Ned had never thought of himself as such a bad guy, just a guy in his early forties who'd given up on ever realizing most dreams after a life of being merely successful enough to keep the bills paid and work from home. Unlike most he supposed, he'd never reached that point where he settled down and had a family and forgot the young dreams a man has of women and power.
For most it seemed that women and power only came to either the truly fortunate or the truly ruthless and by all respects Ned was neither, just an ordinary guy who got up each morning and enjoyed his cup of coffee as he surveyed the goings on in his neighborhood.
But was it Ned's imagination that one of the newest residents in the neighborhood these past few years, little Billy, always got what he wanted for Christmas? Ned liked Billy because the kid reminded him of himself at that age, back before the harsh realities of the world crashed in and back before hormones and the constant fantasies to keep him going.
Still, Billy always got what he asked Santa for, never without fail. The little kid even had a complete set of 1952 baseball cards, every single one... something just impossible to find. What really amped up the mystery in Ned's mind was the simple fact Billy's parents were not all that well off, definitely not enough to spoil their son with his every wish on Christmas morning. Ned had even asked Billy how he got such neat toys each year and the little kid had just shrugged and said he asked Santa for it in his letter.
Maybe Ned was acting crazy in doing what he did, in thinking what he thought, but he had to know... had to test out a theory and hopefully it wouldn't hurt anyone just to try.
Waiting until the morning he saw little Billy happily scurrying to his mailbox with the outgoing letter to Santa, Ned quietly sneaked across the street and stole it. Inside was Billy's wish list of the year, the gifts he really wanted Santa to bring him, but Ned had something to try, and using an old crayon, Ned added a couple of silly sounding requests to the list, requests for some gifts delivered to Billy's favorite neighbor.
They were just creative and silly enough to sound like a kid wrote them... and Ned had made sure it all looked flawless before resealing Billy's letter and putting it in the mailbox himself.
It was silly, he'd thought, waiting until Christmas morning, silly and weird, but so was the bizarre way Billy got everything each year that he asked Santa for. Nothing came close to the shock Ned got as he found two most unexpected surprises Christmas morning, a long hooded red cloak with fluffy white trim and a small wrapped box beneath the cloak.
Sure enough, it seemed someone definitely got Billy's letter, and somehow they'd delivered just what Billy supposedly asked that his neighbor to receive.
Slipping on the cloak, Ned feels empowered, though is it just an illusion? Has he really gotten everything he wanted and can now manipulate anyone simply by wearing the cloak and talking to them? What about the little sparkly ornament in the box; will it somehow mesmerize all who gaze into it and make them living dolls for Ned's amusement?
Christmas morning is going to be a lot more fantasy than Ned's regular mornings... except this morning and day he may just finally get what he has always wanted, or rather who he has always desired in ways even he never could have imagined.
On the eleventh day of Kris-mas, feel much more than the warmth of a cloak, and much more the chill of fantasies unleashed.