When I was very young, I was bound and determined to stay up late and make sure that I would meet Santa Claus as he came down the chimney. Like a good boy, I went to bed when my mom and dad said so, but I waited until they went to bed until I quietly snuck back downstairs, hopped onto the couch, snuggled in and waited.
After what seemed like hours, I heard a jingle emanate from the chimney. I watched closely and saw some soot trickle down from inside the chimney, then suddenly, I heard a loud snap, like something cracking in half, then… nothing.
I waited and waited, but nothing followed, and soon my heavy eyes got the better of me and fell asleep.
I woke Christmas morning to be surrounded by police officers and firemen as they were focusing on the chimney. Mom and Dad were holding me very tightly in their arms as one of the police officers were asking them some questions.
Soon they realized I was awake and squeezed me very tightly and cried. I asked them what happened. My mom covered her face and continued to weep and my dad simply choked on his words.
The officer asking them questions then told me that a very bad man had been slipping down the chimney and hurting little boys and girls in the neighborhood but he had been stopped.
I found out years later that what actually happened that night was the man, in question, was crawling down our chimney on Christmas Eve and he had slipped and snapped his neck on the way down and died. The firemen that night were fishing out his corpse when I woke up on Christmas Morning.
I never believed in Santa Claus after that.