❯ Employee of the Month – Mall Santa ( Chapter 4 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Artemis Fowl, once hailed as the world’s most brilliant teenager, sat in a spacious throne on a pile of fake, glittering, `snow.’ He was Santa Claus. And not just any Santa Claus, no, he just had to be the king of all cheaply paid Santa’s, the mall Santa. Beside him stood an attractive young woman, brown-skinned and green-eye. Her name, as her employee ID stated to the world, was Holly. A fitting name for one who played Santa’s best little helper. In other words, an elf. She looked just as happy as a baby without its mother, and without its bottle. This meaning that she was not very happy. By the sidelines stood a strong man, with short salt-and-pepper hair crowning his head. He looked as happy as the elf looked unhappy, which would be very happy indeed. Which is to say, he was laughing rather hysterically, though quite obviously trying to be unobtrusive and hide it. He was a bodyguard, trained to be cold and unyielding, showing no emotion. He was failing at his job rather horribly, as his hands were clasped to his sides, and he was wheezing through his laughter.
Now, to an informed child, this would be a normal Christmas. He would get in the line, which was shorter than usual, which was always a bad sign. Then he would wait his turn to speak to the rather pale and un-merry Santa, who was trying to fight his boredom. After he had spoken to this delusion the mall personnel tried to sell off as Santa, he would be passed a nice candy cane, from a young lady dressed up as an elf. Most people never noticed Butler, as he was standing rather far into the crowd and leaning against a potted plant.
But then, most people do not have the hearing it would take to notice that with every candy cane passed, Holly would whisper to the Santa. At the beginning, it was mostly encouragement. After all, Holly was a rather nice girl, who wanted to make everyone’s Christmas merry. Toward the time our little boy came in, it was more of a “How did I agree to do this?” And at the end of the day, it became a reminder of the painful ways that Artemis would pay for forcing her into this situation.
Most people do not know that elves coexist with humans on our beloved planet earth, and therefore would not have noticed that the charming young lady was actually one, as her wings were assumed part of an elaborate costume.
Also, most people are not trained to notice that Butler, the man wheezing over there next to the potted plant, was a bodyguard. But then, this was no normal mall. This was the mall to crown all malls, the plotting matrix that ruled the mall system, this mall was the mall created only to sell the people loaded goods, which would then bring the world under the reign of that oh-so-innocent boy hunched over a throne covered in not-so-bright tinsel.
And this was the reason that the oh-so-miserable elf Holly was handing out poisoned candy canes, and the reason the laughing Butler was putting drugs in everything he could reach, and that the oh-so-bored Santa Claus was sitting there talking to children. Or perhaps it was because they had been caught in one of their many schemes for money, and were now stuck doing community service. One of the two.