Oscar woke up on Christmas morning knowing what he’d find in his stocking. He was so sure about it he decided to savor a few more minutes in bed before even checking. It was cold in the house, but toasty warm under his down quilt.
Oscar had been very naughty that year, especially in the last few days. More naughty than usual. Even Santa had said so, when Oscar had talked to him at Endor’s Department Store last week. That’s when Oscar had told Santa what he wanted to find in his stocking on Christmas morning.
All the kids in line said Oscar was too big to sit on Santa’s lap. Way too big. But Oscar didn’t care. And, in fact, he HAD been too big to sit on Santa’s lap. Santa had put his foot down about it. Or, rather, he’d put his shiny plastic boot down. Oscar had noticed the boot looked sort of cheap—leather would’ve been much nicer, but cheap plastic seemed fitting, somehow.
So, Oscar just stood next to the big candy cane throne at Endor’s Department Store and had a chat with Santa, whose breath smelled like cigarettes and beer. Oscar had told Santa about the video he’d taken of Santa with Oscar’s wife, Helen, on the digital camera he’d hidden in the bedroom. The camera Oscar usually used to record his activities with various women he met online when Helen was away on one of her flight attendant gigs. Oscar wasn’t the only one who’d been naughty that year. Santa and Helen had been naughty, too. Very naughty.
Santa had written down on his list what Oscar told him. Oscar was very specific about what he wanted in his Christmas stocking. And Santa had to agree, or things were going to get messy with Mrs. Claus. Very messy.
Oscar finally padded downstairs, made some coffee, and dumped the contents of his stocking on the kitchen table. Santa had followed through, and had left his passport and driver’s license in Oscar’s stocking. The photos on both looked enough like Oscar where no one would look too closely. They’d just assume that’s what Oscar would look like if he had a long white beard and didn’t shave his head. There was also a one-way plane ticket to Vietnam for later today, in Santa’s name.
That gave Oscar a few hours to pack and to use his snow-blower on the sidewalk and driveway one last time. He’d need to pile more snow on top of the bank where Helen’s body was buried to make sure it stayed covered at least until he got off the plane. It was predicted to remain cold and overcast for the next few days, but you couldn’t be too careful. Anything could happen on Christmas.