Silent Night, Wretched Night - A Wretched & Alone game
:-o Poor Rudolf. Yikes.

Any idea what's the game that Santa and Drac are playing?
(12-19-2023, 10:10 PM)mark Wrote: :-o Poor Rudolf.  Yikes.

Any idea what's the game that Santa and Drac are playing?

If I had to guess, I would say plain old Poker. (I see cards and chips.)  I've seen it several places, but I don't believe any specifics are attached to it.
COMMUNICATION 8 (25 Dice, 2 Sweets, 2 Aces, 1 King)

SANTA: Where is it? I was sure I had it when I left.

ATC: What are you looking for, Santa?

SANTA: My family photo. The one with me and Mrs. Claus in our Summer casual clothes.

ATC: Summer casual?

SANTA: The red sweaters instead of our winter overcoats. Sour Gumdrops! Dracula must have taken it when he attacked out of the fog. He must have thought if he couldn’t get me, he could at least steal something important to me. Ugh! That’s fitting. First, more thick fog rolled in. Now, a stolen picture. Could this night get any worse?

ATC: Hold on, Santa. I think someone’s at the door.  (Away from the microphone) Can I help you?

VOICE ON RADIO: (Distant) Peppermint, is Santa on the radio?

ATC: (Away from mic) Hey, Sparky.  Yes, do you need to speak with him?

SPARKY: If you don’t mind. Santa? Can you hear me?

SANTA: Hey, Sparky. Sorry, but I can’t chat long.  I have to pay extra attention on my flying because of the fog.

SPARKY: Fog? Just use the antler fans.

SANTA: Antler fans?

SPARKY: I’m sure I told you about them. Didn’t I?  I fit magic induced fans in the antlers of several of the reindeer: Comet, Vixen, Cupid, and Prancer, I think.  They’re powered by moonlight.  Little lunar panels collect the light and store it as power.  They should be strong enough to clear away the fog.  The switch is on the right side of your dash.  Give it a try.

SANTA: (Click of a button, followed by a soft purr)  Well, what do you know? The fog is starting to clear. That’s great, Sparky!

SPARKY:  I thought you would like ‘em.  The real reason I came by was to check on the new Santa Suit.  How is it working out?

SANTA: The steel stitching and Kevlar reinforcements really helped.  I’ve had a couple of scrapes with Dracula tonight and, I think without it, I would have been a goner.  His clawed fingers just bounced off, and once he tried to bite my neck but got the collar instead. The faux fur did a number on him.  Maybe even chipped a fang.

SPARKY: (Gleeful laugh) I hate that we had to test it tonight -- any attack is a bad one -- but I’m glad we know the upgrades have served their purpose.

ATC: Sorry to butt in, but I have something big on the radar.  It’s not Blood Sucker, but it is massive and heading your way.

SANTA: I think I hear squeaking. Oh my! It’s a swarm of bats. We’re heading right for it. Dasher! Dancer! Dive!

(Distant singing can be heard on the radio. It gets louder, indicating Santa is coming down for a landing.)

SANTA: Whew! We made it down.  We can’t fly while they're overhead. I guess we’ll just wait it out. Luckily, we landed near some carolers and can enjoy their music.

CAROLERS: (They begin singing, “Sleigh Ride.”)

Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle-ing too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

SANTA: Listen, Peppermint.  I think I inspired them.

ATC: (Shocked) Can they see you, Santa?

SANTA: Of course.  Don’t worry, they didn’t see me actually land.  Besides, they look like they’re on their way home from a long-lasting Christmas Party.  They won’t remember any of this in the morning.

CAROLERS: Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "You Hoo"
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap Oh No!
Look at that bat grow!
He’s got a mouth of fangs as white as snow.

SANTA: Huh?  That’s not the words.

ATC: A blip just came on my screen!

CAROLERS: Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap Hey, Man!
Get away while you can!
Or you’ll be bit and soon you will be damned!

SANTA: The carolers are pointing behind me.  Oh, No! It’s Dracula. He’s snuck up behind me. Go Dasher! Go Dancer! Fly!

Roll Results: 5

Nine Hearts: What’s something Dracula recently took from you?

Nine Clubs: How will you deal with a thick fog?
Draw from the tower (Eliminated 2; 23 Remaining)

Ace Clubs: You have been given a new weapon. What is it?
Keep this card.  If it is your fourth Ace, you win.

Four Spades: A group of carolers warns you about Dracula.
Eat a sweet (One left)

Jack Clubs: You are grounded by a swarm of bats.
Draw from the tower. (Eliminated 4; 19 Remaining)
COMMUNICATION 9 (19 Dice, 1 Sweet, 3 Aces, 1 King)

SANTA: Reindeer down!  I repeat, reindeer down!

ATC: Acknowledged.  What’s going on?

SANTA: It’s Cupid.  He’s been severely wounded.  I have him on the sleigh, and we are in flight.  We need assistance immediately!

ATC: I’m dispatching a SEAL team to your location now.  Stay where you are if possible. We must not abort the night if possible.

SANTA: I hear you, Peppermint.  But the situation is bad. Cupid might not have time.

ATC: Our SEALs are top-notch.  You need to trust them.  What happened?

SANTA: It was a trap.  Dracula had filled a chimney with giant bats to distract me.  I couldn’t fit down, so I had to coax them out. Luckly, I’ve been taking that class on insect sounds and was able to convincingly imitate the call of the southeastern mosquito. The bats took the bait and flew out to investigate.  Having already taken too long at this location, I was preparing to descend when I heard the cry of an injured reindeer coming from the sleigh.

ATC: The sleigh wasn’t on the roof with you?

SANTA: No, the roof was full of gables and pitchy.  No place for the sleigh so I had to land in the yard.  I scrambled down to find Cupid on the ground, bleeding. One of Dracula’s werewolves was gnawing on his hind parts.

ATC: Couldn’t the other reindeer have fought back?

SANTA: They were too frozen with fear.

ATC: Oh, no! What did you do?

SANTA: I whacked the werewolf over the head with my sack several times to drive it away, then quickly pulled Cupid on the sleigh and took off.

ATC: The SEALs are in the air. How’s Cupid?

SANTA: Alive.  In pain.  Tell them to hurry.  Oh, Peppermint, what’s become of this night?  I remember when things were fun and easy.  Like my first Christmas journey. There were no obstacles and the children were eager and excited.  I remember tip-toeing into a few bedrooms whenever I heard the little girls and boys fidgeting around.  I would sit on the side of their bed, tell them a bedtime story, and say their prayers with them while they fell back asleep.  Nowadays, the children are afraid of strangers and I’m being chased by Dracula.  Any hopes of me talking some sense into the Lord of Darkness are gone now.

ATC: Talk sense?  What are you talking about? He is evil! He won’t change!

SANTA: Ah, you say that.  But I’ve done it before.  You know La Catrina?

ATC: The Elegant Skeletal Lady who is celebrated during the Mexican Día de los Muertos? The one who watches over the families’ dead ancestors?

[Image: ABLVV85qHsyi7NkzzgM8fF8FWy_MnfragYbtBnQt...dwL0=w2400]

SANTA: Yes.  You may not know this, but she wasn’t always revered.  She used to lure unsuspecting victims instead, taking them down into the underworld, adding to the dead instead of watching over them.  I received so many letters from the Mexican children asking me to bring home their parents for the holidays that I had to try something.  So, Mrs. Claus and I invited La Catrina over for dinner and sugar cookie. While we ate, Mrs. Clause and I shared with La Catrina about the rewards of bringing joy to people instead of fear.  Apparently, it worked, as she was touched and returned many people she had tricked back to their homes.  Those that she couldn’t, she vowed to protect and sent word to their living families that they were okay and doing well in the afterlife.*  We still get together every spring to have coff . . .

(A menacing laugh fills the air.)

SANTA: It’s Dracula!  He must be near.  This can’t be the end. I have to get out of  . . . Gingerbread! He just came out of nowhere. Half of him is in human form. The other half is bat.  The wings are adding extra speed!  Dasher! Dancer! Faster! Wait! Cupid!  What are you doing? You’re too weak to move . . . No! Don’t!  Peppermint!  Cupid just jumped!  He flew into Dracula, sending both of them plummeting to the earth.  Cupid gave us a chance to get away, but I’m afraid he might be lost!

ATC: Keep going, Santa!  I’ll advise the SEAL team so they are prepared.  If anyone can save Cupid, they can.

<* Author’s note: This history of Día de los Muertos is totally made up for the story prompt.  Please don’t leave comments bashing my mythological knowledge. 😉>

Roll: 6

Jack Diamonds: You come across a chimney filled with giant bats.
Draw from the tower. (Eliminated 4; 15 Remain)

Seven Spades: How does Dracula’s laugh affect you?
Draw from the tower (Eliminated 1; 14 Remain)

King Clubs: A werewolf attacks one of your reindeer.
Draw from the tower. Keep this card. If this is the final King, you lose. (Eliminated 5; 9 Remain)

Four Hearts: What is a memory from your first Christmas?

King Spades: Dracula suddenly appears out of the moonlight has a giant bat.
Draw from the tower. Keep this card. If this is the final King, you lose. (Eliminated 1; 8 Remain)

Six Hearts: How did you make a difference in someone’s life?
COMMUNICATION 10 (8 Dice, 1 Sweets, 3 Aces, 3 Kings)
<RPGSolo Oracle: Is Cupid okay? (50/50): Yes>

SANTA: Aire Traffic Control. This is JOLLY-ONE. Come in Aire Traffic Control.

ATC: Go ahead, JOLLY-ONE. This is Aire Traffic Control.

SANTA: Is there any news on Cupid?

ATC: Good news, in fact.  The SEALs were able to recover him. It seems the spunky reindeer was able to drive off Dracula and still have enough flight to land softly in a snow drift.  The SEALs followed his collar tracker right to him.  Turns out, the most damage was done to the fatty portions of his rump. No vital organs were damaged.  He should be all healed by next Christmas.

SANTA: That’s good, but he was bitten by a werewolf. Doesn’t that mean . . . ?

ATC: Apparently, a werewolf’s bite is not as toxic as a vampire bite. It doesn’t require you die and is intermittent, triggered only by full moonlight.  Because it’s not as severe, the elves over in R&D believe the condition can be reversed. They’ve been working on a werewolf antivenom. Cupid is their first trial and, so far, he seems to be responding well. We won’t know for sure until the next full moon, but they’re expecting Cupid will be fine. But if not, as long as Christmas doesn’t fall on a full moon, he should still be good to go.

SANTA: That’s great news! We’ve been through a lot over the years. If this sleigh could speak, it would sure have some stories to tell.  Dents from the Great Hailstorm of ‘92. The patched holes in the baseboards from several hard landings.  The charred wood behind the seat from the Superstitious Villager Attack of ‘75.  That’s 1775. But I can’t remember a worse year than this.  Dracula is really ramping up his game.

ATC: And it appears the night’s not over yet.  I have a trio of fast moving objects coming in from 2 o’clock.

SANTA: Trio? That can’t be Dracula.

ATC: No, it’s not. It appears that you’re close to NORAD, and their radars have picked you up.

SANTA: Oh, that’s okay. They host the Santa Tracker every year. I’ll be fine. 

ATC: You don’t seem you understand. The Santa Tracker is all fun and games for the children.  It’s not real. They don’t know what your sleigh is, so they sent a group of fighter jets to check you out.

SANTA: Fighter jets? (A burst of gunfire is heard) Great Gumdrops! Why are they firing at me?

ATC: I don’t know, but I wouldn’t wait around to find out! Get to safety as I try to block their radar.

SANTA: Don’t need to tell me twice. We’re going to land until the threat has passed . . .

(Some time later . . . )

SANTA: Getting stuck in the bushes after nearly being shot down in Colorado really put us behind schedule, but I think we’ve recovered well.

ATC: How many deliveries do you have left?

SANTA: I’m nearly done with Hawaii and am approaching the last house.  This is it! We’re almost done.  I just landed and as soon as I deliver this last present . . .  Hey! What’s going on?  Someone just through a net over me.

RUFFIAN 1: You can’t get away, so just give us everything you have and we’ll let you go.

SANTA: I’m not giving in to you common thieves.  Do you want to be put on the “Naughty List?”

RUFFIAN 2: Quiet, Old Man.  We’re not interested in your whole Santa shtick.  Just give what’s in the bag. Fast!

SANTA: Wait’ll I get out of this net.  I’m not as nice as St. Patrick, you know.

RUFFIAN 1: Good luck with that.

RUFFIAN 2: Hey, you made a pun.

RUFFIAN 1: Huh?  Never mind that.  That net is too strong for you to break  out . . .  Hey! Who are you?

VOICE: Get out of here, creeps! You’re not welcome here.  (Sounds of a hard object hitting flesh.)

RUFFIAN 1: Hey man! Cut that out!

RUFFIAN 2: Let’s get out of here!  (The sounds of running footsteps.)

ATC: Santa. What’s going on!  Are you okay?  Should I send help.

SANTA: No need, Peppermint. All is fine.  I was attacked by a gang of street thieves, but this helpful man in a business suit came by and fought them with his briefcase.  They ran away and I’m fine.

BUSINESSMAN: Here. Let me help you out of that.  Did they hurt you?

SANTA: Thanks. I’m okay.

BUSINESSMAN: What’s with the getup?  Halloween was two months ago, and I didn’t know they had Christmas costume parties.

SANTA: Ho! Ho! Ho! No party, Benjamin. I’m the real Santa.

BUSINESSMAN: Hey! How did you know my name was Benjamin? Never mind. I’m too tired to think about it.  I’ve been working all night trying to finish plans for a new housing project on the east end of the island.  It was supposed to be done by Christmas, but that’s not going to happen. Haven’t seen much of my family this week and I promised I’d be home on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, that might not be enough for my son, Timmy. 

SANTA: Why’s that?

BUSINESSMAN: He’s really had his eye on this MegaSpeed electric scooter for weeks. The fancy kind with the lighted wheels and solar charging.  Unfortunately, money’s tight and that’s an expensive scooter.  I just couldn’t swing it this year.

SANTA: I think I can help you with that.  Here. Do me a favor and place this under your tree.

BUSINESSMAN: Huh? What’s this box?

SANTA: It’s the scooter Timmy asked me to bring him.


SANTA: I told you, I’m Santa! And your house is my last stop of the evening. 

BUSINESSMAN: Really?  This isn’t a joke?

SANTA: It isn’t a joke.

BUSINESSMAN: (Overly excited) Gee! Thanks, Santa . . . or whoever you are.  You’ve made Timmy’s Christmas!  He’s going to flip when he sees this.  (The voice trails off in the distance before hearing him call back “Merry Christmas.”)

ATC:  Wow! He seemed happy. So I guess it’s been another successful Christmas.

SANTA: Indeed it has.  I’ve just taken off and we’re on route to the North Pole . . . Wait. What’s that?

ATC: What is it?

SANTA: Someone dressed as me.  One of those street corner charity Santas. 

ATC: Isn’t he out a bit late?

SANTA: Yes, but that’s not important.  What is, is that Dracula is creeping up behind him. Either Blood Sucker thinks it’s me, or he doesn’t care.  He just wants to kill a Santa. Peppermint, I think this is my chance to take care of that old bat once and for all.

ATC: What are you going to do?

SANTA: You know my hood ornament, the one that looks like a Christmas Tree?

ATC: Of course. I’ve heard you never leave home without it.

SANTA: It’s actually another Sparky Special. He calls it a Kris-Mas Tree.  Like the dagger.  I’ll just take it off the hood, pull back the branches, and voilà, a two-foot long, vampire killing spike.  I’m going in, Peppermint. Warm up the cider. I’ll be home as soon as I exterminate this bat!

Roll Results: 6 cards

Two Clubs: You are spotted by an online Santa Tracker.

Five Clubs: The sleigh gets stuck in vegetation and you need to cut yourself free.
Draw from the tower (Eliminated 1; 7 Remain)

Seven Diamonds: A band of thieves catch you in their net.
Draw from the tower (Eliminated 3; 4 Remain)

Five Spades: Dracula attacks a Santa Claus impersonator.
Draw from the tower (Eliminated 1; 3 Remain)

Three clubs:  What damage or distress has the sleigh taken over the years?

Ten Diamonds: You meet a tired parent in a business suit and lift his spirits.
Eat one sweet (Last Sweet, we win!)

[Image: ABLVV87TkAFHtHrHQ9Nv7VamMY7WqpOkR3k0UD9W...nJmw=w2400]

All was quiet and dark in the stable, the only light a single moonbeam shining through a half closed window. Heralded by a faint crunching of snow, Santa entered through the creaking front door. The tired, not-so-jolly man made his way to an old neglected stall in one particularly dark corner.

“Well, it’s finally over, boy.  Sparky’s kris did exactly what he made it to do.  The Old Bat never saw me coming and I buried that thing right through his cold heart.  The cretin fell to the ground without even a peep.

“I didn’t stop there. Oh, no. I wasn’t going to let him get away that easy. I destroyed him limb to limb. For you. For Cupid. For all the innocent lives he stole and condemned.

“When I ripped him open, do you know what I found? Surprisingly, after all these years, your nose was perfectly preserved in the fiend’s stomach. Can’t tell you if it was the nose’s magic or the vampire’s blood-diet metabolism, but it just sat there undigested.

“I know, it’s little comfort in light of all that he took from you, but I brought it back, just the same.”

Santa reached out his hand, holding out the tattered and torn nose. The penned reindeer charged the wall of the stall and pushed his snout through the slats. He snapped out with sharp, drooling fangs, reaching for the living flesh it could smell.

“Calm down boy.  I just want to place this right here . . . “

Santa, careful to avoid the gnashing teeth, placed the nose on the tip of the scarred snout. As soon as touched, the severed nose fused back into place, leaving no trace of the former brutality.

Rudolf’s violent attacks stopped and retreated back into the stall. He shook his head and stared, curious of what this new sensation was.

[Image: ABLVV85vyTDVbs4t9h2HsWGl7y_RAsrr_Aru99v_...E=s250-p-k]

“That’s a good boy,” Santa said.  “Just relax and get some sleep.” He turned and headed for the stable door. “Merry Christmas, Rudolf.”

The door closed and the stable was once again filled with pre-dawn darkness. However, from the back corner, breaking through the gloom, was a faint, red glow.

From a gap between two boards,a lone mouse poked its head. Sensing no danger with it’s twitching whiskers, it emerged and skittered across the straw covered floor. Unconcerned about the animal sleeping nearby, the mouse entered the ring of reddish light.  It sniffed around, smelling for some bit of food, edging closer and closer to the source of light, when suddenly, it was snapped up by the striking snout.

Rudolf appeared to smile as he enjoyed his Christmas meal. Once done, he laid his head down to enjoy a peaceful day’s sleep, his bright, shiny nose filling the stable with its eerie red glow.


<By the nature of this game, there would obviously be a successful ending and a failed, or wretched, ending. While I didn’t know how it would all turn out as I was playing, I was contemplating the different endings to prepare for whatever would happen.  I came up with what I thought were two great endings.  You’ve already read the successful ending.  However, if I am being honest, I actually liked the wicked ending better.  So, to keep it from fading from memory, I would like to share the alternate ending to this story.  What would have happened if Santa was indeed defeated by the evil vampire Count Dracula.>


Mrs. Claus sat silently in her rocking chair, head down, as Peppermint and the other elves told her of the horrible news. The matriarch of the North Pole kept up a good front, but tears still welled up in her eyes.

Peppermint placed her hand on Mrs. Claus’ knee. “I'm really sorry. I did all I could, but it just wasn’t enough.” The elf turned and walked out of the room, dejected.

The rest of the elves stood around, unsure of what to do or say. They just waited to offer any assistance should their former employer’s wife need it. After several minutes, she stood up and quietly left the room.

Mrs. Claus opened a door to a darkened room. Light shone in from the hall and barely illuminated a four-poster bed. Laying on the bed was a covered form.  It remained still.

“Christina?” spoke Mrs. Claus.

A rustle of the covers and a slight moan answered her.

“Your father didn’t make it.”


“The SEALs recovered his body and laid him in the ice chapel.”

Now at the side of the bed, the new widow laid her hand on her daughter, only to feel the younger woman pull away.

“I understand, dear. I’ll be in the living room when you are ready.”  Mrs. Claus backed out of the room and shut the door behind her.

Christina Claus remained where she was for several minutes before slowly pushing back the covers and sitting up on the side of the bed. With a flick of only her hand, a small flame lit upon a half-melted white candle that sat in an ornate bronze holder. To any mortal, the woman in the pale, pink nightgown would have appeared to be just over twenty, despite having lived almost three times that. She stared blankly into space, seemingly contemplating nothingness, until her eyes fell upon the large, ornately carved, oak wardrobe standing against the opposite wall. Christina stood, crossed the room, and stopped in front of its massive doors.

“It’s time,” she said, addressing no one in the room, and opened the wardrobe.

*  *  *  *  *

In the living room, Mrs. Claus was back in her rocker, several other elves still keeping her company. Cookey had just come from the kitchen with a steaming mug.

“Here you go, ma’am,” she said, offering her the drink. “I brought you some of my warm, spiked eggnog. It should help you relax.”

“Thanks, Cookey.  You’re a darling.”

Suddenly, sharp footsteps could be heard coming from the hall.  Everyone turned their heads to see Christina Claus enter the room.

The young woman stood tall, her athletic body covered by a red leather bodysuit. Over it, she wore armored pauldrons, gauntlets, corset, and shin guards, each silver piece decorated with gold edges and vine-like patterns. Her lower legs sported knee-high, silver-colored boots. On her head, sat a red, fur-lined stocking cap similar to the type her father wore. Flowing out from the cap and framing her fair-skinned face were the waves of her waist-length, platinum blonde hair. Finishing the ensemble was a flowing, red-velvet cape, trimmed with snow-white fur.

Equally eye-catching were the implements she held in her hands. In her right, she held a wooden cobbler’s hammer.  In her left, a wooden candy-cane, its straight end sharpened into a wicked point.

The elves stared in awe as the battle-ready Christina scanned the room with her ice-blue eyes.

“Elves, ready the sleigh!” she ordered.  “We have one last gift to deliver.”

“Gift?  What gift?” Cookey asked, confused.

Mother and daughter’s eyes locked, and Christina’s ruby red lips curved into a vengeful smile as she held up the piked peppermint.

“Stake!  Well done!”

Luke 2:1-19
Now we wait for Season 2.

Thank you for sharing!
(01-03-2024, 01:44 PM)mark Wrote: Now we wait for Season 2.

Ha! Nice idea, but probably not.

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it.\

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