Monday

The Naughty List (338 words)

Everyone knows about St. Nick, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Papa Noel and all of the other names he assumes across the globe. Children, and some adults, struggle to sleep come Christmas eve hoping to catch a glimpse of the big man himself.


Few people know about his brother, fewer still dare speak his name, his exploits aren't bedtime stories, he doesn't have an annual soft drink commercial campaign.
He lives in the shadows, watching, waiting for children to misbehave.
 
Waiting for those magical words from parents pushed to and then over the edge by over excited children.

 "Santa won't come"

"You won't have any presents"

That’s when he takes out his quill and writes down the names on the naughty list.
Come Christmas eve while Chris Kringle is spreading love and joy across the globe, his brother follows behind spreading fear and misery.

He slinks in and out of the shadows as silent as a mouse. Then smoothly, gently scoops the sleeping child out of its bed and replaces it with a single lump of coal.
A fair trade in some cases.

He flits across the globe collecting children on his way, there are no milk and cookies left out , no songs are written about him.

Come Christmas morn' when tired parents are dragged out of bed, wrapping paper is scattered across countless living-rooms,  stockings are emptied, houses are filled with the sounds of laughter and love.

The parents who unwittingly  condemned their children to the naughty list, they fill their houses with frantic screams of regret and woe.

The naughty children themselves, they'll wake up miles away from home in a magical, wondrous land.

The first sight they see is a jolly looking fat man in red trousers, black boots and sporting a big fluffy white beard.

"Ho Ho Ho! Good morning children!" He'll bellow at them in his deep booming voice 

"There is only three hundred and sixty five days until Christmas … and you have a lot of toys to make. Now get to work."

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