The Last Presents From Santa

By Dana Quell

 When children nowadays think of Christmas, they remember the story that has been told to them many times over.  The story, originally published in 2012 and based on a true story, details the journey of two children who try to prove to the world that Santa Claus is real.
 The story begins in a small town called Cabin CreekÖ
It was the time of the year when full grown adults acted like little children; they ran around rushing to get all the presents for people who were doing the same for them bought.  It was the time of the year when snow fell in many places, mixing with dirt and turning brown or mixing with other substances and turning yellow.  It was the time of the year when party-goers drank heavily, then piled into cars and crashed them into trees, telephone poles, or other cars.  Basically, it was the time of the year when the world went mad.
 Once, it had been a time of the year for giving and forgiving, for seeing loved ones that havenít been seen since the year before, and for love, world peace, and brotherhood.  But not recent years, no.  It was a time of the year for commercialism, greed, and eating food too high in fat. It was time to exploit little children and their unfortunate parents.  It was, once again, Christmastime.
  Nye and Eli, identical twins, had been told by a bully at school that Santa Claus was not real and was, in fact, just an image created by the CocaCola company to promote sales during the holiday season.  A myth, a faerytale, told by parents to keep their children good all year round.  They had a plan to prove the bullly wrong.  They would wait up for Santa Claus and take a picture with the Polaroid camera that they had received for their last birthday.  Then they could bring the picture in to school after holiday break and show the bully that Santa Claus was indeed real.
 They waited until their parents had gone to bed, then they snuck downstairs to go wait by the fireplace.  On their way to the living room, Nye saw that the milk and cookies were gone.
 "Eli!" Nye hissed.  "Someone ate the cookies already.  And drank the milk."
 Eli sighed.  "I hope we didnít miss Santa."
 "No, look.  The presents arenít under the tree yet," Nye pointed out.
 Suddenly there was a noise from the fireplace, a sort of CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK.  Eli glanced at the gaping hole and noticed soot falling down.  "Quick, heís coming!"
 They hid behind the couch and watched as Santa Claus came out of the fireplace.  To the children, it was the most wondrous thing- the adult equivalent of the wonder they felt would be discovering one day that it was raining million dollar bills.  They watched him work his wonder with the presents; he piled them very nice and neatly underneath the evergreen, and the wrapping paper was even colour coded according to the boysí favourite colours.
 Then Santa moved to the table, where the empty glass and plate sat.  "Hmm, someoneís ate my cookies and drank my milk.  Stupid children, they must have done it.  Well, Iíll just have them killed when I take over the world and have all the worldís supply of milk and cookies."
 "Did you hear that?" Eli whispered to Nye.  "Santa Claus is going to take over the world!"
 "Yeah, and then heís going to kill us!" Nye added quietly.  "Just cause his cookies and milk was missing.  He must be evil or something."
 "Or somethingÖ" Eli began to muse.  Just then Santa stopped talking to himself.  The room was dead silent until CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK.  Santaís boots clunked on the floor.
 "Ah-ha!" Santa shouted, appearing over the side of the couch and grabbing the boys by the collars of their nightshirts.  "Well, well, were you listening to me tell myself of my plans to take over the world?  Naughty, naughty boys.  Iíll have to kill you now instead of later."
 Eli and Nye were in a state of shock.  Santa was going to kill them?  All they wanted was a picture of him to prove to the bully at school that he was real.  Thinking about this, Eli realized he still had the camera in his hand.
 "Say cheese!" he said cheerfully, bringing the camera up and snapping a picture of the not so jolly fat man in a suit.  Temporarily blinded by the flash, Santa dropped them (accidentally on his own toes) and started clawing at his eyes and hopping on his foot.
 "OW!" he howled, filled with pain.  Eli and Nye chose this opportunity to make their escape.  They didnít go up the stairs, for they had seen enough horror movies in their eight years of life to know that going up the stairs would mean certain death.  So they ran out the front door, dropping the camera on the way.
 Outside was a windy, white storm, blowing their frail little bodies this way and that.  The snow was biting cold, but they huddled underneath the porch.  They didnít think Santa would ever find them there.
 Santa walked onto the porch and began to search for them.  "Come out, come out wherever you are.  I promise, if you come out I wonít kill you."  He had his fingers crossed behind his back.  "Come on you little twits, come out so Santa can get on with his work.  I donít deliver these presents to spread love and joy."
 "Then why do you deliver them?" Nye asked underneath his breath.
 Apparently Santa heard him.  "I deliver them only so the children will love me.  And then when I begin to take over the world, they wonít mind, because I will appear to be the good guy.  The government by then should look like the bad guy (if it doesnít already now).  And all the world shall be my clam!"
 Eli sniggered.  "Clam?  What is it with this guy and food?"
 "Maybe thatís why heís so fat!" Nye sniggled.
 "I heard that!  You canít hide from me, remember.  I see you when youíre sleeping, and I know when youíre awake.  Forget about Big Brother watching you- I see youíre underneath the porch."  Santa leaned down and looked under the deck.  "Boo!"
 "Aaagh!" the boys screamed, backing themselves into the farthest corner possible.  Eli stuck his tongue out at Santa.  "Nah-nah, you canít get us."
 "I canít," Santa replied, "But my evil snowmen minions can!  Mwahahahaha!"  And with a snap of his fingers, the snow around them shifted and shaped itself into snowmen, who then advanced on them, an evil gleam in their eyes of coal.
 The boys screamed again, then armed themselves with stones.  The rocks didnít help much- they just seemed to make holes in the snowmen.  Nye managed to rip one of the snowmenís stick arms off, and began lopping off their heads.  That seemed to slow them down.  In fact, it seemed to kill them.  At least, until they put themselves back together again.
 "Hey, Eli, do you still have those matches in your pocket?" Nye asked.
 Eli nodded and handed him the matchbook.  Oh, what advantages there were to having a pyromaniac for a twin, Nye thought as he lit the stick on fire and began to kill snowmen with his makeshift torch.  This time they stayed dead.
 After the snowmen were dead, they climbed out from underneath the porch (which miraculously hadnít been set on fire), and saw that Santa was on the roof with his reindeer and sleigh.  "Hey look, thereís Rudolph!" Nye pointed out.  The red nosed reindeer turned at the sound of his name and gave them an evil grin, his incisors gleaming.
 Santa was startled to see them alive, so he climbed into the sleigh and told the reindeer to try and run them down.  Fortunately for them, they ducked, even though it meant burying their heads in two feet of snow.  The torch went out.  Santa, who didnít hear the thunk thunk of two little bodies hitting the sleigh, turned the sleigh around and tried to hit them again.  They dug themselves even deeper than before.
 Frustrated, tired, and a little bit hungry, Santa stopped his sleigh and got out.  "Come on, children.  I just wanted more cookies and milk.  Thatís not wrong, is it?"
 "It is when youíre going to take over the world for the entire supply!" Eli shouted, lifting his head out of the snow.
 This made Santa Claus mad, very mad.  He did not enjoy being shouted at by little children after not having his milk and cookies.  "That is it!  I will kill you with my bare hands!" he shouted, marching over to where the boys now stood and picking them up by their collars.  They kept swinging at Santa, but he held them far enough away that they couldnít even touch him.
 "Now, will you listen to me?" Santa asked.  "I only want to take over the world for the milk and cookies.  After I get them, someone else can step in."
 "You greedy little fat man!" Eli said.  His remark only made Santa laugh.
 Nye sneezed.  He was allergic to cats, and it looked like the fur lining on Santaís suit was made of white cat hair.  Cat hairÖ very flammable stuff, he remembered, thinking back to when a friend with a cat had played with fire.  "Hey, Eli, you still have the matchbook?"
 Eli shook his head.  "I thought you had it!" he hissed back.
 Panicked, Nye looked in all his pockets, one by one.  Nope, not that one.  Not that one either. Ah, here it was.  Smiling, Nye took out a match and struck it against the back of the book.
 "What are you doing?" Santa asked fearfully.  He was afraid of fire.
 "Are you going to let us go and not take over the world?" asked Nye.
 Santa Claus thought for a moment about that one.  "No," he replied after a few moments thought.
 Shrugging, Nye set Santa on fire.  Santa dropped the twins on the snow, trying futilely to put it out.  Everytime he managed to get a small spot of fire extinguished, another large one began to blaze, with a little help from Nye, who really wanted him dead.  The smell of burning flesh began to fill the yard.
 Finally, when Santa had been burned to a blackened crisp and moved no more, Eli thought it wise to approach him.  Cautiously, he kicked him to see if he was still alive.  No movement.  Eli kicked him again and again.  He was angry; angry at Santa for taking advantage of the trust of little children and angry at himself for giving Santa Claus his trust.  Little flakes of charred skin fell off into the snow, marring the white and making it as dirty as the man the skin had belonged to, leaving behind great gobs of whitish fat and what was left of red, atrophying muscles.
 Nye took him by the hand and led him back inside.  They could clean up in the morning.  The boys trudged up the stairs, tired, and climbed into their beds for a long winterís rest.  Half an hour later, their parents woke them up to go open presents.
 "I bet Santa Claus has been here," their mother said excitedly as she went downstairs.  Nye and Eli just exchanged looks as they followed reluctantly after.  What would they say when they saw Santa Clausís body.
 Their father went to the window.  "Look, it snowed overnight!  How beautiful," he said.  Their mother moved next to him and sighed at the wondrous sight.
 The boys, figuring their parents were going blind, looked out the window.  Nothing but snow.  No sleigh, no burnt Santa, no reindeer dropping, not even a footprint was outside.  How odd.
 "Well, do you boys want to open your presents?" their mother asked, turning from the scene outside the window.
 They didnít really want to- Santa might have surveillance equipment in the presents.  But then again, Santa was dead, so where was the harm?  Hesitantly, the boys began to open the last presents that Santa Claus ever delivered.

The End