Colin plunged his hand into the bag.
“That’s it, Colin,” Kelly enthused. “Get right in there. Ooh, he’s like one of those vets, isn’t he? Sorting out a cow’s backside!”
Colin flushed red. He took out a festively-decorated envelope and stepped back.
“Now, now, Colin; open that in private. We don’t want anyone seeing what’s inside, do we?”
Colin nodded. He withdrew to his office. Kelly and her Secret Santa. Why do we have to endure this tawdry ritual every year? Oh well, best find out who I’ve got this time. Last year, it was Sandra from Supplies. A scented candle from the pound shop had done the trick there.
He tore off the edge of the envelope and plucked out a slip of paper. He frowned.
Instead of a name, there was a sentence. Typed so he couldn’t identify the writer.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST CHRISTMAS
Colin read it twice. His blood ran cold.
No. Surely not. No one knew. No one could know. He was sure of it. This was somebody’s idea of a joke. Had to be. But whose?
She was the organiser. She put all the names in the envelopes. She held the bag.
Unless someone had slipped an extra envelope in when she wasn’t looking…
But – but how did whoever-it-was know that he would be the one to pull it out?
He sank into his chair and chewed his thumbnail. It was coincidence.
Perhaps he should go back to Kelly. He could say he’d picked the same name as last year and wanted to change. That was allowed. It was in Kelly’s rules.
He put the slip back into the envelope and steeling himself, made his way to Kelly’s office. Halfway there, he turned back. He couldn’t face her. An email would be better…
At her desk, Kelly smirked. She had emptied the bag into the shredder. All the envelopes had contained the same message, and she had made sure that Colin had been the first and only one to pick. She would do the proper Secret Santa later.
Now, it was only a matter of time. Colin would come crawling and she would take him for every penny he had. He’d cough up. He wouldn’t want people to know what he’d done. He wouldn’t want to lose his job, his wife, his kids. His liberty.
Drink-driving was one thing, but hit-and-run, leaving the scene of an accident – well.
Kelly determined to milk him for all he was worth. She might still be on her own but Christmas was going to be better this year, and who knows what she might see on her postprandial stroll this time?