by Richard Rippon
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except perhaps, the large, drunk, salivating werewolf that was in my lounge.
The acid had been a bad idea.
I’d decided to recapture some of the magic of Christmas. I’d lit a fire, turned on the TV, sunk a bottle of red and dropped the tab. Two hours later, the flickering light from the fire had started to cast questionable shadows about the room and play havoc with my synapses.
That’s when the big guy appeared.
His boots thumped down, sending embers out onto the hearth. He turned immediately and pissed on the fire, his back filthy with soot, more black than red. He pulled a bottle from somewhere and drank deeply, swaying. Finally, he pulled up his zip, belched loudly and turned.
He was horrible. His mouth a black, stinking ditch of sharpened fangs. Hairy black snout, slick with booze, surrounded by a clearly fake white beard. He towered over me, staring down with bloodshot eyes. I was dissolving with terror, becoming one with the couch, marinating in the fabric and lint.
“Pull yourself together son, I’m Santa,” he said and laughed asthmatically. He grabbed the remote and clicked off the TV, then pulled out a notebook covered in minute scrawl.
“Right, now, I’ve got my good boys list and I’ve got my bad boys list”, he stroked his rotten beard ominously, “You’re on my third list, boy; the arseholes list.”
He referred to his notes and struggled to focus. I could smell something like rotten meat mixed in with the alcoholic fumes on his breath.
“’Arrogant, ill-tempered, rude, selfish, uncivil’ it says here,” he said, “and I don’t get this wrong, son; I check the bugger twice.”
He swigged greedily.
“So here’s your present.”
He slammed a hairy fist into my face, sending me back into the couch. My nose bust instantly, hot blood leaking into my mouth. I held it to try and stem the flow.
He produced a short pencil stub, licked the tip and drew it across his notebook. Without looking at me again, he ducked and disappeared back up the chimmney.
I waited a moment, to be sure he was gone, and then I flicked the TV back on. Richard Rippon writes stuff. He has also appeared in Cautionarytale and Mannequin Envy, and is due in 6S and Monkeybicycle. You can also see some more of his work here.