'Twas the night before Christmas and the house was dark and silent.
I roamed the living room, pacing and waiting. My anxiety filled the room, thickening the air. How long could it take, I wondered. How long to get around the world and give presents to the good children and coal to the bad? I had no clue. I didn't even know it was possible, but my brother assured my niece Santa would be here before the sun rose.
My anxiety grew as I fingered the stockings hung by the Christmas tree. My niece would be crushed if she got coal. She gasped in fear every time Rissa mentioned it. My brother assured her there'd be no coal in her stocking. He said she was certain to be on the good list. I knew better. My niece always got in trouble, Rissa alway yelling, scolding and sending her to her room. There was no way Santa would leave presents no matter what my brother thought.
Therefore, it was up to me.
It was up to me to convince Santa that my niece wasn't naughty, that she deserved presents and not coal. I was confident I could do it. I was a vampire, all I had to do was press my will and make him listen. And if he didn't, well, I'd kill him and take the presents.
I didn't like the idea of Santa breaking into the house anyways.
The stairs creaked and I whirled around, fangs shooting out. Santa didn't appear. Instead, my brother and Rissa snuck down the stairs, faces obscured by presents. I watched as they arranged the pile around the tree, whispering to each other.
"She's going to love this one." My brother whispered.
"Put this one in front." Rissa whispered back. "It's got Santa's name on it."
"This one says Santa too." My brother passed a present.
I couldn't stay silent anymore. "Where's Santa?"
"Jeez! Tommy!" My brother gasped as both he and Rissa dropped the remaining presents. "What are you doing hiding in the dark?"
"I'm waiting for Santa to make sure he gives her presents and not coal." I replied, moving closer. I picked up a present. From Santa was written in Rissa's handwriting. I tilted my head. "Why did you write his name?"
"Oh boy." My brother muttered, glancing at Rissa. "Do you want to explain or should I?"
"He's your brother." Rissa whispered with a smile and turned back to the presents.
"Okay, how do I explain?" My brother rubbed his face as I waited. He looked me, slight defeat in his eyes. "Santa's not real."
"Santa is fake. He's not real."
I tilted my head causing my brother to shift uncomfortably. "But why did you..."
"It wasn't to hurt her." My brother interrupted always knowing the paths my mind took. "Believing in Santa teaches her to be kind to others, to give and not just expect to receive. This time of year is a time to remember how fortunate we are for all we have and to help those in need... those who need help to survive."
"But if you can't survive then you don't deserve to live."
"Maybe that wasn't the way to put it." My brother sighed. "We're just trying to teach her to be kind to other by using a symbol of that kindness and one day she won't need that symbol to motivate her to be that way. And just so you know, when we were little we believed in Santa."
My eyes widened in awe and shock. "Really?"
"Yup, but we eventually figured it out and so will Mackenzie." A smile glimmered on my brother's face. "And don't worry, she won't be mad at us."
I nodded, still confused.
My brother stretched and yawned. "Don't worry lil bro. Just be prepared."
"All done!" Rissa whispered. She threw me a warning look. "Don't tell Mackenzie Santa isn't real!"
Before I can respond, noise filled the air above. A squeal pierced the air, feet pounding on the stairs. My niece appeared, all smiles and giggles. "I heard a noise! Is Santa here? Did I miss him? Did he eat all the cookies?" Her eyes widened at the presents under the tree. "Look at all the presents Santa left!"
"For that." My brother sighed.