Santa sat in his sleigh.

It had been three days since the attacks. He wasn’t going to go out this year. He didn’t see the point.

He had been killed. Repeatedly. He had no idea that Ideas could be damaged like that.

So wantonly, with such glee. It … it was unnatural.

And that poor child who witnessed it all. Seeing his dream die over and over again. What must that have done to him?

Santa knew, deep down, that he should have found the child next he slept. Comforted him, tried to take the pain away. But Santa had no idea what to do with his own pain, let alone someone else’s.

No. Not this year. He couldn’t face it. Not with the shame.

He sighed.

Not that it mattered. He’d looked at the time line for this christmas and there was nothing there.

Just a huge blank spot.

Santa took that to mean that The Bad Idea managed to cross over.

A silent sob shook him.

Santa’s final present to The Other Side – sending them a homicidal idea with delusions of Godhood.

He supposed that they’d have a few more things to worry about that remembering a stupid flying fat man. He wouldn’t put it past the Idea not to tell them it was all Santa’s fault anyway.

“See, Rudolph. Barns. That was my mistake.”

Rudolph tried to ignore the crack in Santa’s voice and convinced himself that the sleigh was shaking because of turbulence. Even though they were on the ground.

“Excuse me?” A female voice called. “Santa? Are you…I can’t believe I’m asking, really. I mean, you’re in a red costume, in a sleigh with a reindeer with a red nose. If you’re not Santa then you’re doing a great impression of him.”

Santa was, to be honest, very confused. He could hear the voice, but couldn’t see its owner yet.

“Go Away,” was his best reply.

“I tell you,” the speaker carried on, undeterred. “It would probably have been easier just mailing myself to you, because you’re a hard man to find. But, like, every year you get sacks and sacks of letters.”

Santa carried on. “It doesn’t matter what you say. Or what you do. It’s all going to be over in a few days anyway.”

“Yeah. That’s kinda what I was going to talk to you about.” The woman threw herself onto his lap. She had bright pink hair.

And she was wrong. She wasn’t…from Here.

He tried pushing her off. “What are you? What do you want? God – what are you doing here?”

An old guy in the robes wandered past. He just shrugged, apologetically, and turned back to his Virgin Mary.

“That was random,” said the girl. “Santa. My name is Mona.”

***

Today’s image was supplied by Martine Pedersen.

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