Santa Hotline

📅 Published on December 24, 2021

“Santa Hotline”

Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 11 minutes

Rating: 8.33/10. From 3 votes.
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So I found this Santa Claus card last night. It blew right into my ankle as I was walking around the downtown area of my city. The colors were faded, but not enough to where I couldn’t make out the letters and numbers. The background was the color of cardboard with bright crimson text. I think I’ll be able to remember it until the day I die. Those are all the visuals I’ll give you. The last thing I need is for someone to go out searching for this fucking thing.

Well, I thought nothing of it at first. If we had a dime for every time we reach that sentence, right? However, as these things sometimes do, it began to nag at me over time. It chewed at the corners of my subconscious like a rat trapped in a plaster cage. I can remember the home I lived in as a child. My parents tried their hardest, but we could always hear rats in the wall, little chitters and squeaks throughout the bustle of the day and the silence of the night. Well, that’s what it felt like to me, little squeaked whispers of who could answer if I called that number.

It’s a wonder my husband didn’t notice. “Hey, babe,” my husband Bobby greeted me that evening. “Did we get any Christmas cards today?”

“No thanks, I’m not hungry- can’t seem to find my appetite this week.”

“What?!” he replied incredulously. “I asked you if we got any Christmas cards in the mail today.”

“Just advertisements for death,” I responded distractedly. He gave me a strange look. “Life insurance junk mail. Besides, why would we be getting cards already?” I added.

Finally, after one too many times of Bobby catching me zoning out in blank thought, I told him about the card. I cringed in anticipation of his response, waiting for him to tell me to spend my time focusing on more important things like dusting or the laundry. Hell, I half expected him to scold me for picking items up off of the street as a parent would a curious child. That’s not what happened, though, quite the opposite.

His eyes lit up in wild excitement over puffed out cheeks as he drew in a hit of the joint we were smoking. Don’t judge; medical marijuana is a wondrous thing. But anyway, he insisted, almost at once, that we call the number.

“Come onnnnn, Meggy,” he pleaded. “What’s the harm? It’s probably disconnected anyway. It’s too early for calls with Santa. We just hit November, for fuck’s sake. Besides, we’ve had such a rough year.”

My face fell at his last sentence, though I tried desperately not to show it. “No,” I replied, a bit more sternly than I’d intended. “Why don’t you call then? Huh, hotshot?” I razzed him.

He threw his hands up in mock defeat as a smile blossomed across his lips. “Ohhhhhh no, missy. You aren’t going to get me!” He declared. My face scrunched up in confusion as I struggled to figure out what he meant. Luckily for us, seven years of marriage has taught him to read me like a picture book. He continued. “It would be just my luck that this is some kinda sex thing. I call, and Amanda Hot-to-Trot answers the line, and boom. It will be couch city for me until Christmas is long-passed,” he half-joked.

So I pulled out my phone and dialed the number only to shut him up. It began to ring, much to my dismay. A huge chunk of me desperately hoped the number was no longer in service. Muffled jingle bells played over the line as a pre-recorded greeting rang out. “Ho-ho-HOOOOO! Merrrrry Christmas! Thank you for calling Santa’s workshop. Our system is not set up to accommodate speakerphones to avoid the prying ears of boys and girls. We hope you understand. Press one to leave your wishlist information. Or press two to check your Naughty or Nice status.” I looked at my husband incredulously as he gestured to me to keep going. I reluctantly hovered my thumb over the speaker button before pressing it firmly, along with the number 2.  I figured what the hell, right?

I was surprised to hear a live voice come through the phone, one that sounded frantic and afraid. “Meghan Richmond?” She didn’t give me a chance to respond. “Call back when Bobby’s out of the house. It’s imperative!”

“What? Wait, who the hell is this?” I demanded. “Is this some kind of joke? Someone’s sick idea of a holiday prank? Thanksgiving just passed.!”

The line disconnected.

Crazy as I thought it was, I was very much flirting with the idea of following the woman’s instructions. I mean, she knew my husband by name! However, when he asked me what I’d heard- I lied, saying it was indeed a sick, sex thing. I’ve always liked playing with fire, I guess, no matter how many times I got burned.

I had the next day off as fate would have it while Bobby worked. I want to say that maybe if he’d called in sick that day, things would have been different, but I don’t think that’s true in my soul.

Santa: I know what’s on the top shelf in the left cupboard, pushed far in the back to keep out of mind’s eye.

Me: My protein shake mix? While I acknowledge there’s truth in your statement, I hardly see what that has to do with the Naughty-or-Nice list.

Santa: I haven’t finished. Why don’t you be a good girl for Santa and dump the contents of that canister out into the trash, but make sure you hold a colander under it first. If you look at the pebbles within, you’ll know what I mean.

The line disconnected.

My mind reeled at the cryptic words. Pebbles within?!? I thought wryly. Fucking ridiculous. But seeing as I didn’t have anything better to do, I decided to humor the mysterious voice. Dirt smudged slippers shuffled across the tile floor as I made my way to the kitchen. The protein powder haunted me more with every step, as well as waves of tormented recollections. I wasn’t ready to look at the protein powder. The significance it held to a happier time was still too much to bear. Tears pricked the corners of my eyes like country nettles as I gingerly opened the cupboard door, and I squeezed them shut in defiance, to no avail.

The veil shrouding the events of the past eight months hit me like a tidal wave of regret. The protein powder was something Bobby had bought to help with my nutrients. My morning sickness was so bad, and the only thing I craved was chocolate milkshakes. That wasn’t the healthiest option. Bobby used to joke about their amniotic fluid being a full-service Baskin Robbins. So he got me the powder as a compromise. It took a while to get used to, but it wasn’t so bad after the initial bitter and chalky taste.

You noticed I said morning sickness, and it wasn’t in error. I should have a six-week-old baby at this point. But if you hadn’t gathered by now, I don’t. Spontaneous Abortion, they called it. Ain’t that a bitch?! Spontaneous is appropriate, sure. But the word abortion implies it was something I’d done by choice. And that wasn’t what happened here. Bobby and I had been ecstatic to find out we were pregnant! It was a surprise, not something we had planned or even talked about much, but we were thrilled nonetheless.

The powder tumbled into the silver colander, resulting in a pigpen cloud of dust to assail my senses. It smelled much like it had tasted, and the connection made my stomach turn. This all made no sense to me. Once the canister had been emptied of its contents, the colander soon followed suit. My eyes widened in shock to see specks of green granules settle to the bottom of the cylindrical container, just as predicted. My husband came into view the moment I turned my head to call his name. “B-Bobby… what is this?” I quavered through trembling lips.

“What in God’s name?!” he exclaimed angrily. “It’s bullshit is what it is, Meg. I’m calling their company right fucking now.” His expression became irate with impatience, and I could recognize the voice on the receiving end as an automated recording. “Ya know,” he seethed, jamming a number into the phone that corresponded to the appropriate option given. “This happened to my aunt once. She found shards of glass in my cousin’s baby food- got free Gerber for a year. As if that would have helped anything.”

I won’t take you through the rest of the conversation. Let’s just say they offered us something more than a year-long supply of protein powder. The company threw out dollar signs when they found out I’d been pregnant at the time of ingestion but wasn’t anymore. We mailed them a sample of what we’d found with some 4×6 glossy print photos for further proof, and they sent us a check. The amount was more than fair, so I didn’t even think of contacting a lawyer.

My husband’s eyes widened with shock as he saw the amount they gave us. “It’s going to be such a Merry Christmas!” He exclaimed. “What a miracle!”

Though I was thankful for the financial blessing, I’d hardly call what we had been through a miracle. My face must have reflected as much because Bobby gripped my hands in his. The look on his face was compassionate but stern, meaning he had something important to say.

“Hey… Honey, I know what you’re thinking. But I promise you this had nothing to do with the baby. I know you think I’ve blocked it, but I haven’t. I’ve thought a lot about this and,” He hesitated before continuing. “You were so sick for the entire pregnancy. That powder was the only thing that you could eat. I mixed it in with everything, cottage cheese, ice cream, yogurt, peanut butter- as much as I hated to- you name it. Something was wrong far before you began eating it, sweetheart. This money really is a miracle.” His words caused a seed that my subconscious planted to begin to sprout. A miracle, he said. Well, I would have never known if… if I hadn’t called that damn number, I realized.

Bobby called out the next day, a choice any man in his situation would have been tempted with. Shit, I had to talk him out of quitting altogether more than once. This new bundle of benjamins wasn’t enough to live on by any means, but it was more than enough to get us far ahead. My husband and I both keeping our jobs would help us stay there.

But anyway, I was distracted for almost the entire day, just itching for a chance to be alone and see what other messages the number held for me. So you bet your biscuits my fingers were busy dialing the moment my husband’s car was out of view as he drove off to work the following day. It rang longer than it had the two previous times I had called, and I was surprised at how much that worried me. These phone calls had so far brought nothing but good things. I had come to think of them as holiday premonitions from a modern-day fortune cookie service.

A sigh of relief escaped me as the automated service came on the line. I jammed down the number 2 without even listening to all of the options.

Santa: Ho-ho hellloooo there! I knew we’d be hearing from you soon.

I ignored the remark. This whole thing was cryptic as fuck inside and out. To try to make sense of every little detail would only waste valuable time.

Santa: Of course I was. Santa Claus wouldn’t steer you wrong on Christmas. Now would he?

B-but it’s not Christmas,” I stammered. “It’s the beginning of December.”

Santa: A woman named Vonnie Hinman has her sights set on YOUR husband, my dear. And we can’t have that, can we? Good boys and girls honor their commitments. Get rid of the problem.

What do you mean get rid of her? I’m not a mafioso, for christ’s sake.

Santa: tsk-tsk Now Meghan… do you think the Lord has anything to do with this?

My imagination ran wild with every devious possibility I could create. Bobby had been working more than usual. My seasonal depression mixed with the time change had me more exhausted than expected in the evenings, meaning I hadn’t been waiting up for him like I usually would. Why would he beg me to quit, though, if he was using it as a reason to fuck around. The life insurance policy that I initially thought was garbage flashed into the recesses of my recollection. A grimace infected my lips as I remembered tearing it up before throwing it away.

The stroke of midnight found me tiptoeing into our living room to log into my husband’s laptop. I’d gone through his phone earlier. It didn’t feel good, trust me, and I found nothing. Maybe his email address would hold a clue to this Vonnie woman and what exactly she wanted with my husband. As luck would have it, I was on the right track. Though one shouldn’t use the word ‘luck’ when describing anything occurring in my particular situation.

One single email stood out from all others, with the email address VHinman@ REDACTED.

Bobby,

I covered your ass. Now you cover mine. I can still ruin your family, the pieces you haven’t ruined yourself, with one phone call. I want my money. And don’t give me any of that woman scorned bullshit either.

-V

Intrusive thoughts swarmed my brain like a freshly disturbed ant’s nest as I decorated the inside of the house for Christmas. In the end, I could only come up with one logical explanation, albeit far-fetched. Vonnie and Bobby must have been fucking. I intertwined twinkling lights above the mantle, shuddering at how their bodies must have also at one point been intertwined. Things must have become too real for her when I became pregnant, and she threatened to break it off. So, in turn, Bobby must have poisoned my protein shakes to rid himself of the latest issue between him and his whore. Maybe it wasn’t enough for her when I lost the baby. Perhaps it was too late by then. He must have given her quite the sob story to borrow that settlement money.

How could he do this to me… to us?  What’s more, I had felt like absolute shit this entire week. Initially, I’d passed it off as nervous anxiety due to the odd situation. But what if he wanted more than the baby out of the way this time? What if now, he tried to poison me? He had been on me quite a bit about eating.

I had just about driven myself mad when Bobby walked in the door unexpectedly, a smile perched on his traitorous, lying face. He held something in his right hand, and I balked at what it was. Out of all the things…all the goddamned things in the entire world he could have come home with, it had to be this. It seemed almost poetic. As much as I wanted to act instinctively, I knew this all had to be done very carefully. I stood in silence as he held out his peace offering.

“I braved the storm for you, Meggy, and got you a mixer. I risked life, limb and airway just for you,” he joked. “The new Culver’s flavor of the day was Reese’s Chunk- chocolate with peanut butter swirl and candies inside.”

I smiled gratefully before gripping the milkshake in both hands. I took a small, gratifying sip to appease him, if nothing else. God knows I wasn’t in the mood for sweets after all the shit I’d endured.

It was time. “I put up some mistletoe, babe!” I exclaimed, strolling over to the center of our living room. I morphed my lips into a pucker and stood on tiptoe in anticipation. Our lips met, and what was at first a simple kiss quickly evolved into something much more carnal. I opened my mouth wide, smearing my ice cream-coated tongue over his as many times as possible between breaths. His eyes shot open as realization dawned on his dick-brained mind.

He raised his arms to pull away, but I’d had a tight grip on his twisted undershirt. With a force of strength that I didn’t know I had, I slammed his head against the wall- hard enough to make it bleed. I wasted no time forcing his mouth open as he slid to the linoleum floor. I squeezed the cup over his face until the contents smothered the inside of his mouth, nose and eyes.

The skin pulled taut over his face as it began to bloat, the distortion making him quickly unrecognizable. He raised his hands futilely to claw at my face, becoming more desperate for breath with each passing second. “Why?” He gasped.

“I know about you, Vonnie, the powder, everything! Well, now you can be together after she’s dead.” I sobbed. He shook his head violently in defiance, but it was too late for any words to emerge. I knew we didn’t even have an EpiPen. I always told him he needed to be more responsible, especially his health. He was deathly allergic you see.

My fingers fumbled to dial 911 on my phone. I sobbed in hysterics, screaming that there had been a terrible accident and my husband needed medical attention right away, feigning concern the best I could. Every time I struggled for the much-needed tears the situation called for, I just thought of our baby and the memories they never got to make.  I waited with bated breath for police and medical attendants to arrive.

Then I did something that I ashamedly hadn’t done in a long time. I squeezed my eyes shut as my hands came together in desperate prayer. I prayed to God, Jesus, Santa Clause, and anyone who would listen. The Santa hotline had done so well at turning my misfortunes into miracles, and I just needed one last, teeny little one.

Rating: 8.33/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: N.M. Brown


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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