You think you know Santa, but you don’t. You love the big man in the red suit who adores children but before he was that he was a skinny, unemployed musician playing Hide-the-Elf with every woman in our village, and I loved him
He wasn’t Santa or even Nicholas back in the day. He was Nick the Stick, a minstrel traveling around the countryside with his angsty Visigoth band, the Slay Tribe. I thought he was sexy despite the eyeliner. He wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing red. He was Nick the fucking Stick and he wore all black.
Things were grand at first. We got married and settled into a little village. One day over breakfast he said to me, “Fenna, baby, I’m starting over. Nicky needs to find out who Nicky really is.” In hindsight, I should have known you don’t stay married to a man who talks about himself in the third person.
Nicky styled himself as a New Age guru. At first, I had my doubts. I mean, Nicky was kind of a mess, but I was supportive. A lotta good that did me! I began to get suspicious when all his clients were women. Young women with boobs for days. And his solution for these troubled, young women? Oodles of one-on-one consultation. He didn’t invent Christmas. He invented daddy issues.
Nicky theorized every person had two versions of themself — a naughty and a nice. He coached ladies on embracing their nice. They were definitely embracing something but it didn’t sound nice to me. Still, I stuck around because it was 402 CE and divorcées weren’t yet a thing.
Around that time, Nicky met a creepy little perv named Victor. Victor convinced Nicky to spy on the village women and make a naughty list of potential clients. Nicky became obsessed! He’d go out spying every day and make his list, rechecking it several times to ensure he knew who was naughty or nice. But, really, he didn’t give a rip about the nice ones.
Sometimes Nicky and Victor climbed up on the rooftop and drank mulled wine while they spied on people in the streets. One night, those idiots bet on whether Nicky could shimmy down our chimney. Back then Nicky was still skinny, not skinny enough though. It took an hour to pull his ass out. Once he was free, he gave me a handful of soot and said, “Naughty girls get a lump of coal.”
That’s all he said, without explaining what the hell coal had to do with anything, but Victor took the idea and ran with it. He suggested naughty girls deserved coal and nice girls deserved pretty trinkets. Victor had a cousin, a lecherous, mustachioed munchkin named Hairuwulf, who made wooden toys. It was Hairuwulf’s inspiration to widen Nicky’s practice to even younger girls and include boys. They called their sordid endeavor The Workshop.
The final straw in our marriage came when Nicky took on that hussy Trudy Anderson as a client. She was half Nicky’s age with candy red lips, cheeks like sugar plums, and platinum blond hair that everyone knew wasn’t her real color. She rocked up in a red dress that left nothing to the imagination. Milk maid my ass. She was a devil woman.
Nicky said she had more naughty inside her than any woman he’d ever seen. He made it his mission to force the naughty out of her, and once she was ‘cured’ it was splitsville for me and Nicky. He and Trudy, sorry Gertrude, emerged from his office and told me we had to talk. If I recall correctly Nicky said, “You and me went through a lot, Fenna, but Gertrude and I can’t deny the magic between us. We’re going to move up north and take The Workshop global.”
I was about to say something when, with a wink of his eye and a nod of his head, he and the trashy red dress walked out the fucking door. As he stepped across the threshold, he turned and placed his finger on the side of his nose saying, “We had good times, babe.” I nodded and told him I hoped he died of syphilis.
That was the last time I saw Nicky. To his credit, he took his workshop global, but I did alright myself. If revenge is living your best life, then here I am in Boca Raton with a year-round tan and an endless supply of retired millionaires. Nicky might be famous but he also got hairy and fat and started calling himself Father Christmas.
Father Christmas, please! I told you – daddy issues.
Brian writes like he drinks, recklessly in varying degrees of undress, and usually only if someone else is paying. @brianabbey