How Rock Saved Christmas!
Jesse and Fin didn’t have the same affinity for making custom-built toys that the other elves had. No, they wanted to rock. For Jesse, it was the electric guitar. Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Jimmy Hendrix. He prayed to them like they were his gods. For those about to rock, we salute you and he’d always salute back. When his fingers ripped across those taunt cat-gut strings, he felt the spirit of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and any other holiday there was.
For Fin, it was the drums. Taunt canvas. A couple sneers, a bass drum and some symbols would do him fine. It wasn’t quite a religious experience for Fin as much as it was something primal. Smashing and bashing. Faster. Faster. Noise. More noise. Bang. Bang. Bang. Make the earth tremble in fear beneath him and the heavens crumble down over his head. Faster. Faster. He didn’t quite care about his drumming predecessors. It just felt good to drum. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Now, Santa had grown tolerant of oddball elves over the years. Ones that wanted to go into dentistry and Fashion Design. Ones that wanted to repair old cars and ones that loved baking. He found uses for them all, finding squared holes for the less round pegs. However, he wouldn’t- he couldn’t tolerate Jesse and Fin’s love of rock. For one, it scared the crap out of the reindeer. For another, Jesse had managed to repeatedly shatter the candy glass windows when his guitar solos crawled up into the higher frequencies. The glass would first rattle in its gingerbread frames and then explode outward into the frigid arctic air. Jesse had been quite pleased with himself the first time he’d managed it, but it spelt out doom for rock in the North Pole.
Jesse’s ax and Fin’s skins were stripped from them and locked away. The two of them were dragged off to work the assembly line, sticking wheels on toy trains. Left wheel. Right wheel. Left wheel. Right wheel. Hand to the elf to your right. On and on for what seemed like forever. The world’s population had grown to seven billion. A lot of trains to make and a lot of splinters as well. It might have been a dark day for the pair and for rock, if it wasn’t the fact that Rock and Roll has a long and honored history of harboring rebels.
It was Fin, doing what he did best. What he loved. Bash. Bash. Bash. He bashed the machine that made the little wheels that went on the little toy trains. He did it early on the second day of their time on the assembly line, before the elves came in for work. The other elves found the machine in ruin, but did not dismay, for fixing was a kind of building. They got to work and didn’t notice that neither Jesse nor Fin was in their ranks. The two were off to Santa’s Tomb of Things Not Befitting Christmas, knowing that’s where their instruments would be.
Fin, again, got to bash. This time it was a lock, barring them from their prizes. Bash, bash, bash and the lock fell, along with the door that held it. They found their prize at the end of a long hall, along with a man in a cage. He was all curled lips and hollowed eyes, what might be called very metal. Atop his cage, there was the legend: ‘Here is Black Peter of Dark Christmas’s past. He who rode alongside Santa Claus, punishing the wicked children of the world. Who kidnapped misbehaved ones and stole them away to Spain.’ Very metal, indeed. Black Peter followed the two elves with his coal furnace eyes, towering over them like some Monolith of Metal Christmas. Chains bit into his tree trunk sized wrists and he breathed black ash. Too goddamn metal. More metal than Fin could possibly stand. He succumbed to the Black Peter’s metal and bashed and bashed well, releasing the obsidian skinned imp from his incarceration. Jesse had cried, “No!” as the heavy metal dead bolt that secured the beast had clattered to the ground. Black Peter might have been metal, but releasing him was not.
He was out from his confines in a flash of smoke and hellfire, sending the pair flying to either side of the long hall.
“Why? Why would you do that, dude?” Jesse cried, waving smoke away.
“I’m sorry. He was too metal. It was awesome.” Fin said.
“Do you know what you did? Do you even understand?”
“I said I was sorry. How much trouble can he really cause? He and Santa were riding buddies back in the day.”
“Until Santa decided that a black guy kidnapping children was too racist for his modern image. Santa threw him in chains and Black Peter swore to destroy Christmas and Santa for the betrayal. We have to warn Santa!”
But Black Peter was swift to begin his vengeance. As they scurried across the bitter snows to Santa’s house, they heard a titanic roar and the earth quake beneath their feet. Brilliant rushed up into the sky like an upside down sun, spewing heat and liquid magma. Smoke rushed outward, turning their white world an ashy gray. Shadowy figures rode on the volcanic winds, their mouths filled with glittering, sharp teeth. They laughed and snared and snatched up elves at random. Some were off in a clearing slaughtering a red nosed reindeer. It cried and squealed until it went still forever more.
They moved closer to a yawning chasm in the ground where all of hell was spilling out onto the earthly realm. Santa was being held aloft by two horned demons. They laughed as the jolly, old elf was slowly roasted by the flames of hell. Jesse had his ax slung on his back and Fin had a sneer under one arm, his bass drum under the other and his sticks in his back pocket. Black Peter was holding the portal open with shredding rifts off this sick ax made from the bones of children off the naughty list. Jesse peered down into the fiery maw and saw a crimson fist rising through the flames. The hand of Satan. Black Peter was using Rock to summon the Devil. No, Black Peter was bastardizing Rock to summon the Devil.
“Get set up, Fin!” Jesse cried, taking his guitar off his back.
“All I got is this Sneer! This Bass! You don’t even have an amp. We won’t stand a chance against those killer chords!” Jesse pulled out a pick he’d concealed in his hat and put it to the strings.
“You and I are more metal in our sleep than he’ll even be. Amp or not amp, I’m going to rock this bitch. You with me?” Fin pulled his drumsticks out from his back pocket and spun them once in his fingers.
“We might die, but I can’t think of a better way to go.”
The two of them stepped up like men on a mission,
Determine to send the Prince of Darkness back into Perdition.
Black Peter roared and cut a killer rift off his ax
And the force of it sent them both on their backs.
Neither was deterred. Neither cried off.
They both got back up with a laugh and a scoff.
They gave as good as they got. Jesse strumming. Fin bashing.
The Prince of Darkness in his pit started up thrashing.
“You rifts are too sweet. Your metal is too pure.
Please I beg, little elves. Shred no more.”
Did they stop? Did they show mercy? No.
They played harder and faster, preparing their death blow.
The Prince and Black Peter howled and fell. Both of them made humble.
But to Jesse’s dismay, the ground began to open and started to crumble.
“Fin! Stop! We’ve already won.”
But Fin wouldn’t hear. He was having too much fun.
In a wild fury, he played. Bash. Bash. Bash.
Hell was seconds from claiming them when along came Slash.
With the sickest rift of his legendary Gibson
He sealed the portal leading down into Perdition.
Long, black curls and a black velvet top hat.
He nodded approvingly and said, “Your sound is pretty Phat.”
He walked off into the tundra with his Gibson on his back
And the elves were speechless, All words did they lack.
“That was Slash. Slash was he…”
“Yeah. That was Slash.” Fin did agree.
“He liked our sound. He thinks we’re sweet.”
“You think he’ll let us play with him? Come on, man! Move your feet.”
The two of them chased the rock star without any pause.
Not even stopping to help up a coughing, ashen faced Santa Claus.
Extraordinary as the tale is, I swear that it’s true.
Remember, Merry Christmas to All and We Will Rock You.
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