Chaotic Good (A Santa Claus Story)
by Brent Rydin
“The year with all the storms, Santa came to town in June in a whole getup of yellow rain gear and big green rubber boots, but we still knew it was him, and I walked to town one day for coffee and a newspaper, and it was the first day without rain in all of June and it was the first time I’d left the house since the divorce and birds were singing and everything smelled like flowers and I get out of the coffee shop and Santa’s standing there and he says good morning and jumps in a puddle of dirty gasoline water and splashes it all over me and slaps the coffee cup out of my hand, and I punch him in his stupid goddamn jolly face and he falls ho-ho-ho-ing into that gross puddle, and gets up and waddle-scrambles off down the street laughing like a fucking idiot, and I’m still just standing there when it starts to rain again, and then I start laughing too and, anyway, I go back into the shop and they give me a free coffee because they saw the whole thing go down, and I put a buck in the jar and settle in with my coffee and my soggy newspaper and just kinda, y’know, ride out the storm,” I said, and Andy just made a confused face like he smelled something bad and said “What the fuck does that have to do with me and Karen?” and I smacked the beer out of his hand and the glass shattered on the floor and I head butted his stupid perfect nose and bolted out of the bar, and I can hear his footsteps chasing now, catching up with me, and I’m running out of breath and cramping up and he’s going to be on me soon, soon, soon, so yeah, all told I’d say tonight’s been a success.
Brent Rydin lives in Boston with his wife and their dog, and is the founding editor of Wyvern Lit. His writing can be found in numerous venues, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was featured in the inaugural Best Small Fictions anthology from Queen’s Ferry Press. He has a website over at brntrydn.com and tweets at @brntrydn. Other interests include lukewarm black coffee and the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo: “Fuck Deliveries” by Luca Rossato, used freely under Creative Commons license