Sabrina screamed as she ran through the dark woods, her eyes wide and full of tears. So far she’d eluded him, for years she’d managed to dodge him by moving away at the last second. But what they said about him was true.
He always knows where you are.
Sprinting despite the aching in her side, Sabrina gasped for air as she slide behind a thick tree, her boots slipping on some ice that had formed in the grass around the old Elm. Putting her hands over her mouth in order to muffle her breathing, Sabrina slowed her breathing as best she could, her body shuddering as she silently cried, praying for help to come in any form.
She gulped down mouthfuls of air greedily, listening to the silent night around her for some sign of the malevolent spirit. Off in the distance she could hear the faint metal clacking, ringing out like bells as something moved slowly through the forest. He was on her trail, no mistake… what could she do?
“Why won’t he just give up already?” Sabrina whispered, daring to look around the side of the Elm.
Right into the dark gaze of her hunter, a black eyed specter dressed in bloody red furs, a sticky red cap with a long dangling end trailing down his back. A ragged leather belt held back an expansive gut, stained and slick from the blood of her friends. The mad glint in his eye was matched only by the long-handled hatchet he held in one meaty hand, the other holding a gigantic brown sack over his shoulder. As he marched slowly between the trees, she could hear the humming of a hundred little voices, almost cherubic in nature, as they sang a song she had learned to dread.
“You better watch out, you better not cry! Better not pout, we’re telling you why,” the voices called, growing in strength as the not-so-jolly man stomped ever closer. “Santa Claus is coming, to town!”
Turning to run, Sabrina shrieked once more as she saw a dozen glinting red eyes coming from the bushes all around her. Emerging like wisps of smoke from an extinguished flame, the miniature creatures brandished silver tools: knives and screwdrivers, hammers and saws. Misshapen skulls with deep set red eyes bobbed up and down as the creatures continued to sing, drool flying from their uneven lips, their sharp teeth clacking away as they sang. High above, shadows raced over the canopy, forcing Sabrina to back against the tree once more.
“He’s making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice,” the creatures sang as they circled around her, slowly closing in. “He sees you when you’re sleeping! He knows when you’re awake! He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!”
“I am good! I’ve done nothing wrong!” Sabrina shrieked, racing forward to kick one of the grey skinned creatures square in the stomach. Her boot caught hard, sinking deep into pliant grey skin and bone, cracking the skin as black blood flew from the creature’s mouth. It crumpled back, gurgling the song even as it retched in its death throes.
“Ho Ho Ho!” Came a sadistic laugh from around the Elm, followed by a splintering of pulpy wood. Looking back, Sabrina shuddered at the sight of the shadow leaning in from around the tree, wrenching its axe from the trunk in an almost fervent glee that could only be described as disturbing. Muscles bulged beneath the long sleeves of the once white outfit, twisting and flexing to yank the axe free from the seven inches it’d sunk into the tall tree.
Sabrina moved away before breaking into a run, yelping as the tiny followers took swipes at her legs with their assorted tools. Escaping with nary a scrape was a miracle unto itself… now Sabrina just needed another one!
And even as she thought of it, she whined long and loud as she saw the shadows from above pass over her again. Knowing what was coming, she leapt to the side, running in a new direction as the icy earth exploded from the creature landing where she’d been not seconds before.
Howling in a fury unrivaled by even the most predatory of animals, the winged creature sat back on its hooves and cast a baleful glance after Sabrina, its rack of horns sharp and jingling from the tiny skulls hanging from them. The skulls clacked together, the small metal balls within clinking and jingling as the creature shook its head back and forth. Sabrina continued sprinting away even as the creature climbed onto all four of its legs, furling its wings as it growled out its intent.
Sabrina huffed and puffed as the creature began to stream through the woods, heavy hooves digging into the frozen ground as it charged after her, skulls dancing merrily as the deformed reindeer gained ground on her.
Breaking free from the tree line and into a meadow, Sabrina almost passed out when she saw the bonfire, several men and women standing around it drinking from cans, chatting together amicably, laughing happily as they celebrated Christmas Eve.
Sabrina ran towards them, waving her arms while screaming. “Run! Run away!”
A man turned and looked at her, his sharp features wrinkled in confusion. Before anyone could say anything, the bonfire roared higher and higher, as a gigantic figure burst from the cinders, soot and ash flying free from his girth as he leapt out wildly cackling. The man had but a fraction of a moment before he was bludgeoned by the heavy sack, crushing him to the ground with a nasty squelching noise.
Several things happened at once, so fast that Sabrina could barely register them all. Tiny grey-skinned children in nasty green outfits leapt from the fire onto the partying adults, swinging madly their tiny instruments of torment, spilling hot blood into the frigid air. Santa Claus let go of his bag and took a double-handed grip of his axe, licking his chapped lips as he stared straight at Sabrina. Her hop of turning to flee was cut off when the demonic reindeer burst from the tree line like a bolt of lightning, trampling over her as it flapped into flight.
Lying prone on the ground, her arm twisted and broken by the mad animal’s hooves, Sabrina could only cry as the laughing Saint stomped closer to her.
“Why? Why would you do this?” She cried, pushing herself up with her good arm. “I was never naughty!”
“Oh you were very naughty Sabrina,” the evil Saint gleefully replied in his gravelly, bullfrog voice. “Why, you hid when I came for your parents, leaving them to die in your stead! Very, very naughty of you!”
Sabrina merely screamed in response, her eyes angrily watching as the looming figure finally stood above her, axe held high in the cold air. With a meaty thunk, he swung it down and cleaved off her broken arm, making her screams rise in tenor. Steamy hot blood poured from the wound, making her feel light –headed. Why, she could barely feel anything other than the cold and the almost hungry look of the elves as they swarmed over her.
But they didn’t bludgeon or cut her. Instead they took their tiny, long fingered hands and pressed them over her bloody wound, while some took needles and thread and began to sew her wound shut with startling speed. Sabrina howled in agony as she wrestle back and forth with the pile of evil little servants of the mad Saint, but it was all for naught. They hopped off of her once her stump was successfully stitched closed, the baling wire they used as thread cutting deep into her wound, enough that it still bled as she was dragged to her feet by old Santa Claus.
Holding her high with one hand, he began marching back towards the bonfire, crushing bodies as he walked over them, his minions dancing around his feet as the reindeer flew overhead, howling at the moon. Tossing his axe down to be caught by half a dozen of his workers, Santa grabbed his massive sack and pulled the strings that kept the leathery hide bound tight, opening it for Sabrina to see.
Dozens of bodies, mostly of young children, all moaning slightly at the sudden light shining down into the bag. They grunted as Santa shoved her in atop them, the scent of waste and fear heavy in the rancid sack.
“You sick freak! You are never going to get away with this!” Sabrina called out to him as he began to pull the cords back, sealing the bag once again.
“I’m Santa Claus girl, I get away with breaking into naughty children’s homes every year.” The large man laughed, before silencing her forever within his bag of horror.