A Very Zyan Christmas

"T: Right Here Right Now" | Art by Snow-Body. Used with permission.
Christmas is a time for peaceful moments and quiet reflection—like when you’re deciding what kind of liquor to use in your Holly Faery Berry cocktail. I considered my options: go with the old classics, or get extra festive with the ghoul-brewed moonshine that one of my clients had given me. Talk about a ho-ho-ho jolly good time.

I’d just decided on the moonshine when my roommates rushed into our apartment. Quinn and Riley, my fellow bartenders/supernatural bounty hunters.

“What’s got your jingle bells all in a tangle?” I asked, pouring a not-so-careful measure of ghoul liquor into my glass.

“Zyan, have you been watching the news?” Riley asked, hands on his hips. “It’s madness out there!”

“It’s Christmas. Madness is the reason for the season.” I swirled my glass, admiring my cherry red nail polish as I did so. The liquor let off a distinctive you’ll-regret-me-in-the-morning scent. Maybe a noteworthy warning for mere humans, which I was not.

“We’re not talking about crazy crowds cursing each other over parking spots downtown,” Quinn said, her golden witch eyes huge. “We’re talking a bunch of supernatural Christmas legends wreaking havoc on the streets of Pikes Place.”

I downed my shot of moonshine straight. “Sounds like my kinda Christmas.”

Ten minutes later we jogged towards the market. I carried my katana unsheathed in one hand. Snow sprinkled down on us and crunched beneath my boots. After traveling a block in near silence, I stopped to look at Riley and Quinn.

“I’m gonna be really pissed if you pulled me away from my cocktail for nothing.”

No sooner had the words left my mouth than a maniacal laugh cut through the night. Something dark streaked across the white streets, an indistinguishable blur. Another laugh. The noise crawled on my nerves like icy spiders.

“The jig’s up, anti-Santa.”

Abruptly, a small man stood before me. He wore a little pointed hat like an elf, and while his face was rosy-cheeked and youthful, his hair was whiter than the snow.

“Have you been behaving yourselves this year?” he asked in a crushed-glass voice.

“I never behave myself,” I retorted.

“Naughty children must be punished.”

Something flashed gold in the night, and I felt a sting against my cheek. Blood welled up on the side of my face. The elf man coiled a small golden whip in his hand.

“You little brat—”

Riley leapt forward, changing into werewolf form as he went. He had the little thing’s throat in his teeth a breath later, shaking him back and forth like a rag doll. The creature burst into a cloud of green sparks and disappeared.

“You ate an elf.” Quinn wagged a finger at Riley.

“Yeah, you’re pretty much never getting a visit from Santa again,” I snickered.

Riley morphed back into human form and shrugged. “He deserved it.”

We continued down the streets. It was quiet—eerily quiet for a busy city. Where on earth was everyone?

“Here, people, people, people,” I cooed as we moved through the snow. Only silence answered.

But then came a sound from a street to our left—something padding through the snow. Something quite large. Swishing its tail back and forth, a shape emerged from the darkness. A massive cat.

The mutated Super-Size-Me kitty stopped in front of us and looked down, licking its gleaming, dagger-like teeth with the largest tongue I’d ever seen.

“What the…” I trailed off, at a loss for words. Perhaps for the first time in my life.
It was easily the size of a grizzly bear, with a lean body mottled brown and grey, and tufted ears like a lynx. It didn’t waste much time threatening us. Its yellow eyes narrowed to slits, and then it leapt at us like a jack-in-the-box.

Riley and Quinn dove out of the way, but I fell to my knees and swung my sword over my head. A moment later Hello Kitty Godzilla impaled itself on my blade and disappeared in a swirl of green sparks.

Hmmm, green sparks again. I was beginning to wonder…

A monstrous roar shook the night, followed by a plume of fire that shot into the sky near the fish market. We dashed down the street in the direction of the mayhem.

Skittering into the main strip of Pikes Place, we slid to a halt. There, standing in the middle of the street, was some sort of demon—black as tar, with ears like a bat and horns like a goat. Surrounding it was an army of snowmen with glowing red eyes.

“We’re talking a bunch of supernatural Christmas legends wreaking havoc.”

I recognized him from old Christmas legends. “Krampus, I presume?”

My response was a volley of snowballs, which sizzled with some sort of nasty spell. “Zap ‘em, Quinn.”

She nodded and sent out a golden blast of magic which melted all the snowmen where they stood. As they melted, the same green sparks spewed.

“The jig’s up, Anti-Santa,” I called to Krampus.

“No matter, I got what I wanted.” said Krampus. His voice was familiar…

“And what’s that?”

“Your attention, Zyan Star.” And with that Krampus disappeared in a shower of green sparks, and Pan, the faerie god of nature, stood before us. He spun his silver staff in the air, his eyes full of mirth.

“I knew it! You mischievous faerie jerk.”

Riley and Quinn shared my scowl of indignation.

“What’s a fellow to do? You haven’t been returning my calls.” He pouted and flicked his long red hair behind one muscular shoulder.

“Well, how about not demolishing my city for starters? And I told you before, I’m not dating you.”

“Just admit it, Zyan. It was the best Christmas you’ve had in a long time.”

“Nice try, but no.”

Pan must have detected the lie in my voice, because he smiled devilishly. “Then I shall depart, and not bother you again.” He bowed low to the ground and winked. “Until New Year’s.”

Alexia Chamberlynn

Alexia Chamberlynn

Alexia Chamberlynn lives in Florida. When she's not writing or reading, she can be found playing with horses, eating chocolate and other delicious things, drinking wine, traveling to the next place on her global wish list, or maybe doing yoga. She is represented by Sandy Lu of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.
Alexia Chamberlynn

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