Entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s 12th annual 2022 Holiday Contest.
Rules: Write a 250 word story appropriate for children with a holiday bad guy.
By Daniella Kaufman
Word Count: 236
Young Mae holds Christmas stockings by
the fireplace aglow.
“Why do we hang these up each year?
Hey, Daddy, do you know?”
“I do,” he whispers through a grin
while pulling Mae aside.
“These stockings are protection from
the greed of Christmas Clyde.”
“The what of who?” She’d never heard
of such a festive foe.
“The giant centipede,” says Dad,
“who lives below the snow!
He sneaks and eats the Christmas sweets!”
Dad pauses for effect.
“Our cookies, yes, but presents too
and pine trees flocked and decked.”
“He’ll gobble gifts?! He’ll chomp our tree?!”
Mae hides a box and bow.
“Don’t fret!” says Dad. “Without his socks–
he hates to crawl through snow.
Each Christmas season grown-ups swipe
the stockings from his den.
So, bah! that humbug, Clyde, will stay
inside his burrow then.”
“We hang them up so Santa sees
he’s safe to roam the night.”
Dad winks at Mae whose eyes go wide
and twinkle extra bright!
“So cool and brave!” says Mae. “You took
his mistle-toesie wear!
Next year, I’m coming too and we’ll
save Christmas as a pair!”
“You will?” asks Dad, impressed. “You’d face
this villain centipede?”
“Of course!” says Mae. “Can’t turn away
when Christmas is in need.”
“You’re right. . . except. . . I made him up. . .”
Mae gives her Dad a hug.
“I guessed! Did you forget?” She laughs.
“You run from every bug!”