I had stolen the Occult book from the antique bookshop a few days ago and now everything was almost ready to summon Satan. I planned to do a bargain with him, my soul for fortune and fame.
I lit the last black candle at the fifth point of the upside down pentagram. I took the sliver jeweled dagger and slit the blade across the palm of my left hand. With a glance at the open page, I shut my eyes, muttered the Latin words and wrote out the word ‘Satan’ in my own blood across the bare wooden floor of my parent’s attic.
Finishing the ritual, I peered down and saw my blood shinning in the flickering candle light. I read the letters; S-a-n-t-a.
‘Ho-ho-ho!’ a booming voice shouted out.
I jumped, my hands landed across the still wet name on the floor, smearing the blood. Looking up, I saw a mountain of a man standing in the middle of the black chalk pentagram. He was dressed in a bright red suit, trimmed with white snowflake like fluff, he had black shiny boots laced tight and with brass studs down the sides. A top his head was massive red hat, trimmed white which flopped over at the end with the weight of a huge white pom-pom.
He had long, white snow glittery hair and beard decorated with sliver bells, small baubles in red, green, blue and gold, also holly leaves and red berries. He had a fat, jolly face with pink circle cheeks and some wrinkle lines about his bright blue eyes and large lips. There was also a sweet smell like; warm biscuits, cinnamon and hot chocolate.
‘Satan?’ I whispered.
‘Santa!’ he corrected me.
‘What?’ I mouthed.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t want you, I wanted-‘ I trailed as I looked down at the bloody letters on the floor.
‘But you did summon me, young man,’ Santa’s booming voice came.
I pressed my lips together, not sure what to say.
‘Now, what is it you want? You have disturbed my slumber. Christmas day was two days ago, you know,’ he said in a jolly tone.
‘I’m sorry,’ I called out, finding my voice, ‘there’s been a mistake. I want Satan! NOT YOU!’
Santa stared at me with piercing blue eyes. The happy, jolliness faded from his face and he become angry and menacing. That look really didn’t suit him and I felt a shiver of fear.
‘James Michael Benedict,’ Santa spoke, ‘you have been on my Naughty List for as long as I can remember.’
I opened my mouth then closed it again, words failed.
‘Have you called on me to try and change your ways?’
I shook my head.
Santa put his hand in a deep side pocket and pulled out a yellow scroll and a white feather ink pen. He unrolled the scroll and handed it to me with the pen.
I took it, unable to refuse, my hands shaking. The script on the thick paper was in curly writing and the words the kind lawyers use on fancy business contracts. I couldn’t make much sense of what it was saying but that also might be because I couldn’t focus. My brain had seemed to have left me.
‘Sign at the bottom, James,’ Santa said.
‘What is this?’ I asked, trying to read it.
‘What do you think it is? The reason why you summoned me; a bargain.’
‘My soul for fortune and fame?’
Santa frowned, ‘not exactly. Those are not the deals I do.’
‘My soul for what then?’ I inquired, looking over the top of the scroll.
‘To get on to the Good List, James,’ Santa explained.
‘No!’ I cried.
I threw the scroll and pen away over the top of the candles and against some forgotten, dusty box in the attic.
‘That’s not what I want! I don’t care about the Good List! I want money and fame.’
Santa clicked his fingers and the scroll and feather pen were back in his hand. He pushed them on me again. I tried to stop myself from taking them but my hands were not my own.
‘Now, sign,’ Santa demanded.
I felt the cut on my palm re-opening, the blood lined the wound once more. I dipped the ink pen into the blood and wrote my name at the bottom of the scroll. I couldn’t seemed to stop, even though I wanted too.
The scroll and pen flew away from me. Santa held them once more. He looked down at them, seemed satisfied and put them back into his pocket. Then he held out his hand and took my own, the one with the cut palm.
A chilly, north wind howled around the attic, snowflakes drifted. The candles went out, the smoke curling into nothing within the darkness. Jingle bells sounded.
I felt a whoosh, freezing air blazed me and I was flying up the old chimney. We landed on the roof which was covered in frost. Snow was still falling and the wind blowing. Before us was a glossy red sled, decorated with bells, holly and tinsel. A team of harnessed reindeer were pulling the sled.
‘Wait…’ I spoke out.
‘Get in,’ Santa said.
‘No…What did I just agree to?’
‘Your soul is mine now and since it is still December and just in the season, I am allowed to claim it now.’
‘But that’s not what I wanted!’ I shouted.
‘I’m tried of you now, James,’ Santa said.
He shook his head and dragged me into the sled. I tried to dig my feet into the roof but it was slippery. He picked me up with ease and put me into the back, throwing rough sacks over me.
I tried to struggle out, but the sacks, though empty, were heavy and I couldn’t move them.
‘Let me go!’ I screamed.
Santa climbed into the front, took the reins and slapped them down. The reindeer ran forward. I screamed as we took off. The reindeer and sled flew into the sky. My ears popped and my screaming echoed. I had accidentally sold my soul to Santa.