I’ve never been really big on Christmas nor the concept of Santa Claus. As a kid, I never saw the concept of a complete stranger coming into my house while everyone’s asleep is mystical. Sure he’d leave you presents supposedly but the constant stranger danger messages still rang in my head. To be honest, I was kinda afraid of Santa as a child; when the night of Christmas Eve came around I can hear thumping downstairs. That coupled with the already bad implications I had about the jolly figure, it kept me up at night. I would hide under the blankets and my imagination would fill the rest. The thumping would grow louder and louder as if he was coming up to the second floor. Then I would hear my door creek open, I pull the sheets off my face and look directly at my door, but there was nothing.
Even if there was nothing, I couldn’t get the thought that some random person is in my house and is aware of my presence out of my head. I would usually not be able to sleep, and the times I do I would have vivid nightmares. Nightmares like the jolly Saint Nick coming into my bedroom and just stare at me for hours on end, with him slowly approaching me. He grows an ear to ear grin as he takes one step at a time, until all I can see is his wrinkly old face. His deep, sulking eyes would meet with mine; I would feel his hands wrap around my neck as he starts laughing. Then I woke up, Christmas morning would come, and while every other child in my neighborhood is opening and playing with their new toys, I would be paralyzed with fear in my bed. Most times during the morning, my parents would have to come up stairs to get me.
But I’ve had one specific nightmare that haunts me, it still reoccurs now and again. I would open my eyes, strapped against my bed in a dim lit room; and all I can see around me is the word “Joy” written on the walls. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a dark blue-ish fog seeping into the room until it covers the floors. The room itself smelt of peppermint and feces. The door across the foot of my bed would open up; and on the other side within the dark, would be a man wearing a light up Santa Clause mask. He would sing the first verse of the song ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ In a deep monotone voice. He would cross the door frame.
‘You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town’
I hear his voice grow rash, the lights on his mask would flicker slightly as he slowly approaches. He would continue the next verse, his voice starting to depart. I would just stare with my eyes agape with fear, I struggle to loosen my restraints.
‘He’s making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town’
He stands at the foot of my bed. I get a closer look at his body, aside from the human structure I’m not even sure if it was human. Its fingers were the length of a ruler and its legs are most comparable to a grasshopper’s; long, thin, and bendy. It would start to crawl on my bed finishing up the song as it approached closer and closer. It’s claw-like fingers would dig into my legs as it moved across my body. I hissed to myself as I felt the blood run down my leg. Its voice become warped and wry as the lights on its mask would die out.
‘He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re a wake-‘
My breaths hitch, my sweat runs cold, and my heart races. It’s now bloodied fingers stain my sheets as it starts picking up its pace.
‘-He knows if you’ve been bad or good-‘
Its voice starts shaking, our eyes make contact; behind the eyes of the mask is nothing but darkness. Its hand grasp the edges of its mask and takes it off. Its face… oh god its face… It’s nothing but skin. Its mouth looks like it’s been cut open with a pair of scissors. I try to let out a shaken scream but its fingers overlap on my lips, as if it was quieting me. It whispers out the final lines.
‘-So be good for goodness sake.’
Its finger cuts open my throat, vertically down. The blood would pour out of my skin like water out of a pail. It would insert its thumb to grab at my vocal chords; it rips them out one by one. I take my final look at the creature, a smile crossed his face. Its sharp finger would continue to tear my skin open from the neck down. The crimson red liquid oozes off my skin and onto the mattress. My vision blurs as my breaths slows, the creature starting to laugh at my demise. My eyes then shut and I can only see darkness, and I would hear nothing but my own breathing.
I open my eyes, strapped against my bed in a dim lit room; and all I can see around me is the word “Joy” written on the walls.