The Amazing Adventures of Décor-Man



Written by AnnE Ford




Just Another Day at the Office



My black backpack brushes the branches out of the way as I squeeze past another fake Christmas tree. A neutral expression is set in stone on my face—a skill I heavily applaud myself for—as I approach the front exit of the store. My stride is calculated, confident, a walk no one would dare question. I have almost cleared the endless rows of garland when my elbow taps a sparkly snowflake ornament, knocking it off of a display. Glass shatters onto the floor in a small puff of smoke. I flinch at the noise.


Cursing under my breath, I take inventory of my surroundings, hoping my mistake has not alerted anyone of my presence. Much to my dismay, a woman with a red shirt and a far-too-cheery smile is on her way over to me.


“Oh no! Looks like you could use a hand,” she glances toward the shattered snowflake at my feet.


I twist my mouth into a smile and crinkle my eyes to match it as I look up to meet her gaze. “Yes please! If you don’t mind. I’m so sorry about my clumsiness—I really should learn to be more careful.”


“No worries!” She gives me another heartfelt smile that makes me want to punch her in the face. “I’ll just call for cleanup and you can go on your way!”


“Thanks so much Cindy,” I say, reading off of her nametag.


“Of course, have a Merry Christmas!” Cindy says.


"And you as well,” I flash her a toothy smile and turn to continue my path toward the door. Wrapping my fingers around the straps of my backpack, my mouth curls into a smirk as I exit the store.


Outside, crowds of people shuffle along from store to store with colorful arrays of shopping bags dangling from their arms. Absurd amounts of sparkly lights, wreaths, and garland ornament the trees that line the street.


It makes me sick.


I round the corner to my apartment building and pull open the large glass door. A cold gust of wind blows, chilling me to the bone. I roll my eyes as I pass the tree in the lobby and push the elevator button. The elevator stops at floor ten. I pull my key from my pocket and unlock my apartment door.


Stepping into the darkness, the contrast is almost shocking. The blinds in my apartment are drawn and small streaks of light peak in, casting greyscale shadows across the simple couch and table in my living room. I swear my apartment is the only place in all of Chicago without a speck of Christmas decorations.

I place my backpack on the kitchen table and unzip the top to take inventory of my day’s earnings: Two IPads and a Nintendo Switch.


“Hmph,” I sigh. I could have done much better if it weren’t for Cindy and her stupid holiday cheer.


I reach for my laptop from the kitchen counter—one of my favorite Best Buy steals—and pull up Ebay.


The one good thing about the Holidays is that people are more willing than ever to get a good deal on some electronics. I start uploading the IPads for some unsuspecting gift giver to purchase. When I finish with the IPads, I turn to grab the Switch.


My breath hitches in my throat. Where the Nintendo Switch once sat, now sits a shiny red box with a large green bow…



I Think I’m Being Punk’d


I jump up from the table, nearly knocking over my chair.


“Hello?” I call into the apartment that I know is empty. No answer.


Still, I do a quick check of the apartment, hoping to find some reasonable explanation for the gift box. No one else is here.


I try to remember if the present had been there when I walked in, but I was certain the table had been empty when I sat down.


Only one way to find out for sure.


I pull the gift forward and slowly untie the green bow. Then, carefully remove the shiny red paper.


Somehow, I’m not surprised when the Nintendo Switch is staring back at me.



Let Me Introduce You to the Dumbest Superpower Ever


I can’t remember how long I’ve been staring at the wall. I sit at my kitchen table; my hands neatly folded on the table like an elementary student. If looks could kill, my wall would be dead.


I start running possible scenarios through my head.


1. Someone broke into my apartment, grabbed the Switch from in front of my face and gift wrapped it.

2. Someone broke into my apartment, switched the Switch with an already wrapped Switch and left without me seeing or hearing them.

3. The Switch came to life and gift wrapped itself.


I drop my head into my hands. None of these scenarios make sense.


Suddenly, light peaks through the cracks in my fingers. I lift my head. My previously dark grey apartment now shines with colorful lights and tiny sparkles.


A massive fern tree sits in the corner with an array of colored lights. Garland trails along the walls from the front door, to the kitchen, to the living room. Sparkly stars dangle from the ceiling, and stockings hang above the balcony door.


Okay, this is seriously annoying.


I push my chair back from the table to examine the room. As I stand up, I place my hand on the edge of the table. A green gift bow now sits right where I had set my hand.


I glance down at my palms. They look the same as usual. I flex my fingers a few times. Nothing. I laugh to myself.


Ridiculous.


This is stupid.


I’ve lost my mind.


“Great. I’m Décor-Man!” I announce to the empty room, giving a quick spin as I wield my hands in a Spider-Man-like fashion.


Something shiny flies through the air in front of me.


“WHAT THE!?” I jump backward, nearly falling onto the kitchen table, as the end of a ribbon flutters to the floor—from my hands.


I try the Spider-Man hand movement again. Another ribbon shoots out with vigor.


Great, I seem to have acquired the dumbest superpower ever, I think to myself.


But how did I decorate the entire room? I hadn’t been doing anything then.


Guess it’s time to do some experimenting.


The Amazing Adventures of Décor-Man


The brisk evening air bites through my coat as I work to put distance between myself and my apartment building. I don’t want to be anywhere near my place of residence while I test out this new skill—just in case anything goes haywire.


Not that I would mind disrupting the annoyingly cheery Christmas shoppers, I just don’t want anything to be traced back to me. Years of criminal business has taught me how to disappear and stay untraceable.


I duck off the main street into a quiet, empty alleyway. This was as good a place as any.

Pulling off my gloves, I shake out my hands a few times to warm them up. The ribbon trick seems like the best place to start, since I’m still not sure how I managed to turn my entire apartment into the North Pole.


With a deep breath, I fling my hands out in front of me. Strings of ribbons quickly shoot from both my palms. One red and one green. Not bad.


What else? I think for a moment. I had rested my head in my hands before my apartment got a jingle-ball makeover, so that seems like as good an option as any.


I pull my hands up toward my head. Before I even have the chance to cover my eyes, the entire alleyway was sparkling with colored lights and Christmas trees.


I chuckle to myself. I could not have acquired a more irritating skill, but I think I will be able to make it work in my favor.


This Week at Your Local Shopping Mall

The next morning.


Time to put my new skills to the test. I catch a cab to the nearest Best Buy and stride straight through the front doors—even more confidence than usual in my walk.


This Best Buy is a pathetic excuse for Christmas décor, with only red cardboard displays and the occasional “Happy Holidays” poster. So really, I’m doing them a favor.


I locate a locked glass case of MacBook Pros. Without the slightest hesitation, I pull back my foot and slam the steel toe of my boot into the glass. HARD. The glass shatters on impact and I promptly kick my foot through the shattered part and wrap my fingers around the stack of MacBook Pros, pulling them to the safely of my arms.


A thousand pairs of eyes snap to my direction, watching my every movement.

Overcoming their shock at my lack of indiscretion, several employees start to rush toward me. Some have cell phones in their hands, probably already dialing for the police. Shoppers back away with looks of horror strewn across their faces.


Either these skills are going to change my life forever, or I’m going to jail.


Shaking off my brief moment of doubt, I take a quick glance around at my unsuspecting audience and lift both my palms in front of my face.


I hear the gasps of the shoppers before I even remove my hands and know that my plan has worked. No one can resist staring at sparkly lights and garland.


Except me.


Without even a brief pause to glance at my surroundings, I’m on my feet.


My legs race under me as I pull the stack of MacBooks tighter underneath my arm. I am at the door before any of the store’s occupants have a chance to realize what has happened.


“HEY STOP!” A voice shouts. Maybe I celebrated too soon.


My fingers are barely locked around the door handle when someone grabs my shoulder. I guess someone else did manage to look away from the Christmas spectacle I’d left in my wake.


I feel a tug on the MacBooks and turn to witness the pathetic show of a young salesclerk trying to pry them from under my arm.


With a quick jerk of shoulder, I free myself from his grip and touch the clerk’s arm with my free hand. He vanishes.


In his place sits a large gold box embellished with a shiny red ribbon.


I take off out the door.



Look Mom—I’m on TV



“It’s been a busy week for the Chicago Christmas Criminal—the thief tied up a shopper with Christmas ribbon while robbing a local Macy’s this afternoon. The event marks the thief’s third burglary since he was first spotted at a Best Buy earlier this week. The Christmas Criminal has since stolen goods from a HomeGoods and now a Macy’s, each time leaving an array of holiday decorations in his path. Police are working to identify the man and warn store owners to stay alert and report any suspicious activity.”


I can barely contain my laughter as I turn off the television. The frozen expression of shock on the man’s face as he tried to block my path to the door and then suddenly dropped to the floor tied up with ribbon was enough to make my year when I saw it the first time, and now it was captured on the Macy’s surveillance camera and plastered across every news channel.


Although, I am a bit annoyed that I have been nicknamed the “Christmas Criminal.” Like seriously, that was the best they could do? I couldn’t have gotten a more creative nickname?

Master Garland or something? I cringe at my own thoughts. Actually, that one might be worse.


The reporter was right about one thing though, I have had a very successful week. The most successful week I have EVER had, actually. My decorating skills are the perfect diversion, giving me time to grab whatever I want and make a run for it. And judging off the tied-up man from earlier, my skills work pretty well offensively too.


And as much as I hate to admit it, I’m having a lot of fun.


THUMP!


I jump up from my spot on the couch, dropping the remote from my hand. I swear something just landed on my balcony.


CREAKKK.


To my horror, a hand slowly pushes my balcony door open from the outside.


“Oh, the irony,” I say aloud. There is no way I, the infamous Christmas Criminal, am about to get robbed.


I ready my hands in front of me, about to tie up whatever or whoever walks through that door, when a large mass steps into my apartment and my breath hitches in my throat.


Standing in my apartment is Santa Claus.


Pretty Sure Santa Claus Just Broke into my House?


I’ve got to say, for someone who prides themself on their ability to not be distracted by Christmas décor, the Santa suit stepping into my apartment sure has me speechless.


Still, I manage to regain my grip of reality quick enough, and Santa suit man now sits across from me at my kitchen table…very effectively tied up with ribbons.


It’s quite a comical sight.


But even funnier, the man is now trying to convince me not only that Santa Claus exists, but that he is, in fact, the real Santa Claus.


Personally, I think he is a very confused man who somehow stumbled his way onto my 10th floor balcony on his way home from a Christmas party at the local bar.


“Sam, listen to me,” the man says in his trying-to-hard jolly voice. The very weird thing is, he had instantly greeted me by name upon his entrance to my apartment. I have a pretty common name, so it could have been a lucky guess, but my gut tells me that is just wishful thinking.


“I want you to work for me. I could really use your skills up in the North Pole this year,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.


I can barely contain my laughter. “The North pole, huh? You really seem to know your character.” I meant to put an edge on the words, but they come out softer than I expected.


The man does not respond, but just stares back at me. It is kind of creeping me out.


Finally, he speaks. “I presume you need proof?” He vanishes from his seat at the kitchen table.


I jerk my head back in surprise and stand up from my own seat to examine the now empty chair.


“Is this enough of the proof you require?” A voice says from behind me. I jump and spin around to face the front of my apartment.


The man was now standing, free of ribbon, by my front door.


He chuckled. “I do have to be quite the speedy traveler to make it around the entire world in one night, Sam” he says matter-of-factly in his gentle voice.


I wish he would stop saying my name like that. It really is freaking me out.


“Now,” he says, his gaze drifting to the stack of stolen goods piled next to my couch, “How about I show you how to use some of those powers for good?”


Personally, I think I have been using my powers for good; but other than the bizarre talents I have displayed myself, this man’s teleportation is the first I’ve seen of magic, or superpowers, or whatever the heck is going on. And I have to admit…I’m intrigued.



Anyways, off to the North Pole


Agreeing to travel with a strange man who broke into your house is probably not the smartest idea, but what else am I supposed to do? I want to learn more about my powers, and he wants me to come to the North Pole. So…I’m going to the North Pole.


And if things go south—I’m pretty certain I could hold my own against this man. Although he can teleport, he’s a bit slow on his feet, and I already tied him up once.


I just can’t shake the feeling of seeing someone else with powers similar to my own. I want to know where my powers came from. Can I teleport too? Can this man—Santa? Teach me more?


Still, I don’t entirely believe the whole Santa Claus ruse until the man guides me up to the roof of my apartment where a reindeer-drawn sleigh is waiting. This is pretty hard to deny. Either he’s Santa, or he is REALLY committed to his cosplay.


His traveling skills are handy though. We sit in his sleigh for all of two seconds before we’re soaring through the air, vanishing, and reappearing in front of a very, very, elaborately decorated log cabin.


I cringe at the sight.


During our brief trip together, I keep trying to ask questions about my powers, but he just gives answers like, “Helping others is the best way to grow your skills,” or some other disgustingly positive load of crap. I really want to hate him for his cheery nature and his inability to answer questions, but for some reason, I’m in a pretty good mood.


Santa opens the doors of the cabin and I gasp dramatically. Haven’t I had enough shocks today? I should be able control my reactions. You’d think I’m in a soap opera. I am annoying myself with my dramatics. Although the cabin had appeared tiny from the outside, the inside is bigger than any football stadium I’d ever seen. The walls are filled with shelves upon shelves of every kind of toy you could imagine. The middle of the room is lined with hundreds of worktables and stacks of screwdrivers, hammers. nails, EVERYTHING.


When I overcome my awe, I roll my eyes at the predictability of it all. “Hey, big guy!” I turn to address my host, “What, no elves?”


Santa chuckles a warm laugh and his stupid cheeks turn rosy—because of course they do.


“Ohhh, Sam,” he laughs again. “The elves are on vacation! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. The toys have been finished for weeks.”


Christmas Eve already? I guess I’d been so busy using my new powers that I’d lost track of time.

My face starts to twist into a scowl at that answer, but I somehow find myself smiling instead.


“Great, you’re ready for Christmas,” I eye his rosy cheeks. “So, what do you want with me then?” I ask, “Didn’t you want my help?”


“I do want your help, Sam,” he smiles. “Just because the elves work is done doesn’t mean my work is done.”


My eyebrows raise questioningly.


He continues. “I’d like for you to travel with me on Christmas Eve. Decorate houses, wrap gifts, that kind of thing.”


Now this may come as a shock, but I hate Christmas. Sure, the holiday started out perfectly wholesome, giving gifts to people you care about, but what has it become? Obviously, I am not the kindest, most just person in the universe, but at least I don’t pretend to be! Not like, all those imbeciles who try to one-up each other with presents or get gifts for every person they’ve ever met just to lift their own ego and guilt others into doing the same. Repulsive.


And I REALLY want to hate this Santa guy.


But…for some reason, I just can’t bring myself to hate him; but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still like the opportunity to ruin the holiday that I hate. And okay fine, maybe I’d like to use this guy’s ability to break into houses undetected to grab a few things for my Ebay.


“I’m in,” I say with a sly smile.



How I Befriended Santa Claus and Planned the Demise of Christmas



I think the best method is to go full on Grinch-stole-Christmas mode. Stealing all of the gifts Santa leaves seems like a pretty good way to ruin the holiday, right? Maybe I’ll even destroy a few Christmas decorations along the way—that’ll show those Karens! And all those spoiled brats waiting up on Christmas, only to find that Santa didn’t even bother to leave them coal.


My biggest challenge is going to be disposing of the gifts. My gift-wrapping powers don’t exactly give me a leg up in stealing gifts and ruining decorations. I have to get creative. I also need to build a pretty good relationship with this Santa guy over the next day so that he trusts me enough to leave me alone for a bit during our travels. I decide the best way to befriend Santa Claus is to get on his level—I have to play nice.


“So, how’d you get into the whole ‘Santa Claus’ thing?” I ask him later that day while he loads presents into the sleigh. I sit at a small wooden table nearby, waiting for him to toss over the occasional toy for me to zap with my wrapping powers.


“I have always had a knack for putting a smile on people’s faces. It comes...naturally to me, one might say. Much like your gift-wrapping powers,” he smiles his warm rosy smile and tosses me a toy car.


I catch the car and ponder over his words for a moment, trying to decipher the hidden meaning that I know must be there somewhere. I have been in a strangely good mood since meeting him. Especially considering he broke into my apartment and is the physical embodiment of everything I hate. I felt like suddenly, I could visualize a soft blanket of positivity that had clouded my usual skepticism.


I put my thoughts together. “You mean…you can manipulate people’s emotions?” I ask, suddenly questioning my quick decision to trust this man.


“Manipulate…is a strong word,” his eyes sparkle. “It’s more like—I’m a positive influence.” He turns back to packing his sleigh—leaving me, for the first time since having met him, slightly uncomfortable. I zap the toy car and toss it, now wrapped in silver paper, into the sleigh.


My random acquisition of powers left me quick to believe in all of these fantastical things, but I definitely did not believe Santa existed until this man appeared in my apartment. Did he manipulate me then? Has he been manipulating me since? And to think, I had been so ready to befriend him. Well, not really, I had been ready to use him for my own gain and then face the consequences of our damaged friendship, but same difference. At least that part of my personality was intact. Either way, I have to be more careful from now on. Monitor my emotions.


Also, not going to lie, I’m a little ticked off. Normally, I am the best person in the room at manipulating people. I have always been able to turn on the charm to get what I want. Or at least get people to trust me long enough for me to rob them blind. I guess I just have to channel my own charming talents against his brainwashing.


I can do that.


“That’s such an amazing gift—you have such a kind heart! Especially considering how willing you were to take in a renowned thief like myself. Usually, people like me aren’t given second chances,” I give him my best toothy smile—that should drive it home.


“Everyone deserves a second chance,” he says so genuine-sounding that I almost lose my head again. DANG his emotional manipulation!


“Santa,” I address him correctly for the first time. “Do you have any idea how I may have acquired my powers?”


He looks up from his work. “People acquire talents for all sorts of reasons. It’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time to intercept some magic.”


My brain flashes to the puff of smoke that emerged from the snowflake ornament I broke. Is that possible…?


“It’s getting late,” he says, jerking me back out of my thoughts, “I’m going to go add the finishing touches to everything. You should get some sleep. There’s a spare bedroom down that hallway,” he points to a hallway at the far corner of the cabin workshop. “First door on the right.”


“Thanks,” I respond and head off in that direction.


But there’s no way I’m going to bed yet.



When in Santa’s Workshop—You Don’t Sleep, You Snoop.



I wake with a start and take in the ambiance of the spare room for the first time since discovering it in the early hours of the morning. The corner of the room has a crackling fire, and the bed is as soft and comforting as a cloud.


I had spent much of the night walking the halls of the gigantic cabin and opening every door I could find. Most of the rooms were as expected: a room of every color of sparkly garland, a room of silver bells, a room of miscellaneous toy parts. I had begun to get a bit bored and almost considered turning back to find my assigned room, when I stumbled upon a staircase at the end of one of the hallways.


Unlike the rest of the cabin’s wooden paneled walls, the staircase was entirely constructed of large stone, and was unnervingly cold to the touch. I was intrigued.


Each step I took down the staircase seemed to push me further and further away from the warm glow that radiated throughout the rest of the house. It was almost as if the staircase was transporting me to another dimension—one that was harsh, real, and free of the magic that seemed to flow so easily through the halls of the cabin.


When I reached the last step, I was standing in a dark stone cellar, lined with rows of massive tanks. The ground was littered with an assortment of toy pieces. The tanks appeared to hold some sort of cloudy, clear, substance.


I walked up to the first tank and ran my pointer finger over the black letters on the front of it. S-A-R-I-N A-N-T-H-R-A-C-I-S. I didn’t recognize the words, but the entire cellar gave me a weird feeling. I promptly left and found my way back to the spare bedroom, where I quickly fell asleep.


A knock at the door interrupts my revisit of the night’s events.


“Sam?” Santa’s warm voice breaks through the ambience of the crackling fire. I roll my eyes at his use of my name. “Merry Christmas Eve! It’s time to get going!”


I flip out of the cloud bed and head out to join Santa. He has already loaded up in his sleigh by the time I find him.


“Come on in!” He calls with a beckoning wave.


His voice and wave are as warm and inviting as ever, but the more I uncover about this man—whether it be his emotional manipulation or his creepy cellar—the less I feel like trusting him.


But I have a plan, and I will follow it through.


I approach the shiny red sleigh and climb into the passenger’s side. With a quick whip of the reigns, we soar out of the cabin and vanish into the air.



Merry Christmas Eve



Our first stop is a small brick house somewhere in Australia. Not sure what exactly I was expecting, but we land on the roof of the house and Santa jumps out of the sleigh and into the chimney—which is strange to actually witness. I climb down from the roof to the front door and wait. I had joked on the ride over that I had no intention of sliding down a chimney and this was our compromise.


Soon, the door opens and I step over the mantel into the dark silence of the house. The inside is quaint but a colorfully lit Christmas tree in the corner illuminates the room.


Santa is quick on his feet for such a large man. He slings the sack of toys off his shoulder and quickly starts pulling out gifts and placing them underneath the tree. He makes a neat stack of gifts underneath the tree and then turns to me.


“I’m going to head next door. You can do your decorating trick here and then move on to the next house. We can meet back up when we finish the whole street. Just make sure to lock all the doors before you leave.” He gives me one last smile and then he is gone.


I can’t believe my good fortune. I hadn’t had a solidified plan for how I would separate myself from Santa long enough to steal the gifts, but this is perfect. Now, I just need to figure out how to dispose of the gifts without him noticing.


I quickly gather up all the gifts from their perfect stack underneath the tree and rush out the front door of the house. Santa is nowhere to be seen. Think, think, think, I urge my brain.


Then, suddenly, I see it.


Across the street from me is a drainpipe. And a couple feet away from it, is another drainpipe. This could work. With a brief glance over my shoulder, I rush across the street and drop to my knees in front of the drainpipe. In one quick motion, I shove my armful of gifts down it.


Much to my satisfaction, they disappear down the dark tunnel with a small THUNK.



I Think I Did It



We continue along that way for the entire night. I must have done something right in my attempt to earn Santa’s trust, because he doesn’t once question me when we meet back up at the end of the neighborhood and I assure him each house was appropriately ornamented.


And lucky for me, drainpipes seem to be a pretty universal thing. Every now and then I had to get creative though, toss some gifts into a nearby pond or off into the woods somewhere, but I always got the deed done.


No one would have a Merry Christmas this year.


And I’ve got to admit, this is the most fun I’ve ever had. Not only is it my biggest stealing gig ever, but I get to travel the world while doing it. I’ve even taken to using my powers to decorate the houses before demolishing the décor until it looks like some sort of demented Nightmare Before Christmas party. Some of the houses have nice stuff too—I may have grabbed a few Christmas gifts for myself along they way.


Needless to say, I am having a blast.


When we finally finish our last house in Florida, I am feeling pretty proud of myself. Santa thought he could change me for the good with his mood control but NOT TODAY SATAN, er SANTA. He is going to be in for a shock when he realizes what I pulled off.


Come to think of it, I’ll probably have to be on the run for a while. I am not exactly sure of Santa’s status with law enforcement, but I’d rather not find out.


“You took a while decorating that last house, Sam. Are you getting tired?” Santa asks, his voice full of concern.


“Just making sure everything is perfect, big guy,” I pat his arm reassuringly.


“Well,” he smiles his glowing smile, “I’m am certainly glad you were able to join me this year.”


I return his smile. Me too.


“Now, let’s drop you back home so you can get some sleep. It’s been a long night,” he says.


We load into the now empty sleigh and take off into the night.



Merry Christmas



I wake to red light pouring through my shut eyes. I crack them open. By the look of the light out my window, it is late afternoon—I’d slept through most of the day. The events of the previous night feel more like a dream than a reality. I wonder when Santa will make a return to reprimand me for what I’ve done.


I wish I could have seen the look on everyone’s faces when they woke up to find that Santa Claus never came. Merrrrry Christmas to all, I laugh as I exhaustedly stumble to the couch.


I flip on the television to the news, surely people would be commiserating over the disappointment of the holiday.


They aren’t.


“Families were shocked when they woke on Christmas morning to find that Santa Claus had not visited their homes on Christmas Eve. Even more shocking, police found traces of presents that had been shoved into drainpipes and ponds. Upon further investigation, the toys inside these gifts were found to contain high levels of Sarin Anthracis, a highly toxic substance that is made from a combination of Bacillus anthracis and Sarin, both of which can cause immediate organ and respiratory failure upon inhalation. Now, people are thankful these gifts did not make it into their homes and are celebrating their loved ones’ narrow escape from death or serious illness. People are warned to keep a distance and alert authorities of any additional gifts they find,” the reporter says.


Sarin Anthracis. The letters on the tank in the cellar flash into my head and mouth falls open.


“So now you know,” I jump up from the couch at the smooth voice.


Santa has returned to my home.


“What gives, Sam?” he questions as he walks away from the open balcony door and slowly circles my living room. “I thought you were going to help me make Christmas special?”


“Special?” I ask, his tone is much harsher than his usual cheery voice. And slightly intimidating—even to me. “It sounds like you were planning on poisoning kids,” my voice is strangely calm. “Not very in-character of you.”


He scowls back at me. “The population has been growing to absurd numbers,” he continues his walk around my living room. “I had to act fast to keep it under control or risk the continued availability of luxury goods like cocoa powder—think of the chocolate, Sam!” He shouts. “So, I hatched a plan, the kids would have a merry Christmas just like normal, and then oh no! Some of the kids with weak immune systems would get sick and die, and we could all live happily ever after with plenty of chocolate to go around.”


“You’d murder kids just to keep eating chocolate?” I question, “What happened to all that love and kindness crap?”


“Chocolate Chip cookies are my favorite, Sam,” he responds, “And now we are back at a risk of running out—BECAUSE OF YOU!”


He lunges toward me and I jump backward, instinctively throwing my hands up in front of my face. My apartment lights up with a blinding array of colored lights, sparkly garland, and stars.


Santa throws an arm over his eyes to block out the bright light. I move my hands out in front of me. Red and green ribbons shoot out of my palms and wrap around Santa, constricting his movements, and pushing him off balance.


“ARHGHG!” he groans in shock, as he struggles to stay upright.


I lurch forward and give him a push back toward the open balcony door. He teeters on his toes for a moment, trying to regain his balance. I give him a final shove and he steps backward onto the balcony before hitting the railing and flipping backward over it.


His head topples past the railing and his feet seem to dangle in midair for a second before he disappears from my sight.


He had only been out of view for a second when I hear a sickening splat from below.



I Just Killed Santa Claus



Well, I don’t actually go check. He might be alive! But, the sound of that splat would say otherwise, and I don’t feel like going to double check.


I do feel a little bad for shoving him off the balcony. I didn’t mean to kill him I was just acting instinctively—but AH! No, I don’t feel bad! Curse his emotional manipulation! The man attempted to murder thousands of children just so he could continue eating chocolate chip cookies. He definitely deserved his fate.


Although I am a little annoyed. I was supposed to ruin Christmas, but it seems like I might have saved it instead. UGH. And according to the news people aren’t even upset at the lack of gifts! They are appreciative that their families are safe and glad to spend time together. How simply IRRITATING. Now I have gotten nothing out of this arrangement. Santa didn’t even have the chance to teach me how to teleport before I shoved him off the balcony.


On the bright side, since I killed Santa, next year I don’t even have to worry about stealing the gifts—there just won’t be any! And I still have my powers, so my life will be easy as ever.


I settle back into my couch, lingering on that happy thought, when the reporter appears back on screen.


“A local neighborhood watch cam has captured the man responsible for disposing of the unsafe gifts. The man has been identified as local Sam Iberson! Parents everywhere say Sam is their hero!”


You’ve GOT to be KIDDING ME.



THE END


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