The Ninth Story of the Holidays...
This year, I bring you something a little bit different...12 Holiday Excerpts and Flash Fiction!
Jen Frankel is back to share another holiday tale...and an illustration by Bailey Meyer (@bymeyerfineart).
by Jen Frankel
Sonata Claus gave up her “o” when she joined the Castrating Harpies. She played her bass left-handed, and always added a shot of rye to her herbal tea. The other women in the band were tea purists; despite being hardcore punk rockers, they weren’t the world’s hardest drinkers. Sonata was not particularly into the tea, believing that caffeine (and booze) were essential to life.
Actually, she’d traded in her “u” as well, since joining the band. She’d been Snata Claws for so long that it took her a minute to register that the guy at the bar was talking to her. “Are you the Sonata Claus who went to Julliard with Reggie Sansom?” he shouted, for what was probably the third time. Snata was between sets and more interested in getting a beer than dealing with a drunk fan, but Reggie’s name caught her ear.
“What the hell do you have to do with that waste of space?” she barked back. She finally caught the bartender’s eye and gave her a tip of the wrist to order another round for herself. The Harpies were sharing a bottle of peppermint schnapps backstage, but anything minty made her think of candy canes.
The guy raised his hands in defence, and Snata growled at him before stalking off with her beer in hand.
The rest of the band stared when she came into the green room. “What?” Snata snapped.
Giganta Saur, drummer and proponent of Snata’s least favourite herbal tea (ashwagandha mint), darted her heavily-kohled eyes toward the corner of the room by the window. There, in a neat brown blazer with his black hair impeccably curled, stood a too-familiar figure.
“Speak of the actual devil,” Snata spat. “Reggie Sansom. I was just cursing your name a minute ago.”
Sansom smiled wryly. “Nice to see you too, Sonatina.”
She steered him into the grubby kitchenette off the main room. Swearing, she turned both taps on full to cover her words. “Tell him no, I’m not going back. And no one’s called me Sonatina since I was strong enough to punch. Since YOU went to work for him.”
He grunted. “This isn’t about…”
“Santa,” he corrected. “He knows.”
Snata blanched. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“The shadow rounds. After he visits folks who… you know. Who prefer punk to pop. Replacing what he left with Doc Martens and electric guitars. He’s fine with it. Heck, he thinks it’s brilliant.”
She reddened. “Yeah?”
“Swear to Santa.”
“I gotta get back to the band,” Snata said, wiping away a sudden wetness in her eyes. “They’re all the family I want.”
Reggie followed as she stomped out through the green room and toward the stage. The averted gazes made it pretty clear they’d heard everything said in the next room as the rest followed her.
He whispered to Giganta who was last to go. “Guess I shouldn’t tell Snata her dad’s in the crowd. He doesn’t want to cramp her style.”
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