Written for a competition on another website, this had to be under a 1000 words. If you disregard the title and this sentence, it worked out at about 999.

Hope you enjoy it.

The Santa Imposter

"Timothy," My mother grinned excitedly, "Go and fetch a mince pie. We can leave it on top of the fireplace for Santa."

I pushed my fringe out of my eyes and glared at her. She was sat opposite me, singing along to the Christmas songs that had been playing relentlessly since I had woken up over twelve hours ago. Despite the fact that I was eighteen, she still did the same old thing every Christmas. The house was decorated in all manner of vibrant decorations, the tree, taller than myself, taking up nearly half of the living room. Scented candles filled the room with an aroma of cinnamon and apple. It was everything a good, family Christmas should have been, but I wasn't in the mood.

"Mum," I breathed out, exasperated, "I'm not a little kid anymore. Santa isn't real."

Christmas. What a waste of money. I didn't see the need for all the over-the-top grocery shopping and expensive gifts. It was just another day. I'd grown up, matured. That and I was still distraught over my girlfriend dumping me. Sure, the gifts we exchanged would no doubt bring a smile to my face, but having lived every day since early November, with people ramming gift ideas and jolly tunes down my throat wasn't a pleasant experience.

Then there was Mum, and her overly happy demeanor, with lots of public hugs and jumpers that were hand knitted and not at all fashionable.

"Oi!"

I was too slow to stop the cushion she threw from hitting me in the face. So much for Christmas spirit!

"Ouch!"

"Well," She smiled, "That's what you get for being such a humbug. Now go and fetch the mince pie. Oh...I love this song!"

Christmas Eve went along the same as it usually did, with Mum heading to bed around 11P.M.

"Don't stay up past Midnight, or he won't come!" She winked at me.

"Yeah, whatever. I will."

I sighed. I knew I was feeling tired but I was staying awake primarily to prove a point that teenage boys do not go to sleep before midnight. I would probably sneak up to bed as near to midnight as I could, just to keep Mum happy, but it had nothing to do with Santa.

After bearing my soul to my ex-girlfriend in a text message, then being told promptly where I could stick it, I decided to flick through the T.V. Maybe it would distract me from the overwhelming depression I felt.

"Stupid Christmas songs on every, single, channel."

I felt myself pouting as "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" played for the hundredth time that day.

"He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake..."

Santa. What a stalker.

A smile played across my lips at the lyrics when I heard a large thump on the roof. No. It couldn't be. Surely?

I felt quite on edge after the mysterious bang and checked the clock. It was just after midnight. So, deciding that someone had tried to break in, I turned the T.V off, checked the doors and windows, then naturally, picked up the biggest kitchen knife I could find and held it close to me for protection.

I was prepared for anything. Well, almost anything.

"Ho Ho Ho...Time to die!"

I spun around in time to seat a fat, old guy stood in the living room. He had somehow managed to climb down the chimney and dressed head to toe in red.

"Santa?" I gasped, "I didn't think you were real!"

The old man laughed. What was that he said about time to die? Oh my God. I held the knife outwards, warning him not to come any closer.

"Santa! That's a good one kid. Nah, Santa isn't real. I'm just here to rob you. I just figured I'd give my outfit a festive twist."

He pulled out an Uzi machine gun.

"Where do you keep the valuables? And keep quiet or I'll kill you and everyone else in here."

My mind spun with the absurdity of the situation. I was being robbed by Santa! I put my hands up defensively and dropped the knife.

"Okay, okay. Take what you want and leave! The money, it's..."

"Ho ho ho."

I glared at the man. He was as confused as I was.

"Stop mocking me, I said take what you want and go."

"It wasn't me, you idiot!" He growled, "Just give me the fucking money!"

"Ho ho ho! Leave the boy alone!"

I couldn't believe my eyes. It was Santa. The real Santa. At least, I think it was. He was old and fat, just like the other guy, except wearing his traditional outfit and had a longer beard. He threw a large, brown leather sack at the would-be burglar.

"Merry Christmas!" Santa smiled, "Ah, mince pies, my favourite!"

With that, he took the mince pie, and the burglar, with him, and headed outside through the front door. I watched in awe from the doorstep as he dumped the burglar into his sleigh, grabbed a hold of the reigns, and then shot off into the night sky pulled by magical, flying reindeer. Justice had been served, and, as I turned around, gifts had been left.

I don't know if what I saw that night was a dream, a delirious vision from a mixture of alcohol and lack of sleep, or something that actually happened. But what I do know is that Santa saved me, and for that, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. My view of Christmas will never be the same again, now that I know what a top bloke Santa is. I'll wear my stupid knitted jumper and let him eat all the mince pies he wants, after all, he deserves it.

Thanks for reading