When the crash from the living room wakes Callum up, he grins--he wasn't really expecting Hugh to show up tonight, but that has to be him. Hugh's never once managed to navigate an attempted surprise visit without stumbling into at least one piece of furniture in the dark.
Callum gets up quietly, grabs a driver out of the bag in his closet, raises it and pads softly out into the living room. He's figuring on scaring the hell out of Hugh when he flicks on the light, but instead--
"Jesus!" Callum yells.
"Nah," Santa says. "Common point of confusion though."
Callum lowers his driver, says "Are you actually--you can't be--"
"You don't believe, why'd you leave cookies?"
Santa roots around in his big bag and pulls out a shiny package. Callum smiles at him hopefully.
"Yeah, yeah, high-end Titleists, as requested. You know, it's not gonna make any difference what kind of space-age aerodynamic dimpling you've got on your ball, you're gonna keep shanking your shots as long as you pick your head up on the backswing."
"You're kind of a dick, Santa."
"Have you ever spent an entire night breaking the sound barrier with nothing but a team of surly ruminants? Doesn't do much for your mood."
Santa reaches out a big black-gloved hand and Callum expects--he doesn't know, a jolly hair-ruffling or something. But Santa grabs him by the back of the neck and--damn, he's crazy magic strong, and suddenly the room goes dark again--no, the room hasn't gone dark.
Callum's in Santa's big bag.
"Hey!" he yells, and tries to climb out, but he can't even tell which way is up--it's VAST in here, and every direction he tries to reach his hands or feet he's feeling nothing but package corners and bows, and then something under one foot yelps.
"Stop stepping on puppies!" Santa yells from somewhere outside. "And chill. I'm just dropping you over at Dillon's, you won't be in the bag long. And he requested you have 'no clothes and plenty of creativity.'"
"How the hell did he rate THIS?" Callum says. "I get a dozen golf balls and he gets ME?"
"Wow, you don't have any self-esteem problems, do you? And for your information, I grade on a sliding scale. Not that he's been perfect this year, but whoa BOY has he been better than his worst years."
And that's a weirdly comforting thought, so Callum sighs and starts unbuttoning his pajamas.