One Day a Year

There was one day a year he got some decent sleep – Christmas Night. The night after he finished delivering all the presents to all the little ungrateful children, was when he ever got any rest. He allowed himself 2 extra hours of sleep on Boxing Day, before he went back to the factory to once again, begin making presents for the kids again.

He hated his life, but whenever a child accidentally spotted him, he had to put on a happy face. After all, he, Santa, was synonymous with jolliness. He had to try and keep to his reputation.

He had considered, of course, of just running away with Mrs. Claus, and never coming back, but He would find them. He was sure of that. So, 364 days of the year, he worked tirelessly making presents. There was the odd day however, when Santa would need to go into the main world, and steal new blueprints. Every year, kids would ask for the latest iPhones, gaming consoles, and all the rest. Santa couldn’t afford to buy brand new versions of these every year, so he would sometimes have to break into companies, and steal the blueprints for these things. He then passed these onto his elves, who he didn’t pay, to do the building for him. He enjoyed these trips, as it gave him a break from the day to day work. He hated having to oversee the elves, he found it extremely tedious and a waste of his time. He kept at it for fear of being replaced by Him. 

Over the past few years, he and his wife had discussed more and more about escaping the life they led now, knowing that their chances were slim, but the idea had burrowed itself into their heads. They planned for years, and this year, they decided to put it into action. This year, right after Santa had dropped off the last present, they would use the sleigh, and get to some far away country, and wait there to see if He could find them there. This was probably the most dangerous part of the plan. They knew that He was likely to find them, and just waiting around in some random hotel seemed like a silly idea, but if He were to find them, at least it would be over. No more work. No more presents. No more.

On the other hand, if within a week He hadn’t come for them, there was a high chance that they were in the clear. A guy was to drop off an envelope containing new ID’s and Passports, and their new and daily lives could begin, and just be normal, like everyone else in the world. It would be hard, at first, adjusting to regular lives, but both were sure it was possible to do without raising too much suspicion.

…And they had done the first part of the plan. 

They never the left the hotel once while they stayed there. They barely left their room. They were frightened out of their minds by Him. 

…But, the first stage of the operation went as smoothly as they could have asked for. Santa and his wife were sure they were out of the woods now. If He hasn’t come yet, they doubted that he ever would. 

Life at first was hard. Very hard. But they adjusted, as planned. After a few years, both had made enough that they could comfortably move into a new house, and even have 2 small children. Santa barely ever thought about his old life anymore. The fear he used to live in, 365 days of the year, being forced to work and make toys for ungrateful children. He didn’t even know why he was forced to do it. All he knew was, that He wanted it done.

Life passed.

Until one night, very late, Santa and his wife were sleeping in bed, and they heard the door creak ever so slightly. Both heard the door creak, and froze, sure that He had finally come for them. Fear paralyzed them for a few moments, waiting for death to consume them, until – 

“Mommy, I don’t feel too good.”

It was just their youngest son, coming to tell them about a stomach ache had just had. They breathed freely again.