DANGEROUS SKIES • by Gustavo Bondoni

Two black eyes, dots of india ink set in a furry, elongated head, looked through the night-vision scope. Their quarry was much too canny to fly high enough to appear on radar, but had gotten complacent. The new year had come and gone and, glutted with the profit from the holiday season, and confident that no one would be looking out for him for the better part of a year, the fat man had thrown caution to the winds. Furry ears could pick up the sound of tack jingling, even at this distance, but it was of no consequence. The target, illuminated as it was by a red light at the front of the convoy, would be visible even to a casual observer.

The gigantic furry paws sweating at the computerized targeting system, like the eyes, did not belong to a casual observer.

Fueled by fury, and the deep knowledge that an overweight ostentatious atrocity with the bad taste to hitch a team of flying reindeer to a sleigh surely deserved what was coming to him, the eyes watched. Calculations were made in the computerized targeting system. A firing solution was reached.

And yet, the paws hesitated, perhaps savoring the victory.

Or perhaps they simply paused to recall past injustices. The overshadowing of the true Christian holiday by a date which owed more to pagan ritual than anything that occurred in Jerusalem. The transformation of a time of love and generosity into the ultimate monument to corporate greed. And, most shudder-worthy of all, the fat men bundled in red and white coats who spread false cheer to children who simply didn’t know any better in every shopping mall in the western world.

The rabbit wanted to blame Dickens and his stupid ghosts for the whole fiasco, but he knew it was useless. It was a debate that had been raging since the middle ages, with factions pushing for the holiness of one date over the next, with no clear winner ever declared until a century before. Then, those silly ghosts had come along, as well as an advertising campaign for a popular drink, and the century had gone to the fat man by landslide.

But that was all about to change. A furry paw pressed down on a button and the beady black eyes watched with satisfaction as tracer fire sped into the night. Silhouetted against the shining aurora borealis, reindeer began to jerk and drop like puppets with their strings suddenly severed. A paw pumped the air in exultation as the red-nosed leader became swiss-cheese venison. The sleigh itself disintegrated soon after.

There, it was done, the now-grown bunny thought to himself. That ought to redress the balance for a few decades.

But there was no time to gloat. Preparations had to be made, to capitalize on the victory. There were things to do, eggs to hide.

Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine writer whose writing spans everything from literary fiction to silly comic fantasy to creative nonfiction. His day job keeps him too busy to write novels, but, even so, he has recently finished writing one.

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