Another popular story from Christmas Past is my Conan/Elric Wafflehouse vignette. I wrote this in my head on the way back from Wafflehouse one Christmas eve morn, and hammered it out as soon as I walked in the door.
A writer, a barbarian, and an albino walk into a Waffle House. It's Christmas Eve and Dolly Pardon is singing about a Hard Candy Christmas on the juke box. We take a booth in the corner. The waitress doesn't blink at my companions. Guess you see it all at a Waffle House near a major highway.
"What is hard candy?" Conan says.
"It's like solidified sugar."
"I guess they don't have a lot of confectioners in the Hyborian age. It's like someone took all the sweetness out of a bunch of fruit and squeezed it all together in one small lump."
"Sorcery," says Conan, casting an eye toward Elric. The albino either doesn't notice or pretends not to.
"This song is about pain and loss," says Elric. "It speaks to me."
"Never figured you for a country music fan," I say.
"What country is it from?"
The waitress comes by and takes our orders. I have eggs, bacon, and toast. Elric has something he picks at random off the menu. Conan has one of everything.
"I like this orange juice, but the coffee is not to my liking," Conan says.
"Acquired taste," I tell him.
"So you have this celebration?" Conan says.
"Are there sacrifices?" asks Elric.
Thinking of some of the family I have to talk to, I say, "Yes. Definitely."
"Will there be feasting and brawling?" says Conan.
"Knowing my family, probably so."
The Cimmerian nods as if I've said something profound.
We're making the other patrons nervous, I can tell. I tell the boys to eat up and I pay the check. I leave an extra big tip for the waitress for her trouble.
"I must return to the young kingdoms and seek my destiny," says Elric when we're in the parking lot. "I'll take leave of you here."
Conan says, "I make my own destiny, but I must go as well. Thanks for the food."
"You're welcome. Merry Christmas, guys."
"Aye," says Conan.
Elric merely nods.