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Very Bad Santa [D&R]

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posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 06:04 PM
This is a true story. It was told to me by someone I can’t name who knew the late Bob Scratchett. If he hadn’t died during these events, have no doubt that I would have told the authorities. As it stands, he lived, died and died again. He thought he’d been reborn and yet poetic justice and the ghosts of Christmas came to claim him.

Bob Scratchett shivered with the cold as he lay in his tepid bath reading The Bronx News. The night was drawing in; making the candle-lit gloominess of the bathroom seem more cold and depressing. Outside, the sound of voices occasionally broke through the steady thrum of the traffic and even the sirens had no sense of urgency. Christmas, huh? As he sank deeper into the water, he carried on reading. ‘Strip Santa’ had struck again only this time he’d been disturbed and had to run.

“Downtown Bronx became the last of the Five Boroughs to be visited by ‘Strip Santa’ yesterday, only this time he got more than he usually gives! Wearing the well-known red outfit, he was in the middle of completing one of his notorious dances for his bewildered victim. Luckily for the victim, Jenny Chuzzlewit, 82, her son, Abel, arrived unexpectedly and right in the middle of Jingle Bell Rock. Strip Santa is almost famed for this part of the song as it signals his finale where he does the ‘Running Man’ whilst leaving with the stolen property.

Faced with amateur boxer, Abel, Strip Santa didn’t have time to get dressed and fled down the street in only the top half of his Santa costume. A quick-witted passer-by took a snap as he passed by being pursued by the heroic Abel.

Mrs Chuzzlewit said, ‘I was scared and simply didn’t know where to look. This man is crazy to believe dancing is any way to make up for stealing Christmas presents.’ She added, ‘It’s not like the guy can even dance. He’s terrible at it.’

Police admit to having no leads to go on apart from the Santa pants he left behind and the photo. Officer Nickleby warned, ‘How do you identify ‘Strip Santa’ at Christmas? They all look the same and all have the same lousy Christmas music. All we can say is that people should not open their doors to Santa this Christmas. Men, women and children aren’t safe from this crazy guy.’

For an awkward moment, Scratchett recalled a Christmas Eve when his ideas of Santa were crushed by finding his dad doing a half-clothed limbo dance for his undressed Mom. Pushing aside the image of Dad in a white beard and red hat, he threw the paper against the wall as angrily as possible, but his knocking knees and chattering teeth undermined the effect. ‘Damn police and damn newspapers! How the heck can I make a living when they’re scaring everyone from answering the doors? I hate Christmas!’

He climbed out the bath and began pulling on his clothes for the night. The grimy mirror reflected a fat, middle-aged guy struggling to pull on a red pair of pants and grunting as he stuffed his round gut behind the white buttons of the red jacket. He looked at himself and practiced some expressions. First was the ‘Fonzy cool,’ and then the ‘Big Smile’ followed by the ‘I Hear Ya Buddy.’ The biggest and best expression was the ‘I Feel Your Pain’ with down-turned lip and wide-eyes; who can resist the mastery of that!?

With a loud ‘HA!’ he fixed the beard in place and headed down the dark hallway. Stopping only to grab the charity boxes and fix the ID badge to his chest, he headed on out into the Arctic December evening.

Between the recession and the God-awful scare stories in the newspapers, it was getting hard for an honest man to do his job. It was even harder for a decent guy to hustle up any cash. People didn’t have the money and fewer would even open the doors. ‘I hate Christmas!’ grimaced Bob as the car heaters began to kick in.

It was so hard to find wealthy homeowners who would open their doors and give him money that tonight was going to be a little different. The plan was to head on out to Staten and try out these couple of houses he’d noticed. One was right next to a church and had a nice, deep garden with tall trees and overgrown bushes. The other was very-well looked after and had a 2006 BMW 5-series in the yard. From experience, these kinds of places had liquid assets and all that sickening sentimentality for Christmas that made them actually want to give their money away.

While driving towards Interstate 278, he warmed up and played the radio. John Lennon was singing about white Christmases and war being over; Bob’s memories drifted away to Christmas 1971. He’d been a store Santa with his future ahead of him. It was a great time…until he got fired for throwing a kid aside and trying to kiss her Mom. ‘Stuck up rich folk,’ he thought and changed the station. Bob wound down his window and shouted at a bunch of brightly-dressed little children, ‘Santa is a lie told by your parents! He doesn’t exist, you gullible idiots. How can you be so stupid? You are so, so, so dumb!’ Faced with Santa yelling abuse, the oldest kid began to cry and the others went straight to sobbing. This cheered him up so much that he sparked a cigarette and cranked up the volume. The Beach Boys’ Little Saint Nick blared from his windows as he surged into the night….

On the way over to Staten, Scratchett shouted at another group of kids queuing to get in a Santa’s Grotto. ‘How can you be so ignorant? You make us all look stupid with your gullible dumbness!’ His anger got the better of him and he stopped the car. The Beach Boys were doing their standard ‘repeat chorus and fade to finish’ as he berated the kids. Not one of them even blinked. Truth be told, they made him uncomfortable as they stared blankly at him. What’s the point of shouting at children if they don’t get upset? As it stood, these kids were spoiling his night with their stares and the way they made him feel…what? He couldn’t put a finger on it and yet it was enough to make him get back in the car and drive on.

In the rear view mirror, two of the oldest kids stood in the road and just watched him as he sped away into the night. ‘Stupid kids,’ he muttered and turned the radio up even louder.

As Bob cruised up the I278, Mariah Carey was murdering ‘All I Want For Christmas is You.’ Damn, but her voice and daft happiness was bugging him. She reminded him of the time Charity Pecksniff was dressed as a sexy Santa back in high school. She could dance! He’d hauled his cold-sweating ass right up to her and asked her out. Chicken-swallowing, ‘Errr, Cherry, you dance like an angel. Will you be my girlfriend?’

He put his foot down, turned the station and roared up the exit ramp to the sound of Rhianna’s ‘Child is Born.’

With only a couple of incidents on the way, Scratchett pulled up at the big house and took a moment to get into character. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t done this dozens of times over the years. Then again, those ignorant kids back in the Bronx had unsettled him. Moving the mirror, he practised the smiles and expressions and still felt uncomfortable. Clambering out of the car, the Santa pants had bunched up his ass and his middle-age spread was feeling the chill as it peered out from the gap between waistline and jacket.

He shivered, grabbed the charity box and swaggered up the drive to the door. Whoever lived here had made the effort and, wherever he looked, flashing lights seemed to be fixed to every surface he could see. ‘I hate Christmas,’ he gasped under his breath whilst banging on the door.

posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 06:05 PM
Before the door had opened, Scratchett jabbed the guy in the teeth and, as his right cross hit thin air, stepped over his body and laughed. ‘Ho, ho, ho! It’s Santa!’

The old guy lay there and didn’t move. Bob kissed the knuckles of his left hand and moved on into the house to look for the stereo. Dance time!

He moved through the house silently and with a speed that you wouldn’t expect from a fat Santa; wrapped presents and valuables were tossed into pillow-cases. The fridge was raided and some shots of Sherry were gulped down as he got ready for the dance.

Scratchitt had no idea where the need to dance in a Santa outfit had come from. More to the point, he didn’t care. It was what he did and what he was. He was already toe-tapping and wriggling as he pushed a CD into the guy’s stereo. One of the great things about raiding rich folk is they always have the biggest speakers and amazing systems. Sure enough, Slade’s ‘I wish it could be Christmas’ roared from the speakers and he felt a rush of excitement at the sheer, expensive quality of the sound.

The Santa beard was itching, the pants were all bunched up and his belly was straining as he returned to the old guy. ‘Man. woman or child, you will watch me dance and when I’m done you WILL say thank you.’

The old guy’s days were over and he lay still in the place where he’d fell to the floor. Dead.

‘Whatever dude!’ Bob returned to the stereo, took the CD out and left like a thief in the night. To be fair, he really was a thief in the night, but that’s how he left. I’m only telling you what happened.

The street was completely silent and not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Bob knew that mice weren’t the problem; it was flashing blue lights and twitching curtains that made the difference. Tonight he was lucky. No mice, no lights and definitely no twitching curtains. The trunk was now full of high-end goods and he felt pretty cool. Just a little melody of Mud singing ‘It’ll be lonely this Christmas’ drifted quietly into the night air from the car radio. Scratchitt whispered along to the words and his breath was as intangible as the crime that had taken place…

Christmas carols floated into his senses from somewhere; his attention was caught by movement in the bright windows of a nearby house. As he paused, the muted laughter of children seemed to hover on the air. With a last glance at the dead man’s house, he moved softly towards the sounds of children being happy.

For a fat man in a Santa costume, he moved like a Ninja and stayed in the shadows. If anyone was watching, they could hardly fail to notice the heavy breathing in the cold air or the large figure crouched beneath their neighbour’s uncurtained window.

Peering in, Scratchitt felt a sense of power and irritation. Kids were singing carols and enjoying themselves. It was like some Coca-Cola commercial of a traditional Christmas. Truly revolting!

With barely a thought and in righteous annoyance, he marched to the door and knocked.

The door was opened by a teenaged girl with a broken smile. It seemed to hang upon her face like a smashed glass. It didn’t bother him at all and he returned her smile with his well-practiced ‘Big Smile.’ He threw in the twinkling eyes as a bonus and asked if her folks ‘Wouldn’t mind contributing to the fund for homeless families whilst it’s Christmas and all. God bless ‘em.’

Her eyes were like the hollows in trees and her smile shifted in the same way a shadow passes by…

‘My folks will be back shortly and they’re sure to want to help you out.’

She stepped aside and he entered like a leech in an open wound.

From the room he’d been looking in came the jumping beat of his favourite Christmas track; Jingle Bell Rock.

With a surge of devil-may-care and the knowledge that ignorant kids couldn’t stop him, he gently closed the door behind him and pushed her aside. Behind her, the other kids walked out and looked at him. Something wasn’t right.

The lights were bright and their eyes were shadowed and bleak; smiles like the split seams of old shoes. They approached with a swiftness that caught him off guard and he swung out helplessly. Before he knew what happened, he was looking up from the floor and the children were crouched and smiling down as darkness fell. Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ faded away to silence…

Scratchett felt the tug of sounds and sensations; his eyes blinked as darkness was replaced by brightness. Senses struggled and it was hard to remember who he was, where he was or anything else. Adrenaline coursed through veins and music became his world. Laughter, and something else, took him over completely.

It was food; the warm, multi-sensory full-on buzz of home-cooking. He opened his eyes and saw a table stacked with dishes of vegetables, turkey, beef and gravy. He was sat at the head of a table and surrounded by kids and a handful of adults.

‘Merry Christmas, Bob.’

‘Glad you can join us, Bob’

‘Dig in Bob!’

In his dazed condition, Bob smiled and nodded. His plate had been filled with food and hunger was killing him.

Lying on the plate was a huge drumstick and he didn’t realise what it was until he tried to use his arm…

posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 10:03 PM
TWISTED. Absolutely.


posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 02:22 AM
reply to post by Druid42
Cheers Druid

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:08 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

Was they supposed to be the black eyed people?
It would seem like they were, or just people like in "Wrong turn"?

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 05:10 AM
reply to post by ldyserenity
Anything you like

Thanks for reading it though. Feedback is always minimal in the story sections.

posted on Dec, 24 2011 @ 12:47 PM
Mr. Kandinski,
Your use of the metaphor and simile is like an eery and obese Santa moving as a ninja into an open wound filled with leeches, while dining on the cuisine of his own anatomy, but at the same time very cleverly and hilariously constructed. Originality gets the flag.

posted on Dec, 24 2011 @ 02:11 PM
reply to post by angeldoll
Thank you very much.

It was going to be dark, dark, dark and turned out funny instead...and twisted.

posted on Dec, 24 2011 @ 04:14 PM
Very entertaining. I loved it! Now take your meds

Thanks OP

posted on Dec, 28 2011 @ 06:51 PM
Ho Ho Ho! Excellent little Christmas story done with a deft touch throughout. Enjoyably reminiscent of a Donald Westlake (a fav) tale.

Happy New Year my brain-rich friend.

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