Tonight’s writing prompt, courtesy of our gracious host Martha, was to describe a conversation in a store aisle between Santa Clause and the Headless Horseman about the fact that there were Christmas decorations for sale in early October. My take:

“Clean up in aisle 5,” droned a voice over the store loudspeaker.

“Look, once again, I am truly sorry for what Rudolf did in the middle of the aisle, though I saw what your horse did over by the bakery. Now, I know you’re upset about Christmas stuff being out in early October. I get that. But you have to understand  — my marketing people are dealing with a retail crisis. They have to put this stuff in front of people as early as possible.”

The headless horseman made a gurgling noise, and pointed at a Santa Claus snow globe.

“You know that shelf space is premium real estate in retail. And it’s not like we completely knocked the Halloween merchandise off the shelves. This is a competitive environment and you’re just going to have to get used to sharing space. But hey — we both are riding the pumpkin spice wave. So we have a lot in common! Why, look right there: a doll from the film ‘Nightmare before Christmas.’ See, Tim Burton gets it!”

The headless horseman raised his axe and a plastic Frosty the Snowman head went rolling down the aisle.

“Now you listen here, Mister!” Santa barked as he reached for his riding crop. His reindeer all took a step backward.

Santa raised his hand, aiming for the horseman’s exposed shin, when a voice from below suddenly cut him off.

“Clear out, fellas — and take all your crap with you!”

Santa and the horseman watched as a bunny placed a box of pink marshmallow peeps on the shelf.