The Christmas Terror
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For most people, Christmas time is a very pleasant experience and I wish I could say the same. In fact, just seeing the first green wreath sends me shivering to my room. You see, Christmas frightens me, and it always has.
I want to make myself perfectly clear. It isnít that my mom died on December 25th or anything like that. Iím not sad. Iím scared!
Regrettably, it only gets worse as that horrible day draws near. Iím not sure what it stems from, which is why Iím writing this. It is my hope that by the time this story is over Iíll have an epiphany of some sort and this month of nightly terror will end.
Please let me explain. From Thanksgiving to December 26th, Iím haunted, not by Scrooge like ghosts who rattle chains and show me my wrong doings, but by Santa Claus himself. Well, not in the flesh. Santa doesnít come to my room every night and chase me with a knife.
But my, wouldnít that be something?
Actually, I am tortured by my own damaged psyche, because he only visits me in my nightmares. These horrible mental movies have stalked me since childhood, and I just wish they would end. Night after night, Iím chased through the same dream. Itís not pleasant I assure you. Just read on and youíll see.
In this sleepy hallucination, Iím a cute kid if I do say so myself. I have brown hair thatís cropped straight across my brow. My face is decorated with two large, brown doe eyes, and I have an adorably small nose. I have a tiny mouth, but a big bright smile that is accentuated by the silver caps that cover my two front teeth. These teeth coverings are silver because my parents could not afford the white variety, but that has given me a completely different set of issues, which I do not wish to explore at the moment.
In my nightmare, I am about to get into my bed when it begins. It starts with the soft, distant tinkle of sleigh bells that continues to grow in volume until it sounds like a thousand shards of glass shattering near my head. I hear them through, my window and I try to hide behind the soft shield of my blanket, but still the bellís fiendish chime reaches my terrified ears.
Then I hear the sound that signals his arrival. It is the battle cry of a demon that is deep and threatening.
ďHO, ho, HO!Ē he bellows, and my legs begin to shake. Louder and louder this cackle grows, until the devilís stallions bang their hooves on the roof above my head.
ďGo away! GO AWAY! Iíve been a bad boy!Ē I scream. Yet, still he comes to bring me something far more deadly than coal.
He tumbles down our chimney. The large bells on his big, black boots jangle as he drops until I hear his massive weight thump hard on our hearth. Stomp after stomp, jingle after jingle, I hear him ascend the staircase like a monster who comes for my soul, and I know immediately that my blue and black comforter cannot protect me from the dangers of the swollen red sack that he drags behind him.
I jump from my bed and race to the window. Desperately, I fight the locks that have been chilled by wintry air. Despite the frantic shaking of my fingers, the small, metal device slides over, and Iím able to lift the white paned portal.
ďSanta will not get me this evening,Ē I promise myself, but Iíve lived this dream before and I know the outcome.
As I step through the opening and onto the porchís tiny roof, Iím thankful that my cowboy pajamas have little booties that protect my toes from the six inches of powdered snow. Just before I drop to the ground, I glance into my bedroom to see my door swing open. His demented shadow enters before him. It is fat and round, and in this dark image, his beard appears to be made of thorns. I will not permit him to see me, and I allow myself to fall. When my feet hit the lawnís deep white covering, I immediately break into a run.
ďHe didnít see me,Ē I chant while trying to find cover from a devil capable of traveling the world in mere moments and who is aware of every deed done by each man, woman and child. I know my plight is hopeless, but I refuse to surrender.
I charge through our picket fence gate, and race down the freshly shoveled walk. Then I glance back at my rooftop, and I immediately regret it. His giant sleigh is tied to twelve brown reindeer that shoot smoke from their nostrils and taunt me with their jagged horns. But it is their eyes that put more speed in my step, for they glow like a newborn fire.
As I slip slide away, I see Santa emerge from the chimneyís smokestack. His bulk is black against the nightís sky, but his wild beard is clearly visible as it waves in a cool breeze.
I am running past the Joneís, whose bushes are adorned with blinking white lights, when I see the sled rise slowly into the air. It climbs into the sky and quickly begins a descent in my direction.
ďPlease, Go AWAY!Ē I beg, but this holiday demon continues his approach.
I have made it to the Fisherís front lawn, which is brightly lit. Thousands of lights flicker in the form of various Christmas cliches. On top of their roof, is a plastic Santa and sleigh. He and his reindeer are wearing friendly smiles as his right arm mechanically waves hello. ďNoel,Ē is spelled out in giant letters between two trees, and a small train is frozen on a track made of multiple colored lights. It is amongst this holiday cheer that I hope to find safe haven, but Santa fears nothing. Especially, not cartoon caricatures of himself.
I watch in horror as he pulls a box from his bag. It is wrapped in green paper and it wears a red bow. Then in his red mittened hand, the box explodes into flames. With a mighty, ďHO, HO, HO!Ē he hurls the package at his rooftopís likeness and it detonates on impact sending lights, snow and metal reindeer parts flying in every direction. When the flames die down, only a metallic, smoking skeleton of Santa remains.
ďHO, HO, HO!Ē he again snarls as he circles vulture-like above me. Shaking, I hide behind a tree as I see another burning gift crashing into the noel display causing lights to pop and electric sparks to spray.
I scream at this Christmas oppressor, ďSanta go away!Ē
ďHO, HO, HO!Ē he replies as he swoops in my direction with yet another flaming gift at the ready.
When I look into his red irises and green snake pupils, I can take no more and I yell, ďThis is not what Christmas is about! You are not what Christmas is about!Ē
Then, I wake up with my blankets tangled about me and with my pillow smothering my face. I donít know what causes these nightmares, and writing didnít help. So, I guess this Christmas will be no different. Iíll wake up on that morning, white with fright, and Iíll tremble the entire time I open my parentís cheap presents.
Of course, Iíll still accept my gifts. Iím scared, not crazy.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.