I wrote this Christmas eve. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
I knew something was wrong as soon as I came back from school and saw a twenty foot tall inflatable Santa Claus standing on our front lawn. The thing was illuminated by a glowing red light from inside and it was grinning from ear to ear and holding a bell in its hand. I had never had any problem with St. Nick besides some incidents when I was a child at the mall and refused to take a picture but looking at the elf’s visage today gave me the creeps. I think it was the eyes. They seemed wrong.
“Mom,” I began after the usual greetings, “Why is there a horrifying inflatable Santa Claus on our front lawn?”
“Ask your father honey,” she replied with exasperation.
Dad never really explained himself when asked about his random (and usually ill-advised) purchases. This time was not much different. he grunted in his typical retired cop fashion and muttered something about a sale and the Johnsons having “some big damn light show on their lawn so why the hell not.” I left him to his football game.
That night and every night for a week I looked out my old bedroom window to see the inflated Santa staring at the neighborhood. But since I was so close to it I could almost see through the back of the elf’s head at its eyes. Those inhuman eyes. I had trouble sleeping.
It was three days until Christmas when the Johnson’s dog turned up in their oven trussed up and stuffed like a turkey. Everybody was visibly shaken, that dog was beloved throughout the neighborhood. It was safe to say that the Johnson’s Christmas was ruined.
I don’t know why but I remember looking back at the thing inflated on our front lawn. It’s grin had gotten wider.
I lay in bed that night trying not to look at the evil Claus inflated outside my window, trying to drift off to sleep. I thought to myself “this is ridiculous, I’ve slept on park benches, floors, in cars and sometimes on amusement park rides. There is no reason that I shouldn’t be able to sleep in my old bed. You’re being silly, just get up and throw something over your window to block out the light. But as I stood something awful happened.
The head turned to look at me. It leaned in. It looked right through my window.
I tried to run from the room and reached the door just as a gigantic gloved hand broke through my window. It got me by the leg and I kicked with all my might to get free.
Scrambling down the hall I could hear the thing banging on the house with its fist and bell. Throughput all of the commotion my parents had not stirred and I barely began to wonder why not until I reached their bedroom. There was my mother standing with her famous fresh baked holiday cookies and a crazed expression in her eyes. My father had two candy canes, both sharpened to points. They lunged at me and I evaded and made my way for the stairs all the while Santa’s banging continued giving rhythm to my flight like some of mad carol.
I reached the main floor and scrambled for the phone to call the police. My parents had gone insane, they were trying to kill me! Then I heard a pounding at the door, different from Claus’. There was Mr. Johnson, and at the window was Mrs. Johnson, and on the lawn beside Santa was Mr Eddly from down the street and in fact, the entire neighborhood was on our lawn. They carried pitchforks and baseball bats and shovels and car scrapers and they all had the same look in their eyes, the look to kill.
Then I realized what I had to do, if I was to stop this madness then I would have to take down Santa Claus. Simple enough, I could just puncture him with something sharp. The trick was getting around his army.
Mom and Dad were at the bottom of the stairs, I would have to act fast. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen sink and ran to the front door throwing it open and bowling over Mr. Johnson. I darted around the neighbors and jumped at Santa’s leg knife first. The knife broke through the elf’s shin and i felt a rush of air on my face from the new hole.Unfortunately I continued forward and landed headfirst on a hidden rock on our lawn.
I awoke on my bed some time later with my parents standing over, me mother’s expression filled with concern, my father simply shaking his head.
“What happened? Is it dead?”
My father answered first.
“What in the hell is wrong with you?”
Then my mother.
“We found you this morning stabbing the Santa Claus and screaming that it ‘did it’. Son, are you okay?”
I explained my actions and even though my parents were skeptical of y mental state they chalked it up to an exam-stress induced nightmare accompanied by sleepwalking and sleepstabbing. Then they left me alone.
I stayed in bed for a while longer, too tired from the night before to even to go back to sleep. It made me feel a lot better to know that the stupid thing would not be looking through my window any more.
My window. There was something written on it. Somebody wrote in the morning frost.
I got out of bed to get a closer look.
“Ho ho ho. You’ve been very naughty this year haven’t you?”