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Murdock Vermilion

Murdock Vermilion exits adolescence better suited by name to be a wizard’s apprentice than to parking lot attendantship, or indeed any name-tagged position. She refrains from cursing her parents for this only because they are already cursed to a sufficient degree.

Yet more problematic for Murdock is the punishing lack of depth perception afforded via refusal to wear broken glasses. Parking by feel turns out to be rather a faux pas. Thus, one brisk midnight in November, she finds herself in disemploy and a black mood.

Note that Murdock Vermilion does not become a wizard’s apprentice.

Wizards are not real.


“Little Billy Jenkins: Nice.”

“Give him an iPod,” growls Kringle.

“Noted,” says the elf. “DeWon Phelps: nice.”


The elf frowns. “Murdock Vermilion. Naughty.”

Black iPod.”

“Really!” the elf protests. “Doesn’t that reward–”

“iPod!” snarls Kringle, snatching a white box from the stack and devouring it. “iPongh! IPHOMPH!”

That night, when it actually starts snowing iPods, one CEO surveys the blizzard with resignation. “It’s time,” he says. “Woztongue, fetch the sled.”

“But sir!” whimpers Woztongue. “His defenses are impregnable!”

“Nothing’s hackproof,” says the CEO grimly, activating the iDogs and skimming out onto the shattered plastic. “Santa Jobs is coming to town.”