The old man sits at his workbench, painting a wooden soldier. It is fine work, flawlessly carved, like the legions before it. Just like the one he will make next. He enjoyes his work. It’s more of a retirement, honestly. But he still remembers the old days.
He remembers thrones, and drinking halls, and hide boots crunching on snow. He remembers the smell of fear and the taste of hot blood.
He paints a bright red smile on the soldier’s face and set it aside to dry. Santa is happy in his new role, but still, you’d better watch out…

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