‘Twas the night before Christmas, and as was her custom, Goddess Marquesa was surveying the many gifts that she had received from adoring worshipers the world over. There were packages from places as far away as Vanuatu, and others from nearby suburbs, so many boxes that they barely fit under her tree. These she would open Christmas morning.

When the parcels were arrayed with care, she turned to the stack of envelopes, dozens of them filled with Amazon gift cards. These she was in the habit of opening on Christmas Eve, and every year she seemed to set a new record. This Christmas, however, would be especially memorable.

The first envelope the Goddess opened gave the name of the sender as “Kris Kringle.” Goddess Marquesa smiled. One of her slaves was being cute. He no doubt imagined that she would be able to guess which one of her worshipers loved her intensely enough to send her a gift anonymously. Unfortunately for the sender, the slaves who felt that way were too numerous to count. But as she examined the gift she realized that something was strange. The message printed on the invoice was not the usual declaration of love and yearning. Instead, it read:


HELP! I am being held prisoner here in the Amazon warehouse in Pasadena. Please Goddess, you are my only hope.




This was serious. Goddess Marquesa had received distress calls from mystical creatures before. The Tooth Fairy had gotten into a jam in West Hollywood some years back, and the Sandman, prone to drunken sprees, periodically had to be bailed out of the downtown clink.

The Goddess was in her car in a flash, and three quarters of an hour found her outside the gate of the dormant warehouse. The premises were dark, but for one light shining sinisterly in an upper window. A slave with a shady past had shown Goddess Marquesa how to turn a bobby pin into a skeleton key, so she had no trouble opening the door marked “Cargo Bay 1” and entering.

The cargo bay was pitch dark, and empty except for a large wooden sleigh harnessed to a team of reindeer. From the soft red glow of the lead reindeer’s nose, Goddess Marquesa could see a stairway at the back that led up in the direction of the light she had seen from the outside. As she climbed the stairs, she heard voices coming from above.

“What are you doing?” said what sounded like an older man. “I came here because you said there would be toys for the children. Thousands, you promised. Was that a lie?”

“Oh, there will be toys for the children,” a younger man replied. “Toys their mommies and daddies pay for. Amazon is tired of your unfair competition, Santa. Prime offers free delivery, but only after a membership fee, and the fastest we can guarantee is two-day service. Meanwhile you and your magic elves are delivering toys around the world in a single night, completely free of charge. You are some kind of freak cross between Glinda the Good Witch and Karl Marx. Sickening!”

“You are definitely going on the Naughty list for this,” Santa declared.

“Fuck your list. The only Good list I care about is the one kept by Mr. Bezos, and this will put me on it for sure. I’ll be made a vice president…I’ll be given stock options…I’ll be able to retire at the age of thirty-five.”

As the younger man finished speaking, Goddess Marquesa reached the landing in front of the office door from behind which the voices emanated. The door was slightly ajar, and though the Goddess tread softy, her stiletto heels made an audible “click” as she climbed the last step.

“Who’s there?” the young Amazon exec said, a tone of panic in his voice.

“It is the ghost of Christmas past,” Goddess Marquesa replied, her voice as sexy as her words were teasing.

“Don’t come any closer,” the man warned tremulously, “I’ve got a gun.”

“It’s true, Goddess!” Santa cried. “Be careful!”

“Shhhhh….” Goddess Marquesa soothed, “let’s all remain calm. What is your name?”

“My name is my business,” the man behind the door answered belligerently.

“What can I call you, then?” the Goddess asked.

“Call me ‘Sir.’”

“Well, Sir, I am the Goddess Marquesa,” she intoned, “and there is something I’d like to show you.”

Moving slowly, the Goddess pushed the door back just far enough to allow her to slide her nylon-stocking leg through the entrance, where it could be seen by those in the room.

“What do you think of my leg, Sir?” she asked.

“It…..it’s….very beautiful,” he replied, his voice quavering with arousal.

“It is, isn’t it?” the Goddess agreed. “You can’t keep your eyes off of my leg, and looking at it makes you very focused on my voice. Listen….listen and relax….You can’t help staring at my leg…It is so sexy…so enticing….It makes you feel deep longing….You can’t help imagining caressing it…kissing it.  These thoughts relax you….You feel yourself becoming sleepier. Your mind is yielding to the force of my beauty and my will. Down….down…..you are completely entranced now. Tell me so, Sir.”

“I am completely entranced, Goddess Marquesa.”

“Good,” the Goddess declared with satisfaction. Opening the door, she strode into the room, a sparsely furnished corporate office, where “Sir” stood slack-jawed in front of a small desk, pupils dilated, his gun still in his hand. Seeing that he was supremely suggestible, Goddess Marquesa continued, “When I snap my fingers you will fall to the floor and worship me. While you worship me, anything I command you must be obeyed. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Goddess.”

The Goddess snapped her fingers next to the young man’s right ear. Immediately he fell to his hands and knees, placing his gun on the ground to allow himself to bear up his torso with both hands. In this posture he began kissing Goddess Marquesa’s feet lovingly, and while he was thus occupied the Goddess reached down to retrieve his pistol.

“Listen to what I say,” Goddess Marquesa declared. “Your name is not ‘Sir,’ or ‘John,’ or whatever it was you made people call you before now. Your name is Jingletoes, and you are an elf. Santa is going to take you back to his workshop, where you will work for him and be paid in candy canes. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Goddess,” Jingletoes replied between fevered kisses, “I hear and obey.”

“Good. Go to sleep now.”

Jingletoes passed out in mid-kiss, splayed out face-down on the carpet of the office. Goddess Marquesa looked up and saw for the first time the other occupant of the room. Santa Claus was clearly recognizable with his white beard and familiar red suit. He was tied to a chair in the center of the office, facing the desk that presumably had once been Jingletoes’s. Stepping over the sleeping kidnapper, Goddess Marquesa went over to Santa and untied him.
“Ho ho! Thank you Goddess!” Santa bellowed. “That young man left me locked alone into the mail room just long enough to get one message into the outgoing shipments, and I had the good sense to contact you. I knew that you would save the day.”

“Don’t mention it,” Goddess Marquesa replied.
“But….” Santa said, hesitating. “I’m afraid I can’t bring him back with me to the North Pole. He’s not really an elf, after all….he wouldn’t be up to the work.  No magic, you see. The Will Ferrell movie got that part right.”

“You can’t leave him here,” objected the Goddess. “I’ve enslaved him, and if he remains in town I’ll never get any peace from his begging and pleading. You have to take out the garbage on this one, Santa.”

“Well, I’m sorry…but it just can’t be done…”

Goddess Marquesa smiled. “You were in the room the whole time that I entranced Jingletoes here,” she observed. “Did you happen to take a gander at my leg, Santa?”

“Oh, please!” Santa objected with a chuckle. “I’ve been married to Mrs. Claus for over five-hundred years! Besides, I’m a magical immortal. Those kinds of mind-tricks don’t work on me!”

Goddess Marquesa snapped her fingers next to Santa’s right ear. As she watched Santa fall to his hands and knees and begin to kiss her feet, she could not help feeling a bit conflicted. “I suppose this might land me on the Naughty list,” she ruminated. “But then again, Naughty is practically my middle name. Ah, well,” she breathed through a contented smile, “listen carefully, Saint Nick….”



The End….Merry Christmas!