TABLOID INTRUSION

Iain Kelly

Well, it didn’t look much – a cuddly toy, a small chocolate each, a few sweets. It would have to do. He hoped they would understand.

He collected them all and put them in the Santa sack.

He left the newspaper lying open on the bed. His own face stared up at him from the page, caught in the glare of the flashbulb. They always managed to find him, to hound him. This time he thought he’d shaken them for good.

He left the sack under the tree for them to find in the morning.

He looked upstairs one last time as he opened the front door and then he was gone.

Before dawn, two excited children hurtled down the stairs.

They found their Mum sitting by the tree, a crunched up newspaper in her hands, her eyes wet with tears.

She hugged them and wished them a Merry Christmas.

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