Read 'Little Suzie' by Frank Muse, or listen to the audio version:
He quickly looked around the room. His sack of toys was on the floor where he had placed it after coming down the chimney, and a plate of snickerdoodles sat on the coffee table. He remembered biting into one and being delighted it was homemade. Nearby, a green plastic tumbler lay on the floor in a pool of slowly coagulating pumpkin-flavored eggnog.
The last thing Santa remembered before passing out was taking a big gulp of that eggnog. “It must have been drugged,” he thought. “My damn sweet tooth is always getting me into trouble.”
Santa had found himself in bad situations before, so he scanned the room again, this time more slowly. Maybe he could find some clues about who had done this to him.
The house was supposed to be the home of little Suzie Watkins, age six. She had asked for a Barbie astronaut doll, a pony (sorry, Suzie, Santa doesn’t do livestock), and a new soccer uniform. Suzie lived in an isolated region of Ontario, and her house was one of Santa’s first deliveries.
But as he looked around, he slowly realized that little Suzie probably didn’t exist. Most houses with children had some telltale toys scattered around, but he didn’t see a single piece of brightly colored plastic. Suspicious. Instead, he saw a well-stocked liquor cabinet, high-end electronics, and some tasteful leather chairs.
The Christmas tree should have been decorated with the sparkly ornaments and paper chains a little girl like Suzie would have made in school, but it was covered with hand-carved wooden animals, softly glowing white lights, and porcelain mermen instead. No mermaids? Even more suspicious.
If this were really little Suzie’s house, there should be photos of her and her family, but all Santa saw was a framed Tom of Finland print mounted above the couch. Suzie probably wouldn’t want to see a biker and a sailor groping each other in a public park. Very suspicious. With a sinking sensation, Santa slowly realized he had been kidnapped by one of his crazed gay fans. Again.
It was a hazard of the job, one that wasn’t discussed on morning talkshows or in animated children’s specials. As one of the world’s best-known Daddies, Santa figured prominently in the fantasies of thousands of gay men. Santa and his elves had developed a theory about how these fantasies originated. Maybe they arose from early childhood experience, but it seemed more likely they were ancient archetypal behavior patterns dating back to the early days of human evolution.
When people saw a big, strong man with a beard, they connected him with power, protection, and virility. In mankind’s hunter-gatherer past, Santa would have been the ultimate provider and chief of the caveman tribe. But now when gay men found themselves drawn to Santa, their attraction became perverted into sexual fantasies. Sick and twisted sexual fantasies.
The front door opened, and a large bearded man entered in a burst of snowflakes. He stomped his boots to remove the snow, put down the firewood he was carrying, and hung his coat on a hook. Then he turned to Santa and said, “Now that you’re inside with me I can light a fire. It’s really coming down out there.”
Santa struggled against his bonds, but his captor smiled and shook his head. “I’m sorry about the ropes, Santa. It’s temporary, just until you grow to love me as much as I love you. I’m hoping it won’t take long. I have so many plans for us.”
He stuck out his hand and then realized his mistake. “Oh, sorry again. I just wanted to formally introduce myself. My name is Jimmy, and I’m your biggest fan.”
Santa wanted to roll his eyes, but he resisted the urge. You’ve got to control yourself, Santa. Don’t do anything to make this psycho angry. Remember the children who need you, he thought.
Santa thought Jimmy might be right, however, when he called himself his biggest fan. Well, at least he was the largest person who had ever kidnapped him. He guessed Jimmy was about six feet tall, and maybe weighed two-fifty. Jimmy was only wearing a tight red union suit and a pair of work boots, so Santa could see that his arms and legs were thick and muscular. His union suit was unbuttoned to just below the navel, and his large chest and firm round belly were covered with the same bright red hair he had on his head and face.
Santa knew Jimmy was what the gays these days called a “bear,” but up at the North Pole, the elves just would have called him a “big hunk of man.” Jimmy was smiling broadly at Santa, and he realized Jimmy was not only the biggest but also the most handsome maniac he had ever been kidnapped by. Despite his dire situation, Santa felt his velvet pants start to tighten a little.
Jimmy sat down in a leather armchair opposite Santa and spread his legs wide. Santa could see the size of his Yule log through the union suit, and he tried not to let his eyes widen in amazement. He failed.
“I’m glad I got your attention,” Jimmy said. I’m sure you don’t remember me, Santa. You’re so generous each year to millions of children worldwide, why would you remember me? I’m nothing special, but I remember you.”
“Every Christmas you gave me whatever I asked for. When I was eight, I asked for He-Man and Skeletor dolls. My parents laughed and said ‘No way. We don’t want our little boy playing with bodybuilders in leather harnesses. That just doesn’t seem right.’ But I mailed you my list, and you gave me those toys. Boy, were my parents surprised.”
“When I was twelve, I wanted the boxed dvd series of Grizzly Adams and The Incredible Hulk. Again, my parents told me no. ‘We don’t want you hogging up the TV, watching Lou Ferrigno rip out of his clothes or a guy with a beard run around in the woods.’ But on Christmas morning, those presents were waiting for me under the tree. You always gave me what I wanted, and you never asked for anything in return except some milk and cookies.”
“Maybe you remember this one? When I was eighteen, I wanted the Colt Studios Hairy Chested Hunks calendar. I didn’t even bother to ask my parents. Even though I was too old to believe in Santa, I sent you a postcard anyway, and on Christmas morning when I woke up, the calendar was discreetly tucked underneath my pillow. I was excited to get it (real excited, if you know what I mean), but I was even more excited thinking about you sneaking into my bedroom while I slept.”
Jimmy slipped one hand inside his union suit and rubbed his big, ginger-haired chest. Santa tried to avert his eyes, but he couldn’t.
Jimmy said, “After I went to college, I started dating guys. Lots and lots of guys, and I kind of forgot about you. I guess it was the sex, because I was having lots of it. Men liked my big hairy body. Do you like it, Santa? Oh, sure all the sex was fun, and I even fell in love a few times, but I always felt like something was missing. And then just recently I realized what it was. No one had ever loved me as purely and truly as you did. Every man I loved always wanted something in return: sex, a relationship, emotional support, whatever. But you, you loved me unconditionally.”
Jimmy smiled and unbuttoned two more buttons. Santa watched as Jimmy ran his hand down over his furry belly, across a thick tuft of fiery pubic hair, and under the thin cotton fabric that hid his growing bulge. Jimmy grabbed it, and Santa moaned.
“You like that, Santa?” Jimmy said. “Maybe I’ll give it to you if you say you love me. The nearest neighbor’s a mile away, and with this blizzard, there’s no chance any Christmas carolers are stopping by. Still, if I take off the gag, do you promise not to scream? I don’t want you to scare your reindeer.”
Santa nodded eagerly, and Jimmy pressed his hairy torso against Santa’s face as he unstrapped the ball gag. Santa inhaled deeply, taking in the smells of wood smoke, Ivory soap, and baked goods. He moaned again.
After he took off the gag, Jimmy peeled off his union suit and kicked off his boots. He looked down at Santa’s crotch and smiled. He said, “I can see you like my big cinnamon stick, Santa. You want to touch it? All you have to do is say you love me.”
Santa smiled and said, “All I can say is … you picked the wrong mythical figure to fuck with. I ain’t no Easter Bunny.”
Jimmy’s smile vanished.
With a quick flex of his arms and legs Santa freed himself from the ropes. “You didn’t think I’d be so strong, did you? I’ve been loading sleighs for two thousand years, you puny punk.”
Santa stood up. He was a head taller than Jimmy and outweighed him by at least a hundred pounds. Santa laughed when Jimmy gasped at his size. “That’s right, little cub. The biggest bears are the motherfucking polar bears.”
Santa flexed his arms, and the velvet ripped along the seams as his huge biceps bulged upward. He flexed his chest, and his enormous pecs ripped open his coat. He flung it onto the floor and growled. Jimmy whimpered as he saw the thick white hair that covered Santa’s powerful muscles and thick gut.
“I’m a damn Christmas superhero, and you can’t stop me from my duty. Even with that fucking hot little body of yours.” He poked Jimmy in the chest with one finger, and Jimmy fell back into the leather chair. He grabbed himself as he stared hungrily up at Santa.
Santa ripped off his red velvet pants, revealing a massive black leather jockstrap adorned with jingle bells. He spread his booted feet wide and rested his hands on his hips. And then, Santa made the bells jingle. Jimmy gasped.
Santa said, “The howling winds are mine to command! The icy blizzard is my companion! The year’s blackest midnight is my festival!” His eyes glowed with ancient, elemental power.
As he spoke, the house was buffeted by strong winds. The lights flickered, and snow gusted down the chimney onto the floor. Up on the roof, the reindeer stomped their hooves in agitation.
Jimmy crawled across the floor and began to lick Santa’s thick hairy thighs. Santa’s jockstrap jingled again as its contents grew larger.
Santa looked down at Jimmy and sneered. “Good boys get presents, but you know what bad boys get?”
Jimmy looked up expectantly.
Santa paused and said, “Umm, bad boys get … hold on …”
Jimmy whispered, “We talked about this. You know what you’re supposed to say!”
Santa laughed. “I’m sorry, it’s a busy time of year for me. Uh, I know you didn’t want me to say coal … Oh right.”
Santa composed himself and once again sneered down at Jimmy. “Bad boys get a trip to the North Pole.” He pulled off his jockstrap and threw it across the floor.
Jimmy said, “Oh Santa, it’s the biggest candy cane I’ve ever seen!”
With a bellowing “Ho ho ho!” Santa scooped up Jimmy, threw him over his shoulder like a sack of toys, and carried him off to the bedroom.
Afterward, they were lying in bed, listening to the wind batter the walls and watching the snow pile up against the window.
Santa said, “That was a lot of fun, but you don’t have to think up these elaborate scenarios all the time. Last month I was a firefighter and had to rescue you from a burning logging camp. Before that we were Mexican wrestlers, and before that I was a Viking and you were an Irish monk. You know, sometimes we can just get together for dinner and watch a movie.”
Jimmy looked up from where he was resting his face in Santa’s snowy chest hair. “I know, but it’s Christmas Eve, and I wanted you to have some fun on your busiest work night. It’s my present to you. And I just …” Jimmy hesitated and looked away.
“What is it, Jimmy?” Santa said softly.
“I just want to make sure you don’t fall out of love with me.”
Santa laughed so hard that the bed shook.
“Don’t laugh! I’m serious. You’re so exciting and famous, and I’m just a chef at a pancake house. What’s keeping us together other than the hot sex?” Jimmy reached down between Santa’s thighs. “I mean the really, really hot sex.”
Santa pulled Jimmy’s hand away. He looked him in the eyes and said, “For one thing, you’re the most amazing, beautiful, hairy pancake chef in Canada. And for another thing, I knew you were the one as soon as we met.”
“Of course. When I saw you two years ago at Provincetown Bear Week, my heart felt something it had never felt before. And I’ve felt a lot of things in my long life. Besides, somehow you saw through my magic and knew who I really was. That must mean something. No one else has ever done that.”
Jimmy wriggled up and kissed Santa’s rosy nose. “It was obvious who you were. I was like, ‘Damn girl, there’s Santa rocking out to Katy Perry. I better make my move before someone else does.’”
“Everyone else just saw an old fool in cargo shorts and a fanny pack,” Santa said.
“No, everyone else saw a sexy old fool in cargo shorts and a fanny pack.”
Santa growled and rolled over, pinning Jimmy under his massive bulk. Santa’s eyes blazed with blue fire as he said, “I’ll show you who’s an old fool, you little brat.”
Jimmy smirked and writhed under him. “Oh, I dare you to show me, old man.”
Suddenly, from up on the rooftop they heard the noise of reindeer hooves. They were tapping rhythmically, as if in Morse code.
“Oh darn it, it’s time to go. I guess I should deliver all those presents.” Santa sighed and climbed out of bed.
As he watched Santa pull on his boots and gloves, Jimmy said, “You know, one thing in tonight’s little game was true. You do always get me exactly what I want for Christmas. Hint, hint.”
Santa winked at him and said, “Well, people say there’s always a little truth in every fantasy.” He put on his red hat and walked into the living room.
Jimmy followed him and looked expectantly under the Christmas tree, but there were no presents.
Santa positioned himself by the fireplace, naked except for his boots, gloves, and hat. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he said.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Jimmy said.
“What, you don’t want me to deliver gifts naked? Don’t worry, Mrs. Claus packed me an extra red suit in the sleigh. She knew I was coming here first tonight.”
“Your mother’s so considerate. Give her my love,” Jimmy said, and then added with a slight note of desperation in his voice, “But aren’t you forgetting something else?”
“Jimmy, I’d never forget you. You know sometimes I like to tease. Your Christmas present is next to the bed.” Santa laid one of his fingers next to his nose. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Jimmy stepped back and watched Santa transform from a huge naked musclebear into a radiant ball of icy blue energy, which shot up the chimney like a rocket.
Jimmy smiled as the house rattled, and a cloud of snow and ashes shot into the living room. “That up-the-chimney thing gets me every time,” he said.
Jimmy fell asleep quickly after Santa left, lulled into slumber by the sound of snowflakes on the windowpane. He smiled as he slept. Clutched in his hand was a large brass key, which had the following note attached to it by a silver ribbon:
Don’t you think it’s time we moved in together? Here’s your own key to my castle at the North Pole. Or should I say our castle? When you pack your things, don’t forget the wrestling masks. And maybe a cop uniform.
Love and Merry Christmas,
The Big Man in the Red Suit