This Christmas the UK finds itself in the grip of a major terror alert after several people died and many more were injured when a sleigh was deliberately driven into a crowded German market in Birmingham. Shocked eyewitnesses have described how the traditional seasonal transport – hauled by six reindeer – ploughed into the busy shopping crowd at the traditional festive market. “We heard this jingling of bells in the distance, but thought nothing of it – we just assumed it was a Santa hired to give the market some seasonal atmosphere approaching,” forty eight year old Joe Stonker told the West Midlands Sheep Shearers’ Gazette. “The next thing we knew, it was crashing into the market. It was moving at a fantastic speed – the reindeer pulling it had been whipped into a frenzy, foaming at the mouth and wild eyed! The people in its path didn’t stand a chance: I saw one old biddy go under its runners and at least one other trampled by the reindeer before the whole thing crashed into a Bratwurst stall!” Despite initial reports claiming that the crash was an accident, the authorities now believe that it was a deliberate terror attack, a view backed up by witnesses. “There was no way that was an accident,” declared thirty two year old Wanda Thunk in an interview with BBC Radio Solihull. “Whoever was driving those reindeer deliberately steered them and the sleigh into the crowd – they made no attempt to swerve to avoid people. In fact, I saw the sleigh deliberately change course to mow down as many people as possible!”

Although the final death toll in ehat the press are calling the ‘Slay Ride’ isn’t yet known, police have confirmed that at least six people died, with several others suffering life threatening injuries. “Some of the victims had limbs severed by the runners of the sleigh – not as many as first thought, thankfully, as some of the ‘severed limbs’ found at the scene turned out to be German sausages from the stall it crashed into,” Superintendent Roscoe Crimp of the West Midlands Police told a press conference. “Four of the six reindeer suffered broken legs and had to be destroyed at the scene – luckily there were several butchers with stalls at the market. The two survivors have been taken into protective custody at a local donkey sanctuary.” Crimp added that, contrary to some local press reports, venison was not as last minute addition to the menu at the annual police Christmas dinner. In the immediate aftermath of the German market atrocity, police arrested a Pakistani man on suspicion of having driven the sleigh into the shoppers, but were forced to release him when it became clear that he had an alibi – he had been five miles away from the market at the time of the attack receiving an award from his local council for services to the community. “I maintain that it was perfectly reasonable at the time to assume that the attack had been carried out by Islamic extremists and to arrest the nearest Muslim,” Superintendent Crimp informed the press. “But let’s not forget that as soon as we realised our mistake, we went out and arrested a more plausible suspect.”

The ‘more plausible suspect’ turned out to be a department store Santa, who was arrested during a raid on his grotto. “It was bloody terrifying – all these armed policemen burst into the grotto, shouting at everyone to put their hands up, a couple of elves who tried to resist were beaten to the ground and they tasered Santa! Tasered him! Right there in his grotto in front of the kids!” Helena Length, who is currently suing West Midlands Police for the trauma suffered by her six year old daughter who was sitting in Santa’s lap when he was tasered, told the Black Country Free Advertiser. “They seized all the presents he was handing out – even snatching some from the hands of whimpering children – claiming that they could contain explosives!” Unfortunately, this suspect also had to be released. “Look, who could be a more obvious prime suspect in a terror attack involving Santa’s sleigh than someone dressed as Santa?” asked Crimp, in response to criticisms of the police operation. “I mean, he’s some kind of European immigrant, isn’t he? Anyway, was it our fault that he didn’t match any of the witness descriptions of the perpetrator?”

Indeed, whilst many witnesses described the driver of the sleigh as having a Santa-like white beard and wearing a fur-lined cloak, they described the colour of this as green rather than red. The clearest description came from the Santa from whom the sleigh was hijacked. “The bastard just jumped aboard as I slowed at a junction,” sixty seven year old Fred Bong, who was driving the sleigh for the local Rotary Club Christmas parade, as he has done for the past ten years, when the hijacker struck, told the Wolverhampton Examiner. “I tried to fight him off, but he was like a man possessed – before I knew it, he’d thrown me off of my own sleigh!” According to Bong, his assailant was wearing a crown of holly and a fur-trimmed green cloak. “The most disturbing thing was that he didn’t seem to be wearing anything at all under that cloak,” he claimed. “Not only that, but he kept spewing out xenophobic abuse and shouting something like ‘Britain First’. I think the fact that he attacked a German market is quite significant – he clearly didn’t like foreigners!”

A similar figure has reportedly been seen punching out traditional Santas across the West Midlands, shouting ‘Bugger off back to where you belong!’as he does so. There was also a report from Dudley of a green robed figure exposing himself in a public park. “It was horrible, he did it in front of kids, old ladies, dogs, the lot,” one witness told the Dudley Bugle. “From a distance we all mistook him for Santa, but when we got up close, we realised he was some kind of drunk – he was ruddy faced and laughing maniacally. Then his cloak fell open and we could see everything! He didn’t seem to care. He just laughed even more!” Folklore expert Eugene Jingler believes the Santa assaults, the wild outdoor behaviour and the market attack are all linked. “It seems obvious that this green cloaked figure is an evocation of the traditional British Father Christmas, who was usurped in the nineteenth century by continental Santa Claus,” he explained to the Birmingham Folklore Monthly Digest. “He was a ‘Lord of Misrule’, a pagan ‘Green Man’ who represented the Yule-tide traditions of feasting, debauchery and excess. Clearly, these incidents are all some sort of campaign, undoubtedly inspired by ‘Brexit’, to reassert the traditional British Christmas by driving out the ‘European’ Christmas, as symbolised by German markets and Santa Claus’ in favour of alcohol-fuelled wild abandon.” Police are now warning people that any imported festive tradition, including Christmas trees, lights and the exchange of presents, could be target of further attacks, so should be avoided. “Just get naked and drunk this Christmas,” advised Superintendent Crimp. “It will undoubtedly be safer.”