(A bit of flash fiction based on a writing prompt by @thefuturefire.)
Am here to give my testimony of how I became a rangiferanthrope. That’s a were-reindeer for those of you not fluent in long-words.
I had it coming, I suppose. We all knew that bad language is a sure-fire way to get on the naughty list. But I thought that if I kept it to the workshop I’d get away with it. And I was doing my job–it’s not like I was dancing or prancing about, or making a noise like thunder. I’d just swear a bit when I hit my thumb with the toy-making hammer. And maybe sometimes I’d do an unflattering impersonation of the man in red–I’d had a bit to drink, and it turns my nose red, just like his, so I’d strut around and put candyfloss under my nose and put on his voice–but it was just to relieve the tension and make the other workers smile. There’s a lot of tension needs relieving when it’s Christmas bloody Eve and there’s still a pile of toys to assemble and it all has to be done in an hour.
How was I to know the man in red himself had been standing in the doorway listening? The whole room went quiet. The old wizard stomped in, belly wobbling like jelly (mustn’t laugh, mustn’t laugh, that’ll just make him angrier), and started casting his spell.
I thought, at least I’ll get a badass reindeer name. He likes to rename those he transforms, you see, and the names he comes up with fit the crime but are often pretty cool. But he must have been pretty unimaginative that day, or else he wanted to punish me even more, ’cause what’s the first thing I hear with my reindeer ears once the transformation has finished?
“Rude elf, with your nose so bright – you will pull my sleigh tonight!”