Santa Claus is Dead, and assorted Teen Angst

By Rimbaud's Ghost May 2003

Disclaimer: I don't own Mark or Ronny, and if I did, oh the things that would have happened on this show. But I use them humbly and thankfully. And plan on returning them to their rightful owner in, uh, near mint condition. Author's Note: Am I the only one who thinks goth!mark had a lot of unrealized potential for angst and queer romance? I wanted a little bit of a back story for Mark's whole goth transformation in season 7. I apologize for excessive use of my artistic license, its just that.well you know. I reference earlier seasons of Home Improvement for the Santa Claus bit, the flying bit, and the karate bit. And the story has a lot to do with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I suggest you read. This story is 100% goth- positive and gay-positive, and if that's not your thing, please press the little button at the top of the page labeled "back" and don't bug me. That said, get ready for some angsty literary slash. Watch as High Culture meets TV Culture meets DIY SlashyFic culture. Spectacular! Rated pg-13 for dark themes and cursing. R&R please.

Santa Claus is Dead.

"Santa is fucking dead," Mark whispered staring at the dark ceiling above his bed. There is no Santa Claus, and there is no Easter bunny, and there is no happy ending for me. Mark swallowed, his saliva rotten with brilliant comebacks never thought of in time. His fists clenched, with all the punches he knew he could throw at Brad and Randy, but was afraid to.

Mark has dreamt of flying every night for years now. He used to dream that he was in a sleek silver jet, heroically cutting through powdery clouds above a shimmering ocean. Now it is perpetually twilight, the clouds are gnarled and ephemeral, and the plane is in a nosedive. The rush was still incredible. And then he sinks, numb from the wind, into the forgiving infinity of the Atlantic Ocean.
And it isn't that he hates his family. He needs them and wants their affection so much it hurts. But all the pranks, and all the jokes, and the way their lives proceed as if he didn't exist. Mark thinks maybe it's a joke to them. I'm their comic relief, the joke that isn't funny anymore.

And it's worse at school, Mark remembered, helplessly, as he pulls on a dark jacket over his black shirt and jeans.
"I trust everyone has finished reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?" Mark's teacher, Mrs. Butler said, raising a finely shaped eyebrow. "This story is a horror story of course, but can anyone explain to me what the nature of the macabre element is?"
A blond girl with ribbons in her hair raises her hand, "Well, I mean, the monster is like really ugly and goes around killing people, like in the movies, right?"
"No," a burly boy in a school hoodie immediately answered "It is about a science experiment that goes wrong!"
Mark stared intently at the cover of his tattered copy of Frankenstein, ignoring the laughter and inane comments flying around the room. He had stayed up late last night rereading the novel under his blankets with a flashlight. The first time he had read Frankenstein he had felt sick, but this time it was comforting. He wasn't sure why, exactly.
"Ronny, am I to believe you're hand is actually raised? Is this an indication that you will deign to grace us with your insights about Shelley's masterpiece? Or perhaps you would like to go to the bathroom?" Mrs. Butler crossed her arms and looked intently at the usually quiet spiky haired boy sitting in the back of the class with his had raised.
"The Creature is grotesque because he embodies the part of us that most of humanity never wants to confront. He is hideous, and he is incapable of loving or being loved," Ronny said quietly, his face and voice betraying no emotion.
Mark held his breath, and stared at the Goth. Their eyes met for a whisper of a second before Mark quickly looked back down at his desk.
The class remained quiet for a moment before snickers and whispers erupted.
"Class, I think this has shown us that." Mrs. Butler started, but was interrupted by the bell.
*** "What is the deal with you wearing nothing but black clothes lately? Jill rummaged through Mark's suitcase. "I like black."
"He's trying to create an image for himself," Randy said, "You know, bleak and desperate. It's working,"