Because I could….
MODERN & SCIENCE FICTION
The Mean Streets and Santa. Somebody’s taken off with Santa’s sleigh and gone joyriding. Santa hires you, the tough-talkin’ private eye, to get it back. But there’s a deadline. You’ve got until dawn.
McCarthy and Santa. Who is this Santa fellow, anyway? Is it a coincidence that he wears red? Are you sure he’s not spying when he does those flyovers? Maybe the Commies are using him as an advance scout to take over the North Pole. Your mission is to capture him and bring him back for questioning.
The FAA and Santa. Hey, NORAD tracks Santa, why shouldn’t your sci-fi heroes, too? Who knows what havoc that sleigh could wreak on airflight plans and patterns on Christmas night unless proper steps are taken? Go out and make certain nobody strays into his airspace!
Mars Needs Presents. Santa Claus is becoming a global icon … what happens when he is adopted by alien races? Your interstellar diplomats may be surprised when the host planet puts on a Santa Claus display to “make our Earth friends welcome” … and get it humorously (or horrifically) wrong.
Santa from Space. He’s been a space alien all along, of course. How else could that sleigh fly so quickly? FTL drive, extraterrestial spying devices, matter transporters … it all makes sense now. But what’s Santa-Alien’s goal? To spread goodwill until Earth can assume its place in an interstellar federation? To mind-control Earth children? (Those dancing Santas have to be instruments of brainwashing, don’t you agree?) It’s up to you to find out.
Super Santa. Of course Santa is a superhero—maybe one of the oldest on record. And some supervillains are getting edgy about his popularity. Time to bring the Fat One down, hard. Who will save Santa from the Deadly Doomsday Device?
Santa’s Evil Twin. If you haven’t read the Dean Koontz children’s book called “Santa’s Twin,” go out and buy it now. Yes, adults too … maybe adults especially. When Santa’s evil twin ties him up and takes over, Our Heroes must do something! Not only a cool adventure idea, but a great book to give to your nephews and nieces, too.
Santa Wizard. He scries the realm from his remote tower, judging each man and woman’s morals, and then rewards those who are truly heroic with wonderful enchanted gifts. Ho ho ho, who’s that guy in red robes teleporting into my parlor? And for those who’ve been naughty, well, Spheres of Annihilation look a lot like lumps of coal at first glance, don’t they?
Santa Dragon. Most dragons hoard treasure. But not this one. This one gives it out. And he’s ruining the draconic reputation. The Imperial Enclave of Grasping Dragons hires the adventurers to talk some sense into this misguided reptile before everybody starts expecting freebies from dragons’ caverns.
Christmas Treasure. So you’ve wiped out the red-robed arctic wizard and his evil elves and fearsome horned flying beasts (the one that shot balls of fire from its nose was scary!), and it’s time to loot the treasure-room. Red-and-white striped candy walking Canes of Tooth Rot. Stockings of Levitation (work best over fireplaces). Sleigh of Flying. Reindeer shoes of Windwalking. Hat of Skinniness (gets you down chimneys, but has an annoying side-effect of making you look fat the rest of the time). Pipe of Disguise (makes you look like a jolly old elf). Misteltoe of Infatuation. Yule log of Everburning. Oh, so much treasure … it’s a good thing you’ve got the wizard’s Bag of Holding Everything….
Cthulhu Christmas. Ever think about what a SAN-bereft Call of Cthulhu investigator might think about Christmas? There’s an excellent fiction riff on this idea called A Lovecraft Christmas by Pete Sears that ought to inspire CoC gamemasters and other H. P. Lovecraft fans!
Santa Claws. Is it really such a good idea to let a strange man crawl into your house to roam around at night? Especially in that long red coat … perfect for hiding bloodstains … and those big gloves and boots … clearly meant to obscure footprints and fingerprints. Nobody even questions the fact that he’s carrying in a bunch of mysterious packages. Or thinks about that bag being a great way to carry corpses. And he rides a slay, for goodness’ sake! Oh, you better not scream, you better not shout….
Satan Clause. Uh-huh. They both wear red. They both live in remote areas, if somewhat different in climate. They’re both interested in whether you’ve been naughty or nice. And the whole Santa thing does seem to distract people from the religious aspects of the Christmas holiday, doesn’t it? Coincidence or devious plot? Your occultist characters stumble over the horrible truth….
The Donner Party. Yeah, that reindeer was originally named Donder before it became Donner. What happened to change its name? Heh. Heh heh. Man-eating reindeer. Enough said. Okay, not quite enough. Didja know Blitzen comes from the German for “lightning”? Kinda makes you wonder what the dark truth behind those reindeer really is, doesn’t it?
Poisonsettias. They aren’t really poisonous, you know. Well, they didn’t used to be, until this mad scientist…..
Originally written December 15, 2000
Image Source: Postcard circa 1900, Missouri History Museum