The Eel was waiting by the door as Santa arrived.

“Heelo, sir. Nice to see you again.” He bowed, slightly.

“Ah…yes. Um.. Hell-Ah, Heelo. Ho..Hoho. I see what you did there.”

The eel smiled. It’s eyes didn’t.

“Your usual table at the bar, or would sir prefer a boooth today?” The elongation of the word made it sound smutty in Santa’s ears and he fought the urge to shudder.

“Ah… Hmm. Actually, I’d like a table today.”

“Cerrtainly, sir.”

“Please, GOD don’t let him bring a tray. Please, God, not the tray,” thought Santa.

The maîtres d’ shuddered and force an appendage from the side of his body. A noise like wet flesh thrashing in thick mud accompanied it. On the end was a bloody, bone hook with which it grabbed a tray. “If you’d like to follow me.”

Santa threw an evil look at an old guy in the robes who sat at the bar.

Who just shrugged, apologetically, and turned back to his Virgin Mary.

“Heeeere we are, sir.” The tray was placed on the table and the hook now smeared over the back of the chair as the eel pulled it out.

Santa sat and looked at the menu. “Um…I’ll… ah… order something later. But…you could have my usual brought over.”

“I shall brrring it myself.” The Eel bowed smartly.

“NO!” shouted Santa. “No, I mean. You must be um… oh! You must be eely busy. Send someone else.”

The eel laughed. “I see what you did there, with that witty bòn mót. Indeed, sir. I shall send your drink over.” And with that, he slithered off.

***

In the corner of the cafe, in a darkened booth, a tentacle waved to attract a waiter.

“Si…un…Mad…” the waiter fumbled. “Can I get you anything?”

“Very probably.” The figure laughed. “I suggest you open a tab for me. I think I’m going to be waiting here for a very…very long time.”

***

Todays photo has been supplied by Natalia Mekras

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