Old Nick

The icy cavern shook for the thousandth time.

A hulking man with a white beard and rippling muscles feasted on a whole goat on a spit. His nicotine-yellow toes wiggled comfortably by the large fire in front of him.


He tore through the goat with gusto and burped with such magnificence that the walls of his abode shook again and again…and again. He drank honeyed wine from a leather flask – a gift from the Egyptian god Anubis. He and Anubis go way back. They still play mancala whenever things are slow in the underworld.

The well-lit cavern was a coal mine and tiny elves worked day and night without stopping for the most anticipated night of the year.

“Adnan! Coskun! Egemen!”

Three elves, all looking as old and dirty as time, rushed to his side. He threw them meaty chunks of goat. The elves descended upon the goat ribs like a pack of wolves. They slobbered all over the bones and smacked each other for scraps that fell to the floor.

“How goes the reindeer stable boys?”

They answered one after the other in rapid succession, as they are part of the same hive mind:

“Fed and burped!”

“Shoed and ready!”

“Brushed and bridled!”

He stood up and gave an almighty belch that reeked of too many goat dinners and the occasional yeti that he found delectable, too. He shook snow and dirt off his feet and plunged them into oxhide boots he made himself.

He gave a wild look at all the elves who stopped to look at him.


A hundred or so reindeers took to the sky. They pulled a mighty sled of steel and wood, with a nearly bottomless sack of ever-burning coal. These vulture-reindeer hybrids flew faster and never tire. They looked like ordinary reindeers, except for their hardened beaks and black wings that spanned four meters end to end. The time-stop was in effect and Old Nick wanted to unload his cargo as quickly as possible.


Sheets of fiery coal rained down on cities and towns, finding their targets. Naughty, evil and corrupt adults woke up with a start, finding themselves being peppered with burning coals from the sky. The burning coals stung like nothing else and whatever they did, they couldn’t pry the coal from their burning flesh.
Violent screams punctuated the night as the retribution came at Christmastime, with a bang.

After burning through half of Asia and a third of Africa, he turned to Europe and the Americas.


Old Nick fired volley after volley of extra hot and painful coal. Tons of coal razed the most corrupt and vile of the populations. Almost all the ever-burning coal was gone after he went through Europe and the Americas.

He gave his steeds an almighty pull and turned them back to the general direction of his ice cavern.

Until next year, Old Nick!

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