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Old 12-24-2006, 09:48 AM   #37
Digitaldreamer
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Wow. It's really finally Christmas Eve? That means after this there's only one more chapter...how crazy.

Well, it's the home stretch, I suppose. I hope you all enjoy the last two chapters.

Onward!

Day Twenty-Four: The Night Before

“Ahem.” Vernon cleared his throat. “Alright, so it's Christmas Eve, right? Like the night before Christmas, you know? So I'm going to tell a story about the night before Christmas, okay?”

“Alright, Vernon, we get it! Just get on with it!” Elka snapped. The campers were all gathered on the couches and Vernon stood at the center, prepared to tell his story.

Vernon snorted. “Alright, I'll start.” And thus, in his nasally voice, Vernon began to talk.

“Okay, so it was the night before Christmas, right? And all through Psychonauts HQ like, not a creature was stirring. Because, you know, it was Christmas Eve and everyone was at home. Even the mice were all quiet--”

“There are mice here!?” Elton exclaimed, his eyes widening. Milka hugged him closer and he relaxed again.

“Except not really because they were having a Christmas party with punch and food and there was a little mouse named Tim who wanted a Red Rider BB gun that his mom wouldn't let him have because she was afraid he would shoot his eye out. That reminds me of this one time when-”

“Vernon! Dude, focus!” Nils cried.

“Oh. Right, sorry guys. So I already mentioned how no one was at HQ, right?”

The other kids all nodded.

“Okay, so like, we were all going to bed, you know? Like, we were all in our pajamas, including Franke, who was in her really sexy purple night gown--”

“EEEWWW!” Kitty shrieked as Franke blushed and tried her best to cover up her smile at Vernon's compliment.

“And we were all snuggled in and ready to sleep, okay? And then out of nowhere there's this really loud noise. So I get up in my hot pajamas, which are gray and twenty percent cotton, and go look out to window to see what was making the noise, right? And there's this flying sleigh and these eight reindeer, and this big fat guy who looks a lot like my Uncle Charlie. He wasn't drunk like my Uncle Charlie though, or at least I don't think he was. So anyway, he starts calling the reindeer names, like Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixon. He calls some other ones Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. I think those are kind of stupid names, not like my dog--”

“We've already heard about your dog, man! Just get on with the story!” Chops cried.

“Oh, right, okay. So the sleigh and the reindeer land on the roof, and I can hear the reindeer jumping up and down on the ceiling...”

As Vernon spoke, there were several thuds on the ceiling, which caused all the campers to jump.

“Tarnation! I coulda sworn I just heard somethin' land on the roof!” JT cried.

“Wow! Vernon sure is a great storyteller!” Clem cheered.

Vernon beamed. “I know I am, right? So anyway, I turn around, and the fat guy who looks like my Uncle Charlie comes sliding down the chimney! He was carrying around this big bag of presents and everything, it was very cool.”

Everyone was so focused on Vernon's story by this point that they took no notice of their own fireplace. This was really a shame, because if they had they would have seen a tall man in a bright red suit with white trim come sliding down, a large sack slung across his back.

“So I stared at the guy and he winked at me, not a sexy wink because that would be creepy, but just to let me know that I wasn't in trouble. Then he turns around and starts putting all these presents under the Christmas tree...”

As Vernon spoke, the man in red turned around and began doing just that, stowing brightly wrapped package after package under the tree.

Unfortunately for him, not everyone was paying attention to Vernon's story.

Without warning, there was a sudden click. The man in red and white then glanced up to find himself facing the barrels of three paint ball guns.

Bobby grinned from behind his. “Gotcha, fat boy.”

With that, they all fired.

The man in red stumbled back, trying to shield himself from an onslaught of eggs. Meanwhile, upon hearing the guns go off, all of the campers panicked and dove under tables and chairs, screaming at the top of their lungs.

“AHHH! IT'S THE CHRISTMAS SLASHER, HERE TO KILL US ALL!” Elka shrieked.

“NO, IT'S THE KRAKEN! THE KRAAAAAAKEEEEEEEEN!” Elton exclaimed.

“WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!” Kitty sobbed.

After a few minutes the kids had finally stopped screaming, leaving no sound save for several empty clicks as Bobby, Benny, and Chloe continued pulling their triggers.

“Awww. Damn, I'm out of ammo.” Bobby cursed.

“Me too.” Benny sighed.

“It's fine.” Chloe stated. “We were able to bring the fat man down with the primitive earth weapons.” With that, she tossed her paintball gun aside and walked up to the egg splattered Santa, eyes narrowed from behind her space helmet.

“Alright fat boy, your cookie stealing days are over!” She declared.

“Yeah!” Bobby grinned, walking up as well. “Now let's see who you really are!” With that, he pulled away Santa's beard, only to reveal...

“...Mr.Cruller!?” Elton sputtered from where he was peeking over the top of the couch.

Indeed, the one who Bobby, Benn,y and Chloe had pelted with eggs was none other than Ford Cruller, clad in a Santa suit and hat.

“What? Who's that?” Ford asked, blinking in confusion.

“Um...that's you, sir.” Chops said slowly.

“What? No it's not! I'm Santa Clause!” Ford exclaimed.

The kids all gaped at him in shock.

“...What?”

“You heard me! You know, Old St.Nick?” Ford snapped as he got to his feet and brushed some of the egg off of himself. “And it seems I didn't check the list nearly as much as I should have...if I had, I woulda known that this place was full of kids who oughta be on the naughty list.” He growled, glaring at Bobby, Benny, and Chloe.

Chloe blinked in confusion. “...'Naughty' list?” She repeated, confused.

“You bet.” Ford muttered grimly. “Although don't worry, little girl, you don't count since you didn't know any better. These two, however...” He fixed a glare on Bobby and Benny.

Bobby scowled at him, crossing his arms. “You really think you're Santa Clause? What an idiot, huh Benny?”

Benny was still stuck just gaping at the man whom they had just egged.

“So...did you bring presents for all of us...er...Santa?” Kitty asked.

“I was kinda wondering if I got something too.” Dogen muttered, scratching his head and staring down at his feet.

“Ooohh, yes! Did you bring presents? I've been wanting some new drums!” Phoebe exclaimed.

“Presents would be pretty chill...” Quentin drawled.

“Hey guys, what about my story!?” Vernon demanded, apparently annoyed with being ignored.

Ford scowled. “You really think I'm going to tell you all what you got? No way! That's against protocol!”

“Awwww, come on, man!” Nils cried. “Give us the goods!”

“No! Now you all--”

“Oh my God!” Elka, whom had snuck past Ford and opened his sack, screamed. “Crystal!? What are you doing in there!?”

Indeed, as Elka spoke Crystal hopped out of “St.Nick's” sack with a cheer. “Whoo! Christmas, Christmas!” She cheered, her red ponytail flopping wildly around as she jumped up and down.

“Crystal!” Clem exclaimed, rushing over and throwing his arms around her. Crystal hugged him back, still beaming.

“Huh, I thought things seemed kinda quiet around here...” Nils commented.

“Heeeeeeeeey it's the cheerleader dudette! What's up?” Quentin asked, waving. “But...seriously, how did you get here?”

Crystal paused in her hugging of Clem to blink in confusion. “I have no idea~! See, I was all set to jump off the bridge and all when this angel named Steve came out of nowhere and told me life was worth living! So then I was running around, all panicked because it was Christmas Eve and I didn't know how I was going to get here, and then the next thing I know Mr.Cruller comes out of nowhere and offers to give me a lift. So here I am!” She finished her explanation with a grin.

Silence for a moment.

“Oookaaaaaay then.” Chops said slowly.

“Well, I reckon that's good enough for me!” JT said.

“Yaaaaay~!” Both Clem and Crystal cheered.

Vernon stood there, hands on his hips. “Hey, hey everyone! What about my story!?”

It was then that Ford cleared his throat, causing everyone to stare up at him. “Alright kids, you've had your reunion, come on now. I've got work to do, you know? You'd better get to bed so you can open your presents tomorrow! ...If you get any.” He added, glaring at Bobby and Benny.

“Uh...ehehe...um...come on boss, I'm uh...bushed! Let's get to bed, ahaha...” Benny said weakly before turning and running away.

“What!? Benny, don't tell me you actually actually believe in...” Bobby trailed off, staring at Ford for a moment. Then he turned and followed his lackey to their room as quickly as he could.

“What about my story!?” Vernon cried again. Everyone ignored him.

“Well, he's got a point...we really should be hitting the sack, eh?” Chops asked. The other kids all gave murmurs of agreement and stumbled towards their rooms.

“But but...hey, listen to my story everyone!” Vernon cried, chasing after them. “So um...then St. Nick gets back to work...”

Ford chuckled, shaking his head, and quickly turned to finish placing his presents under the tree.

“And then he grabs his bag and goes back to the chimney, right?”

The old man then closed his sack and threw it over his shoulder, waddling over to the chimney.

“Then he puts his finger next to his nose and he just floats right up the chimney!”

With a jolly laugh Ford did just that, vanishing in the wink of an eye.

“And then he gets in his sleigh and they all fly away! And the last thing he says is...”

There was a great thundering on the roof as eight sets of hooves began to run. Then there was a scraping noise, followed by the jingle of bells and another laugh that caused the kids to all hang out their windows and gape at the sight. Indeed, there was a sleigh, with eight reindeer (likely from Whispering Rock, since they seemed to be glowing) pulling it along. There on the back was Ford, urging the reindeer on and laughing. The last thing they heard before he was gone was...

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

---

To Be Continued...


“Raz,” Oleander groaned. “How many times do I have to tell you? You don't have to sneak in here past security every time you come anymore! You can just come in through the gate! You know, like everyone else?”

“Oh, I know. I just like this way better.”


--Cursum Perficio, chapter two, by Digitaldreamer.
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