***This story references characters from the 1964 classic Christmas movie, Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The story does stand on its own, but would be much more enjoyable if your familiar with these classics***
Santa sat at his desk and reflected on another successful Christmas. It was successful, but barely. With the state of the world and the economy, Santa’s finances had taken a tremendous hit. He missed the good old days when the elves could make everything and only paid for materials. Now, he had to acquire expensive licenses to have the elves make a lot of the toys. Between that and the specialty tools and training, it just wasn’t worth it. It was better to just buy what the kids wanted from amazon and be the delivery man. No one ever asked where Santa got the money to run his worldwide operation, and he was quite sure no one wanted to know how the elves were paid. They only cared that the gifts were there on Christmas morning. Now that his funds had run out, he would need to come up with unique ways to continue funding his operation.
One week later, Jack Frost stood at the entrance to the Nordea bank in Finland. He turned to the group of misfits standing with him.
“Alright everyone, this is zero hour. There is no going back after this. Anyone want to bail out?”
Everyone shook their heads. Jack brought the radio up to his mouth.
“Alright Santa, we’re a go down here, you can start your descent, over.”
A quick answer came back over the radio. “Confirmed, over.”
Jack brought the radio down and clipped it to his belt. Then turned to the group, which consisted of Jack, the three specialists and two elves carrying duffle bags.
“You're up, Sam.”
Sam the snowman stepped forward, then reached out and put his hand on the lock on the glass door. Everyone watched as the lock turned white, frost slowly spreading out across the door. After a minute, he gave a quick nod. Jack turned to the man next to him.
“Lets go Yukon.”
Yukon Cornelius pulled an ice pick from his belt and swung at the frozen lock. A loud crack split through the air, but the lock seemed unchanged.
Yukon swung the pick again. This time, the lock made a pop and pushed through the door, dropping onto the floor on the other side. Yukon gave the icepick a lick, then slide it back onto his belt. Jack pulled open the door and held it open, letting the group run into the bank.
“We're on the clock now, team, everyone in position.”
Jack pulled the radio out again. “Santa we’re waiting on you, what’s taking so long? That vent is way bigger than a chimney.”
“Ho ho hold your horses, Jack, I’m almost through.”
Jack turned to make sure everyone was ready.
“You, Ghost of Christmas Present, you're drifting!”
The deep echoing voice responded, “I am the Ghost of Christmas Future!”
“Great! Then you know what will happen if you're not covering that camera.”
The ghost drifted back up into the corner of the bank wall, floating over the camera pointed at the metal door to the safe room. There was a loud clunk, and the big metal door swung open. Santa stood there in his red track suit.
“See, no problem.” Said Santa.
“We still have the main safe door to crack, Santa. Let’s not get excited yet.”
Two loud booms came from the roof as the team ran into the last safe room.
“That's Rudolph’s signal, we’re gonna have company.”
Yukon pulled out his ice pick again and stood by the large steel vault door. Sam the snowman walked up to the big hinges and put one hand on each one. Jack walked over to the large handle, putting both his hands as close to the door as he could. White frost spread out from the handle and hinges, heading across the door towards the center. Once again, Sam nodded after about a minute. Yukon swung the ice pick at the top hinge. The pin of the hinge dropped onto the floor. He swung at the second hinge. It made a loud clink noise, but the pin stayed in its position. He swung again, the ice pick striking the pin perfectly. It still didn’t budge.
“What's going on over there?” Jack asked.
“The second pin isn’t dropping,” Responded Yukon.
Jack was still holding the handle, channeling the ice into the door. He couldn’t keep this up for much longer. Yukon needed to get that other pin out.
“Keep trying, it will go.” Said Jack.
Yukon swung a third time. The ice pick bounced off the pin of the vault, with a piece of the ice pick flying back into the ceiling. The pin still hadn’t moved.
Three loud booms came from the ceiling.
“That’s our one minute warning, Yukon. We’re running out of time.” Said Jack.
Yukon spun the ice pick around to the other side. If this side broke, this heist was over, and kids all over the world would not be getting the gifts they asked for. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and swung. The pick hit the top of the hinge perfectly, and it dropped to the floor.
“Ah hah!” Yukon Screamed.
“Now the handle, we’re almost there.” Said Jack.
Yukon swung his pick at the big handle. There was a loud crack and a clunk from behind the door.
“We got it, back up everyone,” Commanded Jack
The sound from the door let out a small creak as it fell outwards. It hit the floor with a loud crash and gust of air.
“Silver!” Yukon yelled as the contents of the vault came into view.
“And gold!” Santa said as he looked at the racks full of precious metals and cash in the safe.
Sam popped his head around the wall and began to sing.
“Silver and gold! Silver and gold! Everyone wishes for silver and…”
“We don’t have time for this!” Jack Interrupted as he threw a large duffle bag at Sam.
The crew started filling bags as they heard a loud bang from the other room.
“Swat is here, everyone! Get what you can and head for the roof. Yukon, we’re gonna need some cover fire.”
Yukon grabbed the six shooter from his hip. “I got this.”
“Holiday, buy us some time.” Said Jack.
“Am I just here to deflect bullets?” said Holiday Armadillo, “I shouldn’t even be here with you guys.”
“You’re in it now, Holiday,” Snapped Jack. You’re here for the children! Now get to the door.”
Holiday waddled over to the first safe room door and leaned against it as smoke poured through the open edges. It wouldn’t hold them long, but they just needed another minute. There was another loud bang as the door opened a crack. Holiday adjusted his weight as Yukon fired two shots through the open hole, keeping them high to make sure he didn’t hit anyone.
“Shots fired,” Came a muffled voice from the other side.
“Let's go Santa, we have enough here for two Christmases!” Yelled Jack.
Santa looked at the shelves lining the walls of the safe, which were still half full of gold bars and bundled cash. He didn’t want to have to do this again for a while, but he knew he couldn’t risk it.
“Alright everyone, let’s get outta here.”
Another bang came from across the room as Holiday staggered forward. More smoke poured into the room as the door pushed open. Holiday regained his footing and pushed against the door, but the team on the other side had pushed a metal tool through, which was now holding it partly open. Yukon fired the rest of his shots through the open door as he backed up toward the stairwell.
“Were outta time everyone,” He yelled.
Yukon opened the door to the stairwell as the crew ran over, each carrying a large duffle bag. One at a time, they pushed up the stairs toward the roof. As the last elf ran past Yukon, he leaned out and yelled at Holiday.
“We’re clear, let’s go!”
Holiday ran toward Yukon Cornelius as fast as his round body would take him, the door behind him crashing open as he ran. The sound of gunfire filled the room. He felt the sting on his back as a bullet ricocheted off, then another. But he didn’t stop moving. He stepped through the door and turned to head up the stairs. Yukon slammed the door closed and wedged his broken ice pick into the handle. He picked the duffle up off the floor and followed Holiday up to the roof. The two burst through the door at the top of the stairs into the foggy winter night just as the rest of the crew finished loading the duffles onto the sleigh. Holiday squeezed into the last open space on the sleigh as Yukon threw his duffle on top of the pile. Yukon then turned to Jack, who had just come up behind him.
“We’re not all going to fit on there” Said Yukon
“No, but we’re not leaving anything. You and I will have to take plan B,” Jack replied.
“Woooeh,” Yukon yelled, then sent a loud whistle call into the night.
“Get movin’ Santa, we will find our way,” Said Jack, backing away from the sleigh.
Santa grabbed the reins and yanked back. The nine reindeer responded instantly and darted forward. The sleigh, full of cash and gold, moved forward, then pulled up off the roof as the reindeer gained height. Right as the sleigh disappeared into the fog, a man in black SWAT gear burst through the door.
“You there, stop!” He yelled.
Jack turned to Yukon as they ran towards the side of the building.
“He better be there!”
“He will be!” Yelled Yukon.
As they reached the edge of the building, Jack looked over his shoulder. There were now four SWAT team members on the roof, and more piling through the door. There was no stopping. He just had to trust that Yukon was right. Both men jumped over the edge into the open air as bullets whizzed by them. Jack questioned his decision as he began to freefall, but then felt a large hand curl around him and slow his fall. He turned to see another furry white hand curl around Yukon. Abominable had jumped and caught them as planned. He folded them into his body as all three fell down to the alley behind the bank. Jack felt them hit the ground and heard muffled yelling from the police guarding the back door. Then, just as quickly, they bounced back into the air. Abominable turned his body in the air, changing his body position. As they hit the ground again, they bounced sideways into the next block. By the third bounce, they were four blocks from the bank. Jack’s team of misfits had done it. Santa would have another successful Christmas, and children around the world would get everything they wanted. The sirens and sounds of the city faded behind them as they continued bouncing northward into the night.