The Night Before Christmas
Mark S. Halegua
A beautiful gabled house. Lit up with Christmas decorations, a manger in the front. On the roof a full size sleigh with reindeer, complete with Santa Claus figure and sack.
Inside the brightly lit house several couples standing on one side of a table filled with food and drink. Their arms raised as, on the other side of the table three men hold guns aimed their way.
“Alright everyone. Remove all your watches, bracelets, necklaces. Joey here is gonna come around with a sack and you're gonna put it all in there. And your wallets and purses. Don't leave anything out. And you dames, don't forget your ear rings. Everything goes in.”
“Having quite a Christmas party here. Al, see the Christmas tree in the corner? They got a lot of presents under there. Why don't you take them?"
One of the partiers speaks up, a tall, rangy man with a pipe, “look here, take anything you want, the jewelry and money. We won't cause any trouble. But, won't you leave the presents for the children?”
“Naw, nice speech, but we're takin' it all. And, since you're being so cooperative, why don't you open the safe you have here? You know, the one behind that picture over there.”
The attractive woman next to the rangy pipe smoker, “You petty crook. You're ruining this night for all of us, and if you take those presents, for the children as well you ...”
“Norma, please be quiet. I'd rather none of us got hurt here.”
“Yeah, listen to him lady. You all be quiet and cooperate and we'll be gone and none a you will be the worse for wear. Open your mugs or stop cooperatin' and …,” Pointing his gun at the woman. “Now, Joey, why don't you walk our friend here to the safe so he can open it for you.”
Setting down the sack with the collected loot, Joey Kucinski points his revolver at the pipe smoker and gestures for him to walk ahead toward the wall with the safe.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter-
“Al, look out the window and see what that was.”
“OK boss.”OK boss.”
Al Browning, about 5' 7” and easily 60 pounds overweight, lumbers over to the window, opens it, and looks out. And stares.
“Well, what is it?,” barks Tony.
“Um, boss, it's, well, it's, it's Santa Claus and his reindeer. They just, well, uh, they just landed on the lawn out there.”
Tony Minetti, still holding his gun on the others, turns his head slightly, “What are you talking about? Santa and his reindeer?”
From the fireplace came sounds ……
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A small Santa Claus had dropped down the fireplace, a Santa Claus about 2 feet tall. From it you could hear, “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas! Have you all been good little boys and girls? Merry Christmas!”
While everyone stared at this a groan sounded from the window as Al Browning collapsed to the floor, next to a dark lump that looked like coal. On his head a dark spot.
Another lump of coal sped through the window, hitting Tony Minetti in the hand, causing him to drop his gun.
And through the window running came … Santa Claus.
Holding a giant candy cane in his hands like a batter ready to swing for the fences.
Joey Kucinski, distracted by these events, turned his gun away slightly and Ken Robeson took advantage, turning and slugging him in the face. Knocking him out.
'Santa' ran at Minetti, who grabbed a knife from the table and turned toward the advancing man in red.… Santa Claus.
“I don't know where you came from, but you're not taking me.”
“I came from the North Pole to give you your lump of coal, Antonio.”
“No one calls me Antonio, except my grandma. How do you know ...”
“Santa Claus knows everything about you Antonio. I've come to give you your present this year. A lump of coal. But, you've been such a bad boy I've decided to give you two.”
The two circled each other, feinting in and moving back carefully. Minetti moved to his right, then quickly slashed left, slicing a line across Santa's arm, drawing blood.
“So, you're not some fairy tale. You can bleed. Well, if you can bleed, you can die.”
As they turned, the man in red had his back turned to the guests, and there was a sudden flash of bright light directly in Minetti's eyes. Taking this opportunity, the man in red swung his candy cane, sweeping the knife away, sticking the end into Minetti's stomach, and then crashing the hook on his head.
Minetti slumped to the floor, out cold.
Turning toward the guests, “I guess I have you to thank for that Mr. Grant? You are the amateur magician here.”
“I beg your pardon, but I'm not an amateur.” Grant walks over and picks up the lump of coal. “Hmm. Blue coal.”
The man in red walks over to the downed Joey Kucinski, “I guess you put a dent in him Mr. Robeson.”
“I guess you could say that. He and his friends deserve no less for interrupting my party this way. And it's Christmas Eve no less. Well, let's tie them up and call the police.”
“I have another way to bind them, if you gentlemen don't mind helping me?”
A few minutes later all three crooks were stuffed into Christmas stockings and hung from a streetlight.
All the guests were collected on the lawn, and watched as 'Santa Claus' climbed into the driver's side of a nearby car and
all heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Next: The conclusion