Frosted slopes, speckled with pines, gathered in gentle descent. Submerged beneath a sea of fog, the valley awoke from centuries of tranquil slumber. A fresh scar cut through the snow, deepening up to the crash site; scattered debris marked the unnatural intrusion.
A shotgun blast roared then screamed away like a demon hound escaping the abyss, its fearful echo volleying through the hills and into the distance, suddenly gone.
Near a row of bare rocks by a frozen stream, a soft, red light glowed. Another shot thundered; the light was snuffed out.
It was the most humane thing to do. One by one, the fat man in the red suit put his injured reindeer out of their misery.
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