Snow and the Damned

 

(AP) – North Pole – In the desolate landscape of the North Pole there is a sweeping calm that intensifies with each gust of wind.  A quiet so potent that an echo would never have the will power to find its way back to the ears of its speaker.  Yet this view is a snapshot, a postcard to send home.  If the snow banks could talk, they would tell a story of a frenzied rampage.  They would weep at the recollection of the past years, which has left most of the drifts color changed.  Not white, but red, stained with the blood of a race of creatures as old as these glaciers.

 

The Bumble’s are a race of over-sized and mildly intelligent primates that have inhabited this area of the globe for eons now.  They are a species whose appearance some find grotesque and others find frightening.  With white fur clumping to their massive frame, teeth as sharp as broken ice and eyes that sit out on their face, their bodies have been designed for harsh conditions.  For the most part, they have lived in harmony with the barren eco-system, feeding mostly on fish found swimming beneath the ice’s surface.

 

Natives to this region have often told gruesome ghost stories of the Bumbles, assigning them the title of Abominable Snow Monster of the North.  Local children’s tales often center their lessons on how if children misbehave they will be taken and devoured by the otherwise gentle genus.  It is said that they have a biological morality, a sense of justice instilled upon them by Mother Nature.   As the stories go, several natives have tried to kill these beasts by pushing them off of cliffs and into ravines to no avail.  The Bumble’s bounce.  Scientists have very little data or research to hypothesize exactly why Bumble’s supposedly bounce.  Many hypothesized that it was an increased elasticity in muscle and skin tissue, an evolutionary trait developed to protect the clumsy beings.  Others say that the Devil himself bestowed these abilities on the monsters.

 

For the most part, the Bumble’s have been an afterthought, but in 1994, the small company town of North Pole Village would be changed forever.  Interactions with Bumbles had become somewhat of a legend in the town of late.  Suburban sprawl at the North Pole, including the construction of a brand new three hundred thousand square foot CostCo retail outlet had sent most of the packs of Bumble’s far off into the wilderness.  The town is owned and operated almost exclusively by the SANTA (Sleigh Association North of The Arctic) Corporation, a subsidiary of Haliburton, which “employs” local natives at their toy manufacturing plant at a less than fair rate.  However, since the North Pole is technically not under any type of international jurisdiction, the SANTA Corporation has been exploiting these naïve inhabitants for profit.

 

On December 18, 1994, The SANTA Corporation had lost one of its reindeer, often used to transport the CEO of the Company from location to location.  It was suspected at first that a disgruntled elf worker had stolen off with the animal, either hoping to eat the reindeer or copulate with it.

 

The company employed a well-known but unscrupulous tracker to pursue the presumably stolen reindeer.  His name: Yukon Cornelius.

Very little is known about Cornelius.  The only formal information that could be obtained was directly from his employment application with the SANTA Corporation.   Born into this world as Peter Billingham, the moniker Yukon Cornelius came during his days as a mercenary employed by Blackwater Enterprises.  Blackwater is a company often noted for their brutal tactics most recently involving their participation in the Iraq War.  They train their employees to be objectively ruthless.  Though some may disagree with the methods, one can hardly argue with the results.  Cornelius has been one of the most revered and simultaneously reviled pseudo-military figures north of the Tropic of Cancer.

 

 

His latest venture was certainly his most controversial.  The hunt for the rouge elf worker and the SANTA Corporation’s reindeer started simply enough.  Tracking an elf and a reindeer for a master mercenary should have been a cakewalk.  However, a mere three days journey ahead of him, Cornelius caught and apprehended the two new transients.  What happened next is where the facts get as foggy as the Arctic morning mist.

 

We all know there are two sides to a story, but in this case the facts differ so greatly that the two accounts would seem like separate occurrences.  According to Hermey, the elf now in custody, charged with Grand Theft and two charges of Attempted Romantic Instigation with a Reindeer, what happened during the course of those days should have landed Cornelius in jail, not him.

“These charges were completely drummed up after the fact to smudge my credibility.  I’m a dental student!  The SANTA Corporation is the one who employed the real deviant,” Hermes says from a jail cell, court documents and case studies flung about his quarters like confetti.  “They don’t want to be liable for what actually happened.  The terrible mental and physical torture I was subjected to.”

Hermey alleges that after the initial apprehension, Yukon Cornelius took them against their will to an island of debauchery and loose morals.  “There was every type of sex toy you could ever imagine.  That pervert kept calling it the “Land of Misfit Toys.”

There, Hermey says through water-logged eyes and wavering voice, is where he lost his innocence.  The elf is physically unable to verbalize the events to reporters.  He just shakes his head as tears collect at the corner of his wide eyes.  “He did things to us that I just…I never want to see a Charlie-in-the-Box again…and…he mis-fit that toy right in my anus…and…”  He can’t do it.  He cries, unabashedly, as if he wants his hurt to be known by all.

“The allegations against me are absurd and that’s that.  I don’t wish to comment any further,” Cornelius demanded.

One night, during their un-welcome stay at the Island of Misfit (Sex)Toys, Hermey and the reindeer claim that they were rescued –or abducted, depending on you point of view- by the very creature that haunts the nightmares of most of the North Pole’s inhabitants.  A Bumble had stolen off with Cornelius’ bounty from right in front of his bearded face.

“I’d always heard that Bumbles were a just species despite their appearance.  Maybe this thing witnessed the tragedy that was befalling me and my reindeer friend and wanted to help,” Hermes hypothesizes as his sobbing turns into sniffles, realizing that his benevolent beast had ended days of torture.

Cornelius wasted no time.  He grabbed his pick-ax and gave chase.  He found the two potential rewards inside a Bumble-cave.  The parties involved do not so explicitly remember the accounts of what happened next.

“The Bumble lunged at me and I defended myself,” Cornelius states matter-of-factly, not leaving any room for follow up questions or interpretation.

Hermey, as the theme goes, remembers a different story.  “He snuck up on the unarmed Bumble, and drove his ice pick through the poor thing’s spine.  Then he began to torture it, for information, in case he had any other missing fugitives hidden away.”

What followed was described by the elf as a sadistic display of animalistic behavior.  “It was like he turned off the part of his mind that made him a human.”

The torture culminated with Cornelius dangling the animal over the cliff and dropping it to his presumed death.  However, as the legend goes, apparently one that Cornelius’s father never imparted to him is that Bumbles bounce.

The great creature is alive despite being paralyzed with the spinal injury and is working with Hermey defense attorneys to have him exonerated.   They are bringing charges to Cornelius and ultimately to the SANTA Corporation who has the deeper pockets.  However, due to the fear and loathing of the race by its indigenous people, defense attorneys face an up-hill battle with jury selection.

Hermey has a long legal battle to fight, but is optimistic and some say opportunistic. “Bumbles may bounce, but the SANTA Corporation better not bounce my settlement check when I get done with them!”

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