The snub nosed, blue steel revolver pointed squarely at Santa. The barrel followed a bead of sweat dripping down his forehead but stopped right between his eyes.
At that range, the bullet would paint the contents of his skull across the wall like a Jackson Pollock.
I really thought about sitting this one out.
But I couldn’t let it happen.
Besides, I never liked abstract art.
I pushed off the wall of the alley and summoned a gremlin.
I grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and pointed it at the gun, before it screwed the street lights up or bollixed whatever else its gaze fell on.
It giggled, springing towards the swarthy, heavy set guy in Italian handmade suit and shoes. His Taurus .38 was a reliable gun, but no match for the mischievous power of the invisible scaly imp now sitting on his wrist.
The guy just kept talking to Saint Nick, who was about as nervous as a mouse at a cat convention.
“...I don’t know how you did it, fat man, but you picked the wrong guy to play for a sucker. Say hello to Jesus.” He squeezed the trigger.
The gremlin chittered and placed its finger between the firing pin and the round.
I grabbed Santa by his hair and dragged him backwards off his feet. I dropped across his sprawling frame and his breath whooshed from beneath his whiskers like air from a smith’s bellows.
The second round slammed into my back, and ricocheted off down the alley.
I jumped to my feet and clipped the gunman just hard enough to put him out for the rest of the week.
I made a mental note to send the Sandman to bring him some nice dreams while he was out; after all he was the victim here. I looked down at him and saw that he might need the Tooth Fairy as well.
I pulled our grubby absconder to his feet by his flowing beard, ignoring his slightly muffled squeals.
“OK Nick, first off, leave the money.”
He gave me his trademark twinkling smile and murmured.
“Money? I’m not sure I understand...”
His excuses stopped with a whoosh and he doubled over as I dug a jab in under his short rib.
“OK, OK” he wheezed once he had caught his breath.
He turned his bag out and dropped a rain of multicoloured casino chips down onto the unconscious form of his would be attacker.
“There, no harm done,” he whined at me “just letting off a little post Christmas steam.”
“By using your ability to know the Christmas wishes of children everywhere to read your opponent’s cards. Yeah, very noble Santa.”
He hung his head and shuffled a foot in a puddle.
“So I guess it’s back to Lapland in irons again this year?” he held his wrists out.
“Not until you tell me which zoo you sold the reindeer to for your stake money.” I replied, slapping on the cuffs.
This story was written for Ruth Long's Bad Santa 2013 Blog Hop