Community service sucked, Charlie sometimes thought he would have been better off with a short custodial sentence. To add insult to injury they had made him dress up in this fucking ridiculous Santa suit, he hated when his mates came by to take the piss out of him. Still, he supposed if you looked hard enough you could find a silver lining in most dark clouds, the one in this situation was the fact he got to case a lot of houses in the posh areas of town.
Looking at it from a different angle this could be just his ticket out of this shit hole of a town, some of the places he got to visit reeked of money. A thought suddenly occurred to him. I’ve been looking at this from the wrong angle altogether. He needed to use this opportunity to his advantage.
His community service consisted of visiting the well-to-do areas of the city collecting clothes from rich donors, and these clothes would be distributed to the homeless over the coming Christmas season. In reality, he could not have asked for a much better disguise, after all this time of year people dressed in a red suit and hat with a false beard all looked pretty much the same.
No one that got turned over would ever be able to identify him from any other Santa walking the streets and there were quite a few of them. Suddenly Charlie’s situation did not seem half as crappy as he had thought earlier, yes maybe this whole thing was one big Christmas present.
Charlie made his way down the quiet tree-lined residential street. The houses here would all run into six figures in value. This was just the type of area where he could earn a nice Christmas bonus, and it would be easy pickings if he was careful. Flyers had been posted in each letterbox the week before, now it was a matter of calling to the doors and picking up any clothes they wished to donate.
The plan was simplicity itself, he just needed to identify the more vulnerable homeowners, and then create an excuse to have a nose around the house. Once he found a home that might be worth the risk, he would return that night to burgle it. If needs be, he could bring some of his low-life mates with him. But better again he might just find a soft touch, one where he could have it all for himself.
A few hours later and Charlie was less enthusiastic and in foul humor, every house he had called to had been alarmed and he was treated with suspicion. His dream of a big Christmas treat was fading fast, he would try a couple of more houses and then he was out of here. At this stage, he couldn’t care less if the charity reported him for breach of his community service order.
Charlie was tired now and dejected, he was sweaty and the fucking false beard was irritating the hell out of his face. Not only was he not feeling the festive spirit, if the truth was told he felt like killing someone. Charlie rang the doorbell and heard the chime echoing somewhere deep in the bowels of the big old house, he shifted his weight from leg to leg irritably while he waited.
One more second and he was out of here, eventually he thought fuck it, and turned to walk away. He was halfway down the garden path when the front door opened, and he turned back in a temper. The frail old lady stood at the door with a beaming smile, she looked at least a hundred years of age. Something in his mind told him his luck had changed; the little old woman looked as if he could blow her over with a deep breath.
Charlie braced himself and put on his best smile, he approached the woman with a cheerful demeanor. As he drew nearer, he saw she was grasping one of the fliers requesting unwanted clothes, this was going to be easy he wouldn’t have to explain to the old bag why he was here. Up close the woman resembled a skeleton covered in translucent skin, the frail old bag looked older than God.
Charlie treated her to his best Santa impression as he cheerfully called out ho ho ho merry Christmas, the ancient thing appeared to find this hugely amusing and she cackled hoarsely. She stood back and beckoned Charlie into the lobby of the big old house, this was going to be child’s play he thought happily.
The frail old woman gestured to a bundle of clothes strewn across an antique chair in the front hall, and then she muttered something about getting a box to put them in. He watched her disappear down the hallway, she moved with surprising agility for her apparent age. Charlie stood staring at his surroundings; it was as if he had stepped back in time.
Every piece of furniture on view was antique; the paintings hung on the walls looked to be originals to his untrained eyes. This place was certainly going to be rich pickings for him; he just needed to find out from the old crone who else lived here. He walked over to the clothes he was here to collect, they were from another era altogether. The suits and overcoats were all tailor-made and just might fetch a pretty penny from a vintage clothes outlet, he would take a better look at them when he got them to the van.
When the old woman arrived back with the box, Charlie learned something that made his day. The old woman started to rattle on about her husband, the old dear was senile. She told him a story of how her husband had fallen foul of a witch doctor in the Caribbean, that she said, was the reason she was getting rid of his clothes. But the best part was that she wanted him to call back later to help her sort out some more stuff, Christmas was beginning to look a lot better now.
Charlie was buzzing with excitement later that evening as he made his way back to the old lady’s house. This whole thing was turning out to be quite the Christmas bonus. He had gone through the pockets of the suits and coats; he had found a silver money clip with almost five hundred bucks and a pocket watch that would easily fetch a grand. God only knows what he could rob from the house itself.
Charlie had now concluded that the old lady was going to become dispensable if the merchandise was worth it. He followed the old lady up the main staircase, in the master bedroom she had piled clothes all over the king-size bed. Charlie decided to play along with the charade for a little more and began packing the clothes neatly into boxes, something suddenly caught his attention and he began to panic.
The clothes were all different sizes and different styles; however, the old lady assured him that it had always been just her and the husband in the house. He decided it was best not to pry anymore as she appeared slightly agitated when he questioned her. The fact that she was alone in a house full of treasures was enough for him, so Charlie worked diligently packing the clothes for the homeless.
Charlie could scarcely stop himself from laughing; the old crone had given him a five-dollar tip and was now pouring him an expensive brandy. The contents of the living room itself must be worth a king’s ransom, he thought as he gazed around while she filled the drinks. Once he had his drink, he would dispatch the old bag and retrieve his well-earned bonus, it was turning out to be a very merry Christmas indeed.
Charlie savored the brandy and thought he would take the rest of it with him when he left, she was blathering on about how her husband had been struck down by some voodoo or other crap. She was boring him to death, her monotonous voice was putting him to sleep. I need to kill this bitch he thought as he struggled to keep his eyes open, kill her and get out of here with the booty.
The pain in his wrists and a weird sensation of gliding along woke Charlie, he watched the paintings on the walls glide past him. It took him quite a while before realizing he was tied to a wheelchair, when they came to the locked door the old woman came from behind him with the keys.
She wheeled him into the dark room and closed the door behind them, when she turned on the lights something in his mind snapped and he began to laugh hysterically. “Meet my husband,” the old woman said softly. Charlie only began to scream when the thing began to eat his face. “He has never been the same since he came back from the Caribbean, but he does love a treat at Christmas”.Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in