December 25th is when everyone in Opposite World
draws their curtains, locks their doors, and hangs their Christmas Trees
in front of their house to protect themselves from....from....Santa
Everyone knows about him. The evil man with the snow-white beard and the
blood red outfit. He travels the globe with those terrifying reindeer,
and lands on your roof, about to travel into your chimney and kill you
and your family. He’s been doing it forever - and each family needs to
You know how the crucifix sends vampires away? A tree, or a Christmas
Tree, sends Santa away, too. Also bright lights, candy canes,
gingerbread men, those kinds of things.
Anyways, let me tell you what happened that fateful night on December
Mother and my older brother, Christopher, hung up our Christmas Tree,
right by our fireplace. They also decorated the outside of our house
with those bright lights Father bought a few years ago. My younger
sister, Penny, and I made gingerbread men and hung them all over the
house, along with candy canes.
"Is he coming yet, Mother?" Penny asks nervously, as soon as we are
Mother checks her watch. "It's eight-thirty. I think you three should
get into bed now." We get into bed early, because then we won't be so
worried. At least that's what Mother says.
I make my way up the stairs that lead to our rooms, holding
five-year-old Penny's hand as we walk up, because she is afraid that
Santa might pop out at her. Christopher and I tuck Penny into bed, and
make our way to our rooms.
I hang a stocking at the foot of my bed, like Mother and Father tell us
to do every year. It protects us while we're asleep.
I curl up into my covers, and leave the light on. I can hear Penny's
door creak open, and the floor squeaking. She's probably going to my
parents’ room because she's too scared to sleep by herself. I can't
blame her-I did the same when I was her age.
My eyes start to get heavy, but I force them to stay open. I don't want
to admit it, but I'm scared. I clutch my blankets and stare at my bright
red stocking. It'll protect me, it'll protect me....
I can hear Father's harsh snores and Mother's soft ones. They're already
asleep. Maybe I should sleep, too. Besides, we're safe. We locked our
door, we hung up lights, trees, candy canes and gingerbread men all over
the house. We're completely safe.
Suddenly, my roof starts creaking. I jump up in surprise. How does a
roof creak? Unless someone is stepping on it....
My heart beats fast as I try and think of what I should do. Santa Claus
is on my roof! Maybe I should tell Mother and Father. No. I don't want
to upset them. Maybe I'll....maybe I'll...
A crazy and wild thought enters my head. There's a door in our attic
that leads to our roof. Maybe I could...
I grab the lamp that rests on my bedside table. I'll hit him with a
lamp! That's a good idea! Hit a mass murderer with a lamp! That'll kill
him for sure, or at least drive him away from our house.
I open my creaky door, lamp in hand, careful not to wake anyone up. I
pass the halls of candy canes and lights, until I reach the staircase
that leads to our attic.
I make my way up, my hand clutching the lamp so hard it hurts. Maybe I
shouldn't do it...I could be killed...
Too late. The old, gritty smell of my attic reaches my nose as I enter
it. I find the familiar door that leads to our roof, and with a deep
breath, push it open.
The chilly air enters the attic, and I see a dark sky, with little tiny
dots of stars in it, along with a large circled moon.
I look around my roof, and nearly fall back into the attic. My lamp
falls out of my hand and clatters onto the roof. I see HIM. Santa Claus.
He's just like people say he is. Bright red suit, beard, and those
reindeer hooked up to the sleigh. But there's something different. He
has a bulging sack in his sleigh, and his cheeks are rosy red, and
there's a kind smile on his face. His reindeer seem friendly, especially
the one in the front with the glowing red nose.
"Robin?" he turns around suddenly, his voice deep. He has light blue
eyes-not dark, evil red ones.
"H-How did y-you know my name?" I splutter.
"Santa knows a lot of things, Robin. Would you like a present?" He
smiles at me.
"A-a present?" Santa doesn't give out presents. He tries to kill people!
"Yes, of course! I know you’ve wanted that laptop all year." He turns
around and digs into his sack, and, to my surprise, pulls out a laptop,
with a bright green ribbon on top of it. Santa hands me the laptop, and
I grab it from him.
He's not lying. I've been begging my parents for a laptop all year. And
now I've finally got one!
"And for your sister-" Santa pulls out a Barbie doll, the exact one that
Penny told Mother and Father she really wanted. "And for your brother-"
he pulls out a brand new hockey helmet, the one that Christopher admires
in the Skate Shop every day. He hands them both to me.
"Have a merry Christmas, Robin" Santa smiles to me and laughs, a nice,
jolly laugh, and hops into his sleigh and dashes off into the night.
I grin to myself and realize that this is going to be the best day of