“Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas to all!” Shouted out the jolly fat man in the red suit. It was winter time in Paradise City and the shopping mall was filled with happy Christmas shoppers and kids in line waiting patiently to see jolly old Saint Nick himself. Beside jolly old Saint Nick was his trusted bodyguard, the Christmas Knight by the name of Arthur Knight. Suited up in chainmail, shiny white armor, and a bright red tunic. His red cape bearing a Christmas tree design. His helmet looked like a Roman Centurions helmet with a white face mask. His sidearm was a sword and a shield that bare’s the image of a Christmas angel.
“Santa.” Called Arthur. Santa looks up at him with a child in his lap. “Times almost up, we need to go soon. I say we have five minutes left.”
“Arthur, there’s no need to rush.” Santa looks back at the child as she tells him what she wanted this year for Christmas. An older child walked up to Arthur. He looks down at the child.
“Hello there.” Arthur greeted him. The child just looked at him like he never saw a knight in shining armor before.
“Halloween’s over.” Arthur just stood there at laughed.
“No no, this isn’t a costume. I am Santa’s bodyguard. It’s my job to protect the big man from bad things.”
“Bad things? Like what?” The kid asked.
“You know, bad people. But you needn’t worry young one, Santa’s not going anywhere.” There had been recent threats of kidnapping Santa these past years.
The remaining five minutes have passed as Santa and Arthur were safe home at the North Pole.
“I’m home dear,” Santa said to Mrs. Claus as he kissed her cheek. Arthur removed his helmet to let his long blonde hair breathe. His ears were pointy as if he was an elf. Mrs. Claus was in the kitchen rolling cookie dough on the counter as Santa sat down and began checking his list. He always checks it twice to make sure he doesn’t make a mistake. A little cookie man burst through the door and closed it behind him. Arthur looked over at the gingerbread man.
“General Gingerbeard! What’s wrong?” He called the little cookie man. Well, not really little. All of the gingerbread men were human-sized cookies and General Gingerbeard stood at least five feet tall. He was dressed in a green uniform with a green general’s hat and gold medals on his jacket. Tan pants with gold strips and a white beard made of cream filling. His pink gumball nose and blue gumball eyes made him look so edible.
“It’s terrible out there Arthur!” He said. “My fellow ginger men are falling one by one. Sergent Snowdin is throwing everything he has at us! We have so little reindeer left! We need you on the battlefield!” There was a war going on, the battle for the North Pole has been going on for several years now. Sergent Snowdin has been trying so hard to overthrow Santa for years. The big man got up from his chair and walked over to the two, putting his hands on his hips.
“Send out the Nutcrackers! With them on the battlefield, there’s no way Snowdin is going to win.” The Nutcrackers were the best of the best. Excellent marksmen with tempers to match. “Take a few more extra reindeer from the stable too.”
“Thank you, sir!” Gingerbeard saluted Santa. Arthur grabbed his helmet and headed out with General Gingerbeard. Santa and Sergent Snowdin had been mortal enemies for years. And it was up to Arthur Knight not just to protect Santa, but to keep the North Pole safe. Arthur and the general got onto their reindeer and headed for the battlefield.
Sargent Snowdin, the meanest and evil snowman in the North Pole. One of the elf soldiers had allowed himself to be captured by this terrible manence. He and his snow minions had the poor elf tied up in a chair.
“I swear! I told you everything I know!” Pleaded the frightened elf. The Sargent pounded his cane onto the wooden floor. His cane was completed with a snow globe on top of the cane.
“I see your lips flapping boy. But they’re not making that sweet sound I want to hear.” Sargent Snowdin was dressed in a white fur coat with a black necktie and a white top hat. He was hunched over just a little but still had the characteristics of a snowman with the coal eyes and a carrot nose.
“Well, we just have to try a little harder to get you to talk won’t we?”
“You’re a monster Snowdin! No wonder you’ve ended up on the naughty list!” The Sargent wrapped his hands around his back and raised one eyebrow.
“Do I really look like the kind of guy who gives a damn?” The elf gasped.
“Langauge!” The Sargent walked over to his work table.
“Now, you’d better start talking....” Snowdin picks up a heated branding iron. “...Because this is the last time I’ll ask!” Snowdin puts the branding iron near the frightened elf’s face. “What are you going to tell the big man?”
“You can’t scare me Snowdin! I’m not telling you anything you big bully!” Yelled the elf as he spat in Sargent’s face.
“Now that wasn’t very nice.” As the Sargent wiped his face off, he put the branding iron closer to the elf’s face until a voice called out to him.
“Stop Snowdin, that’s enough.” The voice in the shadows commanded. “He doesn’t need to tell me what I already know. I have been feeding on his memories. Now that I know their battle tactics, we can easily win this war and the North Pole will be ours!” The figure stepped out of the shadows and into the light. He was a tall, dark shadow that took the same shape as Santa himself. He bent down as his burning red eyes pierced through the elfs frightened look.
“Oh, I am afraid that Christmas will not be happening this year little one.” The elf kicked Shadow Claus in the shin. Shadow Claus got angry and burst into flames. Fire surrounded him, making him look even scarier. Even his eyebrows were on fire. He pointed to the elf.
“Boy! You are testing my patience!” He yelled in a much deeper tone. “You’ve earned yourself a time out! Lock him up again!” Shadow Claus commanded. Sargent Snowdin’s snow minions took the captive elf back to his cell.
“Sargent!” Called one of his soldiers. Snowdin turned to face him as the soldier stood in salute.
“General Gingerbeard’s forces are moving toward us. It looks like Arthur is with them as well.”
“Ah, The Christmas Knight. We’ll meet them on the battlefield. Move out!” The Sargent commanded. Shadow Claus needed to see this ‘Christmas Knight’ himself and see what all the fuss was about.
“FIRE!” Commanded General Gingerbeard as he unsheathed his candy cane sword and points it toward the enemy. Sargent Snowdin looked through his binoculars at the enemy. Through the binoculars, he saw the Nutcrackers marching over the snowy hills.
“Ah, the Nutcrackers. It’s about time Santa stepped up his game. I was getting bored.” The Sargent looked away. “Let them have a taste of the canons.” Sargent Snowdin’s canon crew came out, pushing the snowy canons along.
“Get ready to return fire!” Commanded the Sargent. The Nutcrackers on the other side of the battlefield knelt down on one and took aim. They fired their toy muskets and took out several of Sargent Snowdin’s men. The ginger soldiers also shot their pop gun’s, taking out a few extra of Snowdin’s soldiers.
“RETURN FIRE!” Shouted out the Sargent. The canons fired, shooting giant snowballs and plowing right through General Gingerbeard’s army. Arthur looks up and saw Shadow Claus on top of the hill next to Sargent Snowdin.
“What is that thing?” General Gingerbeard looked toward where Arthur was pointing at. He saw the shadowy figure standing on top of the hill with fire surrounding it.
“You think it’s dangerous?” Asked the general.
“Let me go ask.” Arthur said as he put his helmet on. Arthur unsheathed his sword. The blade of his sword was inscripted with red stripes to make it look like a candy cane. Shadow Claus saw Arthur coming from a mile away. He disappeared and then reappeared right in front of Arthur.
“You must the Christmas Knight I’ve heard so much about.”
“Your form, your shape. You look just like Santa.” Arthur looked surprised. Shadow Claus did not respond. He just looked on Arthur with those burning eyes as he summoned a fireball in his hand.
“Want to play with fire?” He said as he threw a fireball at Arthur. Arthur dodged the fireballs as Shadow Claus was throwing them non-stop. At last, Shadow Claus stopped firing as Arthur jumped off of the ground and tried to slice Shadow Claus. However, Arthur’s blade just phased right through Shadow Claus. Shadow Claus turned to Arthur as he slowly paced toward him.
“Your toys will not work on me.” He laughed. Arthur ran away as Shadow Claus paced toward him, throwing more fireballs his way. As Arthur ran for his life, an abominable Snow Titan jumped down and blocked his path. The beast stood over a good fifteen feet tall and was made of snow and ice. Arthur fell on his back as the Titan roared. With Shadow Claus closing in, melting the snow beneath his feet with every step he took, Arthur got up and moved before the Titan could squash him into the snow.
“Where are you going Arthur? Things are just heating up!” Shadow Claus laughed. Cornered by both the Snow Titan and Shadow Claus, Arthur needed a stratagy. As Shadow Claus threw one last fireball, Arthur used his sword as a baseball bat and hit the fireball into the Snow Titan. The Snow Titan started to melt as the dripping water quinched Shadow Claus’s fire. As the two were distracted, Arthur made his escape. He ran, throwing his shield onto the snow and jumped on, riding his shield as a sled. Shadow Claus watched as Arthur escaped as he stared with his firey eyes. Arthur had escaped, however a hill stopped him in his path and he crashed miles away from the battlefield.
Arthur woke up an hour later in the snow as the battle between Sargent Snowdin and General Gingerbeard had stopped, for now. Arthur stood back up as he looked back, seeing nothing but snow and blizzard. He rushed back to Santa’s workshop to warn him of the danger that was coming his way.
“Santa!” He yelled as he bursted through the door, taking off his helmet and placing it on a bench. But there was no reponse. Not a single elf was in sight either. The place had been trashed. It would seem that Santa’s workshop had a break in while Arthur was knocked out in the blizzard.
“What in the name of Jingle Bells happened here?” Arthur ran into Santa’s living quarters, but the jolly fat man wasn’t there either. With Christmas decoretions all over the wall and hanging from the ceiling, it really felt like home with the Christmas tree standing in the corner. As he stood there between Santa’s chair and the cobblestone fireplace, Arthur saw Santa’s naughty and nice list on the floor. Arthur knelt down and picked it up. There was no sign of blood nor struggle. But with the place being broken into, Arthur had assumed that Santa had been kidnapped.
Shadow Claus had appear behind Arthur. As Arthur stood back up, he turned, swinging his sword as Shadow Claus disappeared. Arthur could hear nothing but the sound of his evil laughter.
“Show yourself!” Commaneded Arthur. Shadow Claus reappeared behind Arthur and walked toward him.
“Try as you might but your puny toys won’t work.”
“What have you done with Santa?” Arthur asked in a deep and angry tone. “Let him go!”
“No!” Argued Shadow Claus. “He is mine! And I have plans for the both of you. So stay out of my way boy!” Arthur turned to face him.
“But it’s almost Christmas. And I vowed I would keep him safe until then.”
“Christmas?” Shadow Claus chuckled. “You mean that meaningless holiday you and your kind celebrate once every year? Pointless!”
“It is not meaningless. It’s more than just a holiday. You can never understand!” Shadow Claus sighed.
“Very well then.” Three hourglasses appeared, floating in mid-air. Shadow Claus pointed to the hourglasses as he looked back at Arthur.
“You have exactly three days before Christmas to save Santa! Otherwise there will not be a Christmas to celebrate this year.” Shadow Claus laughed as he disappeared, leaving the hourglasses. Arthur noticed that the closet behind him opened. He turned as Mrs. Claus along with thirteen elves came out of hiding.
“Oh Arthur dear, I’ve heard everything.” Said Mrs. Claus. “That heartless monster!” Arthur turned to her.
“Then you know that I only have three days to save your husband. I am just glad that you and the elves are safe.” Arthur said as he turned and headed for the doors, picking up his helmet along the way. He turns back to the Mrs.
“Don’t worry Mrs. C. I’ll make sure to bring Santa home in time for the holidays.” Arthur smiled. He put on his helmet and headed out the door into the harsh blizzard. Mrs. Claus put her hand to her chest as she turns and faces the hourglasses. The countdown has begun.
To Be Continued....