Photo: Keith Channing
It was a quiet early hour at Headquarters.
Bernice was doing her nails. Bertrand had a foot perched on his desk and was clipping his toenails. Benny was (as always) squinting into one of his miniature rice grain paintings. Bella was snoring. Bonita was munching on crackers. Bruno was belittling Baron’s game-score. And Brittney, brittle as usual, was cradling the radio’s earphones even as she browsed the internet for interesting short film ideas.
Suddenly the switchboard sounded jingle bells and lit up in flashing green, red, and gold.
A Santa call!
In her fluttery rush to respond, Brittney almost dropped the microphone.
Bruno dove to save it. Those things were brilliant but brutally expensive. None of them wanted it docked from their pay for negligent breakage.
“North Pole,” he breathed into the mouthpiece.
“SOS! SOS!” The reedy voice could only be from one origin.
“Rudolph?!” Bruno rolled his eyes and hit the speaker button. The reindeer’s dramatic flair was brilliantly entertaining. “What are you doing on the radio? You know you’re not permitted.”
The radio screeched as Rudolph must have cranked the volume to its maximum.
“Shut up, shut up!! You moron! SOS! SOS!”
Bernice dropped her polish. Bertrand cursed. Benny’s rice grain rolled off the tray. Bella fell off her recliner. Bonita choked. Brittney fainted. Baron stared.
Rudolph was colorful but he was not prone to cursing.
Bruno’s cleared his throat.
“Sheesh, Rudy. Is it really an emergency?”
“Are you deaf? It’s an SOS!! Code Red. Code Red. Santa Off Sled. The darn temporary ladder that Brenda borrowed from Pottery Barn broke. Santa’s hanging by a thread! Send Feathered Fairy Fred!”
For Kreative Cue 240