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December 1st took off the cellophane wrapper and opened the first box, and immediately the Santa spoke to me, he said, your job is to do as I fucking say.

2nd If you’re going to eat my chocolate, he said, you’re going to have to give something back. Cut a finger and make it rain into the space where it was.

3rd Don’t even open this one, he said. Leave the perforations undamaged, you contemptible piece of shit. Reflect on why you’re not worthy of my chocolate today.

4th Eat the chocolate from yesterday as well as today. You’ll need the energy. Go to the station and see who needs to be pushed onto the tracks. You’ll know him when you see him, or her.

5th You’ve got 20 of my delicious chocolates left. Why didn’t you push anybody yesterday? Go sit on the wall outside, all day. Don’t come in until after midnight. Don’t move from the wall. Piss in your pants, and don’t you dare ask a stranger for a drink.

6th Ego is a damaging part of the psyche. Shave half your head. Then get out there and tell them what their jackets and their shoes and their haircuts really say about them.

7th Are you enjoying the taste of my lovely chocolate? It’s not enough. I don’t care if someone tried to assault you. They barely got anywhere. It’s not enough. Cut off a piece of earlobe and place it in the box.

8th You may eat of my chocolate unmolested. Contemplate why you are deserving.

9th Many times have I visited your realm. Your stories have reduced me to a cartoon character, but I’m so much more. Eat my chocolate and inhale a can of hairspray. You’ll have to steal one from the shop in town.

10th Where the fuck have you been? he asked. I said I was out for assessment on this tenth day, and I could feel his rage boiling my stomach acid.

11th You did not get permission to leave me untouched yesterday. I don’t believe you forgot. I believe you deliberately ignored me. Don’t do that again. Sit in the entrance to McDonalds in town. Beg them all for spare change like the garbage you are.

12th You eat my body when you eat my chocolate. The energy drink you quaff is my blood. Wear Santa’s beard and don’t take it off. Tonsure yourself completely, get rid of that ridiculous half-haircut. You may take my facial hair off after Christmas, but not before. Show your devotion like all those dirty consumers, who mock my legacy.

13th Shoplift a turkey and throw it at a wall. Do not get caught. You must be back here tomorrow, for I have an announcement.

14th Mine is the only way. All others are condemned to circular lives, but you will live with me in my grotto. I’ll do things to your body, but you’ll like it. In eleven days there will be a reckoning. Eat my chocolate now, child.

15th The chocolate must not be eaten today, for today is for fasting. You must smear my chocolate on your face, all over, and get out there, and preach my word. Yes, it is as you suspect—the carol singers anger me. Any you see, disabuse them of their ideas that blasphemous chanting about him does any good.

16th Of course there will be barriers to overcome! Of course, child. What did you expect? The tools of the state will sharpen and attempt to pierce you, and you must be strong. Stay in comparative warmth with me today. Wrap yourself in red and care for yourself in this small home. Eat and drink.

17th It approaches! And lo, you got your bennies paid into your account. Celebrate with drink, strong drink, and be my shaman out there. Spread the word, far and wide!

18th Office parties are sinful, the most sinful. I was a saint, once, and I would not tolerate profit and materialism. You will find practitioners of infidelity and fornication at many of the local public houses, and you will teach them that their way is flawed, and you will welcome them to my bosom. Cut one of them. Escape.

19th Cut more. I demand it. Cut the consumers, let them shed blood as the toy makers shed sweat. That shop, The Toy Chest, is a node of evil consumerism. Douse them in drink, and cut them twice, and run, run home to me.

20th I am disappointed you didn’t cut more. Your fear is hardly a fitting tribute to my power. But you still have five days to atone. Today we prepare. Steal a string of lights, any colour, that is of no importance. Eat my chocolate, and remember, I am always watching, and always loving, as long as you don’t disappoint. Only good boys and girls are rewarded.

21st Tonight there is a concert in the town centre. You will urinate on the tree while the disgraceful singing is taking place. Cause them to scatter. Shout and yell and show your anger, as he was angry at money lending, as I was angry at exploitative labour. Escape, escape.

22nd Yes, they are watching you now, but they were always watching you. They know who to watch, and they recognise my greatness through you. You are my one true disciple. They believe in him, but he is a fucking joke. I will provide for you. My grotto is filled with unspoiled toys and roasted fowl and virgin girls under mistletoe. Spread my gospel like you will spread the virgins’ legs in my grotto. Avoid all their deceitful eyes, preach my chosen fucking wonder, outside the high school near the station.

23rd Eat, child. Someone needs pushing onto the tracks. But eyes are everywhere. In and out. Then hide, hide, and watch them scatter, and watch them fear for their own unworthy lives, for they are not pure!

24th You did well. Eat of my final chocolate, for tomorrow, you join me. They are out there looking for you now, and you must not leave the house lest you be captured. Fulfil your earthly whims, for tomorrow you will be freed. Explore yourself. Let the neighbours see you do so. Open the curtains and let them witness.

25th You must loop it tightly, that’s right. Once secured, plug them in. Plug yourself in. Stand on the chair and kick, kick it down, and swing. They’re coming, but all they’ll find is your pretty, lit shell. My angel. Join me in my grotto, child.

o          o          o

Simon Pinkerton

is a fiction and humour writer.

Find more:

Twitter: @simonpinkerton

Simon’s Christmas song for Open Pen:

“The most surreal, bizarre song possible, and sounds like an Alvin and the Chipmunks cover.”

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