The clock said 12:15 but it seemed later than that. The living room was dark as Daria and Jane sat on the couch watching television. They were bundled under blankets and drinking hot coffee as the remains of their holiday pizza littered the table.
“I can’t believe they called in the National Guard over a measly bit of snow and ice.” She leanred in towards the television set and raised a hand to her mouth. “It’s a measly eighth of an inch, folks. It’s not the end of the world!”
“Got to have some excuse to let the boys play with their big guns, Jane.”
“Hmmm, and some of those boys seem to have mighty big guns if you know what I mean.” Jane smirked as Daria looked uncomfortable. Jane smirked and slowly moved closer to Daria. “Hey, I remember a story that I read once where two girls like ourselves were sitting on a couch like this one. One of the girls found a pair of handcuffs underneath a pillow and…”
“Don’t even go there, Lane.”
Jane sat back on her heels. “But it’s Christmas.” Daria’s eyes came down in what Jane knew was a sign of anger. “What do you have against Christmas? It’s suppose to be a happy holiday.”
“Jane, we’re both stuck here celebrating the holiday by ourselves without any family. Yours are God knows where scattered around the globe and mine took off for Hawaii leaving me with a bum ticket that I’m sure they knew wouldn’t work.”
Jane sat there for a few seconds looking at her friend as she crossed her arms and tried not to blow up any more. “Well, I’m here,” she said in a small voice. “I’d like to think I’m family in at least a small way.”
Daria sighed and dropped her arms. “Of course you are, Jane. It’s just that…. Jane, what are you doing? Stop that!”
Jane had snuggled up with Daria underneath the blankets and wrapped her arms around her. She smiled. “I’ve got family!” she said with an overblown smile on her face. Daria continued an attempt to push her away but finally gave up with a sigh. Jane had a grip on her and wasn’t going anywhere. She, with much resistance, place a hand on Jane’s back and they both returned to their television watching.
A red light lit up the night sky for a brief second starling the girls. They looked at one another and ran to the window.
“What was that?”
“Maybe one of those National Guards troopers messed up with their big gun.” Daria smirked. “You know how with some that they shoot off rather early.”
Jane did a double take. “Daria, I knew that there was a perverted side to you.”
Daria’s eyebrows came down. “Not like yours. Don’t even think….”
She stopped as a high pitched squeal was heard from outside. They ducked as a large heavy object fell from the sky, landed with a thud in Daria’s backyard and tumbled a couple of times until finally coming to rest against the fence. Huge gouges of grass and small blobs filled the backyard as a low moaning was now heard from outside. The girls turned to one another, threw open the door, and ran outside.
The remains of a red sleigh, now smashed and dented, rested upside down against the fence. Bags once filled with gayly wrapped presents, now crushed and torn, lay around the impact site. A low moaning is heard from underneath the wreckage as Daria and Jane now run up. Jane ducks and peers inside while Daria comes up short a few feet away and looks at her boot.
“Damn, anyone still alive?” Jane calls.
“Jane, I’m standing in the middle of dead reindeer. Why am I standing in the middle of dead reindeer?”
“Urg! Daria, I need your help!” Jane grunted from under the sliegh.
Daria shook herself and finished the run to the sleigh. Together they pulled an older gentleman out from underneath and dragged him to a tree stump. His face was bloodly and his right leg was clearly broken. His red coat and pants were dirty and torn. He shook his head slowly.
“They told me not to take the route over the icecap this year. Come in via the east coast. It’s much safer that way.” He buried his face in his hands. “Why didn’t I listen to them? They’re all dead. They’re all dead!” He started to cry. Daria and Jane took a step back.