This is a snippet from my latest novella, ‘The Whipfather’, to be released as a Kindle ebook on November 1st, 2014. The legend goes that Santa carries a companion with him on his trek around the world each Christmas Eve. As he is laying out gifts for the good boys and girls, The Whipfather punishes the bad boys and girls. Watch the book trailer here:
Vince lay on the floor in a sleeping bag. Soft snoring and even breathing came from his direction, but there was something else. A different noise elsewhere in the house. Geoff tilted his head and tried to tune into the sound. Still unable to pinpoint what it was, he raised up and slid his feet to the floor. The child in him told him it was the sound of Santa laying presents under the tree. It was easy not to believe the rest of the year, but if there was ever a time to believe, it was right now. The man in him told him it was probably the sound of his mother and his aunt in the living room, consoling each other about their boys being delinquents. Quietly, he padded to the door, opened it, and listened for a moment. There was definitely movement out there, but there were no voices. A chill ran up his spine and excitement roiled in his gut. Tentatively, Geoff stepped into the hall, and took small steps toward the living room. A shadow loomed across the wall towards him. Haloed in blinking, multi-colored light, the shadow grew slowly. The child part of him took over again, knowing he had stumbled upon Santa, and sent him running down the hallway back to the safety of his room. After carefully shutting his door, Geoff leaped into his bed and pulled the covers to his chin. Other than Vince snoring on the floor, the house grew quiet again and the fluttering in Geoff’s stomach eased. An eternity passed. And the doorknob began to turn.
Geoff squeezed his eyes shut just as the faint glow from the hall cracked the darkness. He could hear the door swing wide. If he had been brave enough to peek, he would have seen that the figure entering his room was neither the slight, feminine figure of his mother or aunt, nor was it the robust outline of the big man in red. Geoff opened his eyes when he heard the unexpected sound of chains. What he saw was a figure, hunched and angular, with long grey hair, a pointy beard and fingers like knives.
“Merry Christmas, Geoff,” the man hissed with a faint chuckle that trailed off into the night. Their eyes locked.