Rated G. Contains Santa revisionism and aerial combat.
Special Closing Music: “Chiron Beta Prime,” by Jonathan Coulton.
As Dry Leaves That Before the Wild Hurricane Fly
By Mur Lafferty
Comet and Cupid were fifteen, and took after their father, both spending the most time in the workshop tinkering with Father’s tools. Christmas was coming soon and they were preparing their yearly trip to the same orphanage that had cared for them. With nine children to raise on his own, Claus could no longer adopt, but he still found it very important to care for the children in any way he could. So he took a load of toys to the children every year, with his children helping him distribute.
Their siblings sat around their great sitting room, some crowding on sofas, some sitting on chair cushions or arms, and Rudolph, the baby at eleven, sat at his father’s feet. He was an imposing man with a barrel chest and wild white hair and beard. When he would get excited about a project, his blue eyes would twinkle and he’d look like a madman.