Charlie touched his brown-rimmed glasses knowingly, his freckles crinkling as he marched down to the garden’s borders. He noticed how austere it all looked this time of year and remembered from school how the birds might find it difficult finding food and contemplated eking out worms and other treasures just for them. His eyes smiled at the gaping hole in the deep green hedge his father took pride in and decided to follow a walk of footprints leading off to the street which was paved with gold – Christmas gold.
The huge black lead street lamp shined a golden yellow on the neighbour’s efforts. They had gone to town with sledges, reindeer, Santas and lots of glittering sights and sounds. His mind was still on the tracks though and the puzzle they presented. Charlie’s jaw dropped at the magnificence of next door’s sled where he noticed similar prints and more right beside the giant Santa, which was red and white and had a smile for everyone.
Charlie knelt down and checked under the sled and inside it holding onto his specs as he moved them up and down in inspection mode, murmuring the occasional ‘aha’ but he could see noting really. He scratched his head with stiff cold fingers while he simultaneously rubbed his cold, red nose wiping the overspill on his new, red scarf and saying an apology to Aunt Mildred for the mess. He clapped his padded hands together before they clasped behind his back, and a shudder took him into high-speed detective work.
He decided to sit on a large leather seat to shelter from the snow falling once again. The sledge began to move slightly making him a bit uneasy. That soon went as Charlie was soon in awe of the blue-black sky and the twinkling stars amid the white dotted snow falling around him in the sledge before it turned into a storm like whir. From behind he heard a booming laugh and bells; there was shrill ringing behind him then all around. His excitement was tinged with longings of home and the warmth and his mom and the Christmas tree and just all the familiar things, but maybe that was Santa. Was it Santa?
Charlie’s eyes were drawn to the sled floor and the tiny prints which had reappeared. He pushed his glasses onto his nose and pulled back as he noticed a small creature on the seat beside him. Charlie smiled at the furry paws though dirty and wet with very ragged nails; he was anything but cute and the stench emanating from him – it, was becoming unbearable.. Charlie’s smile was met with a dark face with crooked menacing teeth that dripped saliva that turned the sled floor a greenish yellow. Charlie’s heart sank together with the thoughts his companion might be an elf and he held onto his red scarf from aunt Mildred and smelled his moms mince pies on his glove, which bore some squished crumbs.
He was pulled out of regret, and near tears, when he was jolted by the roar of ‘Santa’s’ instructions to the beasts pulling the sled. The horrible goblin like creature that terrified Charlie turned to ‘Santa’, and with a hyena’s laugh and to Charlie’s disbelief, it uttered the words, ‘One more and we will be done for this evening.’ Charlie and the sled flew into the air and he was never seen again.