Author : Mark Ingram

Seeeee? Timmy thought self-importantly, I told them he was real, and I was right.

His smile was ear-to-ear as he held the proof of the night’s happenings before his eyes. In his hands, he wielded an iron poker like a baseball bat; a viscous, black liquid—Timmy had never heard the term “ichor” before—now coated the metal shaft. He admired the oily shimmer of all the colors reflecting off the fluid from the lights on the tree—he pushed the girly word, “pretty,” out of his mind.

They told me he was just make-believe—they told me there wasn’t any monster. Timmy mentally rehearsed the story he was going to tell his parents: I knew he was going to look for me, so I hid behind the couch, he paused to cognitively pat himself on the back for being so smart, and then, when he wasn’t looking, I got the poker, and I hit him in the back of the leg, and then I hit him in the head, and then I poked him in the back, and then . . .

He stopped and realized he was beaming just like he was imagining he would be in the morning; this was, in his opinion, the most amazing story of courage and cunning he would ever divulge. His gaze returned to the crumpled mass near the chimney, and he knew the monster would plague him no more.

He has a stupid, fat face, Timmy mused, and stupid, red clothes, and a stupid, ugly beard. And he’s so fat and gross. He stared disdainfully at the corpse—too young to recognize that spitting on the body would accurately symbolize how he felt. For a moment longer, he watched the thick ooze seep out of the monster, turning the fuzzy ball on the tip of its conical hat—knocked to the floor in the scuffle—from white to black.

Timmy had been a good boy this year.


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