Flash Friday 25/12/2015: Seeing Red
A special Flash Friday for a special day. Merry Christmas, everyone!
“So do you think it’s organic, then?” Comet said, through chews of grain.
“It has to be,” Dasher said. “I don’t think it’s electronic, and it’s certainly not painted. I think he said once that he was just born that way. How his parents ever mustered the courage to raise a freak like that, the world will never know.”
“I’ve read about that,” Vixen said. “Bioluminescence, and the like.”
“I still think it’s electronic,” Comet said. “I’ve seen Santa’s elves work with electronics before. I think it’d be right easy to hook up a light or something. Could do it in a day.”
“Perhaps,” Dasher said, “but I can’t see any wires, and I don’t want to know where you’d cram the batteries to power it. I think he’s telling the truth when he said he was born with it.”
“Oh, come off it. What sort of genetic doohickey had to go on to get someone born with their nose glowing bright red? If a scientist got a hold of him, he’d never see the light of day again. Then they’d breed cats and dogs that glowed red, eyes that glowed red.”
“Wouldn’t mind if my lips glowed red,” Vixen added. “Would save on make-up.”
“My point is, I just think it’s totally impossible for someone to be born that way, you know?”
“Understandable,” Dasher said, “but at this point, I can’t offer any other explanation that makes sense from my viewpoint. Regardless of his methods, however, he’s certainly not one of us. Not with a nozzle that has a stronger output than a light bulb.”
“No kidding,” Vixen said. “One time I bumped into him with my eyes accustomed to the dark. Thought I’d be seeing red forever.”
“I stand by my conviction that he’s certainly not a reindeer worthy of our time or presence. He’s not sleeping in our stables, he’s not pulling Santa’s sleigh, and we’re definitely not going to let him join in any reindeer games.”
The other two reindeer nodded to themselves. Then, Vixen said, “Wait, what ‘reindeer games’ do we have again?”
“Oh, you know…we tried Scrabble once, but it’s hard to play it with hooves. We do have tag, though. And ‘guess the number I’m thinking of’. And when we shed our antlers, we try to guess who each other are by looks alone. Very fun for all the reindeer. Except Rudolph, he’s not invited.”
“Thing is,” Comet said, “as much as we don’t like him, Santa still took him on board like the rest of us. Maybe the old codger has something in mind.”
“Oh, don’t be daft,” Dasher said. “A crippled, albino child could crawl up to Santa’s front door wearing a reindeer hat and he’d still let him tug the sleigh. I tell you now, we’re going to get spotted because of that idiot’s gigantic glowing nose, Santa’s going to be mad, and the last we’ll see of that freak is a glowing Christmas bauble on the tree. Poor bastard won’t know what’s hit him.”
Dasher’s cruel laugh was only interrupted by the sound of hooves crunching. Given the snow became a little more red-tinted than usual, it was clear to everyone who was approaching. Dipping their heads into the grain trough, they all busied themselves looking as inconspicuous as possible.
“Y’alright?” Rudolph said, as his figure bounced into view.
“Hey Rudolph,” Dasher said. “Been talking to the Big Man?”
“That’s right, and you’ll never guess what! Santa just told me that my red nose is going to be invaluable for guiding his way through the snowstorms! He told me that I’m going to be the lead reindeer from now on!”
Dasher choked on his grain. “Really? That’s lovely news.”
“I know! I’m going to head off to practice flying about and carting small objects in the air. If any of you lot want to come along, feel free.”
With that, Rudolph bounced away into the snow, leaving the three behind.
“Comet,” Dasher finally said. “How easy did you say it was to hook up my nose with a light bulb, again?”