Even as a whisper Shauna’s voice echoed through the room.
“Shut up will ya, you’ll scare him off.”
Dan had no time for his sister’s jabbering. She always felt the need to talk, loads of endless questions that drove him mad. He only agreed to let her stay when she started to cry. It always worked; forced him to do things with her. Dan wished his tears came so easily.
Dan chose the hiding place. He spent days in their lounge looking at things from every angle, a measuring tape in hand. As he looked around he knew it was the perfect spot. From here they were able to see the fireplace and both doors. They even managed to avoid the flashing green and red lights as the top of the dinner table kept them in darkness. Beside him Shauna squirmed.
“Stop fidgeting you’ll give us away.”
“The carpet’s scratchy and my neck hurts from looking up.”
“Stop moaning, it hasn’t been that long.”
Chimes made them both jump. Their father’s black carriage clock shuddered on the mantelpiece making the line of porcelain cats wobble. Dan couldn’t believe it was three o’clock in the morning and still nothing.
“Is the stuff still there?”
“Course it is! Why wouldn’t it be?”
“I dunno, magic maybe.”
Dan scowled at his sister, but had to admit she had a point. He was magical after all.
“Stay down then, I’m going in.”
Crawling on all fours he made it to the far side of the couch. With a twist of the head from left to right, he scanned the room to make sure nobody was around. Sure that everything was clear he jumped to his feet. Everything was still there; a peeled carrot, two chocolate chip cookies and a mug full to the brim with the golden liquid. Dan wasn’t really sure what the drink was, but his dad seemed to like it a lot, laughed loads after a few glasses. He flashed Shauna an upturned thumb and dropped to the ground.
“I guess we are must be far down his list.”
Shauna nodded through a yawn and lay onto her arms.
“Are they still awake?”
“Yep, he just checked on the food. We may be up for a while yet.”
The twins mother moaned softly and leant on her husband crouched at the keyhole.
“I told you we should have got a Santa suit.”