Santa, Baby: A Sentinels Story by Suzanne Johnson

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SANTA, BABY
(copyright 2012 Suzanne Johnson)
Note: This story originally appeared as part of the Holiday Foreplay event in early January at the Rabid Reads blog. Their giveaway runs through today.
I checked the figures my partner Alex and his cousin Jake had painstakingly etched into the wooden floor of my library. Three perfect circles, one inside the other. I could load all three with magical energy and create a summoning space so strong even the most murderous preternatural couldn’t break out and try to kill me.
Killing DJ seemed to be a common prete goal lately.
           “Let’s try it.” Jake sat on my worktable, legs dangling off the sides, while Alex put the tools away. “Summon Louis Armstrong. I’d like to see him again.”
            I shook my head. “He’s still kinda freaked out after that whole turning-him-into-a-spy thing.” Never mind that he’d been the worst spy in the history of the world. But he wasn’t the only member of the historical undead among my list of acquaintances. “I could summon Jean Lafitte.”
            Alex set the toolbox down in the corner with an exaggerated thud and assumed his best French pirate voice, which sounded more like the skunk Pepe le Pew. “There is no need to summon me, Jolie. I am two miles away in my expensive French Quarter hotel suite.”
            Yeah, yeah, whatever. He was right; I could only summon someone from the Beyond, not from the French Quarter. “Forget the pirate, then. The Beyond is teeming with the Historical Undead. What about William Faulkner or Truman Capote?”
            Alex shook his head. “They’re still pissed off that we turned them into cats that time. Especially Faulkner. He wanted to be a Siamese instead of a tabby.”
            “It’s almost Christmas,” Jake said. “What about Santa Claus?”
            Alex and I stared as if Jake had grown an extra set of ears. “I can’t summon Santa Claus.”
            “Why not?” Jake hopped off the table and pulled my dogeared copy of Beyond Human: Species of the Beyond from the shelf of spellbooks and grimoires. “I was lookin’ at this the other day and Santa has his own chapter.”

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