On Christmas morning, Margarine skipped down the steps in her Disney princess pajamas, pink fairy wings on her back and plastic wand in her hand. She raced into the living room, gasping at sight of the overwhelming mountains of wrapped presents. They were heaped underneath the four Christmas trees necessary to contain them all. The branches of the trees sagged against the boxes, their boughs heavy with ornaments. Margarine’s seven stockings, strung across the mantel, were overflowing with sweets and flowers.
Margarine’s parents stood next to the fireplace. Her mother’s face was glossy with sweat. A bead rolled down her forehead and dripped off her nose. Her father was wringing his hands and slightly bouncing on his feet. They were trembling.
“We hope you are satisfied with your presents this year, Margarine,” her mother tentatively said.
“We’ll see,” Margarine replied vaguely.
Her parents’ terror was audible.
Margarine set to the meticulous work of shredding wrapping paper and carefully checking her gifts against her twelve-foot long wish list. Dresses, hoverboard, dolls, knives, etc. Her parents watched the procedure with wide eyes, clutching each other. Their fate was in little Margarine’s hands.
It was going surprisingly well. Some hours later, Margarine unwrapped the final present underneath the fourth Christmas tree and her parents released the tension in their chests when she showed no reaction. It was over. Against all odds, they had survived their fifth Christmas with Margarine.
She squinted at the last gift, her head tilted in contemplation. “This,” Margarine said quietly, chillingly, “is a peach-pink chainsaw. I wanted a salmon-pink chainsaw.”
Her father’s face grew pale. He sweated profusely. “I—I thought it was salmon…”
“This is not a salmon-pink chainsaw.”
Her mother began sobbing, her arms wrapped around herself. Her father dropped to his knees and crawled to Margarine to beg. She was repulsed by the tears splashing on her bunny-slippered feet.
His hands enveloped hers. “Sweet Margarine, darling Margarine, I will get you a salmon-pink chainsaw. Dear girl, I will mortgage my house to do it.”
“It is too late. You have failed.”
“Please, give me another chance.”
Margarine walked to the peach-pink chainsaw, flicked it on, the sound deafening, and decapitated each of the four trees. The glass ornaments shattered as the tops of the trees crashed to the ground and the floor sparkled with the fragments.
She turned off the chainsaw and returned to her father, still on his knees, his hands at his throat. She pressed the chainsaw against his chest and shrieked, “You ruined Christmas!”