The boys were sixteen years old, yet their parents decided that they needed to see Santa. Even through all of their grumbling and protesting, they were forcibly dragged down to the local convenience store, Quidaciolus, by angry mothers desperate to get rid of their children.
"Why are we even here? This is baby stuff," Teddy Duchamp complained.
"Shut up, Teddy. I'm excited to see Santa Clause. I've never seen him before!" This was spoken by none other than Vern Tessio.
They were in line behind dozens of other rotten toddlers and their parents. The amount of people crowded into such a small convenience store was ridiculous; they couldn't even see the front of the line.
Gordie was up first. He sat on the fat guy's lap. Gordie was the only one who was calm and collected through the entire process. There was nothing to be afraid of because he knew it was just some dumb guy in a suit. To humor him, he played along.
"What d'ya want for Christmas, sonny boy?" a gruff, muffled voice spoke out from under the clearly fake white beard.
"I'd like a new journal... maybe some books," Gordie said.
"Alright. Now move it along, other kids need to be seein Santy Clause."
Chris Chambers realized it was his turn now. He gulped so loud it was audible and stepped cautiously up. As soon as he sat on his lap, Chris blanked. The man was talking to him but he didn't hear it. Chris had begun to flashback to an incident of his childhood.
*December 23rd, 1953*
Chris had been taken to the Oregon County Mall to see Santa Clause. He was six years old at the time and still believed in a magical, dream world. Miraculously, his father had even shown up to spend time with the family. As soon as Chris got up there, his life changed dramatically. Chris' father, drunk as could be, got up while Chris was sitting on Santa's lap.
"Santa's not even real, you snot-nose kids. This is just a... money making scam... by the government. Yeah, the government," he stumbled over his words.
In a matter of minutes, he was punching a childhood icon in the face and tackling him to the ground, pieces of red fabric and white cotton-like fuzz flying everywhere. He had even started beating him with the props. Mall security was called and it took ten fat mall cops (and real police, a helicopter, and the SWAT team) to break up the fight and arrest Chris' father. The Santa exhibit had been closed down for the rest of Christmas, the Chambers' were banned from the mall, and the property damage costs were enormous. The man playing Santa Clause had pressed charges and Chris' father had been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct; giving him six months locked away in jail.
Chris shook himself out of the trance. The Santa Clause was now yelling at him and the line was getting angry. He quickly hopped off and ran to Gordie for comfort.
"Yay! My turn, my turn!" Vern skipped happily ahead of Teddy and Teddy grumbled something about how Vern shouldn't take cuts.
Vern was so happy he looked like a kid in a candy store. And Teddy ruined it.
"Damnit, Vern. Santa's not even real, See?" Teddy ripped his beard down.
Vern's face fell rapidly and he ran out of the store crying that Teddy had ruined everything. The other kids started crying too; parents started yelling that that kid had ruined their precious baby's Christmas'.
Then Teddy looked to his friends who wore shocked expressions. "What? Someone had to tell him. He's sixteen for Christ sake."
They just shook their heads and Gordie pointed a shaking finger at the person whom Teddy had just disturbed. Teddy looked to his hand and then looked up at the man playing Santa Clause. It was Milo Pressman.
"Hey! It's you kids again! Duchamp, Lachance, your father's are gonna hear about this!" Milo shouted and stood up, ready to chase after them.
"Not if you can't catch us, fatass!" Teddy kicked him right between the legs; sharply with his combat boot. Milo fell to the ground with a large thud that sounded like an explosion.
"Come on guys! Paratroops, move out!" Teddy escaped in the nick of time; otherwise he would have been crushed by the five-hundred pound, injured Santa Clause that had fallen and snapped a few floorboards.
They skated out the door and missed the wrath of Milo, the angry kids and parents, and Mr. Quidaciluo. Teddy Duchamp had followed in the grand tradition of ruining Christmas and the Santa Exhibit just like Chris' father had ten years earlier. And, needless to say, they had been banned from Quidaciluo's for life.