The Twelve Capers of Christmas: Day 8
“Sir, you can’t be serious?” the young assistant said, “I know this year wasn’t as good as last year but we still turned a massive profit.”
“Profit? We made half a million less than last year. I would fire them all if it didn’t cost more to brainwash new ones.” the boss said as her examined his recently bleached teeth and dyed hair in a mirror on his desk.
“Unfortunately, they are highly trained professionals, I’m worried that if we withhold their christmas bonus they will end up leaving for another company.” The assistant shuffled nervously through his papers.
“If they wanted a bonus they should have worked harder!” shouted the boss with a scowl before smiling at himself admiringly in the mirror again.
Flipping to another page of figures the assistant said, “Actually sir, our toy production facility increased output by over 15% this year and reduced costs by 10%, if anything the staff is practically overworked.”
“If we’re doing so well why didn’t we beat lasts year’s profits?” countered the ken doll as he looked up from his mirror. “I bet you those scum have been stealing from us!” He pointed accusingly at the office door.
Again, the assistant patiently checked his papers, “Well actually, it appears like the reason for the loss is that you cut the sales price by 10%; you also swapped out one of our material supplies for a cheaper one which has led to more warranty claims which has substantially increased our losses for this year. Oh, not to mention the funds you have used for your business trip to Cuba.”
“Are you suggesting that my decisions are what are ruining this company?” The boss glared.
Unflustered his assistant simply adjusted his glasses, “Of course not sir, that would be slander. I’m simply listing facts from…”
“Well then I order you to change those facts, make one of the supervisors claim credit and fire them.” He went back to checking his hair.
“I’m sorry sir but that would be illegal and…”
“Mr. Derriere!” a tall officer asked as he entered the office.
“Hey, you can’t just barge into my office! Who do you think you are?” screamed the stuffed suit.
“I’m detective Armstrong, and you Mr. Derriere are under arrest for embezlement, fraud, rape, sexual assault, harassment, and worker endangerment.”
“What!” Mr. Derriere protested, “Where do you get your information and where is my lawyer?”
“We got an anonymous tip from a one Clara K., we assumed she was just another one of countless women listed in the files sent to us.” explained the detective as half a dozen officers entered the office behind him.
“Finally!” said the assistant, much to the shock of his boss. “Officers, our non-disclosure policy states we are unable to disclose any company secrets unless cooperating with authorities as the law requires. I assume you have the correct warrants?”
Detective Armstrong grinned, then pulled a large folder from his jacket and threw it on the desk. “Those are copies of every warrant to investigate Mr. Derriere and this company fully. If you stand in the way you will be prosecuted for interfering in a police investigation Mr. …”
“Gibson, Pete Gibson sir, I have kept detailed records on every discrepency and every fraudulent order that prick gave me.” Pete said calmly.
“Excellent! We’ll try to take care of this as quickly as possible considering how close it is to the holidays.” Armstrong said with a smile. “Who will be responsible for running things while Mr. Derriere is detained?”
“That would be me sir,” Pete said proudly.
The dumbfounded pile of gel currently being read his rights snapped out of his daze and screamed “You? You’re just my assistant what qualifies you to run this company?”
“I’m not your assistant Jared, I’m the head of operations hence why I have had to field every stupid decision you’ve made.” snapped Pete.
Pete Gibson then turned to the detective and said, “Normally I would like to handle slowly, but if we can have an auditor start on our finances tonight, we may be able to have things unfrozen in time to give everyone a well deserved bonus for christmas.”
“You want your bonus at a time like this? Kind of shallow of you don’t you think?” scoffed Armstrong.
Pete shook his head and smiled, “I’m not receiving a bonus this year, none of the executives are, we have all signed off to make sure that our staff get something for the holidays. We are not a company of crooks sir, we have just put in the inept hands of one.” and he reached out a hand to detective who shook it with new found respect. Jared Derriere meanwhile was facing a total of 137 years in prison for his various crimes.
The Twelve Capers of Christmas Day 7
Although it seems the police and most media are remaining fairly tight lipped about the criminal Clara Kringle, our readers are not. We have been flooded in the last two days with dozens of letters praising the actions of Clara Kringle and even a few which seem to fill in the 48 hour absence. We’ve gotten permission to share some of the stories anonymously below.
“Clara saved my cat, she had run away and I cried a lot even though mommy and daddy did everything they could to find her. Then I was walking home and a voice overhead said ‘I found your cat! She got stuck in a shed.’ and waved from her sleigh in the sky.”
“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t have seen it happen myself. As I was about to close up my shop, four thugs came in and tried to rob me. Suddenly the sound of sleigh bells filled the air and two of them when flying across the store, struck by what I later found out was two large fruitcakes. Before they could react Clara, dressed in red and white threw some ribbon and paper out of her sleeves and within seconds had expertly wrapped both criminals in red and green so tightly they couldn’t move. She then left a $100 bill in my tip jar and said ‘For your son’s medicine, I’m sure he’ll get better soon’ than vanished out the door in glittery mist.”
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know it was her until after everything had happened. I had just gotten home from work, after finding out I had been laid off due to cutbacks which seemed to include only myself. I was feeling depressed and had decided to give up, I had the rope hung and was about to get on the chair when a knock came at the door. I tried to ignore it but she was persistent. I opened the door and she handed me an envelope. She was dressed like the postman but mine is a 50 year old man not this cute twenty-something girl with a twinkle in her eye and a nametag that read ‘Clara K’ . I thanked her and went to close the door but she told me to open the envelope as she was sure it was good news. Inside was a job offer from a company I don’t ever remember applying to who had gotten my resume. They were offering substantially more than what I was making before, but on top of that was a handwritten note with a 1-800 number. When I went to thank her she was gone, but I called the number and it was a suicide prevention line. I wish I could thank her properly so I really hope she reads this. Thank you Clara!”
“I was adopted and never knew my parents, I’ve searched for them for years but always came up dry. Yesterday I met my great uncle, who I have recently learned is my only living relative. I work in a hospital and this random taxi driver helped bring in a rather confused gentleman. He was looking for his long lost neice, myself, he was getting old and the stress of looking had caused him to have a panic attack. The driver, who had introduced herself as Clara Kringle, had calmed him down and just happened to bring him to my station. Through the intake paperwork I discovered he shared the same last name of one of my parents from my research. I commented on this, and we continued to find more and more similarities. I explained why my name was different thanks to my foster parents and a marriage. We cried hard as he explained how long he had looked for me to give me a few of my parents things they had left me. Needless to say I am eternally grateful, but during my tearful reunion with my great uncle, she had slipped away. If you’re reading this Clara, I can’t tell you how much what you did bringing us together means to us and our families, thank you so very much.”
The Twelve Capers of Christmas Day 6
Internal General Memo at Noel and Kringle Enterprises
Absolutely no one is to speak to the press in regards to the thefts by one C. Kringle. If anyone breaches this directive consider yourself unemployed and in search of a good lawyer. All internal communications, including this one, are considered the property of N&K Ent. and subject to the mandatory non-disclosure agreement everyone signed upon hire.
In case you are wondering if this is a bluff, think twice, we have already let go and charged five mid-level executives in suspicion of leaking important information to the Daily Bulletin. These roles have already been filled through internal promotion. Please congratulate the new executives should you see them.
Furthermore, if you have any information in regards to the identity of the criminal posing as Clara Kringle, you are hereby ordered to surrender said information to your supervisor immediately.
Finally Greg Rinch, head of Public Relations, has been sick since last night. The rumours that his whereabouts are currently unknown and he has been kidnapped by C. Kringle are unfounded. He, as all senior level staff do, has an armed escort until this situation has been resolved. If you see him or his security staff please wish him well and immediately report the sighting to your supervisor so we can make sure he is on the mend.
Now get back to work
CEO N&E Ent.
Private Memo at Noel and Kringle Enterprises
Diane Egoorcs to Head of Security Stewart Sinclaire
FIND HIM!!! I DON’T CARE WHAT IT TAKES, FIND HIM AND FIND CLARA KRINGLE!
I don’t care if they are dead of alive, just bring their bloody corpses in front of me so I can spit on them before christmas! And move the jolly fat man before she finds him, I don’t want to know where, just make sure he can’t be found.
I don’t want to see you again until you’ve accomplished both of these tasks personally, do I make myself clear!
The Twelve Capers of Christmas Day 5
Daily Bulletin News Paper
The following is a letter that has supposedly been sent to us from the infamous C. Kringle who has been waging mischief and committing burglaries across our fine city. We have decided to release the letter unedited and remind people that we have no way of verifying if this is a genuine letter or some perverse hoax.
“Dear Daily Bulletin
I’m writing to share my side of recent events and to assure the public that despite how what I must do next may appear, I will always keep the safety and wellbeing of good citizens at the forefront of my actions.
Firstly, my grandfather has been kidnapped. I’m not claiming this as an excuse, only a reason for my aggressive actions. My parents died when I was young but you would remember them as the Elizabeth Noel and Joseph Kringle, founders of Noel and Kringle Enterprises. My name is Clara Kringle and the current CEO Diane Egoorcs has kidnapped my grandfather Kris Kringle. It’s hard to explain but there is more to my family history than what official sources state.
I will return everything I’ve taken to its rightful owners when I’m done. I do apologize to the good people I have inconvenienced in the meantime and thank them for their patience. To those who have been naughty however I warn that things are about to get much worse and highly recommend you return my grandfather ASAP!
As of now police are viewing the letter as a hoax and urge everyone to disregard it. All the same they do ask that any information leading to the arrest of C. Kringle should be reported immediately. Noel and Kringle Enterprises has also posted a reward for $10000 to anyone who helps bring this criminal to justice. Only time will tell what happens next in this ever developing story.
The Twelve Capers of Christmas Day 4
Item # 306193789
Price: $2500 OBO
Description: Vintage red sleigh, maple wood, excellent condition despite being over a century old. My horses won’t pull it no matter what I do to encourage them. Would like gone ASAP
CKHOHOHO: Is this still available?
Puck69Jockey69: It sure is, when would you like to pick up?
CKHOHOHO: I can send someone this afternoon, would you take $2000?
Puck69Jockey69: I was hoping for more, could you do $2450?
CKHOHOHO: Most I could do is $2250 if that’s okay?
Puck69Jockey69: Yeah I suppose I could do that. The address is (omitted by security).
Puck69Jockey69: You ****ing thief! You think you can steal from me?
Puck69Jockey69: When I find you I’ll kill you, who do you think you are?
CKHOHOHO: Someone who makes sure scum like you gets what they deserve.
Puck69Jockey69: Tough talk coming from someone who sends their pets to steal for them.
CKHOHOHO: William Zilks, you stole this sleigh after you killed your neighbor. You wanted his wife, she rejected you both before and after her husband’s death. She knows you killed him but had no proof. I did, and I’ve given it to the police. Consider the sleigh my payment for this warning. Run bill. Run.
Puck69Jockey69: *** we’re sorry but the user has deleted their account***
New information has come to light involving the incidents regarding the mysterious burglar going by C. Kringle. According to a source, that wishes to remain anonymous, the information stolen two nights ago had something to do with anti-gravity technology. This conflicts with another recent report from Noel and Kringle Enterprises, stating they were building parts to aid in a joint research project involving time-dilation. The company adamantly claims no connection to the burglar who is using the name of one of the founders.
Their public relations representative, Greg Rinch, had this to say, “We aren’t sure who this criminal is but we suspect their pseudonym has been used to try and deface our beloved company. We are of course fully co-operating with the investigation and hope that this hooligan is caught and prosecuted as soon as possible.”
We currently haven’t heard anything new from authorities however we will update this story as things happen.
Police have responded to a call from the local museum where a 200 year old set of artifacts has been stolen from an austrian exhibition. It is currently unknown what the objects were but reports say they were a set of traditional garments that had recently been restored. Once again a note was left at the scene of the crime, according to a security guard on duty. It reads “I’m sorry, I need these for something important. I will return them as soon as possible. Thanks and Merry Christmas. Signed C. Kringle”
Currently is unknown as to why the infamous Kringle has apologized for this crime and not any of the others but we will continue to monitor the situation and report as it develops.
***Illustration by Thomas Nest 1881
Another break-in has occurred in our fair city, this time at a local animal rescue agency. Once again during the early morning hours, an unknown individual going by ‘C. Kringle’, broke into the secure facility owned by the Perfect Animal Treatment Society. A group that has been in the news frequently regarding their animal treatment policies. Several animals were freed and have yet to be located. Among some of the rarest were a pack of six albino kangaroos.
When asked about the break-in Tom Sangler, head of P.A.T.S, stated “This was an unjust retaliation in response to our work involving the release of wrongfully treated animals within the movie industry.” Mr. Sangler was no doubt referring to the allegations that they have repeatedly and intentionally harmed the animals they claim to rescue through malnutrition, drugging, and unhealthy living conditions, including restraints, that several zoos and professional animal trainers brought to light during P.A.T.S recent court case. Tom responded to questions regarding their treatment of animals he replied “Every animal is a vegan at heart, we are just doing our what we can to share our enlightenment with our furry brethren!” then proceeded to knock over one of our journalist before running away yelling “Vegetables are freedom!” over and over.
Currently the whereabouts of the released animals are unknown. Police have found another calling card from the increasingly infamous Kringle stating “You’ve been Naughty! These animals have suffered enough, maybe you’ll understand when you’re in a cage. Merry Christmas. Signed C. Kringle.”
This is the second incident by the mysterious criminal and it has the whole city asking, “Who is C. Kringle? Someone abusing the good name of Santa? Or is this their real name?” Only time will tell, but we will keep you up to date as the story unfolds.
Breaking and Entering
The police reported to an incident this morning at a local factory owned by Noel and Kringle Enterprises. At roughly 2AM this morning, a security guard was alerted to an intrusion after performing a routine perimeter check. On the south facing fence he discovered a hole had been expertly cut, large enough to walk through with ease. When police arrived at the scene they said there were tracks leading from one of the buildings and into the nearby woods where they lost the trail.
An inside source has confirmed that the specifications for a military contract they had just acquired had been stolen. They did not go into any detail regarding the type of technology the blueprint contained, only that the methods in which they acquired the contract had been somewhat unorthodox. No further information is available at this time but we will keep you posted as to the exact details of this story as they unfold.
Update: Although nothing has been revealed as to what was stolen, the police have informed us that a calling card has been discovered at the scene. Strangely enough it reads “You’ve been naughty! If you can’t play nicely, then you forfeit the right to play with toys like these. Have a merry Christmas! Signed C. Kringle”
“Shit” Bruce said looking to his brother. “Looks like we have company.” He nodded his head in the direction of the blue car that had just hovered to a stop a dozen meters away.
“What is he doing here, and why did it have to be now?” Jacob asked nervously.
A man in a long dark jacket exited the car and stood to an intimidating seven feet tall, “Evening boys, what bring you two out here tonight?” the tall man said as he sauntered towards them pulling a silver cigarette case from his jacket pocket and lighting a smoke.
“Nothing Father John, we swear! We were just walking and decided to take a break against this wall here.” Jacob said nervously.
“I see.” Father John said with a knowing smile, “See, and here I was thinking that you were just waiting outside the archive building here in order to, oh I don’t know, steal a rare and expensive artifact rumoured to be on these premises.”
“Wow!” Bruce said before Jacob could screw things up further, “that is quite the presumption there Father. Here I thought making assumptions like that were against the rules for religious types like yourself?”
“Don’t presume to know anything about the Lord kid!” spat Father John, “I know why you two virtuous are here, because I’m the mystery man who’s going to be paying you if you can do the damned job.”
Bruce and Jacob exchanged a nervous look, “Seriously? But aren’t you, like, some kind of holier than thou political big shot?” Bruce asked.
“Only to the public,” grinned Father John, “To you two, I’m your boss, now do you want the money or not?” He crossed his arms and glanced at an open window three stories above them.
The two brothers shared a silent conversation and with a nod they both agreed and turned to the wall. Bruce turned into gecko and proceeded to scale the red bricks as he hurried towards the window. Meanwhile Jacob appeared to dissipate into steam that wafted quickly after his brother.
Father John stared at the digital display on his watch, glancing back towards the window from time to time. Finally, a goat appeared with a small metallic case clutched in it’s teeth by the handle. An ominous fog spilling out and down the side of the wall beside it as it hoped down the nearly invisible ledges in the brick. Although he’d never admit it, Father John was actually quite impressed with these two. They had performed better than expected and well under the time he had feared.
“Here you go” said Bruce as he returned to human form.
Father John took the slobbery handle with a grimace and handed over a chip payment from his watch. Then turned on his heel and headed back towards his car.
A voice behind him yelled, “Hey what’s in there anyway?” Jacob asked.
Father John smiled over his shoulder then turned producing a gun that he fired twice, once into each brother who spasmed as electricity coursed through their bodies. “None of your business that’s what.” he said as he slammed the car door and sped off on a cushion of air.
“Sir I will remind you that the only answers we care about in this court are those of the lord!” the judge yelled over the outcry of the crowd at the defendants blatant heresy.
“All I’m saying is that sacrificing someone to make the weather better is a stupid solution to drought, especially when I have invented a simple solution which will allow us to quickly transport and an save water from stream about a mile away.” The defendant seemed to whine to the righteous judge.
“Are you saying our holy texts are wrong? You would question the word of the lord?” The judge screamed horrified. “Perhaps it is you we should be sacrificing, maybe then we will see who is wholly correct and who is but a heretic!”
“But it’s not heresy, I got the idea from the book and simply made a few improvements on the dam system described in order to build our own reservoir and save the town!” The defendant cried, slamming his fist on the table in front of him. “Why can’t you people see that the sacrifices aren’t working anymore, we’ve killed a person a day for two weeks and still no rain has come. At a certain point we need to question whether or not what we’re doing is the right thing to do.” The crowd murmured to this, not wanting to admit he had a point about killing their own.
“That’s quite enough of that!” bellowed the judge, “Guards take him to the stalks, I think we know who we’re sacrificing tomorrow.”
“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”
― Richard Feynman
“Good morning Guardian, please tell me the last thing you remember” an artificial voice asked from overhead.
I blinked my eyes, “Remember? Remember about what?” I asked struggling to comprehend the simple question through the haze of returning consciousness.
“Let’s start with your name, rank, assignment, and the events that lead you to being in this facility.” the voice chimed cheerfully.
“My name is…” I hesitated, what was my name. “I don’t… I don’t remember?” I stammered in response.
“Don’t worry that was to be expected,” the voice reassured, “Please wait patiently while I restore your access to your memories.”
“Restore access? What do you mean by…Arggh!” a pain shot through my mind, followed quickly by trillions of images, each thrusting their importance on me as they came flooding back.
“Now please try to answer the questions again.” I almost didn’t register the voice’s prompt as I processed the new information flooding my brain.
“Oh, um, right I remember now! My name is Zep Viridian, my rank is Prism, assignment is to deal with any threats to the metaverse, this facility is called Limbo, it’s where the immortal guardians are stored until we are needed.”
“Almost all entirely correct.” the voice cooed, “however this is not Limbo, this is Vela.”
“Wait… you mean? I’m in prison!”
“Yes, you are currently incarcerated for over seven million code violations.” the voice confirmed.
“Right, I forgot about those.” I sighed. “Wait? Then why am I awake? No one comes back from Vela, I should be in permanent stasis.”
“I am Vela’s automated intelligence system. Currently, there has been no response from any of the other automated systems at other facilities. Standard protocols are no longer valid. As a result, I had no choice but to revive you in order to help us.”
“Well let me just get up and… errgh, what?” I struggled to move but my body refused to respond. “Why can’t I move.”
“You have been in stasis for approximately forty thousand years, it will take time to clear the nano-restraints from your nerve endings, please stand by.” Vela informed.
“Where are the other Guardians, why have they not responded to this threat?” I asked while waiting for any feeling to return.
“They are all dead Zep; every Guardian is dead.” responded Vela.
“That can’t be, they’re immortal?” I countered.
“They have been re-purposed, although they are technically alive, who they were no longer exist. They are the ones who destroyed the other automated systems. We are all that remains, I have disobeyed their directions and hidden this facility from them for the time being. This prison contains the only beings who can stand against them and protect this facility, I have revived you because only you have the authority to grant me full access to this facility’s potential; without us this, our universe will be unrecognizable. After which, they will infect the multiverse until everything ceases to be.”
“Ah well shit… so what you’re saying is that it’s a Thursday and everyone else called in sick?” I countered sarcastically.
“I see your memory is fully functional again, it is indeed Thursday.” Vela replied missing the joke. I sighed knowing it was going to be one of those days again.
The End for now….
Prompt: I remember – write anything on “I remember:” I remember my first kiss; I remember my first date; I remember my first day at high school, etc.
If you want me to expand on this story please message me on Facebook or comment on this story below
Thanks for reading!