“So if you’re really Santa, tell me what you brought me last Christmas!” demanded Margot sullenly.
“Ho ho ho… well now, aren’t you the curious one,” chuckled the fat bearded mall Santa nervously.
“Don’t avoid my question. If you’re the real Santa, tell me what I got!”
“Well now… uh, you got a lot of things,” said the Santa, glancing around. “Why don’t you tell me what you want this year?”
“I know you’re a fake. I came here last year and you looked totally different. Santa’s not real. Jenny McElroy told me so.”
“Of course I’m Santa,” said the mall Santa loudly, trying to mitigate any damage the precocious youngster was causing. Sweat was beading under the cheap nylon suit.
“Forget it,” she quipped, hopping from his lap.
Christmas morning, Margot trudged bleary-eyed from her bedroom. She stumbled into the quiet, empty living room.
Grabbing her stocking from it’s hook over the fireplace she noted that it felt different. Lighter. Turning it over, she emptied the contents.
A large black sooty lump fell from the stocking. A piece of paper was wrapped around it. She took the grimy note and opened it.
“Margot, If you EVER call me out again like that in front of other kids, I’ll give your name to Krampus and you’ll get more than a lump of coal next year. Santa.”
[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided. I went over a bit on this story, but really didn’t want to delete any more for fear that it would lessen the impact. My apologies.]