Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus is coming to town

A Story by Ian Jordan

He's making a list, checking it twice.



He eased himself gently from the fireplace. One big black boot first, then the other. It took him a minute or two more to manoeuvre his red clad behind into the dark room, “Oh dear,” came a muffled voice as he squeezed his ample body out of the flue.
Once he had squeezed all the way out, he stood and stretched, “Oh my” he yawned, “That does feel better”. He brushed his gloved hands over his scarlet coat, dislodging imaginary specks of dust before reaching back into the dark fireplace.
“Down we come,” he said cheerfully as he tugged the bulging green sack from the chimney. It landed in the firebox with a thud and a puff of sparkling dust, “Ho, Ho, Ho,” he grinned through his whiskers as he waved the tiny glowing motes away while he dragged his stuffed present sack across the thick carpet.
In the middle of the room, he stopped and took a look around. Coloured lights blinked on the tree in the corner of the room, illuminating the presents under the tree and reflecting gold sparks from the star proudly sitting atop it.
Leaving the sack spilling over in the middle of the room, Santa Claus walked over to the tall plush chair by the television. He picked up the little snow globe that sat on top of side table. With a deft flick of his wrist, he shook it once and let it sit on his gloved palm. Looking into the glass orb, he saw himself laughing, at the reins of his bright red sleigh, enveloped in a watery blizzard. He smiled, “Oh my, that looks chilly, but I do love a white Christmas.”
A plate of cookies on the table caught his eye as he was returning the trinket to its spot on the side table. “I know I shouldn’t,” he mused, “but climbing down chimneys is rather hungry work.”
He eased into the chair with a satisfied sigh, and turned his attention to the plate. A handwritten note lay anchored under it. Laying back in the easy chair, Santa rested the cookie plate on his ample belly and picked it up. He held it close to his face, squinting then further away, still squinting.
Sighing, he reached inside his crimson coat and pulled out his spectacles. He put them on and began to read.
Dear Santa Claus,” began the note, “I have been extra good this year, just like I promised.”
Santa nodded and kept reading. “If you bring me a Xbox, I promise I will be extra good next year too. Your Friend Dale. P.S. I hope you liked your snack, there are carrots for your reindeers too.”
He looked down and saw the carrots, nine of them. One for each of his flying reindeer, “Oh, lovely,” he said as he put the bare cookie plate aside before folding the note neatly in half and placed it in his coat pocket.
“Well Dale my boy, first things first” said Santa, patting his pockets, “We need to see just how nice you’ve been.” He pulled a notebook out and flicked it open.
“Hmmm” he mused as he scanned the pages. “Here we are, Dale Johnston.”
Following Dale’s name, written in a scratchy elfish hand was a summary of his good and bad behaviour.
Mowed the lawn every Saturday, rain or shine. Did his homework without being made to. Helped Mrs Green with her garden, even though she smells funny
Santa raised his eyebrows, “Well Dale, I think you’ve earned your Xbox. Just remember your promise for next year.”
He put his notebook down on the side table and stood up slowly, stretching.  He stepped softly over to his present sack and pulled the top open, “Hmmm, let’s see now.” He drew out a large parcel, wrapped in gaudy patterned paper and placed it under the tree next to the others.
Groaning as he straightened up, Santa muttered to himself, “I think I am getting too old for all this bending and fitting down chimneys, it’s a good thing I have the next 364 days to rest up.” Returning to the side table, he picked his naughty and nice notebook up and made to put it back in his pocket.
As he did so, he noticed something. Holding the notebook up and readjusting his spectacles, he could now see a big red asterisk scrawled on the page, “What’s this?” he breathed as an invisible elfish hand scrawled in red ink before his eyes.
Be aware,” wrote the invisible pen, “This child has been dishonest.”
Oh dear,” Sighed Santa before reading on.
The boy has frequently bullied smaller children.”
Oh dear,” repeated Santa, stroking his snowy beard.
The boy has made false claims against his teacher. The man is now is now facing criminal charges and is estranged from his friends and family as a result.”
“Oh dear, oh dear, sighed Santa, his brow furrowed under the woolly brim of his hat, “This is not good at all.”
Scanning down the growing list, the final caught item caught his eye, “The boy has tortured his neighbour’s cat to death with a knitting needle, even while he was pretending to help her look for the poor creature. The little brute has even kept one of its paws in a box as a souvenir.
Santa wiped a tear away from his cheek with the back of his gloved hand. Through teary red eyes, he read one final red inked word as it appeared on the page, “NAUGHTY.”          
After double checking that he had not misread the note, Santa removed his spectacles and put them in the inside pocket of his coat. He closed the book and dropped it into another coat pocket.
“Well, we won’t be needing this,” he picked up the parcel, he had only just placed under the tree moments earlier and dropped it into the open mouth of the green trimmed sack in the middle of the floor, where it immediately disappeared among hundreds of similarly bright packages.
He bent down and rummaged around the sack, “Now where is the jolly thing?” He delved around in the bag a little while before he found what he was looking for.
The long narrow blade shone with dancing reflections of red and gold Christmas tree lights. He looked at it sadly as he turned it over in his hand. After so many years the lights still reminded him of flames.
“Oh well,” he exhaled deeply, “better get to it, I’ve got a lot of children to visit tonight.”
Straightening his big coat, he walked softly down the darkened hallway, the blade held low by his right side in his gloved hand. When he arrived at a door carrying a sign dominated by a hand painted skull and crossbones, he stopped. The words “KEEP OUT!” were written in marker in a bubble forcing its way from the bony jaws. Under his breath, he began softly singing “He’s making a list. Checking it twice.”
With his free hand, he gently pushed the door open, “Going to find out who has been naughty or nice.”
He stepped quietly into the dim bedroom and quietly pushed the door until it clicked shut.
“Santa Claus is coming to town.”


© 2009 Ian Jordan

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this is good!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 8 Years Ago

Excellent! From the picture, I thought Santa was going to be some horrible, evil creature. Instead, the "nice" little boy is actually the monster, and needs to be put down like a rabid dog. Kick his butt, Santa!

Posted 8 Years Ago

This reminds me of a Gahan Wilson cartoon I saw many years ago in which a very sinister-looking Santa sticks his head into little Timmy's room and says "Well, Timmy, I hear you've been a bad boy this year!"
I might not read this one to my grandaughter, but it's fine for us grownups. It needs some editing, but nothing you couldn't fix with a thorough going-over. Another good one, my friend.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Nice story!! Most stories along this line tend to make Santa out to be purely evil. I like that you did it differently and made him both the nice guy we know and love as well as a punisher of naughty children. I think duplicity of mankind is one of the cornerstones of horror writing, and you captured that very well int his story.

Posted 10 Years Ago

This is a wonderfully creepy story I think.
Dutifully provoked, I'm off to read another.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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5 Reviews
Added on November 29, 2009
Last Updated on November 29, 2009


Ian Jordan
Ian Jordan

Shepparton, Australia

I am a security officer and I live in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia with my partner Samantha. We share our home with a monstrous kid, two cool dogs named Grizzly and Talbot and one very nasty cat wh.. more..


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