Last Christmas

by D.M. Anderson

ON the eve of last Christmas I turned out the lights,
Then tucked in my daughter and wished her goodnight;
''Tomorrow is Christmas!'' she uttered with joy,
''When Santa brings presents to good girls and boys!''

''That's right, little princess," I replied with a grin,
''But you must be asleep for St. Nick to come in.''
With a smile and a giggle, she closed her eyes tight,
Trying her best to fall asleep for the night.

After closing the door, I walked down the hall
To where my wife snoozed, oblivious to all;
I crawled into bed without making a peep
And stole back some blankets for a deep winter's sleep.

As I began to drift off, my mind wandered free
I picture little Natalie circling the tree,
Gasping with joy when she saw her new bike --
A thank you from Santa for leaving cookies he liked.

I heard a sudden noise -- it came from downstairs --
Could it be there was someone down there?
I opened my eyes and stifled a scream;
I heard it again -- not part of my dream!

I climbed out of bed and ran 'cross the floor
And gingerly opened my top dresser drawer;
Heart beating madly, and quaking with fear,
I pulled out the gun I got for Christmas last year.

As my wife snoozed on, thinking all was well,
I crept to the hallway and loaded some shells,
Determined to keep us from being robbed --
I was gonna put a cap into that thieving slob.

Atop the stairs, footsteps I could hear
From a man trying to steal all our Christmas cheer;
I crept down the stairs, cursing my luck --
Dammit! That bike cost me 200 bucks!

I saw a black shadow, bent over the tree;
Consumed by his task, he didn't see me;
Raising my pistol, I drew careful aim;
I squeezed off a shot, screaming, ''Here comes the pain!''

With a big burly grunt, he fell to the ground,
And I roared in triumph, having put the perp down;
From upstairs my wife cried, ''Are you okay?''
I said, ''Never better, 'cause I saved Christmas Day!''

I began to breathe easy, thinking all would be right,
But all of that changed when I turned on the light;
I stared at my victim and became suddenly sick --
Rolling 'round on the floor was good ol' St. Nick.

Through clenched jaws he stared up at me;
Clutching his wound, he screamed, ''You shattered my knee!''
I rush to his side and said, ''I didn't mean to!''
With an agonized breath, he roared back, ''Screw you!''

A scream from behind, and I turned to see
My horrified wife and a bawling Natalie;
''Daddy shot Santa!'' she cried in surprise;
My wife simply glared with hate in her eyes.

My mind in a panic, I threw down the gun
And ran to the phone to call 9-1-1;
My wife yelled at me, ''You yuletide louse!
I knew this would happen with a gun in the house!''

I heard coming sirens, then a knock at the door,
While my Natalie cried, ''I don't love you anymore!''
''Report of shots fired!'' said a cop in dismay,
Then he saw Santa Claus, knee bleeding away.

Drawing his sidearm, he said with a frown,
''You shot Father Christmas, and you're goin' down!''
I said, ''I'll explain, just listen, for god's sake!''
He said, ''I've busted some bastards, but you take the cake!''

They slapped me in cuffs and then hauled me away
For shooting St. Nick and ruining Christmas Day;
My wife sold the bike to pay for court costs,
Then into a filthy cell I was tossed.

I'll always regret the shot that I fired,
For Santa said, ''No more!'' and then he retired;
I'm now serving time, doing twenty to life
With a cellmate named Brutus, who calls me his wife.

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