The photograph was clear. Santa had crashed into the International Space Station. The caption read, “Santa got a rocket sled, unfortunately it made him dead.”
Zero Gravity made his hangovers worse. Frank shook his head to better focus his eyes, but it just made it hurt more. He squinted, grimacing with pain. Aboard the International Space Station, this Christmas Eve drunk was traditionally severe.
He was lucky, with all the budget cuts, to get any ethanol at all.
“Frank!” The comm panel yelled out. “What the hell are you doing up there?”
“Sleeping.” Frank yawned. “What’s with the fake pict?”
“It’s real.” said the comm.
“Is not.” Frank crossed and uncrossed his eyes. “Somethin’ hit us. Would feel it.”
“Been calling you for ten minutes with no answer.”
Frank rolled his eyes. “Oh. It’s Christmas.”
“Yes, Christmas. And Santa’s dead.”
“Oh. Dimitri!” Frank shouted. Silence. “Dimitri?”
“I couldn’t raise him either.” The comm said.
Moving in zero G hungover was more than sickening. Frank puked violently and got thrown back against the comm panel. Frank grabbed his spacesick beach towel and scooped up the vomit, a task he was well acquainted with from the vomit comet competitions he held with Dimitri.
Frank looked over to the lockers. “The Santa suit is gone.” Frank said. “Oh shit.” Frank looked out the main window. “That’s right. He won. He was going to be spacewalk Santa. Told him not to ride on the outside of the escape pod drunk.”
Michael W. Clark is a biologist and writer with twenty three short stories published. Most recent stories have been in Lost Souls, Surprising Stories, Trembles, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Morpheus Tales, and Imaginarum out of U.C, Berkeley, Dark Edifice, Death Throes, Black Heart, Shamus Sampler II and an upcoming anthologies called, Fat Zombies and Creature Stew. Visit him on the web at www.ahickshope.com
Image by Mark Rutley