It is the night before Christmas. All is quiet on the North Pole. Elves shiver in trenches not one hundred yards apart. To aid morale, each leader authorises the distribution of the last reserves of mulled wine.
As midnight approaches, both sides begin singing carols. A lone loyalist elf, waving a wine-splattered napkin, clambers up the side of the trench and makes his way across No Elf’s Land. It’s Sergeant Merrymittens, a legend among elves on both sides.
A Rudolfite elf meets him, and the two exchange gifts. Soon, elves of both sides are meeting in No Elf’s Land. Old friendships are rekindled, chocolates are shared, and broken toys are found among the detritus and fixed.
All is laughter and singing and merriment. Then, a silence descends once more. Rudolf and Claus are here. The injured leaders, having seen their troops, have moved up to the front themselves. They walk towards each other, slowly, cautiously. They meet in the centre of No Elf’s Land, and then…
Rudolf and Santa both weep as they hug each other, both blaming themselves for the war, both calling out forgiveness.
‘Come,’ says Santa. ‘Let’s go and get hammered and figure this all out, once and for all. No more war!’
And so, the two walk hand in hoof back to the Claus Compound to the sound of elves chanting ‘No more war, no more war!’ They drink mulled wine and sherry and port late into the night, reminiscing and remembering the brave fallen elves on both sides. The Santa War is over, but it will never be forgotten…
The big day is nearly here, and we’re celebrating by making some of our favourite titles of the year 99p. Yes, the three books that we picked from the submissions to Abaddon’s Open Submissions period are now only 99p each – that’s three first-rate novellas for less than £3! Madness!