Rudolph! by Mark Teppo
Well. I can say I never read anything like this book. But I’m not much of one for fantasy or Sci-Fi. Not that this is Sci-Fi, but you must, absolutely, suspend all preconceptions about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa, the elves, Mrs. Claus, the North Pole and all, ALL other Christmas traditions. And if you have read this far be warned and be aware, this is NOT, I repeat, NOT a children’s book. NOT.
Let me see if I get this straight. Mrs. Claus has an iMac and Santa has a stun gun. He sends Christmas cards to the Pope, he is color blind. The elves are unionized. Santa goes into lockdown the day after Thanksgiving until Flight Night. Rudolph’s nose glows because he’s radioactive. And finally, for one and all who just don’t believe Santa can get the job done in one night, it’s explained in here. Considering the rest of what happens in this story, I believe the explanation!
Here’s what happens. Really. It’s almost Christmas Eve and Santa finds a letter that has been overlooked from a little girl asking for her daddy for Christmas. Daddy recently died. Santa can’t deny a Christmas wish. So, well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Santa and an elf and all the reindeer hack into Heaven’s list of new “members” and they invade purgatory looking for David Anderson. They find him, battle ensues with the angels guarding Heaven’s gates and Santa delivers daddy. It’s a miracle. But miracles come with a price. Santa upset the balance.
Santa gets sick. Really, really sick. It’s the work of Satan and now the Reindeer and elf are off to, you guessed it, they find they have to travel through Dante’s seven levels.
I’ve suspended all belief by now. By now I’m finding nuggets in this story to keep me going. You see, Satan stole Christmas spirit and without it, we’re doomed to nothingness for the long, cold winters. We are shown how our small little minds have changed what Christmas is supposed to have been. Not Black Friday, to be sure. Not limited attention spans because all the kids want now are electronics.
It’s about having something to believe in. We “have to believe in miracles that are never going to happen.” We have to ”believe in the possibility.” I have to say, as outrageously imaginative as this book was, we were smacked in the face with the reality of things as they are. And while I smiled and sometimes laughed and shook my head at the imagination involved in writing this story, I did get the message. He said it so well. “Angels can’t just come down and fix. You can’t depend on them if you can’t depend on yourself.” Keep the spirit alive.