AUTHOR'S NOTE (Or, rather, SHAMELESS PLUG): In my spare time, I play
in some downloadable XF video spoofs. Check them out at
http://loredata.simplenet.com/6m2/ (And if you're a secret DOCTOR WHO fan,
please visit the official site for the latest Federation fan video:
Mulder Got Run Over by a Reindeer (for lack of a better title)
by Jennifer Adams Kelley
SOMEWHERE IN RURAL MARYLAND
A car door slammed shut. Mulder looked up from his examination of the
took in his partner's expression, and involuntarily swallowed. Scully
stormed past the
sheriff's men, flashing her badge for quick passage as she stomped across
the snow for
the "do not cross" tape squaring off the middle of the front yard. She
paused just outside
the cordon, glaring at Mulder with arms folded across the chest and left
foot (in an
already-ruined black suede pump) tapping impatiently. "This had better be
"I wouldn't have interrupted your Christmas otherwise." He motioned
cordon, pointing at the body of an old woman laying facedown.
Scully fished a pair of latex gloves out of her coat pocket, snapped
on, and squatted
down to examine the corpse. She paid particular attention to the forehead
and back. After
a few minutes, she stood back up. "She's been dead for at least twelve
Why hasn't she been removed to the local coroner's office?"
Mulder shrugged. "The coroner's apparently had too much Christmas cheer,
sheriff figured she'd keep as well here as in the freezer there. What do you
"Judging from the marks on her forehead and back, I'd say she was attacked
kind of wild animal."
"Well, it's *rural* Maryland.... But I suppose you have a different
be back home watching football."
"Mrs. Maybelline Drugger there was run over by a reindeer."
"Are reindeer native to the area?"
"Let me rephrase this. She was run over by Comet. Or Cupid. Or Donner.
You get the idea."
Scully glared at him for almost a full minute before saying, "I'm missing
out on silver
fizzes because of *this*?"
"Hey, I'm just quoting what the local authorities said."
"Are you telling me that *they* think Santa's involved?"
"I think they're quoting the grandson. Come on, let's get the story
mouth." Mulder guided her back under the tape and up to the front entrance.
on the door, then added, "Silver fizzes, Scully? Isn't that like gin and egg
"And you're complaining you were rescued from that?"
The door opened. An acne-encrusted young man of perhaps 20 stood on
dressed in black jeans and a black sweatshirt. "Yeah?"
Mulder flashed his badge. "I'm Agent Mulder, this is Agent Scully, we're
with the FBI.
You're Chuckie Drugger?"
"That's right. Wow! The FBI! If you can't catch that low-down,
drinking son of a bitch who killed Grandma, then nobody can. Come on in." He
Men filled the living room, gathered around the small television intent
game. In a corner, an old man played cards with a younger relative, one eye
on the game
and one hand on a stein. Everyone wore black, but seemed otherwise
unaffected by the
death. Chuckie waved a hand toward the old man. "Grandpa's taking it so
watching football, and drinking beer, and playing cards with Cousin Mel just
The old man noticed the new arrivals and toasted them with his stein.
Scully raised an eyebrow, then asked Chuckie, "Would you mind retelling
happened last night?"
"No problem. I know how you FBI types have to double-check everything
police report. I see it on the tv all the time. Anyway, Grandma had been
much eggnog last night. She realized that she left her medication back
er, lived right next door to us-and decided to go get it. Well, it had
snowed pretty hard
and she was pretty plastered, so we begged her not to go. But she didn't
listen to us.
"We didn't notice at first she hadn't come back. In fact, it wasn't `til
Grandpa decided he
had too much of Cousin Sam's liberal leanings and went lookin' for her that
she wasn't around. We went outside and, well, we found her just like she is
"Did you hear or see anything suspicious?" Scully asked dutifully.
"Hell no, we were too busy partying! But Santa did it. I know it."
"Then what makes you think Santa is involved?"
Chuckie looked surprised. "Well, duh! She's got hoofprints on her forehead
incriminating claw marks on her back! You *sure* you're with the FBI?"
Mulder poorly suppressed a snort of amusement, which earned him another
glare. He told
Chuckie, "She's just pissed she's missing Christmas dinner right now."
"Oh, I'm sure you could stay and eat with us, ma'am." He waived a hand
laden dining room table tucked in an alcove. A middle-aged lady brought out
wonderful-smelling goose. As she placed it on the table, she caught sight of
that sent her into a fresh crying jag. She ran back into the kitchen,
bawling into her lace
"What was that about?" Mulder wondered.
"Ma's taking it the worst," Chuckie replied.
"But what set her off?"
Mulder took a good look at the blue and silver tapers. "What? Your
grandmother was a
chain smoker or something?"
Chuckie shook his head. "They match the hair in Grandma's wig."
"I think we've heard enough," Scully said.
"We can't continue the investigation until I complete the autopsy. And
coroner unavailable, I can't even start it." She started out of the house,
reluctantly. "We'll keep you advised," she added as she pushed the door
Chuckie called from the doorway, "You'd better watch out for yourself,
should never give a license to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with
Scully said nothing; Mulder could tell by the straightening of her shoulders
that he was
going to be in deep doo-doo. His partner remained silent until she reached
her car. As she
unlocked the door, she finally looked up at him. "Next Christmas--no, next
I am going to turn off my cell phone and screen all my calls. I am also
going to put your
email addresses in my killfile. I've had enough holidays ruined by you."
"It's a legitimate x-file, Scully!"
"And I'm the tooth fairy."
"That explains why you're so small."
"I'm leaving now. And with any luck I will get back to my mother's in
to have the
last silver fizz. And if I don't get a silver fizz, you will find yourself
in my autopsy bay
tomorrow morning --and I won't bother to kill you first!" She slid into the
slammed the door shut, and started the engine. Mulder knocked on the window;
rolled her eyes and rolled it down. "What?"
"Good thing I didn't mention the three chipmunks wanting the hulahoop, huh?"