Tomorrow, the day children had long waited for was coming: Christmas Day.

In the silent and starry night, John woke up in the middle of his deep slumber. The cold air seized his skin and flesh, crawling down deeper into his bones—it became too cold for him to handle.

He hopped out of his bed, grabbed his thick and furry jacket from the hook on the floral-wallpapered walls, and quietly lurched out of his room, going downstairs, where the unnerving creaking floorboard sound was coming from. It was the sound that had awakened him. The noise gave the kid goosebumps; he shivered as he silently listened to this sudden disturbing sound, and felt an odd sensation of fear he couldn't explain. Step by step, he descended down the stairs, holding his breath.

He was halfway across the stairs when noticed a fat, round figure of a man in the living room, standing just in front of the Christmas tree. It held in its hand a large, rectangular box wrapped in Christmas wrappers, tied with a shiny red ribbon that formed a bow-tie shape. Thrown to the figure's back was a huge, black bag, seemingly heavy and filled with things he had no idea what. At the figure's head was a red, upside-down cone hat, with a fluffy cotton ball on its tip. On its face was a messy, silvery beard that flowed down from his chin.

It was him.

Before he was able to shout in joy, the figure spoke, a hint of sorrow evident in his raspy voice. He urged himself to stop.

"I thought children didn't believe in me, but you still did. You're a great fanatic of me, and I appreciate it as much as you appreciate my efforts, but that reason is not enough. I'm doing this to avoid the true rumors of my existence from spreading all over the world. I have done this countless times; I hope this is my last.

"You have already seen me. John, I'm sorry, but I need to eliminate you. A mystery must remain a mystery. You are not in my naughty list, but still... I must do what I must do."

The figure faced him, and stared sadly at his teary eyes. His happiness had already faded to terror before he knew about it.

The figure set the box down to the foot of the Christmas tree. Slowly, the figure dropped the black bag to the floor, and opened it wide, revealing the blood-soaked bodies of dead children inside. The menacing sight made him want to shriek for help, but he couldn't move his lips.

Its maddening gaze still frozen at the boy, the figure pulled out a long, pointed dagger from his black bag.

"I wish you a merry Christmas, John. Forgive me." The figure spoke as he rushed to the petrified child, his dagger gleaming bright crimson in the darkness.

Written by Charles R.
Content is available under CC BY-NC