winking.
Slim opened the crossed cover. “Comics,” he said; he fanned through the stack, “Woah. A lot of comics.”
“Yup. Those are all the ones you liked, and a little more. Thought you’d like it.”
“Yeah. Yeah I do. Thanks man.”
“Don’t worry about it, you’d do the same for me.”
Slim looked down at the box. He started to choke up and wasn’t used to it. He felt himself cry, but no tears fell; they couldn’t anymore. Slim looked up at his family.
Maggie sat down after chasing Daisy and the new trap jaw. Daisy trotted over to her and the puppy followed. It took a seat next to her and Maggie pet it for the first time.
“Wow, this puppy feels really squishy.” said Maggie, “What are you going to name him anyway Torvald.”
“Hmm. That is a good question.” Torvald closed his eyes. “Ragnarok.”
“Ragnarok?” she asked.
“I don’t know Torvy, doesn’t sound like a puppy name,” Sunny said. “I think we should have a vote.”
“To name him?”
“Okay. Who wants the puppy to be named Ragnarok?” Sunny asked the room. Jack raised his hand; he slowly lowered it when he noticed no one else did; they were all having their own conversations.
“Alright, who wants the puppy to be named Cupcake?” she asked again, “Heeeeeey, everybody,” she taunted. It grabbed most of everyone’s attention. “Who wants the puppy to be named Cupcake?”
Jack raised his hand.
“Cupcake is a fine name for a dog,” Griffin said, under the influence. He raised his hand.
“There, see. Two versus zero! Come here Cupcake,” Sunny said. The puppy walked over, wagging it’s tail.
“No! Ragnarok I command you to come here. Do not listen to that nuisance.” Cupcake closed her eyes, enjoying being pet by Sunny.
“Ragnarok! Ragnarok listen to me at once!”
“Ha hee hee,” Sunny giggled.
Torvald stood up. “Ragnarok! Obey your master!”
And thus the clock tolled midnight, it was no longer christmas. Yet, the hunters carried on. Torvald still yelled at Ragnarok; Sunny still teased him; Slim still mopped from time to time; Griffin still drank too much alcohol; Abe still flirted with Caira; she still refused; Lennox still focused on her work; Hyde still burned his meat; Markov still chuckled; Crow still relished in the silence; Lazarus stilled dreamed of reviving a monster; Parnell still tried to keep everyone sane; Maggie still cared after Daisy; Val still rolled her eyes; the Jackal still fought courageously; Hank still cooked poorly; Cabot still lead the team, fearlessly, never showing any signs of weakness.
Bucket panned around the room, and he thought he saw something remarkable; from Daisy and Ragnarok, to even Torvald and Slim the worries of the burning world below seemed to disappear.
######thanks for making it this far yo, please leave a like if you enjoyed, merry christmas and happy holidays