Rudolph smashed the bottle against the icy cold wall of his studio, showering the cognac across the blank canvases propped nearby.
“Damn Santa!” he screamed at his guests. “Damn him and his stultifying, bourgeois ideas of art. He’s holding us back this Christmas!”
The reindeer picked up a hand mirror topped with lines of snow and snorted them up in one breath. His red nose glowed with new energy.
Yukon Hemingway, the grizzled prospector and author of the short story collection Snowmen Without Snowwomen, snatched up another cognac bottle to save it from Rudolph’s ravages—and then, to make doubly sure its contents were safe, deposited them in his belly.
“Your art will never win acceptance by Santa and his Académie Pôle Nord. Why keep trying?”
“Because those accepted by Santa get their artworks distributed across the world by Santa on Christmas Eve!” Rudolph ranted. “They are seen by millions! The very course of art itself feels the effect! I must have that power!”