Featured Review on this writing by Charles H. Hinton

When new recruit Agent 560 meets his liaison officer, he learns why it is that new recruits to the Agency aren't given field assignments in their first year. It's all thanks to the unfortunately nicknamed Agent Santa...

Created: December 19,2022

The sign said 'welcome new recruits', and Agent 560 walked through the automatic doors with a big smile on his face. The building was everything he'd hoped for, all glass and shining chrome. Inside, tech controlled everything. At screens placed around the lobby you could summon elevators, or find directions to your destinations. All Agent 560  had to do was follow the floating holographic signs that flashed 'new recruits this way'. Agent 560 was led into a large conference room on the 97th floor. Other agents were mingling, drinking cocktails and conversing.

"Agent number?" a man asked at the door.


"Ah, you're mine then," he smiled and shook his hand. "I'll be your welcome liaison. You can call me Officer 63."

They moved into the room, Officer 63 offered him a cocktail with a cloud of gas rippling over the rim.

"I'll be happy to answer any of your questions."

"When will I get my first assignment?" Agent 560 asked, cautiously sipping at the cocktail. It tasted like steel.

Officer 63 chuckled. "Well now, I'm afraid new agents won't be getting a field assignment until you have a year of experience behind you."

Agent 560 nodded sadly. "When my father joined, he got his first assignment on his second day. Had to infiltrate a university. Spent a week as a flower pot in the dean's office."

Officer 63 laughed. "Yes, but ever since Agent Santa we realized we needed to give our new recruits more experience before sending them in."

"Agent Santa?"

"A bad joke, I'm afraid. I forget what his actual designated number was. He, obviously, didn't last long."

More agents were coming into the room, and the place was getting more crowded. They went along the wall and took a seat at a bench.

"What happened to Agent Santa then?"

"He was given an assignment after a week or so of being here. He had devised a plan to infiltrate a suburban neighbourhood. The whole operation had been his idea. He'd been doing research on how to get more in-depth intel on his subjects. He didn't want to just observe. He wanted to talk to them."

Agent 560 nearly choked on his drink. "Talk to them?"

"I know, it seemed farfetched at first, but he was very persuasive with the higher-ups. Brought in a cart-full of documents to back up his claim."

"So what was his idea?"

"Well he had become fascinated by Christmas."

"The winter solstice festival?"

Officer 63 looked impressed. "Well, I see you've been doing your research."

"Graduated at the top of my class, sir."

"He learned that during Christmas night, every house was visited by a Santa Claus, a magical man who delivered presents."

Agent 560 frowned. "That doesn't sound real."

"It isn't," Officer 63 laughed, grabbing another cocktail as a waiter passed by with a tray, this one neon blue and pulsating with light. "A fact poor Agent Santa didn't fully grasp. He was confused by how many insistent reports there were of people believing in Santa and proving his existence. All those supporting documents of his? Christmas movies, it would seem."

"Oh no," Agent 560 was starting to understand. "He didn't."

"Afraid so. He got a big red suit and climbed down some house's chimney in the middle of the night. In the living room, he saw one of the subjects sleeping on the couch, a middle-aged woman. He woke her up, and..." Officer 63 sniggered, unable to continue for a moment.


"Well, she woke up and lost it. Apparently, one of the gifts she'd bought her husband was a new set of golf clubs. She beat him so badly with them her living room was stained in blue blood."

"Did he die?"

"No, no, but you can imagine the cleanup that was involved. Human authorities were called, we had to wipe at least two-dozen minds, and burn down the house to hide the evidence. Agent Santa needed about four months to recover, and which point he was quietly dismissed from the agency."

"And so now all new agents have to wait a year," he sighed. Why did the stupidity of one Xenofragan have to ruin it for everyone else?

"'Fraid so."

The lights began to dim.

"Oh, it's starting," Officer 63 leaned back and looked up to the podium.

A six-armed, dark blue-skinned Xenofragan Officer climbed up to the podium, his antennae scanning the room. "Welcome new agents! Today you join one of the most important missions in Xenofragan history - the infiltration and eradication of Humans. We will search out all their weaknesses and then we will crush them. Remember our motto: Them or us!"

The room full of blue agents cheered. Agent 560 beamed. He was going to continue the work started by his father. Soon the Xenogragans would have enough intel on Humanity to take them out. He raised his glass, and the sweet taste of steel warmed his body.

Submitted: November 29, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Guenevere Lee. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


B Douglas Slack

I love tales that twist into a surprise ending, Guenevere. Yours is a perfect example. Well done.


Fri, November 29th, 2019 7:32pm


Thanks Bill, merry Christmas!

Mon, December 2nd, 2019 3:44pm

Robert Helliger

A wonderful Christmas story Guinevere.
I loved reading it.

Sun, December 1st, 2019 6:50am


Thanks so much, and merry Christmas!

Mon, December 2nd, 2019 3:44pm


This is a great story.

Wed, December 11th, 2019 11:15pm



Thu, December 12th, 2019 8:12am

Christy Writes

Hah! Maybe that's why so many children are afraid of Santa; they know something isn't right about him. Awesome work on this one, Guenevere!

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 4:08pm


Santa is a creep, lol

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 8:37am

Charles H. Hinton

Good stuff! You are a very talented writer. The added audiobook is a super plus. However, what I didn’t like about your tale was that I wanted more. Is it too soon to hate you? ???? Keep writing your well crafted tales, my dear.

Wed, December 14th, 2022 4:00am


Haha, thanks! I really just wrote this as an exercise to get better at flash fiction. But I have a lot of other longer writing you can check out :P

Tue, December 13th, 2022 8:25pm

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