Relieving a long sigh against the window, Kenan’s breath fogs up the window as he stares out into the pale neighborhood. Snow covers the streets and yards like a heavy quilt, the ground sparkles under the calm night sky as everyone turns in for a short night of rest. Christmas Eve has once again crept upon the small town of Mooncrest.
Turning away from the muggy pane, Kenan bends down near the fireplace and picks up a fire poker to push the wood around. The fire crackles as embers crumble apart from the logs. “Daddy?” a squeaky voice asks from behind. Rising to his feet Kenan puts the fire poker up and turns to see his daughter Macy.
“What is it Macy?” he asks while pouring whiskey into a glass.
“I just wanted to ask you something before I went to bed. Okay I know you’ve said that Santa Clause isn’t real but the kids at my school keep talking about him and everyone’s mommy and daddy keeps saying he’s-”
“I told you he doesn’t exist! What do your friends know that I don’t huh?!” Kenan bellows as he slams his glass down onto a worn out coffee table.
“He’s an imaginary friend that never existed. I told you more than once now. Do I have to repeat myself again Macy? Do I have to convince you the hard way?” he narrows his eyes towards the sniffling little girl as his throat holds back more whiskey wisdom.
Macy puts her head down and brings her small hand to rub her nose shaking her head.
“Then goodnight, Macy!”
Macy turns and heads up the steps to her bedroom with a heavy heart as she hides her face from crying. Kenan slumps down into a recliner and leans back before downing the glass of belly fire.
‘I hate myself for how strict I am on my daughter. Maybe I am just a bitter drunk, some like to blame that on account of my wife passing away. That ain’t it though, not by a long shot. Sometimes I think it’s overboard at times, but I must protect her. Even if it takes me breaking my shell of kindness and exposing my pit of anger. I have to protect Macy. She can’t believe in him. I used to believe in Santa Clause, and I lost my family because of it…’
December 24th, 1992
Kenan climbs into bed pulling the snug blanket up to his chin as his father sits down on the edge of his bed. His dad opens a children’s book smiling back at him before reading a tale of a mystical man. A man who lives in the north pole, a man that keeps watch over all the children in the world. Kenan has heard this story more than once and is more than familiar with the man in red, the words soak into his brain as his eyes light up in excitement. His dad ends a chapter as he lays in excitement for another tale.
“Daddy, is Santa Clause really real?” Kenan asks glowing with joy. His father smiles and leans down forward, “Of course he is son. And if you’ve been good he’ll bring whatever you want. And you’ve been such a good boy all year! Now if you’re really good, he’ll-” Kenan’s mom interrupts yelling from the other room for his dad.
His dad looks at him with eyes downwards, “Sorry kiddo I gotta go. But we’ll talk more tomorrow. Try to get some rest.”
“But dad I-” his mom yells out once more as his dad replies, “I’m coming babe!” His dad rises to his feet and heads out to attend to his pregnant wife. Kenan rolls over towards the wall and folds the pillow under his head sighing in frustration.
“I hate that I’m having a new brother or sister. It’s like they’re forgetting about me,” he mutters to himself.
Laying uncomfortably he rolls over to the other side of the bed. He sees the children’s book on the edge of the bed and catches his attention. The jolly man on the cover smiling bending towards a child in front of him as Santa hands him exactly what he wished for Christmas.
Kenan sits up and begins to go through the book reading how children wrote a letter directed to Santa wishing for a specific thing and being granted with it by being good. He looks around the room before being distracted with his mom yelling in the distance. His dad can vaguely be heard rambling in the distant asking what can he do to help. Kenan stares at the book studying it for a moment before dropping it to the side and climbing out of bed. His fuzzy pajamas slide across the wooden floor as he shuffles his feet to the dresser.
Pulling the top drawer open, he grabs a notebook and pencil and jumps up on his bed. Pressing the lead to the paper he begins to write a letter. Folding it up after claiming his wanted prize, he creaks his door open to hear his parents arguing across the hall. Sneaking down the hallway he makes his way to the front door and pulls it open. The cold air stings his face as it rushes in pushing the door completely open.
Letting the wind keep the door, he runs out across the white landscape to the front. Shoving the letter into the mail box, running back his feet begin to lose their feeling. Kenan yanks his pajamas off upon entering his home as the numbness sets into the soles of his feet. Leaning down he begins to rub them as more bickering grabs his attention. Ignoring the noise he goes to his room and slumps the pajamas onto the floor before climbing into bed for a long cozy night.
“No! Get away from her you son of a b***h!” the words yank Kenan’s dreams away and throw him back into a dark reality. His heart a hard lump in his throat, he jumps up in his bed hoping what was said was a nightmare slicing apart his peaceful thoughts in a cruel joke.
“Stop! Get away! Don’t you f*****g touch her!” the words put his doubts in a grave as it becomes all too real. He rips the blankets away shaking as he listens to loud bangs and screaming from outside his walls. Slowly making his way to the bedroom door it seems like an eternity struggling to grip his trembling hand on the doorknob and turn it. Gently pulling the doorknob past his face he’s greeted to the image of his dad swinging at something. A thing just out of sight, no, not something…someone.
The sound of his dads punches being landed are on a person not a thing. The unmistakable sounds of a man grunting in pain is clear, it’s not a monster. Maybe a thief? A serial killer even? Fear begins to circulate like razors in a windstorm shredding his thoughts to bits as his muscles tense up making him stiff. Like a corpse in the stage of Rigor mortis, Kenan goes stiff unable to move.
His dad falls backward ramming his head into the wooden floor, red in the face struggling as a black glove slams down gripping his choking throat. Kenan’s eyes avert to the owner of the hand as he forces himself against his better conscience to open the door slightly more. An overweight man wearing an open red suit stands over his father. His belly hung low over his waist as his wife beater was revealed beneath with sweat stains.
A rugged beard and mustache covered his scarred skin that remained on his face, his crooked teeth were fully exposed. The skin seemed like it was stretched back over his skull, extending backwards from his jaw showing parts of his bone where his lips and mouth would be. His nicotine teeth grinded in between where his lips used to be, the man in red giggled as slobber began to drip on his chin colliding with his dirty beard. His eyes were crazed and bloodshot, his matted salt and pepper hair sticking out from beneath a pointed hat.
Kenan tried to yell out but his body refused to let him. His dad looks over with glazed eyes suffocating on his words before the Santa pierced a large sharpened candy can into his left ear. His dad screams as the man cackles. Santa rears the candy cane back and begins to lick the blood off of it laughing as Kenan’s dad lays helpless in pain under his grasp. Santa then swings the cane into his eye socket and bends it snapping the cane into an angle. He then proceeds to stab the dad in the throat viciously as he tries to scream.
His cries compared to a drowning victim as he pushed his pleas through the blood filling his esophagus. Blood gurgles out in short burst from the puncture wounds as his dad stops moving halfway through the assault. The Santa continues to slash through his skin until a gaping wound replaces where a neck used to be.
Kenan forces himself to focus as he hears his pregnant mother scream for him to run. His distraught mother cries in the doorway witnessing her dead husband being torn apart. The Santa rams the bloody jagged cane into the dads forehead before standing up turning his sight to the mom. Santa rushes towards the mom and grabs her pushing her down to the ground with excessive force. He then grabs a red sack on the ground and opens it beginning to push Kenan’s mom into it. Struggling to push Santa away, she fights as he shoves her body into the cloth sack. Santa forces her in before pulling a rope tight shutting the sack.
Screaming is heard as Kenan’s mom tries to break through kicking and pushing in all directions. Santa picks up the sack and slams it into the ground causing a loud THUD as the screaming is silenced. Blood begins to seep through the bottom of the cloth like a leaky faucet as Santa heaves it over his shoulder. Santa turns looking at Kenan shuddering in fear and begins to giggle before reaching into his pocket and tossing a letter towards him. “Merry Christmas,” Santa laughs as he walks down the hallway. The front door slings open as Santa walks out into the white atmosphere. Kenan drops to his knees bawling and notices the bloody note on the ground. Picking it up he unfolds it revealing his hand writing.
My name is Kenan Turner. I have been good all year and my dad says good kids get what they want for Christmas. Ever since mommy got pregnant my dad only has time for her. I miss when it was only us. So what I want is to not have a new brother or sister please. I promise I have been good. And I’ll be extra good forever if you can make my wish happen.
Kenan got more than what he asked for that night. A selfish request ended up resulting Kenan an orphan. No one believed his supposed tall tale, thrown from foster home to another he learned the only way to get by was to pretend it never happened. Cops couldn’t pin point any evidence to “Santa” or anyone else close to that description. Kenan finally got out on his own after turning eighteen and never spoke another word of that night. When asked about his parents he would say he was abandoned, but never dared to say the word “Santa” again.
Back to present day
Kenan jolts in his seat as the grandfather clock strikes midnight. The sound pounds in his head as his whiskey residue promises him a hangover he won’t forget. Making his way to his feet out of the chair he rubs his eyes and begins to head upstairs. Walking through the living room he stumbles into the coffee table and hears a liquid spill onto the floor. Gaining his composure he looks down seeing milk drip out of a sideways glass next to a plate with cookies. A neatly folded letter pokes out from underneath it. Narrowing his eyes he slides the paper out from the plate and opens it up. Gazing his eyes upon the words, Kenan’s eyes grow with fear.
My name is Macy Turner. My daddy says you are not real but my friends tell me you are. They told me that you bring kids whatever they ask for if they are good. Well I have been good and all I want for Christmas is a new daddy. My daddy is mean to me and yells a lot. He makes me sad and I want a new one. So for Christmas could you please please give me a new daddy? I promise I will be good and always believe in you.
The letter falls to the floor as Kenan relives his childhood fear all over again. The lump in his throat, his knees weak as he tries to make his legs move to run upstairs. He is unable to move paralyzed in fear as his front door flies open. The cold winds swirl in as a large figure steps in the house, an obese man wearing red with a blood stained sack cloth over his shoulder. A smile stretches from his tattered skin as he whispers in a hoarse voice, “Merry Christmas, Kenan.”