The present-day Santa Claus is based on a 1931 Coca-Cola advertising campaign that created an overweight, 50ish, bearded man stuffed into a red suit with white trim. Over the decades, department stores brought him on board to expose the little children to hyper marketing and set up his booth in the toy department. Hasbro and Mattel toy companies’ executives spent many Januarys in southern Florida on the profits generated from selling the happiness of small children. It was after this timeframe that a Mall Santa named Bill Marker from Fargo, North Dakota, traveled to Romania in the fall to seek out his genealogy. While exploring Transylvania between the Apuseni and Carpathian Mountain Ranges, Bill was bitten by a vampire, thus being indentured into that trade. He needed to consume animal or human blood to survive. Tom Ricco was an IT technician from Atlanta, Georgia who worked for the Center for Disease Control and moonlighted as a Mall Santa during the holidays to make some additional gift money. One day, Tom inadvertently penetrated a Level 4 laboratory to retrieve a hard drive and was exposed to a new pathogen named FN 444. This man tampered, animal-created virus was slowly affecting Tom’s behavior just in time for the holidays. Tom developed an affinity for consuming mammal brains. At the National Mall Santa Convention held every year at the McCormick Center in Chicago, Illinois in mid-November, Bill and Tom crossed paths. During the day, Bill stayed out of the sun, which was easy in a cloud shrouded Great Lake city like Chicago. Tom and Bill first met at a seminar on proper etiquette for Mall Santas that encounter urinating children. Nonviolence is tantamount to quelling this discomfort. Gone is the 1950’s technique of whacking the little pisser and has been replaced with Scotchguard coatings. As the 3M salesman spoke, Bill’s slow gaze across the room was met by Tom’s wandering eyes and it was love of human tissue at first site. 

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