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Subject: Santa Claus v 1.0

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Date Posted: 23:13:06 12/04/19 Wed

Santa Claus, v1.0

Seeing Santa Claus in the street should be a familiar sight, I thought as I headed round the corner. Back home, they were infesting the streets just before the Christmas, attracting customers to the stores.
I wasn't used to these OTHER Santa Clauses that were walking down the streets here, in a Central European metropolis.
It was 5th of December in Prague and I have, without really knowing why, become an angel.

I have arrived from the States to visit a friend. Petra was an internet pal; we met completely by accident, and discovered we have lots in common. For one thing, we were both deeply interested in human cultures and differences between them. That's where the idea came from: spending Christmas in her home country and see how the local traditions work.
But the few days we originally agreed upon slowly expanded until we decided to spend the whole December together. After all, it's the plane ticket that's expensive -- stay itself is relatively cheap, especially with Petra's parents claiming that their house has a free room anyway. They were both really cool. Of course, there were other reasons: Petra wanted to visit the United States next year and having a place to stay was important for her.
Petra was seventeen years old, two years younger than me. She had a brother a bit older than me who was in college and spent most of the time holed up in his room, listening to music and playing games. He studied computers, though, and he was the one person in the family who had to be consulted when you had any sort of electronics-related problem.
His name was Jan, but everyone called him Honza -- I never really understood why.
And a few days after I came in the house, he sought me out.
"Would you care to be an angel?" he asked.

Santa Claus, as we call him, is a myth. Everyone knows it. But as with most myths, there is a core of truth at the base of the legend. There really was a man called Saint Nicholas, who lived in 3rd century somewhere in Greece and who was known for secretly giving presents to people.
"Your Santa Claus is version 2.0," said Honza. "What we have is 1.0. The original." He seemed to be inordinately proud, even though his English was so weird. He learned mostly by reading and his pronunciation was all over the place.
"I thought you have Baby Jesus bringing presents on Christmas," I said. It was one of the little facts that made me chuckle when I imagined how certain people might react if they knew.
"That's Christmas," he said. "St. Nicolas is different. It's on 5th December. Every year, I get in the costume and make my rounds with friends. And since you want to see the culture, I thought we could take you in. You could be the angel."
He smiled. "St. Nicholas is traditionally accompanied by an angel and a devil, so he could reward the good kids and scare the naughty ones a bit. Karel does a great devil. And Petra is usually the angel, but she's willing to let you try it this year."
"All right, then," I smiled. "What does it involve?"
"That's the point, nothing, really," he said. "Angels are just supposed to stand there and look fabulous. You don't really speak Czech, but that's not a problem either. You'll just be the out-of-this-world beauty."
I must admit, I blushed a bit when he said that. I never considered myself an out-of-this-world beauty. Was he perhaps coming at me? It was hard to tell with him, this guy never really showed his emotions.

In the afternoon, Petra brought her angel costume so I could try it on. It was simple: white gown that went down to my calves (she mentioned that she had to cut it one year when the slurry in the streets soiled the original edge), tiara with a golden star and a wig with long, blonde hair. My own hair were rather short and black, so I appreciated this.
The costume fit without any problems. When Honza knocked on the door, I was ready to do my part -- go out there and look fabulous.
Honza's costume was significantly more elaborate. He had dressed as a bishop, with ornate habit, miter and a big wooden staff wrapped in tinfoil to make it look like a bishop's crosier. But the common points of this person and our Santa Claus were unmistakable: the big white beard was completely identical.
But while Santa Claus is fat, Honza was tall and lanky, looking much more like a stern patriarch than a jolly old man. The children on THIS guy's naughty list wouldn't just end up with coal.
I realized I haven't really paid attention to Honza before. I was always attracted to older men that exuded seriousness and respect, and though I knew he's only a bit older than me, that beard, that stern look in his eyes, and, yes, that big staff all conspired to make him seem much more interesting than before.
"Let's go," he said. "We need to meet our devil."

During my time with Petra, we were mostly watching movies. We decided on an alternating schedule -- one American movie and one Czech one. And the Czechs had enough to keep the schedule for a long time. But for me, the most interesting ones were the fairy tales -- Czechs have a big love of their fairy tales and unlike other nations, they constantly strive to reinvent the genre.
Devils were a standard part of the stories. Sometimes they were slick, deceptive and evil, but in other fairy tales they were portraited as fair creatures, even helpful to good people. It corrected one thing that always puzzled me -- why would evil demons in Hell punish and torture the sinners and not, say, use them as pawns in their master plan for world domination?
Anyway, I had a good idea of what a devil is supposed to look like, but Karel still managed to surprise me.
Well, there were horns, of course. Horns were a given, and he went for long, thick ones. I think they were made from paper. One of the horns was bent in spiral like ram's while the other one was only slightly bent, and I think this little detail -- this asymmetry -- made him seem much scarier than otherwise.
His face and neck were blackened and he was dressed in a black coat of shaggy fur with a tail in the back (long enough to almost touch the ground, but not quite -- weather considerations once again). He even had some custom boots that looked unmistakeably like hooves.
What got my attention, though, was the things he was carrying. A length of blackened chain, a rough-looking bulging sack over the shoulder and...
"Is that a birch?" I asked.
Honza nodded. "Yeah, the devils sometimes carry a pitchfork, but a birch works too."
I looked at it. It really was a bunch of birch twigs roughly tied together. I knew what that thing was used to.
"You're going to actually spank the naughty children?" I asked.
Honza laughed. "Of course not, silly! That's all just a part of the costume! We have a list of families and which kids were naughty or nice, and he's just going to scare the naughty ones. Like the sack -- he's supposed to put bad kids in there, but it's actually full of styrofoam, so it's bulky but not really heavy."
"I see," I said lightly, but that was not the end of my interest in the birch.

We started with our "rounds". Apparently, parents paid for the St. Nicolas and his entourage to visit their kids and reward or scare them as needed. St. Nicolas omnisciently declared the children's misdeeds (which the parents told him beforehand), the devil grumbled, rattled his chain and shook the birch, and I... well, I was standing there, looking beautiful. Well, what was I supposed to do? I smiled occasionally, but I didn't know enough language to understand what was going on, never mind actually speaking.
And the children, for the most part, were laughing. Some younger ones, especially girls, seemed genuinely scared by the devil's antics, but when I smiled and patted their head, they usually stopped.
Everything was all right -- that is, until we reached one unassuming apartment in a five-story building (I actually think it had much more stories to tell!).
The children there were triplets -- three boys around six years old, looking like mirror images of each other. The list of their misdeeds was long, but they just laughed at Honza's gentle scolding and the devil's chain-rattling.
No fear of the supernatural at all.
I felt that I need to give my angelic support to th ir scolding. I bent forward to get on their level...
...and I was immediately rewarded by their grubby hands reaching for the front of my costume.
Wasn't this way too early for them to think of such things?
I stepped back to avoid the indecent onslaught. Wrong move!
My elbow hit something and it fell down with a crash. Startled, I turned around...
...and the long sleeve of my robe swept several more glasses from the table. Of course, they shattered.
Honza was looking at me aghast.
I was on the brink of tears. I ran out of the apartment.

He found me outside the front door.
"Don't worry," he said. "It was the boys' fault. Their parents are not angry."
"I can't believe I did that," I sniffed.
"Yes, who would think you are that type of character?" mused Honza teasingly. "Maybe you are the clumsy maid type who always breaks things and then apologizes profusely?"
"I'm no maid!" I said.
"Too bad, you'd look great in the uniform..."
I smiled despite myself.
"Are we going to any more places?" I asked.
"No, let's call it a night. We didn't plan anything much after these guys, they are quite demanding. And, um... grubby?"
I looked at my robe. My breast area was highlighted by several child-sized palmprints.
I blushed vigorously. He smiled.
"You have some dirty thoughts about me, don't you?" I said, but I was smiling as well.
He shrugged. "What would offend you more? To have such thoughts or to not have them?"
I laughed aloud. "You know, I'm really not sure!"
"Then it's better to not ask, isn't it?"
"Well, I suppose every boy is a bit of pervert..."
"Those three definitely were! Though... why limit that to boys?"
"I'm sure you also have inappropriate thoughts of your own, don't you?"
"No, I... I don't..." I tried to deny.
"Oh? Then it was just my imagination that you seemed very eager when you asked about the devil's birch? When those boys grabbed you, I almost expected you'll grab that thing and start chasing them."
"Well, I... heard about birches," I said. "My grandmother once told me her father used it on her..."
"Did she supply that information on her own or did you specificaly ask her?" he asked with a knowing smile.
"Well, yes, I asked her... how was her childhood... how she lived... how she was punished..."
"Did you want to experience that as well?" he asked.
"W-Why would I want that? She told me it was awful... painful... and embarrassing... and painful..."
I was tripping on my own words and I was sure I was red as a tomato.
"You haven't answered my question," he said gently. "Did you want that or not?"
"I... I don't know, really... never thought about that..."
His eyes were still gentle, but now in a way that was almost painful, like styrofoam daggers.
He took something from under his arm.
"T-That is...!"
"I asked the devil to borrow it. He has no more need for it today. The two of us, on the other hand..."
I extended my hand and touched the birch. The individual twigs were smooth, but the overall feeling was rough. I tried to imagine how it would feel to have it used on me, but I couldn't.
"The birch only stays usable for a short period of time," he said. "So if you want to have your curiosity satisfied, it has to be now."
I looked around. It was quite late at night, but there were still people on the street.
When did I lose all ability to resist? And who was this guy who managed to deftly unlatch my most shameful secrets?
If he decided to use the birch right there, maybe I would just submit.
Fortunately, that wasn't his plan.
"Petra is out tonight," he said. "And our parents are at some social gathering or other, so it COULD be done tonight when we come home. But you must say it clearly that you want to try it."
"I... I..."
"All right, then at least try to nod..."
Somehow, I managed to do that. My feelings were boiling inside.
My consent somehow transformed the whole situation. Honza took my hand and I felt the power of that hand. The "birch experience" I was about to undertake clouded the immediate future like a cloud of volcanic ash.
And his tone, always so respectful and polite before, changed as well. He was now letting me feel the full weight of his seniority. In truth, he was only three months older than me, but it suddenly felt like thirty years.
"Um..." I said.
How do you talk to someone who is going to hit your bottom with a birch in the near future?
I clenched my buttocks in anticipation.
As I was weakening, he was growing stronger. He was feeding on my embarrassment like a birch-wielding vampire.
He was going to have no mercy on me.
"Have you used the birch before?" I asked him.
"Well, not really," he admitted. "I've read about it, though. Looked at the diagrams, checked the safety rules on the internet, things like that."
"Oh, so you planned this?"
Now I got him on the defensive. I had to regain some power!
He smiled. "Oh, it was some time ago. It's just something I do."
"Then tell me how it's used?"
"Well, the birch can be a bit dangerous," he said. "It has lots of little twigs and some of them can exceed expectations. Small injuries can happen, I'm afraid. On the other hand, it's not overly powerful. Over trousers, or a robe like this, it almost can't be felt at all, so it has to be used on bare skin."
I didn't think it was possible to blush any redder. I was almost at the border of infra-red.
"B-Bare skin?"
"I thought your grandmother told you about that?"
He was absorbing my embarrassment again.
True, grandmother was punished on her bare bottom, but that was not information I was planning to divulge.
"It's inappropriate..." I mumbled.
"Oh, but spanking a young lady like you is inappropriate by itself, isn't it? Frankly, if we're going to talk about what's appropriate or not, we might as well stop right here and now."

"You really got me," I said.
It was several hours later. Honza was sitting at his computer as usual while I... I was standing behind him. Sitting was out of question. My angel robes concealed the fact that my panties were no longer covering my bottom.
Of course, the birching did not go as smoothly as we thought. Honza put my hands on the bed, lifted the robe and pulled my panties down (and while I never explicitly told him he can do that, I didn't put up a protest either). And then he proceeded with using the devil's birch on my bottom, which gave me a bit of sting, but nothing more. There was probably some trick to it and neither of us knew what it was. And I found nothing better to do than to say "Nah, nah, it doesn't hurt," which, as it turned out, was exactly the right motivation for him to try harder.
In a flash, he turned me over his lap and started to spank me with his hand. I could feel this one without any problems! Since he stopped using the birch, there was no reason to keep my bottom bare, but something told me that it would be a bad idea to point this out.
Soon I started to feel weird. The heat from his hand was agonizing and pleasant at once and I wanted to cry and moan at the same time. I settled for crying, since the moans were easy to mask among the tears.
Of course, I didn't ask him to stop.
But he stopped spanking me eventually (darn!) and lifted me up. He gave me a hug and I returned it.
There was now a bond between us, unspoken, but understood.

Next week passed without an incident. Honza was still shut up in his room, either working or playing -- I didn't really know enough about computers to be sure. When we met and I looked into his eyes, he usually blushed -- and I'm sure I did as well.
Finally I couldn't stand it anymore. I entered his room and confronted him.
"Tell me," I told him, "why did you spank me?"
He seemed puzzled. "Well, it was that kind of situation... you wanted a spanking, didn't you?"
"Maybe," I said, "but we're not talking about me here. You also wanted to spank me. I don't believe for a second that it was purely selfless act on your behalf."
"It wasn't," he smiled. "And I'm sorry the birch didn't work out as I thought."
We both felt silent.
"Do you want..." we said both at once.
Soon I was over his lap again.

I stayed in Prague until Christmas -- the real one, not just Santa Claus v. 1.0 celebration. Even so, everything was new to me. However, I felt a bit queasy when fish sellers appeared, selling live carps that were traditional Christmas dinner from big tubs on the street.
The funny thing is that I like fish -- I just never really gave a thought to process it takes to put a fish on the dinner table.
Honza told me that they used to -- years ago -- buy the fish alive and kept them in bathtub for a few days. But noone wants to do that anymore. When he took me to buy the fish, he just asked the seller to kill them. Then it was his mother's domain -- to transform two fat carps into entree, soup and meal.
And because of that, the Christmas dinner was serious, solemn affair because you had to carefully watch your food for bones. Honza told me that every year, emergency rooms at hospitals are full of people who are not careful enough and get a fish bone stuck in their throats. I'm not sure if that's true.
We were sitting next to each other. Our relationship, if that's the right word, was never announced, but everyone just acknowledged it.
And after dinner, it was presents time.
No excited children unable to sleep in this country -- here they got their presents right away and went to bed tired and satisfied. I thought it's definitely a better system than the American one.
And it was apparently the baby Jesus himself who brought the presents, having to replace his subordinate saint who ended up with start of December.
I got Honza a belt. He got me a wooden spoon with smiley face carved into it.
Next day, when his parents went away, we tried both.
And then we tried other things as well.


I'm at home now, recovering from the European winter. And I'm still in contact with Petra, of course, but I spend several hours a day chatting with Honza.
They promised me to come visit at Easter time.
And for some reason, they were both grinning as they said the word "Easter"...

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