“Who’s going to guide my slay tonight?”
The Fat Man’s pun boomed over us as we sprinted toward the goods at the center of our ring.[ref]Suprisingly, The Fat Man had a dark sense of humor.[/ref] Steve had died at the hands of a snowflake, and Rue had already run off into the forest behind us. That left eight of us sprinting toward the middle, diving for whatever plunder we could lay our hooves on or snag with our antlers.
Dash, Don, and Dan, the Triple D’s I often used as an easily led posse back at The Pole, made a beeline for the food reserves. They were big boys and not well-equipped when it came to foraging for themselves. I assumed they’d stock up on as much food as possible and try to break every else’s necks by brute force. I was pretty sure they’d given no consideration to what they’d do if The Reindeer Games ended with just the three of them still alive.
Prancer and Cupid were a motion blur of speed as they ran toward the center. They grabbed the most goods, including a bow and arrow I’d had my eye on.[ref]Yes, a reindeer can use a bow and arrow, but it takes years of practice to master.[/ref]
Comet and Vixen casually sauntered their way to the center and snagged a bag full of snowballs.
I approached last, warily eyeing each of my competitors. They knew better than to mess with me. I grabbed the only item that was left, a tent. I should have moved faster to get something more offensive, but I’d been preoccupied with Steve’s untimely passing and Rue’s quick escape.
I traced hoofprints back into the forest and came upon The Triple D’s stalking Comet and Vixen. I hung back and watched the massacre that occurred just moments later.
The Triple D’s had come to the end of the hoofprints they’d been following and looked into the sky. Snowballs rained down on the three of them, exploding on contact. I heard the cold, shrill cackles of Comet and Vixen from somewhere nearby. I was fairly certain they’d be out of those deceptive, exploding snowballs, but now they had The Triple D’s food reserves.[ref]Well, at least the food that wasn’t charred beyond edibleness.[/ref]
I quietly walked away from the carnage and said a quick prayer for my fallen brethren. Idiots though they may be, they certainly didn’t deserve that ignominious end. As soon as I turned, a significant gust of wind brushed my side. Prancer and Cupid had heard Comet and Vixen and were racing back toward where I’d just been. I hesitated, then turned back to see what might happen. Maybe I could outlast all of them and pick off Rue to win The Reindeer Games, an easy way to continue my twelve-year-long streak as Reindeer Games champion.
As Comet and Vixen surveyed the spoils of their killings, Prancer and Cupid ran circles around them, effectively trapping them. Suddenly, Prancer went flying. (Not actual flying. No flying was allowed during The Reindeer Games as The Fat Man wanted to test our mettle with our most precious ability handicapped.) Just as quickly, so did Cupid. Curious as to what had just happened, Comet and Vixen inched their way toward where they’d last seen Prancer and Cupid. Unsurprisingly, Comet and Vixen went flying too.
As reindeer parts thudded to the ground, I carefully stepped through the killing field and saw what had happened. Unexploded snowballs had exploded, tripped by the careless hooves of reindeer too intent on taking each other out.
Well, they’d accomplished their goal and had made mine much, much easier. I hadn’t even broken a sweat and now I had the food reserves, the bow and arrow that once belonged to Prancer and Cupid, and only one tiny reindeer to take out.
As a heavy fog rolled in, I antlered the bow and arrow and yelled out, “Oh Rue, with your nose so bright, Blitz is coming to slay you tonight!”