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A group of police officers led the Santa into the courtroom. It was a very weird site seeing Santa in hand cuffs and sitting in a court room. The lights dimmed really low and a bunch of spot lights came out. The lights were moving in a circle. From my seat at home, I felt I was getting ready to watch a game show and Santa was about ready to win a one way trip up the creek without a paddle. I felt that my eyes were playing tricks on me the entire time. I have never seen Santa in anything but red white. The only thing that was running through my head is Santa doesn’t do orange justice. I am really hoping he doesn’t end up like the woman from Orange is the New Black and if he does please let it be with less sex.

A booming voice came raining down from the production booth from the heavens. “Normally, Judge Reinhold would be preceding over cases like this but he is off doing other work. We didn’t know that he had other work either. Now, with all that being said, all rise for the honorable Judge of the Character Court, the honorable, Alan Thicke.”

I don’t think it could be Christmas for me unless there is an appearance from Dr. Seaver in one of these stories. If you are waiting for the obligatory, Show that Smile Again joke, it will happen.

“Santa, you are being tried for the following charges, 2 Accounts of Death of A Pumpkin King, Kidnapping, reckless Driving, a billion plus accounts of breaking and entering, watching kids while they are sleeping, watching the kids while they are awake. Before, I read any more charges, I raised Mike Seaver and Santa, and you are still a saint compared to Kirk Cameron. Back to the charges, 42 counts of reindeer destruction, and jaywalking. Santa, How do you plea?”

Santa looked around as if he was punched in the gut over and over by Floyd Mayweather. His face turned a new shade of white, I would almost say that it was transparent. I am not sure if the color chart at the Home Depot even has that shade of white.

Santa, without wasting another moment of anyone’s time stood up from his seat. Slammed down his mittens in a rage that could only be duplicated from a teddy bear who takes steroids and with a stern voice that rocked that courtroom said…..

I stood there with Specialist Orden as he waited on my decision. I started to cry at the very thought that I was either going to give up my own happiness or cause everyone in the world to lose their happiness.  “You need to hurry!” He shouted at me. I knew this decision was going to have to be made quickly. The thoughts came racing through my mind of what to do. What was right? What was wrong? Is there any way to come out on top in this situation? I glanced over at the television just in time to hear Santa give his plea in the charges brought against him.

“No! No! Not Guilty. I know the charges brought against me are the ones of a false nature. I have never hurt anyone in my life. I am the jolliest man you will ever meet in your life. I think it drives all of you nuts in this land of Characters that I am the only person who is able to deliver toys, not just to one town but to an entire continent. I don’t only do that once but I deliver to 7 continents in one night. I am proud that I am able to bring children all across the world happiness by the hand of my elves and my very own hands. Christmas will never die. Its spirit will live on in those who believe.”

The speech was one from the heart and anyone watching could tell that but I knew that he was royally fucked.

“I know what I am about to do is to mess up my own life but at this point, I have no other choice but to save Christmas.”

“You need to say goodbye to your wife and step daughter one last time because once you leave with me, coming back will never be an option.” Specialist Orden said to me. I hung my head down. The water begins to fill up my eyes. I shook my head yes at Specialist Orden. I turned around and walked to the bedroom. I open the door to walk in on her wrapping one of my gifts.

Untitled-3“Shut the door! Have you ever heard of knocking? Did you see what your present was?” She screamed at me in a tone that could have killed the walking dead. “I did not. I just wanted to say, I love you.” I shut the door to the bedroom before she could say I love you back. By the way for those of you wondering what my gift was, it was the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story. A very special memory for me but it doesn’t matter because in just a short while all of this will have never existed. Specialist Orden types in the coordinates of where our first stop will be.

“Grab my arm.” He says in a very stern voice that could make a witch come to her knees. I gave him a very confused look. “I don’t know you very well. Are you at least going to buy me dinner first?” He shook his head with disgust and a giant white light starts to shine. I am going to tell you, four years of this and I will never get used to it ever. Poof. We were gone in a flash.

The next step of the trial was going to be a very tricky one. Picking a jury of people who doesn’t know Santa Claus. Is that even possible? The jury was made up of 12 characters that could make or break Christmas if I am not successful. The characters ranged from Christmas Stories all through time. Ralphie’s Dad from A Christmas Story, George Bailey, Grandma, Olive the other reindeer, Turbo Man, Jack Frost and the one that shocked everyone when he walked into the courtroom. The jury foreman was the one and only Frosty the Snowman. This would normally be a great thing but all the characters of Christmas stories want Santa’s head on a platter and served up with a side of ketchup.

“Prosecution, you may call your first witness.” Judge Thicke says. The prosecuting attorney was a very scary individual. He struck fear in the hearts of all who approached him, at least under the age 5. The Easter Bunny. Not only is he the Prosecuting attorney for the North Pole but also the owner of the strip club, The Boobie Bungalow. “The first character that I am calling to the stand is…. Rudolph.” The audience in the court room took a giant gasp all at once. I feel that this was possibly rehearsed. This is a page right out of Saved by The Bell if I am not mistaken.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Do you swear to tell the truth blah blah blah, till death do you part? Or something like that. This is my first day.” Says the bailiff.

“I do.” Rudolph says.

“Mister Rudolph……. Do you feel that your owner/trainer treats you well?” The Easter bunny asks while pacing the courtroom.

“There are days he could do better…” and before Rudolph could get another word in edgewise, The Easter bunny cut him off. “You can now add animal cruelty to that nasty list that’s supposed good man is being accused of. No further questions.”

The audience was flabbergasted and ironically instead of an applause sign there was a sign that said Flabbergasted.

My wife comes out of the bedroom to try to find me. She is wondering where I am at? She frantically starts looking all through the house. She thinks I am in the other bedroom. Nowhere to be found.  She knows I am a chubby guy so she checks the kitchen and the bathroom. Not in any of those. She even checks the closet to see if I am in there. No Luck. (I find it mean that the closet would even be a thought.) No trace of me anywhere and she begins to panic. Frantically hoping that I will answer, she tries calling and calling but no answer.

We arrive at our destination. I know I have been here before. Wait a second. This is the damn location of last year’s rescue. I can see the stage to Santa’s Got Talent. We are back in the competition. Oh hell no. I refuse to do this shit again. If I am going to do anything from last year’s mission, why can’t it be with the elves? If all of you can’t remember all the elves are women. You know that I think about it, Santa might actually be kind of a pervert after all. Is there anyway, that Santa would have cheated on Mrs. Claus? No way. Maybe. How in the hell am I supposed to know it is 2013, well I guess where I am at 2012.

“Richard, I know this is going to be painful for you but I need you to stop yourself from saving Christmas. Last year, you were going to be shot by Santa’s Head Elf but you dodged a bullet by wearing the Big Guy’s Hat. You have to steal that hat and make sure that she shoots you.”

“Are you bloody mad? Wouldn’t that mean if I get shot that I wouldn’t be here? Wouldn’t that defeat the damn point of bringing me back in time? I have heard of better ideas from The CW Network. I am not going to steal a hat off my own head just to watch myself die.”

I learned a valuable lesson in that moment of life. Never piss off a military man. That is one of the scariest reactions, I have ever seen in my life. I knew that I have awaken the trained stone cold killer. I am now on a search to steal a hat off my own head. I have a feeling this is not going to go well.

My wife called her friend Wendi over to the house. Wendi arrived to see my Wife sobbing uncontrollably. “I don’t know where he is. I can’t get hold of him. He was in the house just a few minutes ago and he is gone. What do I do?” Wendi just holds her friend through this time of pain and tried to console her as the confusion as to where I went sets in.

My wife is freaking out over my whereabouts, Santa’s trial is not going very well in his favor and what am I stuck with? Trying to steal a hat off my own damn head. This is not going so well for me this year. I think I honestly miss The Murph and Shaggy messing everything up instead. My plan was simple. I am going to try to find a costume and create an interaction with myself. The only thing was, the only costume that I could actually find was a Wedding dress. Screw it! No one is going to remember this anyway…”I will remember it, fruit booty!” Specialist Orden says as he is laughing at my idea. “You have some killer legs there hunny!” Specialist Orden says to me. I have realized that I do not take sarcasm very well while dressed up as a wife. How am I going to get closer to myself to be the next question.

Buzz Store“The defense would like to call Chris Knight to the stand” The Easter Bunny says and the crowd goes mild. No one knows who he is but Santa. I am not sure why he is called to be part of this but hey, The Easter Bunny is the Robert Shapiro of the North Pole. “Mr. Knight, were you part of the Christmas mission from two years ago?” The Bunny asks. “I was, does this have anything to do with cookies? I was told there will be cookies and damn it, I want cookies.” Chris says. I am worried about that man’s health sometimes. I swear it is either cookies or Twinkies but I have a feeling that the Easter Bunny is using that to his advantage about having him on the stand. “Mr. Knight, who caused the kidnapping?” Chris was trying to get out the name Santa first but as soon as he said Santa with a mouth full of cookies, it caused the Easter Bunny to point fingers again. “Santa kidnapped himself and many others to just fulfill a simple wish of someone who was not even sick. That is grounds for the worst possible offense, Santa needs to be forced to work in the Magic Mines.”

I thought just walking up to myself would be the best idea possible. It can’t hurt. Who is going to not stop and stare at a man in a wedding dress? I can see myself heading up the stairs to confront Santa’s Head Elf when I just take off running to catch me. This is how Julia Roberts felt in Runaway Bride. The lower half of my body has never felt this free. Chance, Justin and myself, stop on the stairs to watch me run towards them. They have the deer in the headlights look. I walk right up to my past self. I am looking at me, I have a feeling the past me is wanting to have sex with the future me. I am kind of wondering if that is just masturbation or not? I grab the hat right off my head and just take off running down the stairs. “I HAVE THE BLOODY HAT!!!!” Specialist Orden, types in new coordinates into his teleportation device. I take off the wedding dress and we hear a single gunshot ring through the theater bringing everything to a silence. Poof. We are gone.

We end up back in my home town. A press conference is being held in front of my home I have been gone for more than 24 hours and I can see that my wife has filed a missing persons report. “If anyone has seen my husband, I would like for him to be found safely. We would like for him to be home for the holidays with his family. Please find him someone. He is the love of my life, and I am not sure what I would do without him there.” The picture starts to fade away. I can see people forgetting why they are there. The version of me that made it to the present was shot and killed. Why am I having to see this? She doesn’t even know I exist anymore but my mind still remembers. She just walks back inside, with a smile on her face and joking. She doesn’t even remember that just a day ago she had a husband. Specialist Orden, types in the coordinates on his teleportation device and White Light, Blind, We are gone in a flash.

We are in a very familiar place. This is a walking trail, the night of Christmas Eve. “I know where we are Specialist Orden. This is the night it all began. This is the night that I was walking home from the parade and Santa dropped the letter for me to meet him.”

“You are correct.” The reason I brought you here next is to save yourself. You can never meet Santa. If you do, Christmas will be gone forever.”

I look at him puzzled and then anger takes over my spirit. My mind starts to take off running and thinking. I start to walk away just to calm down. “Excuse me? Where do you think you are going? There are going to be millions of kids that will never experience Christmas is you just walk away.” He says with an anger underlying his voice.

I stop in my tracks and turn around and look at Specialist Orden.

“I understand that Santa has to be saved. I understand that Christmas has to be saved but you know what I do not understand? Why in the Hell did I have to give up something that meant the entire world to me? You realize that my whole life I have dreamed of finding a woman that can put up with the bullshit that I do. Do you realize how hard that has been with everything that I am dealing with emotional and physical? I finally find the woman of my dreams and because of my selfishness and willing to make sure that Christmas is great for others, I have to give it up. I have no idea why in the hell you wanted to show me the moment that she forgot who I am because even after all of this, I will not forget her. I will not forget the way my heart felt for her. I will never forget her touch or her smile. Now, you are asking me to stop all of this from ever happening? I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it was not for the past four years. Christmas has been special and something that I held close to I but give it all up. Give up meeting friends, give up the life that I have made. You sir, can burn in hell. I am tired of watching everyone forget who I am, but I can remember them vividly. I would rather take my own life, so I do not have to remember anything at all. As soon as I do this, I will make sure I never exist to ruin anyone’s precious Christmas again.”

Snow begins to fall and a letter starts to descend from the sky…………

Find out what happens in the finale of The Final Present on Christmas Night.