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Santa's Sleigh

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There once was a young boy called Thomas who, like many children, was very much in love with the idea of Santa Claus and his magical band of reindeer pulling his sleigh full of toys through the skies on Christmas Eve.

Thomas' parents were happy to pander to Thomas' fantasies, it was part of the magic of Christmas after all and thus when Thomas ran into their room one Christmas Eve calling, "Mommy! Daddy! Santa's here!" They thought nothing of it and told Thomas to go back to sleep and wait until morning.

Thomas couldn't be convinced however and kept tugging and pulling on the sheets until at last his mother got up, "Listen! he's on the roof now!" Thomas said with glee.

Thomas' father was about to comment when to his shock he heard a THUMP THUMP sound, something was on the roof... instantly losing his Christmas cheer Thomas' father awoke his wife and instructed her to watch Thomas as he went to investigate.

Thomas was most unhappy but his mother comforted him, informing him it was probably a raccoon or other small animal and that "daddy" had to check - Thomas however replied, "But mommy! I told you - it's Santa!"

Thomas' mother simply jumped as she heard the THUMP THUMP from above, it sounded awfully big for a raccoon... She called out to her husband but he told her everything was fine as he went down stairs with a flashlight.

The sound of the downstairs' door opening signaled Thomas's father going outside and it didn't take long for him to rush back inside - his face as pale as the snow outside, he motioned to his wife and son desperately as his eyes looked wide with horror.

"It's coming down the chimney - I swear to God... Get up! we have to-!"

Suddenly the sound of crashing from downstairs made Thomas' mother cry out in fear as she leaped out of bed, Thomas finding himself lifted up as his father grabbed a nearby lamp and headed out into the hall along with the others.

"But daddy! It's Santa!" Thomas gasped, not understanding why his mother and father were getting so scared.

Neither his mother or father answered as they made their way down the stairs, towards the open front door - as they fled outside Thomas glanced briefly at the open door leading to their main living room, which had an open fireplace, the view was brief but what he saw made his eyes grow wide.

A large figure dressed in red stood in the room, covered in soot and examining the Christmas Tree - swaying from side to side as if drunk the figure began to turn as the family fled the house and made a grunting sound, a large bushy beard and angry eyes were the last Thomas saw before his mother slammed the front door shut behind her and ran into the night.

"Why are we running from Santa?" Thomas wondered to himself, his parents rushing to a neighbor's home...

***

When authorities arrived at the Weathers' home they found themselves in a confrontation with an aggressive and drunken man who had forced himself into the home by dead of night.

They were startled by his strength but also by how he managed to slide himself down the chimney to enter the home - risking certain death had he got stuck.

Most disturbing was how the man, who had tried to bite an officer's ear off before being restrained, was dressed - it wasn't until later that they found out the man had stolen a Santa suit from a local charity worker, who had been mugged and stripped off his clothing before being left in an alley.

It would seem the Weathers were picked at random and authorities all agreed it was lucky the family had made it out without injury - although Thomas never knew until much later in life his childhood sense of wonder about Santa and his sleigh may well of saved his life.

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