“And remember boys and girls, if you’re nice, you’ll get a special visit from Jolly Old Saint Nick and he’ll leave you tons of wonderful presents, but if you’re naughty, you get nothing but coal”
I had always watched foreign TV shows or movies that featured Saint Nick or Santa, but the first memory I had of him was that phrase from the end of a children’s TV show, I was 5 at the time and I stared at the picture of Santa that had appeared on screen, a jolly fat man with rosy cheeks that climbed into people’s houses while they were asleep bearing gifts and who determined if you were naughty or nice.
These were things that I had seen only happen in foreign movies and definitely never in Nigeria, but I wanted Santa to visit me more than anything and then, ten years later, my family moved to Canada and it was Christmas eve and my dream to meet Santa was just a grasp away.
My mother had always said, my dream was silly, that I was too young to understand, but I was determined, I had to meet him, I just had to and the chance had finally come my way. I laid out cookies and milk like I had seen in the movies, my family had all gone to bed leaving me alone to enjoy my special moment, I watched a Christmas movie before retreating to bed, watching in wonder as Santa flew through the sky on his sleigh. I went up to my room and lay in bed giddy with excitement, “how I hope Santa would come tonight”, I thought out loud as I drifted to sleep
A thump on the roof woke me up and I sat up immediately, was this it? Could it really be Santa?, I listened again and heard movement from the living room, it was happening!, he really came! I snuck out ofbed and snatched my teddy bear bag from under it then silently opened the door, tiptoeing to the living room, I peeped from the doorway and there he stood, a big fat man with a white beard and rosy cheeks, just like in the movies, he put presents under the tree and walked to the milk and cookies I laid out and took a bite, his back to me. I almost could not believe my eyes, he had actually come! And at my first try.
I moved into the living room and he turned almost immediately, like he could sense my presence, he gave me a big smile and put a finger to his lips, signaling for me to be quiet, I moved closer to him and gave him my biggest smile before burying my knife into his belly, he screamed startled and stumbled back, I laughed and took out more knives from my teddy bag and went after him fast, stabbing and cutting, he started to scream as I launched at him, knocking him down and continuing to stab his face, neck chest, everywhere I could find, with the biggest smile on my face and Christmas songs played in the background, he finally stopped struggling and I stood up, my face and hands covered in his blood.
Now to get him to the basement by myself, when I had picked Santa as my first token, I had not considered his weight. An idea suddenly formed and I went by the fire place and picked up the axe my brother used to chop wood and went to work, chopping him into bits and singing along to the Christmas songs, I would have to take care of the mess later.
I put the bits into his red sack of presents and dragged it to the basement, my family already sat waiting at the table, my two older brothers and my parents, they all beamed at me looking proud of the work I had done. I gave the bag to one of my brothers as I walked behind my father to the mantel and putSanta’s head on a plaque, on the mantel were the heads of the Easter bunny and cupid. My older brothers had brought them in when they turned 18 as tokens to keep our ancient souls alive and in this world, but I had begged my parents for the chance, I knew I was ready.
My mother thought it was silly to pick Santa as my token because we had to cut many roads to travel, a lot of people had to die for me to get to where I needed to be for my catch, we were not supposed to move around like this, it made us weaker, but I was sure I would get him.
My brother shared out the chopped up parts of Santa on everyone’s plate as I wrote on the plaque with a feather and his blood “SAINT NICK” then hung it up next to the other tokens and went to join them at the table where they had already started feasting, I wonder who my next token might be?