Totally Not: A Christmas Story

rating: +26+x

Content Warning:

Gore, violence, implied sexual gratification

Jacob Gheller stood alone in a dark alley on 25th street, fisting a man under the cover of night. The man on the receiving end had deserved to be fisted, at least in the mind of the fellow in the Santa suit, for the rampant sexual crimes he'd committed against several women and children in Jacob's area. Jacob had followed him into a bar earlier that night, luring the man as he had done to so many innocents before, and told him that he loved his work. Jacob and the man made plans to assault the senator later that night. It would have been an overwhelming display of dominance for men, to show that men don't need to be subservient to women, that men should reclaim their spot as the dominant sex in the country.

He told Jacob all of this just moments before Jacob wrapped his hand around his large intestine.

Now that man sat slumped against the wall trying to prevent his insides from becoming outsides as Jacob wiped his blood on his fuzzy red coat. Bad guys can't see you bleed if you wear red, after all.

"Please," the man begged, reaching out to grab at Jacob's ankles, "Please help me. I'm sorry. I'll never do this again, I swear."

Jacob nodded, "I know." Then he bent down to the man's level, making eye contact with him.

The man's eyes were bloodshot and full of water. His skin was ghostly white, almost as if he'd been bleeding from the hole in his abdomen. He smiled weakly, letting out a half-chuckle.

Jacob whispered in his ear, "I believe you," before grabbing the sides of the man's head and squeezing with all the strength he could muster. He lifted the man up by his head, spilling out more of his guts onto his suit as he did. The man flailed with his rapidly fading strength, desperately trying to free himself. Jacob's heart throbbed.

The man screamed as Jacob applied more pressure to his skull. Eventually the yelling became replaced by gurgles as blood pooled in the man's throat and mouth. And then, within a fraction of a second, Jacob's hands were compressed together, brain matter and viscera coating his fingers in a glistening red paste.

Jacob ignored the urge to deal with a more pressing matter; phoning in the job. Maxine had always hated the reverie Jacob took in his work, but that was because she didn't understand the joy of removing evil from the world by the strength of your own hands. How could she? She wasn't the one with Substance 9 coursing through her veins. It wasn't her fucking problem to deal with. She was overdramatic.

But still, she was his handler and a critical part of his job as Chris Cringle. He wiped the blood on his suit, pulled out his cell phone, and dialed the number.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. -Click-

"Are you fucking kidding me." Jacob mumbled.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. -Click-

"Jesus tapdancing Christ."

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

"Gheller," the voice on the line answered. She sounded annoyed.

"Woman," Jacob replied.

"I'm assuming you took care of the target?"

Jacob glanced down at the now headless, eviscerated former-sexual assailant at his feet. He kicked the man's boot. Still very dead.

"Yep. I'm assuming you don't remember how to answer the phone?"

"Very funny, Jacob," Maxine sighed, "A cleanup crew is coming your way in about fifteen minutes. Can you do me a big favor and not get in their way this time? We don't need another repeat of the Halloween incident."

Jacob scoffed. How was she still holding that over his head? It's not his fault the cleanup crew caught him pants down desecrating the corpse of a former assassin. He didn't ask them to come right after he'd killed the man.

"Yeah yeah yeah," He said, "I'll be on my best behavior."

"Good. The Supervisor has your next assignment." And there was a click.

He was alone. Alone at night. With a still bleeding corpse just sitting there at his feet, inviting Jacob in with its ephemeral warmth. Jacob's mind was flooded with images of the inside of this man's corpse. The stench of the intestine, the wet slopping of his organs as they slid over one another on their way to meet the pavement. Jacob glanced at his phone. 9:05 P.M. The cleanup crew would be there by around 9:20. That was plenty of time.

The nondescript white van arrived exactly on time, and from within a small army of people dressed in full-body hazmat suits emerged. Their visors were one-way, obscuring their faces. On their backs were large yellow tanks with a hose and vacuum nozzle attached at the end. A lot of these tanks had seen better days; many were covered in old blood stains and beaten up by some people Jacob might not have killed all the way. The cleanup crew had been a part of his job since long before he ingested Substance 9 all those years ago, but as often as he'd seen them he'd never actually learned any of their names.

The supervisor (who Jacob called Mr. Clean) walked out of the driver's side last. He was the only one who didn't bother wearing the hazmat suit and opted to wear overalls and a pair of yellow rubber boots instead. Mr. Clean adjusted the sunglasses on his bald head and lit a cigarette. He barked a few orders to the people sucking up the mixture of blood and a viscous white fluid from a wall, and they turned their attention to Jacob.

He hated this part.

The two people lined their vacuums up with Jacob's body, flicked a switch on the sides of their tanks, and expelled a liquid that smelled like bleach and lemon on the front of his body.

"Spin," Mr. Clean ordered.

Jacob spun. He cringed as his back was soaked in the cleaning liquid. He heard another switch get flicked, and then the wetness was sucked from his clothes and hair, leaving him completely dry and free of blood.

Mr. Clean gave him a once over and nodded curtly, "Good."

Jacob turned around again, Santa suit feeling suspiciously warm and soft in spite of the rather violent cleaning process. His eyes shot down at the body. The organs had already been removed, and so had the blood. All that was left was a hollow husk of veiny skin that was being rolled up like a carpet by a member of the cleanup crew. He sighed as a frown grew on his face.

"Maxine said you have my next assignment?"

Mr. Clean remained stonewalled as he reached into his overall pocket and withdrew a small slip of paper. He handed it to Jacob and said, "No mess."

Jacob gave him a meek smile and replied, "Is that also a Maxine order or…?"

Mr. Clean dropped a massive hand on Jacob's shoulder. He buckled under the weight of the man's meaty arm. He winced as Mr. Clean's ironclad grip tightened around his shoulder. The man leveled his gaze at Jacob, meeting his eyes. Every time they were this close, Jacob tried to find that spark that most humans had in their eyes. The twinkle of empathy or soul, perhaps, that helped separate them from beasts. But like all the other times, Mr. Clean's eyes were void of anything.

"No. Mess."

Jacob swallowed hard. He felt a bead of sweat form and drip down the side of his face. With an effort he freed himself from Mr. Clean's grip and started rubbing his shoulder.

With apprehension in his voice, he said, "Yes sir."

Mr. Clean jerked his head to the right, signaling that it was time for Jacob to leave. After the Halloween incident, he knew better than to argue.

Before Jacob left the alley he asked, "Hey, can I keep-"

The night air grew heavy in an instant, as if they were a thousand meters below in the ocean. Jacob gasped for air, clawing at his throat for some respite from the overwhelming force that was crushing his trachea. He fell to his knees, unable to withstand the gravity being applied to his body. Even with Substance 9 flaring up within his bloodstream, his enhanced strength was only enough to allow him to look up at Mr. Clean and the cleanup crew.

The rest of the crew seemingly did not notice the sudden presence of a planet's gravity being exerted around them, as they continued to work unimpeded. Mr. Clean stopped barking orders at his crew and walked over to Jacob. He knelt down, getting eye level with him again. Jacob could have sworn he saw a spark of anger in the otherwise stoic bald-headed man.

"No. Mess." Mr. Clean repeated, slowly this time, "Understand?"

Jacob's words were getting crushed in his throat. He called on his enhanced strength to nod. Mr. Clean held his gaze for an uncomfortably long time before getting up and returning to work.

Suddenly the pressure keeping Jacob down was lifted. He shot up and arched his back. His bones did not agree with being crushed particularly well. Instead of sticking around and risking being obliterated by Mr. Clean, Jacob hurried off down the road, only stopping by a streetlight a few blocks away to read the intel on his next assignment.

Name: Christopher Cringle
Age: ???
Gender: ???
Crimes: Inflating the economy, theft, breaking and entering, distribution of wealth to the poor, unlicensed wish granting, enslavement of an entire race of diminutive laborers, illegal ownership of an endangered anomalous species, grand theft sleigh, unsupervised occultic practices of the Twelfth Noellic Circle
Assigned Vaporizer(s): Jacob Gheller(Subst. 9)
Due Date: Midnight. December 24th, 2024

The Vaporizers, making people disappear so you don't have to.

"Fuck," Jacob whispered under his breath. He stuffed the card into his back pocket and pulled out his cell phone, dialing Maxine's number. While he waited an eternity for the dial tone to end, he began walking to his car.

"You're at the North Pole already? But the jet is still here." Maxine said.

"Is this a joke?" Jacob stammered.

Maxine sighed, "We don't do jokes, Gheller."

"Who wants Santa Claus Vaporized?"

"We both know it's literally in your job description not to ask questions. Is there anything else you want to whine about, or are you ready to get back here and do the job?"

"Well I-"


Jacob grumbled to himself, opened the driver's side door, and sat behind the wheel. Of all the strange shit that he had to deal with on a job-to-job basis, this one definitely took the cake. He shook his head and steeled his nerve. He turned the key and began driving back to HQ.

It was time for Santa to die.

The jet dropped Jacob off in the northern arctic. The pilot wished him good luck before proceeding to fuck right off and fly away. Jacob suspected she wouldn't be back until he finished the job or died, neither of which seemed like favorable outcomes.

As he trudged through knee-deep snow for hours, Jacob began to speculate on what would happen if the spirit of Christmas himself finally bit the dust. Would the holiday simply cease to exist? Would it have ever existed? The thought of retrocausality eliminating the season of joy upset his stomach, and the cold biting at his fingertips through thick gloves wasn't helping either.

Jacob cupped his hands to his mouth and exhaled. He was surrounded by coniferous trees and snowfall that refused to let up. The sun didn't reach this place, but the moonlight did. The way the light seemed to bend ever so slightly in one direction, or outright disappear when Jacob walked elsewhere, felt like a sign. Whether that was a good sign or not was up to interpretation. Jacob, however, couldn't find anything else to go on so he elected to follow the light to wherever the moon was taking him.

A hundred hours must have passed by the time Jacob spotted it: a facility in the middle of nowhere. The building was made of what looked like a mix of ginger bread and steel, the seams fused together with some kind of light-grey paste. There were giant, half-eaten gumdrops scattered haphazardly across the rooftop with a thousand bite marks on each of them. The roof looked like it was caved in at some point and then hastily repaired in the same night, having a long series of splintered wooden boards serving as the only shield against the snow. The area around the windows were lined with Christmas lights, most of which were shattered or not working. The handful that did work were all red, coating the snow around the facility in a faint red glow.

Jacob snuck up to one of the windows and peered inside. There was a strange warmth coming from the wall he was leaning against, and a pungent odor of soot and sweat flooded his nose.

Inside, Jacob could see a massive, incomprehensible work of machinery chugging away furiously in the center of the room. The angles of the thing were all wrong, as if the machine itself had been plucked from a place beneath the furthest depths of hell. On the top of the machine was a spout, out of which a constant stream of fire erupted and threatened to burn down the entire facility. Its gaping maw was open, lined with rows upon rows of razor-sharp teeth that rotated counter-clockwise on a small conveyor belt. Jacob's eyes widened as he stared at that thing, frozen in a mix of terror and awe.

From the thing's mouth was a larger conveyor belt. On either side was an army of small, feculent creatures dressed in red and green suits, striped tights, and belt-buckle shoes. The creatures lacked facial features, save for a mouth, as the majority of their faces were covered in scars and grown-over skin. Their mouths were sewn shut, although Jacob could see small fangs hanging out at the corner of their lips. He wasn't sure how the blind creatures were inspecting each box that came out of the machine, but he didn't want to know either.

The machine burped, sending a larger burst of flame out of its chimney. A perfectly wrapped present, no larger than a typical board game, was spat out onto the conveyor belt. The box was opened by one of the creatures, who grunted and nodded in approval before checking a sheet of paper to its right. It then closed and re-wrapped the box, sending it further down the line until it fell off the belt into a giant, red sack.

"Jesus H. Christ," Jacob muttered.

One of the creatures turned its head in his direction, and Jacob ducked into a snowbank. He scooped snow over his body, never taking his eyes off the window. The creature that noticed him, one of the ones wearing green, slowly scanned the outside before Jacob heard a voice call it back to the line. A human voice, deep and gruff but… with levity in it? Like a bass-boosted Mickey Mouse, almost.

That's gotta be Santa, Jacob thought.

His eyes darted to the main entrance to the facility, where a set of iron and gingerbread doors stood as a solid, immovable aegis against him. Tearing through them wouldn't be an issue, nor would obliterating every single one of those diminutive, nightmare creatures. But the image of Mr. Clean crushing Jacob to death under immense gravitational power burned through his mind and he steadied his bloodlust. That extra challenge was the last thing he needed right now.

Jacob walked backward a few paces, looking for a more stealthy entrance. He spotted one after a minute of searching; a seemingly unguarded brick chimney near the back right of the place. Black smog spewed from the top, which meant there would likely be fire waiting for him at the bottom. At least he was dressed appropriately, Santa suit still in decent condition. Jacob adjusted his belt and made his way around the back of the facility. With an effort, he dug his fingertips into the steel and began to scale the wall as quietly as he could.

When he reached the roof, Jacob's gloves were worn completely away. The excessive climbing had done a number on the leather. With a disgruntled sigh, he cast the gloves to the side. He held his breath as he approached the chimney, smog blinding him.

Still, Jacob fought through until the chimney was within arm's reach. The smog had built up considerably at that point, acting like a forcefield that he couldn't fight through. Jacob reached a hand out to grab the edge of the chimney but instead of hard brick, his fingers clasped around something soft.

"Oh ho ho, what do we have here?" The bass-boosted voice of Mickey Mouse asked.

Jacob couldn't see what hit him, but he definitely felt it. The impact came from the front, knocking him backward until he was at the edge of the rooftop. Jacob steadied himself. Now that he was out of the smoke, he could get a good sense of his surroundings.

He held a breath as a man in a red Santa suit emerged from the smoke.

The man was at least eight feet tall and maybe four feet wide. His arms were the size of a freight train, and he hit like one too. Ten meaty fingers all tipped in black residue were clenched into fists. The man's thick grey beard reached down to his waist, but the mammoth of facial hair did little to conceal a gleeful, wicked smile that he bore at Jacob. Predatorial, yellow eyes glowed with a sense of malice Jacob had never felt before, and he felt every step the giant man took toward him.

The man pulled out a scroll from his waist. He checked the list once, gave Jacob a once over, then checked it a second time. He scoffed before rolling it back up and stuffing it behind his belt.

"Jacob Gheller!" The man's voice boomed. Just listening to his voice hurt Jacob's ears, "I'm afraid you aren't making the "nice" list this year, dear boy."

Jacob furrowed his eyebrows, "How do you know my-"

The man chuckled. Three "ho"s. Classic.

"I understand that you're here to royally fuck up my operation, Mr. Gheller," He said, "But in the spirit of Christmas, I can't let you do that."

Santa Claus took another step forward, then in the next second, he was face to face with Jacob, murderous glint dominating his eyes.

"Merry Christmas."

Jacob didn't have the time to comprehend what was said as he was rocketed skyward a second later. His chin ached. The wind rushing against his ears threatened to freeze them off. He flapped his arms like he was swimming, attempting to readjust. By the time Jacob passed the clouds, he had righted himself and was now falling to the ground feet-first.

The tops of the trees became visible just before Jacob was rocketed sideways. There was an iron grip around his waist, cracking his back and taking the air out of his lungs. Jacob looked behind him, mouth agape before twisting into a snarl. It was Santa Claus.

Santa rotated, spinning both of them, before letting go of Jacob and grabbing him again by the wrist. The large man threw Jacob into a tree. Jacob exclaimed as the splinters from the split wood dug through his clothes and into his back. He hit the ground with momentum that kept him going backward, but he managed to roll backward and regain his composure before Santa landed in front of him.

Santa landed by planting his fist into the snow. He rose slowly and regarded Jacob with disappointment.

"You think you can just sneak into MY workshop, spy on MY elves, and try to ruin MY holiday? I am the Santa Claus, who the fuck are you?"

Jacob didn't answer, opting to rip the tree he landed on from its roots and throw it at Santa Claus. The tree, however, did not do as well as Jacob had hoped. Santa Claus pressed the palms of his hands together and the entire trunk of the tree broke in half at his fingertips. The jolly man grinned, then raised his hands into the air and let out a deep, guttural yell.

He kept yelling for minutes that lasted years. When he stopped, it was quiet for a moment. But only a moment.

Jacob soon heard a thousand voices echoing from the direction of the factory. Then he felt the floor rumbling. The trees in the distance were being moved by a force Jacob felt but didn't see. He readied himself for whatever was to come next.

It didn't take long before the elves swarmed Jacob. A hundred scarred faces with gnashing teeth tried to tear their way through Jacob's flesh. Panicking, he backed into a tree and threw the elves off his body. Still, more came, armed with sharpened candy cane sticks. They stabbed at Jacob's arms and legs, trying to pin him. He thrashed and flailed and lashed out until he was freed from their many armed grasp, and then he picked two of them up by the head and smashed them together.

The rain of viscera seemed to stall the other elves from attacking, at least for a moment. Jacob dropped the headless corpses on either side of him, his blood now boiling and his fingers twitching like they couldn't wait for more. They attacked in unison again. Jacob sent a fist through the stomach of an elf that leapt at him, then used its body to block several stabs at his ankles and legs. He tore the impaled elf in half, spreading an ocean of blood and non-Euclidean organs across the others. The ribs of the creature had snapped and now showed their pointed ends through the meat.

Jacob wielded the two halves of this elf like two clubs, bashing away at his attackers and stabbing them as they tried to stab him. It wasn't until he'd thinned out a large number of the swarm that he began to laugh.

It was the first real challenge he'd had in such a long time since his injection. Substance 9 took away a lof the fun of murder and left him only with his own gratification and creativity. Any human would have fled by now, or surrendered, or done the job themself. But these things, these abominations from the underside of Hell, weren't human.

There were only a handful of them left standing now, warily eying Jacob as his animalistic gaze fell on each one of them. He'd only taken a few nicks and bruises so far, nothing that wouldn't heal in the next few seconds. He could keep going.

"Come on!" Jacob shouted, "Give me what you've got!"

Santa Claus walked calmly past his elves up to Jacob. He looked down at Jacob, breathing slowly. The man clenched his fists, drew his arm back, and punched Jacob square in the face.

Jacob was rocked backward, but stood his ground. Even through a broken and bloodied nose, he smiled. He launched his fist into Santa Claus' jaw. The behemoth's head turned, but he did not move.

"More!" Jacob yelled, then punched at Santa Claus again with more force than before.

Santa Claus responded. He grabbed Jacob's wrist and pulled him over his shoulder, slamming him into the ground. The wind left Jacob's lungs. He rolled to one side before Santa Claus' boot stomped into the space he just occupied. Santa grabbed Jacob by the waist and flipped him over his head, slamming him into the ground again.

Jacob rolled out of his grip and into an elf. He grabbed the small creature and threw it at Santa, running behind it. Santa caught the thing in one hand, but before he could place it on the ground beside him Jacob was on top of him again. He sent a barrage of blows into Santa's midsection. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left.

The jolly monster didn't react to the headbutt under his chin. An elf bit into Jacob's leg before he could follow up. Santa Claus took the second to launch his massive hand into Jacob's temple. His vision dazed, but only for a moment. He bit into the top of the elf's head, filling his mouth with a wet, coppery taste.

Jacob's heartbeat accelerated. His thoughts went blank. All that was left was the thrill of battle. A feeling lost to him for a time, and one that he relished in reclaiming. He fought Santa Claus until they were back at the facility, where the large man threw Jacob threw a wall and onto the conveyor belt.

Santa leapt at him, landing on top of him. He wrapped his hands around Jacob's neck and squeezed.

"You better watch out. You better not cry," he began singing.

Jacob punched him in the temple, loosening Santa Claus' grip on his neck. Jacob scrambled for footing while catching his breath, but Santa Claus was on top of him again. He slammed Jacob's head into the floor repeatedly before grabbing his hair and dragging him up the stairs, hitting his face on each step.

"You better not pout, I'm telling you why."

Santa Claus brought Jacob to the chimney of the horrid machine. He looked into the flames of the mechanical monstrosity, it was a fire that was hungry for him, one that craved to consume his flesh and bone until there was nothing left.

"Santa Claus is coming to town."

He raised Jacob above his head. With strained effort, Jacob kicked him in the back of his head, knocking his hat off. He wasn't sure what that would do, but it was less than he was hoping for.

At that moment, just as he was being tossed into the maw of that dreadful machine, Jacob reached for something, anything, to hold on to. He willed for the universe to let him survive, he prayed to whatever god of war would let him win the fight, he screamed to whoever would listen.

And someone did.

Jacob found his hand wrapped in Santa Claus' beard hair, the few pieces of stray hairs that lingered just close enough to be licked by the flames of the machine. Calling on Substance 9, Jacob scrambled up the man's beard and yanked once he was face to face with him. He fell backward, taking Santa Claus with him, only this time Jacob was in full control.

The large man's massive frame bent awkwardly once it hit the edge of the chimney. He let out a pained groan as he tried to slide down the impossibly bent wall, but something was holding him back. It was as if the very embers of the machine's bowels were reaching out to grab him. Smoke churned out from the chimney, blanketing the man and filling the room. Jacob closed his eyes as screams began to get overtaken by the roar of flame.

Mr. Clean and his crew arrived at the North Pole at 11:51 P.M., ten minutes after Jacob called Maxine and told her that the job was done. She was appreciative of the work, as she often was, and even congratulated him on fighting off a hoard of the diminutive species. Jacob felt warm inside.

Jacob's suit had taken more damage than he would have liked; loose strands of thread hung everywhere, and there was a gaping hole in the side, not to mention all the burns from nearly being tossed into an active chimney. It was a shame. He'd hoped to still make time for the Christmas party tomorrow, but the chances of finding a replacement suit in time were slim.

Jacob spotted Mr. Clean staring at the machine in the center of the room. His own helpers were shoveling the corpses of the elves into the furnace, as well as the few elves that had escaped the carnage. Mr. Clean looked on with a smile, something Jacob didn't think he was capable of.

The bald man turned his head as Jacob approached, asking plainly, "No mess?"

Jacob shook his head. Mr. Clean grunted in approval before giving him a curt nod.

"Do you—and I'm not expecting you to—know who put this Vaporization out on Santa?"

Mr. Clean unfolded his arms and rubbed the back of his head, "I did."

Jacob gaped.

"He didn't give me what I wanted for Christmas. Said I was "too naughty". Killing is wrong, covering up murder is wrong. It hurt. I was only ten, and I never forgot."

Jacob let out a scoff and said, "Geeze. You sure know how to hold a grudge, don't you?"

Mr. Clean nodded again, "I hope his death was painless."

Jacob patted him on the shoulder, "It was."

"Merry Christmas, Jacob Gheller."

"Merry fucking Christmas."

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