The soft jingle of bells. Muffled thumps on the roof. Scrabbling sounds from the chimney. Breath caught in a young throat. Eyes closed in unconvincing pretense. Footsteps growing closer along the hallway. The creak of the bedroom door. A large shadow looming over the bedspread. A stifled giggle escaping through bitten lips. Wide eyes over the top of the blankets. Hands reaching, a cloying rag over an unsuspecting face. A sharp intake of breath, then down into oblivion. Childish expectations shattered with no time to scream or panic. A retreating form, sack now heavy. An empty bed on Christmas morning.
Annie Percik lives in London with her husband, Dave, where she writes novels and short stories, whilst working as a University Complaints Officer. She writes a blog about writing and posts short fiction on her website (www.alobear.co.uk). She likes to run away from zombies in her spare time. Twitter: @apercik.