Santa slid into his leather heated seat, another house checked off his long list that we all know he checked twice, and took the reigns in his fur-lined gloved hands. As he settled his backside into the memory-foam bench, he double checked the GPS system on the console, marking the next step… just one roof over.
“Never understood the need for this thing.” He blew on the hot cocoa before he sipped on it. “Alright boys, next house.” He snapped the reigns and the sled lurched forward, launching into the air and across two-hundred feet of snow laden lawn.
The bells on the reindeer barely ceased their jingling before he was out of the sled and down the chimney. A blink later he was back up and looking at the GPS again. “Next.” The sudden movement of the sleigh almost caused him to spill his cocoa on him, making him look over at Blitzen with a crooked head. “Hey…” he said titling his head to the side. Although not entirely sure, he could have sworn Blitzen giggled.
This house, like every one of the 3,7043,891,553 other houses he had already visited that night, was a quick package drop, but as he reached into his pack, Comet sneezed causing him to lose grip of the present and as if all 8 reindeer knew exactly what had happened, they turned and watched the red and silver stripped box slide down the snowy roof toward the iced over gutter.
Santa sighed and sauntered, as well as an over-weight elf can saunter on a slanted and slippery surface, down toward the truant goody. As he reached for it, the sheet of snow that held the present broke loose and slide off of the roof, depositing the gift on the top of a mound of piled up snow like a silver and red cherry on top of a snow cone, and in the process startling Hunter from his slumber.
To back up a moment, I feel the need to explain that Hunter is a dog. An Alaskan Malamute to be exact. So for him to be outside on a night with snow, snuggled up and sleeping in his dog house doesn’t seem all that strange, because… well, he’s a Malamute. So, now that we have that covered, where were we? Oh yes. Santa knocked loose a sheet of snow, causing it to slide off of the roof and startled Hunter from his slumber.
Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue, as Santa has ways of dealing with ensuring that sleeping dogs lie, but his Slumber Biscuit treats were nestled in their doggy-bag back up in the sleigh. However, with the startled canine now sniffing around and catching the scent of chocolate and peppermint, Santa knew it was only going to be a matter of seconds before the Malamute would no longer be mute.
Leaping from the roof with an agility that is normally only resigned for Olympic level gymnasts or ninja from 80’s movies, Santa bounded down to the ground, landing with a tuck and roll and coming out of the maneuver with his hand on the package.
Santa looked at Hunter from under the brim of his hat.
Hunter snarled at Santa, unaware of the importance of the festively dressed elf.
“Code Jingle. I repeat, Code Jingle.” Santa said into his mic. Up on the roof, Blitzen snorted the team into action and all eight reindeer launched into the air, zipping the sleigh behind them.
Hunter growled, hung his head low and lunged toward the red-suited fat man. Santa leaped into the air, grabbing the rail of the sleigh as it passed overhead, swinging himself into the seat and grabbing the reigns in one motion.
With Santa now at the helm, the sleigh rose into the night air with Hunter chasing after the Christmas team, down the road, barking and yapping all the way.
And as the lights of the neighborhood started to turn on from all the ruckus, Santa said, “Blitzen, I think it’s time we made a hasty retreat.”
And with a flick of his wrist, and a snap of his reigns, Santa rose into the sky, As Hunter barked again and again.
Written for Dan Altore's Flash Fiction Challenge using the prompts "A dog running after Santa’s sleigh" and needing to include the word "present" (8)