Monday, December 25, 2006

Brown Socks

This story is a part of the Spec the Halls contest for speculative winter holiday-themed fiction, artwork, and poetry. You may find descriptions of and links to other entries at

It was Christmas morning when I decided to kill Santa. He brought me socks again, you see. And they’re brown socks, as if being socks isn’t bad enough already. My sister got exactly what she wanted - a Barbie doll with a pink corvette. Yes, she stuck it in my face before the wrapping was all of the way off. “See what I got from Santa?,” she said. “What did you get, Brian? Huh? What did you get, huh, huh?” I held up my brown socks. The pink corvette flew by them like an airplane. Left behind in its exhaust were my brown, ugly ass socks.

Mom and Dad say I shouldn’t say such words. Profanity is not fitting for an 8 year old boy, my mom says. Neither is murder, I’d assume. But you can bet your ass I’ll kill that damn Santa for bringing me those ugly brown socks.

A burning rage welled up in me that morning. All day I thought and dreamed about the death of Santa. I planned my strategy, plotted the murder. My first instinct was to stab him. His bleeding skin would match nicely with his red suit and his reindeer’s red nose. But that would be too messy. Mom would get mad if I got blood on the carpet. So then I thought Santa should eat a bullet. Dad had taught me to fire his shotgun a year ago. I could stick the shotgun up the chimney as Santa’s coming down, then light the fireplace to destroy the evidence.

Perfect. At Santa’s ninth hour. I’d sleep on the couch, handy shotgun by my side and listen for his sleigh on the roof. Surely his jolly self would startle me awake. But what if my aim was bad? Or worse yet, what if he armed himself? You couldn’t be too careful sneaking into strangers houses in the middle of the night. I needed a backup plan. Then it hit me. Rat poison in the cookies. Mom always had a box of D-con lying about somewhere. I could stick a few of those green pellets in the middle of some Oreo cookies. And if Santa pulled a gun on me, I could lull him to his fateful death with milk and cookies.

The year flew by. Soon it was Christmas Eve of the following year. Sleepily waiting on the couch, I was startled by every noise. I checked three times to see if I’d loaded the gun, which I had. The night progressed, and the noises continued. “Probably mice,” I thought aloud as I looked at the cookies on the table beside me. I’d taken all their D-con.

Another bump, and my heart raced. I heard footsteps on the stairs.

“Brian, what are you doing up?!” My mom’s words echoed off the walls and I worried she’s scare away Santa. I jumped up, the gun toppling off my lap.

“I was hungry,” I quickly lied, and she noticed the rifle. Her mouth opened wide. “I was scared of burglars,” I said.

Just then Santa started down the stairs, which were nowhere near the chimney, and he said to my mother in a voice much like Dad’s, “What’s he doing up?”

“Hold it right there!” I raised the gun, pointing it towards his head. Dropping his bag of presents, his mouth dropped open. When it did, his beard began falling off.

“Brian, it’s me. It’s your dad. Put the gun down!” He pulled the beard all the way off, and his red hat off his head. What my father was doing in a Santa costume I’ll never know, but sure enough, it was him.

I put the gun down, as my mother muttered again and again, “You’re in so much trouble.”

Dad came over and unloaded the gun, then grabbed me by the shoulders. “What were you thinking!” he yelled, bullets in his palm. I was utterly humiliated. I looked to the presents that had fallen down the stairs. Brown socks peeked out of an opened box that had my name on it. “What do you have to say for yourself?” Dad was asking.

“Dad,” I said sincerely, and waited.

“Yes son?”

“Have a cookie.”

No comments: