Issue 40 – Battle at the North Pole

Beneath Northern Lights
Elves turn toys into weapons
Repel Goblin raid
Summon polar bears, snowmen
Await goblins’ next assault

By DJ Tyrer


Santa Flips Out
By DS Davidson

Should’ve noted warning signs, so many
Drinking whiskey and vodka instead of sherry
Downing bottle after bottle, hoarding ammo
Surfing the net for extremist sites
Building bombs, bullets, guns instead of toys
Waiting for his moment, taking Elves by surprise
Launching his attack, breaking free from Yuletide slavery


Santa vs. Satan
By Mark Hudson

Who is that devil who is stealing all the souls?
Well, now he is loose at the North Pole.
Sacrificing elves in the middle of the snow,
he should have just stayed in his home down below!

Like the Grinch, Satan is here, alive and living,
he wants to disrupt this season of giving!
Will Santa be able to deliver toys on time?
Satan is at war. it’s a terrible crime!

The elves workshop infected with Acapulco gold,
suddenly the elves are working so slow!
The devil has got the elves hooked on weed,
they can’t meet the deadline for children in need!

Santa raided the factory and did a drug search,
and made all the elves go back to church!
Now they are cranking out the toys fast,
and the devil’s attacks will surely not last!

The devil, the proud spirit, can’t bear any mocking,
so the elves produce special gifts for stocking.
The devil tries to sabotage the sleigh,
but Santa tells Satan, “Devil, go away!”

The devil is furious, and out come his horns,
But Santa says, “Once, a child was born!
I’m making a list, checking it twice,
get out of here, you anti-Christ!”

So for one more year, Christmas was rescued,
and Santa was able to win in the feud.
Santa says, “Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!
Don’t sell your soul to the devil below!”


Hoist That Rag!
By Harris Coverley

Our orders came through—we were to take the Ridge!

We had finally managed to push the Russians out of Franz Josef Land, Svalbard fully secured, and we had forced a contingent of Americans to surrender at Ellesmere (the fools had had no idea what they were doing). To push on to the Geographic North Pole, with the Beaufort Plate ours and ours alone, would be both a strategic and symbolic victory—and that meant taking Amundsen’s Ridge.

The Russians of course controlled the Northern Sea route, running from their bases at Severnaya Zemlya along to the New Siberian Isles, and that would not be rectified for a long time yet, so a push northwards was the only way.

It was early spring, and the ice shelf was as thick as it was going to get—subterranean attacks by sub were unlikely, if not impossible. Besides: why would they potentially break up the sheet when they themselves were trying to keep it?

We made our trek, two thousand of us, on five great sledges built down in Dortmund, at fifty miles an hour, gliding between the ice dunes, avoiding drops and shallow plates.

Even in my thermal uniform the eternal winds were gnawing at me through the gaps in the hull. Overhead I could hear the helicopters trailing above us in attack formation, ready always for combat, as were we, our rifles, drenched in antifreeze, clenched in our stiff hands.

After a day’s continuous sledding we came to a sudden halt—the Russians were ahead of us, before the Ridge! They were hidden against an ice face, but we had detected their heat signature.

There was a pause—and then the helicopters launched their first volley!

They took out two tanks, but their infantry moved fast down the slope towards us. There was a wave of rockets and the blaze of flamethrowers, but our squad leader ordered us out onto the snow—he knew, as did his superiors, that we could beat them back and reach our target.

We poured out of the doors, ran to the bottom of the slope, and dropped, our rifles pointed up.

We waited for the order—it came: “FIRE AT WILL!”

I’m please to say I immediately dropped a flamethrowing Russian not thirty feet away—he fell into the flurry and his flame was forever thus extinguished.

Me and my comrades edged up the slope on elbows and bellies—crawl, FIRE, crawl, FIRE!

The Russian infantry parted, and we drew back to the sledges—one had been destroyed, two helicopters too, but we dragged what wounded we could back to our sledge, and we took off at top speed.

Yes, we had to leave some men behind—by God, they were heroes, are heroes still…but we needed to take the Ridge! It was vital!

Within mere minutes we could see it, and rode up the edge—it was to be ours!

But again, another sudden stop—the Russians were hiding before us once more! The cowardly pigs!

A volley of rockets hit our side, men blown onto the deck, limbs torn—my own ear was singed! (You can see that now still.) But it was the adrenalin that was really burning, and I felt nothing until hours after.

We filed out again, dropped, and fired!

The Russian formation on the Ridge was small and weak compared to the previous one—they were not meant to have engaged us in combat, only to have sat on the Ridge for emblematic reasons while the latter were to mop us up, which of course, they had not. As such, they proved no match for us!

They fell back, unable to counter our fire, their rockets spent, not a flamethrower among them…

By God, we got them!

They retreated down the Ridge, dropping like drunks, and were but dots in the distance as we raised our rifles in triumph—and counted our dead.

Of the two thousand we had begun as, just over half remained. With a burnt ear, and a bullet scraping my right upper arm, I had been one of the lucky ones.

Heroes, heroes I say, now and forever.

But we could not help but celebrate!

Hoist that rag!” an old boy cheerfully cried.

At the top of the Ridge the mast was set, the Bolshevik flag kicked into the chasm below.

The North Pole was ours, the Swastika flying high!

Ein Thule, ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!



Coup de’ Noel
By David Edwards

“Twas the last night before Christmas
when some two dozen Laplanders,
all traditional reindeer herders,
and now simultaneous observers
of unscheduled and curious
aurora borealis
with, wonder of wonders,
concurrent thunder,
stood in hushed awe.
At the exact same time,
early in his annual flight,
Santa’s sleigh disappeared from radar sight.
On next giftless Christmas morn
the joint Swedish-Norwegian-Finnish Air Force
retraced his well-known course.
Between the rivers Tana and Torne they found
scattered across a nearly 400 hectare snowfield:
thousands of broken presents on the ground;
parts of dismembered reindeer (thirteen legs, six
heads, seven torsos, countless antler fragments) all around;
shards of shattered sleigh; and,
face-down in a snowbank near the Torne,
lifeless hands still clutching the reins of his craft,
Father Christmas… Old Saint Nick… Kris Kringle…
the jolly Fat Man Himself… Santa Claus, his scalp fatally shorn.
As the world began to mourn
Interpol– so that criminal proceedings could initiate–
began to investigate, inspect, and interrogate.
The blast’s cause was quickly found:
a jack-in-the-box barometric bomb.
Then various newspapers received, via email,
a nefarious responsibility claim from
the Elf Liberation Front.
Among their strident, diminutive pleadings:
“Emancipation from forced labor… Right to emigration…
and an independent, temperate, homeland nation”.

Krampus Attack
By Aeronwy Dafies

Father Christmas’s dark alter ego
Emerges from his forest-dark lair
Stalks northward into ice and snow
Towards the sacred northern pole
Where his light-side sibling dwells
Amongst gifts and high-piled toys
Launches a vicious attack
Claws and fangs against jingling bells
Festive suit staining a deeper red
His cries summon Elves
A titanic battle erupts, scattering presents
Using tinsel ropes, they restrain Krampus
Halt the attack, apply first aid
Father Christmas is still alive
But, are the festivities saved?


Unwelcome Visitors
By K. A. Williams

“I don’t see any dwellings,” I said to my copilot, Tizwot.

He checked the scanner. “They’re underground.”

“Let’s land and find a way in.”


We melted the hidden door with our ray guns.

I climbed down the ladder first. “There’s probably another entrance but I’m too cold to look for it.”

We followed the light from our headlamps through a twisting tunnel that led to a heavy door. I opened it and we stepped inside a warm room.

There were tiny people on ladders, decorating a tall tree. We hadn’t been spotted yet. “They’re smaller than they looked in those broadcasts we saw. We should be able to conquer them easily,” I whispered to Tizwot.

The little people stopped working when a big man with a long white beard entered the room. He had on a red outfit and noticed us right away.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” he asked.

Tizwot and I had learned this language earlier from their broadcasts.

“We’re invaders from the planet Muvwap. Submit to our rule immediately or prepare for war,” I said.

He laughed merrily and the tiny people joined in. This was annoying. Tizwot and I pointed our ray guns at the jolly man.

He said, “Elves, you know what to do.”

Before we could shoot anyone, the little people had whirled around us so quickly, their figures looked blurred. When they stopped moving, Tizwot and I were wrapped up tightly in colorful paper with bows all over us, and our weapons were on the floor.

The fat man laughed again and said, “My elves will escort you outside. If you ever come here again, I’ll sic my reindeer on you.”

“What’s a reindeer?” Tizwot asked me.

“I have no idea.”

We were carried out another entrance and all the way back to our ship. They set us down and cut us free.

After we left the planet, Tizwot said, “I’m telling everyone that Earth is a hostile place full of mighty warriors and should be left alone.”

“Me too.”

The End


North Polar Battle
By DJ Tyrer

Special Forces advance through the snow towards a red-and-white striped pole, determined to wrest control of the Arctic from Santa before the Big Guy can sign a treaty with Putin.

Suddenly, Elves open fire from concealed positions. Special Forces scatter, return fire, call in an airstrike. The battle has begun…

Blood, red on the snow
Amidst reindeer carcasses
Santa makes last stand