Sergeant Crimpson wiped his eyes. This year he’d get the Son of a … Sure he knew he’d not be popular but defending the homeland against foreign invaders had been his life’s work and he’d been successful, one hundred damn percent…
Except he hadn’t. Nope, every damn year since he gained his gunner’s badge and undertaken to defend the Land of the Free against every damn slime ball, ne’er-do-well and guttersnipe he’d ended it with a conspicuous failure.
He could set his watch by it as the radar began to blink, tracking the incoming as it sped across the Atlantic, following the clock as it ran down.
In the early days it had needed line of sight but despite catching the image on screen none of the spotters ever saw a thing in time for a firing.
Nowadays they had homing and tracking and Crimpson could send up the All Seeing Eye in the shape of three hundred drones and still he’d evaded capture.
But this year Sergeant Crimpson had cracked it, he was sure. He’d worked with the boffins at MIT, providing them with all the data he’d gathered in the thirty years he’d been in the job. And they’d run complex programmes which showed the route taken was the same every time. Using the latest in infrared ballistics he’d pre set a series of missiles to catch the invader at the lowest trajectory, as he sped over the Nevada desert.
Crimpson chewed on his cigar, these days sadly unlit due to damn sissy rules on smoke in the workplace and watched the monitor. At exactly two minutes to the hour as the sun just began to set a haze of missile jets pierced the sky and…
Crimpson leant forward. Damn it, he’d done it. He’d actually done it. He’d got that bloody Claus fella, blown him and his sleigh and those unquarantined deer of his, right out of the sky. He let his mind race. He’d be on Fox News, he’d be up for a congressional medal. He might even be the subject of a Presidential tweet, the ultimate accolade.
It was then he realised something odd was happening. Even while the smoke from the obliterated sleigh was still dispersing high over the desert, he could see the colour was draining out of the landscape. The nearest hills had already gone black and the furthest away we’re beginning to lose their definition.
Surely those fools hadn’t been right? Surely there was no truth in the suggestion that the nation that killed Santa would have all the joy drained out of it? Oh goodness, what had he done?
This is written in response to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge and prompt