The sweet sugary scent of cookies drifted through the sparsely furnished house. Chocolate chip cookies, iced and sprinkled with silvery balls.
“Are they ready?” Allyson bit her lip as she wrung her hands.
“Almost there.” Valerie scooped the last of the cookies from the warm metal sheet and arranged it neatly with the others on the plate. “Is the milk ready?”
“Got it,” Taft said, holding the cold glass of milk in the air.
None of them smiled. The three children walked like they were part of a funeral march. They set the plate and glass beside the note, the soft light of the Christmas tree glowing against the harsh white paper. Then they headed to the stairs.
“Don’t forget to turn off the Christmas lights,” Allyson called over her shoulder.
“Right.” Valerie was closest to the door. She flipped off the switch, sending them into an ominous darkness. “Taft, what are you doing?” Her brother had returned to the cookies and milk.
“Just reading the note once more. Want to make sure we get it right this time.”
“Hurry.” Valerie’s gaze darted around the room as she followed her sister upstairs.
Taft glanced at the note and whispered, “Dear Mr. Krampus, Please accept our milk and cookies as a gift of goodwill. Please don’t burn our house down again like last year. Sincerely, Allyson, Valerie and Taft.”
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2018