Christmas Tree Decorations is a spooky story about a girl who is home alone on Christmas Eve and has a nasty encounter with a man claiming to be Santa Claus.
It was Christmas Eve and an 11-year old French girl named Juliette was decorating the Christmas tree. Her mother was working as a nurse at the local hospital and the two of them lived alone in the small apartment in the suburbs of Paris.
Late that evening, Juliette’s mother called to say she would not be home until late that night. Juliette continued to decorate the tree with all of the lovely things her mother had bought at the shop. She draped some multi-colored Christmas lights around the tree and hung beautiful ornaments on the branches. After placing the angel on the top of the Christmas tree, she finally finished decorating and sat down to relax and watch TV.
Even though she was all alone in the sixth floor apartment, Juliette felt safe as she gazed out across the lights of the Parisian skyline. From her window, she could see the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars. Most of the other tenants in the building had gone home to spend Christmas Eve with their relatives in the countryside. The apartment building was almost deserted.
Juliette was growing bored waiting for her mother to return. Suddenly, she thought she heard a scratching noise at the front door. She turned down the television and listened carefully. There was an eerie silence. Curious, she slowly approached the door and looked through the peephole.
To her surprise, she saw a man standing outside, dressed in a red suit with fluffy, white trim. He was large and fat with a dirty, grey beard and wore a red hat on his head. He knocked at the door loudly.
Nervous and concerned, she asked through the door, “Who’s there?”
“It’s Santa Claus,” the man replied. “Let me in. I’m cold and I’m tired and I’m hungry.”
At this, a chill went down Juliette’s spine. She was no dummy. She knew that, whoever this creepy man was, he wasn’t Santa Claus.
“My mother isn’t home right now,” she said, her voice shaking. “Please leave.”
Peering through the peephole, Juliete watched as the man’s eyes filled with anger and his face twisted into a grimace of hate. He began knocking at the door even harder and rattling the doorknob.
“It’s Santa Claus, Juliette!” he growled. “Have you laid out some milk and cookies for me, Juliette? You know how much Santa loves his milk and cookies!”
The young girl had a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. How did he know her name?
Then the man began kicking and pounding at the door. She peeked out again and saw him reach into his coat pocket and pull out a switchblade. He shoved the knife into the keyhole and tried to pry it open. Juliette was terrified. She didn’t know what to do.
“If you don’t go away, I’ll call the police,” she shouted.
All of a sudden, the knocking stopped. Juliette stood perfectly still, afraid to move. Minutes passed and she started to think that the man might have been scared away by her threat. She slowly approached the door and looked through the peephole to see if the man was really gone. The hallway seemed to be empty.
Suddenly, she saw the man running down the hallway with an axe in his hand. Juliette screamed and ran to the closet in a panic. She crouched down and hid behind the coats as tears of fright rolled down her cheeks. She heard the Boom! Boom! Boom! as the man tried to smash down her front door. There was a mighty crack as the door gave way and the man came crashing through the splintered wood.
Laughing to himself, he called out, “Juliette, my pretty! Where are you, Juliette? Don’t be afraid! We’ll have ourselves some fun tonight! Where are you hiding?”
The crazed intruder walked around the house, searching for the frightened girl. Juliette curled up in the closet, trembling with fear. She dreaded to think what he planned to do to her.
Suddenly, the handle of the closet moved up and down. Then, the door began shaking and she heard the man’s voice laughing.
“Juliette, I know you’re in there,” he said. “Open up for Santa! Open up before I open you up!”
The man swung his axe and it struck the closet door with a huge bang, tearing into the flimsy wood. Juliette screamed and began crying bitterly. She grabbed a wire coathanger and twisted it into a point. She waited, her eyes open wide and her hands were trembling.
There was another loud crash and the closet doors gave way in a hail of splinters. The horrible man tore the doors off their hinges and thrust his head in between the coats. He was laughing and drooling like a madman as his huge, gnarled hands grabbed at the horrified girl.
Juliette held up the pointed end of the coathanger and bravely thrust it into the man’s face. It went straight into his eye. He recoiled in pain, screaming with rage as blood flowed down his cheek. He ripped the wire out of his eye socket and grabbed Juliette by the hair. Then he dragged her, kicking and screaming, out of the closet.
The man pushed her to the ground and held her tightly by the neck, leaning over her. Blood spilled out of his eye, splattering all over her face. His mouth twisted into a grotesque smile and he whispered in her ear.
“Tonight you will be privileged, my lovely Juliette. I’ve got a list and I’ve checked it twice. I’m here to decide if you’ve been naughty or nice. You can scream and scream and beg for your life, but naughty girls get the axe and nice girls get the knife.”
It was after midnight when Juliette’s mother returned home. She saw the front door, hacked to pieces and rushed inside to look for her daughter. Gazing around at the carnage, her eyes struggled to take it all in. Then she began screaming in absolute horror. The Christmas tree was decorated with Juliette’s entrails and her severed head was perched on the top.