Horror Fiction

Santa Saved Me

Hey, did you guys check out Lady Nopeingham when I wrote Blewit? If you didn’t here’s your chance because you can find this story on her YouTube channel. 
Spoiler Alert: It’s freaking amazing and has some great guest stars too!! Go check it out here!

Hello, dear member of this marvelous community. You have no idea how relieved I am to find you; I need your help. You don’t know me, but please, hear my story. If you or someone you know can provide any information, I will be most grateful. I’m aware I open myself up as a target to mockery, but it’s worth the risk to find one person with a similar experience. If nothing else – I promise, even if you think I’m crazy – I won’t bore you. I’m too afraid to tell my friends or family the truth; I know they won’t believe me. You, dear friend, are my only hope for peace.

This was the worst Christmas of my life. Either Santa Clause is real, or my mind has finally broken in a way that feels forebodingly permanent. I can live with either, but I must know which. Even if it is the latter, it would hardly be the worst I’ve endured. No, the worst is easily when Mr. Monster Maker tried to kill me. That part is certainly real; the whole town knows about it… but let me start at the beginning so you can understand my sincerity.

I flew home for the holidays to get away from all the overzealous, hormone-raging assholes at college; not find more. Being away from the dorms for two weeks was supposed to be relaxing. Unfortunately, I was only able to enjoy the first two days before things slid down shit-hill. Our house is in the country; we have an alarm and cameras, but none of it helped. My parents are ER surgeons; I used to appreciate their long hours, but not anymore.

Wednesday, the 22nd, I drove Mom’s car to dinner with high-school friends, Sara and Jen. They were the only other non-woo girls in our class, and therefore, the only ones I stayed in touch with. Halfway through the meal, Jen’s cousin arrived with a friend, and joined us. It didn’t thrill me, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Her cousin wasn’t bad, although Dean was annoying from the moment he sat down.

He homed in on me immediately, trying to single me out for conversation and offering to buy my drinks. He looked decent; I might have given him a chance if I had been interested in dating at the time. The more I brushed him off, the harder he tried, as if he couldn’t fathom why I was resisting. It’s like he set out to systematically raise every red flag on my radar.

They decided to hit a few bars after dinner, but I politely declined. I figured I would go home, relax, watch a few Christmas movies and never see Dean again. That’s how life would go for anyone else at least, but no, not me. I wasn’t on the road five minutes before my phone started going crazy. It sounded like my last tweet was going viral, though I knew that was impossible; Id be more likely to grow wings.

Back home, I saw Dean found me on Twitter, then proceeded to like every post and comment on every selfie. They all said various forms of “so beautiful” or “we have so much in common, let’s hang”.

He also sent a DM with his contact info and four paragraphs of creepy compliments that ended with a list of things he thought we had in common. I’ve never been so grateful to not have my address or number listed. I don’t know why I didn’t block him then and there. Instead, I texted Jen to find out what his deal was. I didn’t think he was dangerous so much as lonely and desperate. I’ve included our conversation, beginning with her response to numerous screenshots.

Jen: I was wondering what he was doing. He’s been buried in his phone since we got here. Ryan said their mothers are friends. Dean just moved here from his dad’s house in Nevada, and Ry is supposed to help him make friends.

Me: Weird way to make friends. Think your cousin can get him to ease up?

Jen: I’ll talk to him, no worries.

I turned off notifications to Twitter and started A Christmas Story. He already liked everything; I didn’t think he could do much more. Both parents were back on the night shift, and I was determined no one would ruin my blissful solitude. I almost didn’t look when I heard Jen’s texts thirty minutes later, but I assumed she was saying Dean wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I wanted to send a quick ‘thanks’ and forget I owned a phone for a few hours. Here’s what was actually said.

Jen: Ok, small problem. Maybe just block him and don’t read any more messages.

Me: You’re freaking me out, I have eighteen new messages since we talked!

Jen: There’s something wrong with that guy. Ry distracted him with darts for a few minutes, but he kept asking what kind of guys you like, where you live, and why we thought you weren’t responding to him yet… I’m really sorry… I’m buzzed, and he was SO annoying… I told him “Maybe because you’re going full stalker on her after a twenty-minute conversation.” He got really upset…

Me: The hell is wrong with you?! Tell me he doesn’t know where I live, Jennifer! Tell me that right now!

Jen: Of course, he doesn’t! We wouldn’t do that! But he immediately went back to his phone and started typing with a scary look on his face. Ryan said he had to get home and made Dean go with him, but he genuinely creeped me out; go block him on everything!

You better believe I did just that, but first I took screenshots of the worst messages. I told myself I wanted them for evidence… just in case… but part of me wanted to see how far he went. The answer is “way too far”. I won’t waste your time with the ramblings of a madman; several contain nothing more than the word “fuck” used in various creative ways, but I would like to include a few so you understand I’m not exaggerating.

10:23pm: Weird you still aren’t home; do you live outside the city? I know you aren’t the kind of person who ignores a good guy like me. Haha. Only bitches in ditches do that. Joke. Get it? Anyway, call me when you get home. Drive safe, lotta crazies out there.

10:33pm: Was that you trying to call? I’m having trouble with my phone. It froze when I tried to answer. Call me back before I gotta come find you, haha. Kidding again.

10:38pm: Why is this bitch calling me a stalker just because I’m trying to be friendly? How does she know I’ve even messaged you?! Pretty shitty you can talk smack ABOUT me, but not TO me. You want to explain that? You’re just like all the others. Everyone thinks they’re so much better than me. You have NO idea what I’m capable of!

10:50pm: Look, I’m sorry I got upset. That was really unlike me; I’ve been under a lot of stress with the move. I know we’re perfect for each other. I just need you to give me a chance so you can see it too. What’s your address? I want to apologize in person; I feel terrible. I know you deserve better, and I’m the best there is, you’ll see.

10:57pm: I’m out of patience, bitch! If this is going to work between us, you have to start showing some respect. You got about thirty seconds to start apologizing!

That was the last one, and I didn’t stay to see more. I blocked him with shaking hands before he could finish whatever he was in the process of typing. After sending the screenshots to Jen, I hid my phone under the couch cushion. I didn’t want to see it for a while; I tried to focus on tv instead, but my brain had other ideas. It wanted to dwell upon what a small community we lived in.

If Dean’s mother was in the same social circles as Ryan’s… how long would it take him to learn which house belonged to the well-known doctors? How many grateful patients had tracked us down just to deliver casseroles or cookies? Far too many, that’s for sure. How did I go from “dinner with friends” to “stalker’s obsession” so quickly? That garbage is for Halloween, not Christmas! At some point I fell asleep while contemplating life, the universe, and everything.

It’s important to keep track of the date, too. Remember, this is Thursday, the 23rd, now. When I woke, it was daylight, and a note from my parents was on the coffee table. “Sleeping till noon, pizza in the fridge.”

I had food in the microwave before remembering where my phone was and why. There were a few messages from friends and an apology from Ryan. He saw the screenshots and felt terrible for introducing us to Dean. I know he’s a good guy, but I was still too shaken up to pretend I was okay.

After answering the texts, my heart sank when I saw Twitter. I had several DM’s, which, judging by the new comments, were all from fresh accounts Dean created. Each had a different name and profile picture; how does anyone have that kind of free time? I let my food go cold while changing my settings to private and blocking the new profiles. All the fear I felt when alone the previous night was reborn into pure fury.

There was so much rage bottled inside… I know how stupid it is to engage an unstable person, I really do… but by time I regained control of my actions, the message was sent. I unblocked his real account long enough to inform him I would take my evidence to the police if he made contact again. I should have stopped there, but I went on to say exactly how I felt about him. It’s possible I ended it with a list of animals I would rather be with, but it’s all so fuzzy now.

Only after it was too late did I remember the overwhelming fear of how easily he could find me. I checked the locks on every window and made sure the alarm was on. For the first time, I found myself wishing for a gun. My parents would have a heart attack if they knew; they’ve “seen more dead family members than burglars”, but that argument holds less weight with me these days. Sorry, I don’t mean to get sidetracked, but this has been more difficult to relive than expected.

Anyway, I had an almost peaceful day after that. My parents woke at noon, and we talked for a bit before they went to work. Jen wanted to come over, and I was happy for the company. We drank wine, watched movies, and gossiped like we were back in school. By 9:00, we were past tipsy, and I had forgotten about Dean.

I didn’t even think about him when my phone rang with an unfamiliar number. I won’t answer those anyway; even when it’s not spam it’s never good. If someone has a real emergency, they’ll text before giving up. The only reason to call is if you need to pressure someone into something unpleasant.

I rejected three calls and accidentally opened one text in the process of blocking the number. There was no doubt who sent, “I know you hit the asshole button, you stupid whore. I’m done being treated like a bitch!”

We never did learn how he got my number, but I’ve had the same one since junior high; it wouldn’t have been too hard if he asked the right people. Plus, now that the whole town knows what happened, there’s no way anyone will admit to it. Still… it bothers me. I’m not sure why I’ve fixated on it… not like it’ll change anything… but I wish I knew.

We googled his name, hoping to learn something that may explain his behavior, but there was nothing aside from the normal social media accounts. Jen told Ryan he should let his mom know about her friend’s creepy son. We didn’t expect anything to come of it; I think we wanted to feel like we did something other than let him completely get away with it. Imagine our surprise when he responded with not only more apologies, but several news articles.

It seemed Robert Dean Travers, 20, of Shady Pines, Nevada, was the prime suspect in the deaths of 2 women, and the disfigurement of another: ages 18-22. Mr. Travers was detained by police but later released due to lack of evidence. There were also links to articles about each woman, including their pictures. It made me nauseous to see how similar we looked. It’s true what they say about those guys having a type.

There were no other suspects in the case and no attacks since Dean left the area. Jen told me not to read what he did to them, but I had to know; I needed to know…

Assholes on the internet dubbed him the “Monster Maker” which led to the press calling him Frankenstein. The survivor told police all she could, but obviously, was unable to identify her attacker now that she was blind. Her testimony confirmed what police believed happened but couldn’t prove Dean was the culprit.

He found these women in various places, but once he chose a mark, the rest was routine. He put great effort into making social media accounts with fake names and background to seem more appealing. Police say they were created months in advance and deleted immediately before an attack. Unfortunately, Dean only created and accessed these accounts from public hotspots on disposable phones – meaning it was useless as evidence. No number was ever used to contact more than a single victim.

Next, he learned their address; a task at which he became quite proficient. If a date insisted they meet rather than being picked up, he simply waited for them to leave and followed at a distance. Once he knew where they lived, he returned in the dead of night, parking several blocks away from the victim’s home. After torturing these women for hours, he poured acid on their faces. Badly beaten as they were, it was still a slow, excruciating death.

I read the survivor’s testimonial where she recounted her moments of lying helpless as the acid ate through her flesh. She describes her blindness as a consolation prize, preferring that to seeing the deformity of her face. It was unquestionably the most horrible thing I have ever read. My chest still aches with the memory of her words.

Every night I dream of her. I see her at home, asleep when Dean attacks. I see her terrified face and hear her screams of agony for hours before he uses the acid. He tapes her eyes open, forcing her to meet his gaze as he applies the liquid with a medicine dropper. First to her forehead, but slowly, always slowly, he works his way round her face. The bastard giggles in delight with every fresh tear as he saves her eyes for last. With each drop, a horrible sizzle can be heard as the skin melts away.

I think the dreams are part of why I can’t move on. If I could just have one night’s sleep where I don’t see such awful things… I don’t know, maybe I’ll never recover. Maybe the dreams are my mind’s way of telling me I wasn’t supposed to survive in the first place, but I’m getting ahead of myself again, I’m sorry about that; I’m just so sleepy. I’ve been awake for thirty-one hours and it’s getting harder to concentrate.

Where were we? Oh, right, me and Jen on Friday night. We aren’t stupid, we knew how serious the situation was after learning about Dean’s past. We called my parents, they called the police, and all my hopes were shot to hell less than an hour later when Dad informed me Dean was cleared of all charges and his mother explained the horrible misunderstanding that led to him being suspected in the first place. He’s actually a “very shy young man”. I stopped listening after that.

We tried calling the cops ourselves, but they only repeated the same thing. While they didn’t give me quite the brush off Dad did, legally, their hands were tied. They promised to have a cruiser drive by every few hours, which was more than most people would get; call it a perk of the relationship between doctors and police. Not that it helped. Jen agreed to stay the night so I wouldn’t have to be alone, but aside from jumping at every noise, nothing more happened.

She went home the next morning – which is important to remember was Christmas Eve – and my parents continued to reassure me when they woke that afternoon. It was their last shift before having five days off. I thought I could survive one more night alone… miles away from the closest neighbor. There had been no contact from Dean since I blocked his number. Horrible as it sounds, I hoped he found someone else to… talk to… anything that let me think he wasn’t trying to find me.

I made another round through the house checking the alarm and locks, but it provided little comfort. How is it possible we live in a world where people know a man like that is free, but they do nothing to stop him? It’s madness. They think just because we live in this happy, little community where nothing bad happens – nothing bad can happen – and that is dangerously flawed logic.

At 9:00, it began snowing and the forecast warned it would soon be a blizzard. Even with the porch lights on, I saw little more than a white wall outside. That bastard managed to ruin snow on Christmas; how evil can one man be? I tried to watch tv but jumping at every sound effect got old fast. Listening to a podcast on low volume was going well until I heard something hit the kitchen window shortly after 10:00.

It was almost the dull thud of a bird, but I had a difficult time believing something tried to fly in that weather… or that it hit such a small target. My feet were lead weights as I forced them to carry me forward, but not to the kitchen. Instead, I went to Dad’s office, where the monitors were. My heart skipped more than one beat as my eyes scanned over each screen several times before I could breathe normally again.

A large tree stood a few yards away; technically it was possible a stick was blown into the window… I saw no signs the snow was disturbed on the ground, but the view was becoming more obstructed by the second. Soon, snow would cover the lenses, and the cameras would be worthless. At that moment, I realized the security alarm was nothing more than an assurance police would find my corpse first. As much as I prefer that scenario, it was little comfort in the moment.

After nearly twenty minutes of staring into the white monitors, I returned to the den. Part of me wanted to crawl under my bed, but the idea of hiding in my room while I imagined Dean lurking down the hall seemed infinitely worse than sitting on the couch and imagining he was in the bushes. No matter what I did to feel safe, my mind found a new way to show me why it wouldn’t help. I hate my brain, that bitch is lucky I can’t lay hands on her, that’s all I’ll say about that.

It was roughly ten minutes later when I heard another soft thud, this time from the dining room. I stood before the yellow curtains, trembling, trying to mentally will the curtains aside rather than lift my shaking arms. Somehow, my legs continued to support me as one hand slowly, unsteadily, reached forward. Just as my fingers brushed the fabric, a louder thud shook the window. I screamed, falling backwards and landing hard on my ass.

I remained frozen, listening to the horrifying crunch of snow as heavy footsteps approached. When they finally came to a stop, I heard something different; something like metal dragging lightly across the glass. That’s what erased all doubts of mere paranoia. There was no natural explanation for the deliberate noise I heard. My mind screamed to run, but I only whimpered. It seems I have neither fight nor flight, only freeze.

I managed to slide backwards, across the floor, until I was beneath the dinner table. Making no effort to lower my voice, I dialed 911. When finished relaying the address, I noticed the noise had stopped; all was eerily silent. The operator stayed on the phone until able to confirm it was safe to open the door for police, but there was no further disturbance.

One officer took my statement while another checked the perimeter. There were no signs of anyone else, but they admitted it was snowing heavily enough to cover all but the deepest tracks. I think they were trying to be polite because of my parents, but they clearly didn’t believe I was in danger. I’m sure they didn’t appreciate driving in a blizzard either, but what else could I do? I cried again as they left; it felt like they were leaving me to die.

It was almost midnight as I watched the cruiser leave our driveway, and with it, my last shred of hope. I desperately wanted to sleep, but anytime I felt myself drifting, I remembered the women who were so rudely awakened in the sanctity of their own homes. If my car were there, I would have gone to a hotel.

By 1:00, my eyelids were drooping even while standing. I knew if I sat, it would be the end. At one point, I found myself staring at the pile of presents beneath our tree. I thought of all the years I sat in that very spot, shaking gifts, trying to peek inside without tearing the paper; all while ignorant to the fact I would likely die in the very same room.

A loud crash from the kitchen pulled me from the trance. The sound of shattering glass painted a clear picture of someone breaking a pane on the back door to gain entry. When I thought it impossible to feel more frightened, a series of beeps followed by the silencing of the alarm sent a crippling wave of hopelessness through me. Later, I would learn Dean worked for a security company in Nevada where he learned to bypass the alarms.

As his heavy footsteps approached, my legs finally decided to function. They felt numb as they carried me to the front door, but I hesitated at the staircase. With the blizzard in full force, outside wasn’t an option. Dean was only seconds away from turning the corner, and I was sure my knees would fold the moment I saw him.

I ran upstairs; when almost at the top, Dean shouted. “There she is! Hey, darling, why don’t you come on down so we can have a little chat?” No wonder his last victim couldn’t identify his voice. He sounded like a completely different person. It was husky and sinister, almost inhuman.

Without risking a glance back, I kept running forward, trying to reach the bathroom. It was the only room with a lock – not that I thought that would save me, but what else could I do? The maniac was fast; he collided into the door before it could latch. It slammed into my nose, and warm, sticky blood sprayed as I struggled to push against his body weight.

He overpowered me effortlessly, pushing the door hard enough to smash my head into the wall behind it. My vision went dark and in the last moments before losing consciousness, I remember thinking, ‘I hope I don’t have to wake up after.’

When I woke, there were a few seconds where I forgot my circumstances. I couldn’t understand why I was in a sitting position, or why my head ached so miserably. The moment my memory returned, panic surged through me, and I opened my eyes to see Dean seated across from me, smiling in a deranged way even Pennywise would find disturbing. I was tightly bound to a dining room chair with ropes eating into my wrists, ankles, and torso.

“Look who’s awake! It’s about time, sleepyhead. I was getting so bored I thought I would have to start without you.” Dean smiled, and I did my best not to give him the satisfaction of crying.

I was still a little delirious, but a strange calmness possessed me. It happened; I was caught and soon I would beg for death before being murdered, but there was nothing I could do about it while tied to that chair. I felt dizzy and nauseous, but I was beginning to accept my fate. I decided my only goal was to hurt him badly as possible in the process. I focused my energy on awaiting my chance while he launched into a cliche villain rant.

“Did you think you were playing hard to get? Did you think you were being cute? That I would respect you for it? Well, you sadly miscalculated, and now you’re going to pay dearly. You could have had everything.” He wasn’t manic; in fact, he was the opposite. It was the most composure he displayed yet. He spoke as naturally as if discussing the weather.

My brain whispered to play along, to indulge his delusion by apologizing, begging for another chance, but I couldn’t. The thought of him having the satisfaction – even for a moment – was unbearable. I summoned every ounce of hate in my soul and tried to express it through my icy glare, but Dean only smiled.

“It’s a shame really. Oh well, there will be others. Maybe I’ll go to New York next, who knows; but I can’t very well stay here. I promised Mother I would behave, and she’s going to be livid when she hears about this. It’s probably best I leave town before that happens… don’t you worry though. We can still be together tonight. Your parents won’t leave the hospital for hours yet.”

Dean rose to his feet, and I tried to control my trembling as he approached. He placed both hands on my shoulders and lowered himself until his mouth was at my ear. I could smell the stench of his rotten breath as he whispered, “Are you ready? I think you—”

His words were cut off by a strange sound from the living room. The only way I can think to describe it is as a “jingle/scuffle”. Dean bolted upright, head snapping in its direction. After a slight hesitation, he reached into the small, black bag sitting on the table and pulled out a knife. He winked at me, putting a finger over his lips in a shushing gesture while mimicking the knife across his throat before tiptoeing around the corner.

I didn’t believe for an instant anyone was inside, it just wasn’t possible, but I screamed, “help, he has a knife” anyway. Dean was only gone a moment before he returned. The look on his face told me screaming had been a mistake.

“Why would you do that?! I know you understood what I said! So, tell me! What stupid thought ran through that pretty, little head that convinced you it was ok to disobey?!” He jabbed his finger into my temple with each word and tears spilled from my eyes.

My vision was blurry when I saw a red glob moving behind Dean. I didn’t understand what I was seeing; I thought something in my eye ruptured and was causing me to see red. I didn’t know if that was possible, but I was fairly certain we were alone in the house. What else could it have been? I challenge you to find someone above the age of twelve who would think, “maybe it’s Santa Clause” when in my situation.

“You know what, I think it’s time to take this party upstairs. But first, I’m going to break one of your legs to make sure you can’t run away. I hate to do it, but you clearly can’t be trusted.” The madman said in a way that made it obvious he would not hate it one bit.

When Dean reached for something behind me, his body went rigid and the popping sounds of a taser filled the room. My mind was unable to process what was happening; I stared at his unconscious form for almost a full minute before noticing the ropes which bound me were on the floor.

I lifted my head slowly, in search of my rescuer, but found myself speechless as I locked eyes with a man dressed as Santa Clause. “Are you hurt, child?” He asked in a warm, fatherly voice.

“I… I… how?” Was all I could say at first.

“I know; you’re obviously too old to believe in me, but I was flying by when I heard the commotion. I couldn’t just keep going… not knowing an innocent young lady was in peril, could I?” He asked, extending his hand to help me up.

I took it gratefully; I didn’t believe him yet, but he saved my life. If he wanted to hurt me, he would have left me tied to the chair. “But. But.” I tried and failed to speak once again.

“It’s alright. I imagine you’ve been through quite the ordeal. Please, follow me into the den while we wait on my assistant.” Placing one hand gently on my back, he guided me to the couch.

Once seated, he offered me a mug of coco. I don’t know where it came from, but I drank it gratefully. Everything else aside, it was, without contest, the greatest hot chocolate I have ever tasted. Before I could learn more, I heard the scuffle/jingle sound again. Coco sprayed from my mouth when three elves emerged from the fireplace.

“Excellent, thank you for coming so quickly, I must resume my flight.” Santa told the elves as he floated up the chimney with no more than a wave goodbye in my direction.

The elves looked exactly the same as the ones in the old Rudolph cartoon, clothes and all. I began to hypothesize I was already dead, but I wasn’t sure how to test the theory. I watched, mouth agape, as two elves entered the dining room, and the third came to stand by me.

“Greetings, we are Santa’s Naughty Squad. My name is Gibson, and I am here to prepare the body for police.”

He said it quickly as one does when a phrase is memorized from repeated use.

“The wha—” I didn’t finish the sentence before Gibson launched into explanation.

“The Naughty Squad is responsible for securing any active crime scene where the Big Man was forced to intervene. Over the centuries, there have been numerous occasions where the situation has been deemed necessary.” He still spoke as if reading from a script.

At my confused look, the elf let out a long, exasperated sigh, and rubbed the bridge of his nose as if resisting an oncoming headache. “Look girl, he’s Santa Clause, think about it. Do you really think he could just sit back and let people get butchered if he can help? The man travels the globe every year, of course there’s going to be times like this. We’ve seen it all, there’s nothing that surprises us anymore.” The professional tone was gone, and it somehow felt stranger to hear him talk like a normal person.

It does make a kind of sense… that if Santa is real, he would want to help people when able… if he’s real. Just when I thought nothing could shock me more, the other elves returned from the dining room. I turned to see them give Gibson a confirmation nod before they too exited through the chimney.

“Great, they’re finished. Now here’s what you’re going to do. Call 911, tell them you were attacked, but able to incapacitate your assailant with a taser.” He paused to indicate the taser on the coffee table. “The coroner will determine his heart stopped due to pre-existing medical conditions, but they won’t look too hard; they’ll only be glad he’s dead.”

Gibson did not wait to answer questions; the moment he finished speaking he was gone. I did as I was told; mostly because there was nothing else I could do. Of the information I learned that would have me questioning all I knew to be true, the only item I could focus on in that moment was, “Elves just murdered a man in my house.”

I felt like a third party in my own body. As I called 911 to explain the dead serial killer, it seemed like I was watching someone else in a movie. Seeing the sirens fill our yard was surreal. Cop cars, ambulances, and fire trucks lit up our dirt road. I stayed on the couch, giving my story to the lead detective, as dozens of people marched through the house.

My parents were the worst part when they made it home; they raised such a fuss. It was almost dawn when the last official vehicle left, and I wanted nothing more than to sleep until noon. We did the best we could to have a happy Christmas, but our hearts weren’t in it. I don’t tell them about my nightmares, they wouldn’t understand.

The next day, a profiler with the FBI said the stress of a new environment, especially under the circumstances of Dean’s relocation, is what began his spiral. She believes he felt pressured to establish himself in a new community, and – given he pursued me after I knew his real identity – he had no intentions of harming me at first. It’s far more likely he intended to marry me to further his cover as a normal member of society.

For a man accustomed to instantly winning his target’s affection, my repeated dismissals would have been difficult to tolerate even on a good day. Coupled with the fact he was already on edge guaranteed disaster. Essentially, the more I rejected him, the more he lost his ability to reason.

I’m back at college now, but I still can’t get this out of my head. It’s killing me to stay awake, but the alternative is dreaming of the girl again. I don’t want to see her anymore, it’s unbearable. I feel as if it will never stop until I learn the truth. Please, has anyone else met the Naughty Squad? Or am I crazy?

Horror Fiction

Lost Kevin

Now a CreepyPasta

Brimstone Below did an amazing narration on his YouTube channel which you can see here

Narrated in Czech by Creepy Stalk here

Photo by Brimstone Below

I know it’s wrong to download movies and we shouldn’t do it, but I’m poor and those guys are rich. Either way, it’s not important. I’m only writing this to warn others against it. Is it illegal? Yes. Immoral? Arguable, but technically. Dangerous? Apparently.

I didn’t do it often; I just wanted a few Christmas movies to get into the holiday spirit. I stuck with the classics, and they all played great. It wasn’t until I watched Home Alone 2 that things started getting bad. Everyone has seen that movie, right? Because if you haven’t I don’t know if you can follow this story. My partner was asleep, but I wasn’t tired, so I watched it alone.

The first different thing was the opening credits; the little house was red. I hadn’t watched it in a couple years, but I’ve seen it a thousand times. I was certain it should be blue. Still, it’s a minor detail, forgotten almost immediately after fading to movie.

In the opening scene, it shows family members rushing through the home and remains normal until Kevin walks in on his uncle’s shower. The uncle usually calls him a “nosy, little pervert”, but this time he said “sorry, little shit”. I thought I heard him wrong, but when I tried to skip back, the computer froze. That’s not uncommon, it’s a piece of junk; I didn’t want to waste more time, so I let it keep playing.

I was positive the movie was wrong when the Christmas pageant began. The kids were holding real candles. As the camera zoomed in on the singing children and their small, dancing flames, I thought I downloaded from someone with mad editing skills; changing the candles blew my mind, but I can believe it’s possible. The rest of what I’m about to convey… I can’t.

In the original movie, Buzz holds candles behind Kevin’s ears. In my copy, the sizzle of Kevin’s flesh can be heard as wisps of dark smoke swirl around his head. The audience still laughs the same, but instead of stopping when Buzz is knocked down, they grow louder. The choir robes worn by the children are set ablaze, and they scream over the roaring laughter. When the cardboard tree hits Piano Lady, blood sprays from the impact and a gaping head wound is seen as she tumbles back.

I watched in stunned silence, glued to my seat and unable to look away. I didn’t understand what I was watching, but I had a morbid desire to see more. Back home, Buzz uses the same apology speech, but his face and hands are wrapped in bloody bandages. Kevin’s ears are also badly burned, but his wounds are left untreated. When it shows the family, their faces are red and puffy from crying.

On the kid-tantrum-scale, I would rate Kevin’s actual non-apology scene pretty low. He doesn’t throw anything, his voice doesn’t crack as he screams through his tears, and his face doesn’t exude pure hatred. The one in my version did all those things.

After Kevin’s mom followed him to the attic, he used curse words I’ve never heard before. I think some were in a different language. Kate began crying, screaming, “I wish you would have died last year” before storming out. A baseball was thrown as she exited, slamming into the door as it closed. Kevin fell onto the bed, retrieved a razor from beneath his pillow, and slowly cut into his forearm.

The close-up of the Chicago Sun Times was also different. Instead of “wet bandits”, it read “KILLER BANDITS ESCAPE DURING RIOT” I don’t remember what the smaller headlines really say, but I’m willing to bet it’s not “DOZENS DEAD, MANHUNT CONTINUES” considering it’s a kid’s movie.

Remember the quick scene of the airport taxi knocking over the statue? In my copy, it hits a kid. Aside from the characters being angry and depressed towards one another, the movie plays relatively normal until Kevin leaves the New York airport. Where he once enjoyed a montage of fun, city sights to a happy song, he now walked dark, dangerous alleyways as sinister music played. For the remainder of the movie, Kevin’s family is not seen again. They never go to the police or attempt to locate him.

After the montage, we see Harry and Marv leave the fish truck. The “sticky bandit” jokes were completely removed. Where they normally steal change from a Salvation Army Santa, they now held a man at gunpoint in a dark alley. The terrified man surrenders his wallet without a struggle but is shot anyway. The scene ends as the bandits flee.

What should be the scene where we first see the hotel and Pigeon Lady was now a Holiday Inn and junkie. The woman in my copy was putting a syringe into her arm when Kevin saw her. He enters the Holiday Inn, skipping the short scene where he runs away. Still in possession of Peter’s bag, he immediately approaches the front desk. A dirty, balding man gives him a hard time until he sees the envelope full of cash. There is no bellboy to escort Kevin to his room, but when he turns on the lights, cockroaches scatter across the floor. The room is filthy, has two twin beds, and a small tv with tin foil wrapped around the antenna.

They skipped the pool scene, going directly to the Angels with Even Filthier Souls movie. The only difference here is the hungry look in Kevin’s eyes as he sits on the floor, face inches from the screen, his fingers lightly tracing over the fresh cuts in his arm.

A fade out takes us to a few hours later when he discovers Peter’s address book. At seeing his uncle’s name, he says, “If they’re still in Paris, I can stay there instead!” At the sight of a family photo in his father’s wallet, Kevin begins shaking and sobbing as he rips it to pieces. The following morning, he hails a cab instead of renting a limousine.

Duncan’s Toy Chest was unchanged, but the kid was still angry and depressed as he wandered through the store. He pushed other kids and shoplifted the item he normally purchased. Mr. Duncan watched him leave with a sad, slow shake of the head. Harry and Marv exit immediately after, grabbing Kevin on the street. The boy screamed, kicked Harry in the shin and ran.

The chase scene was short and filled with cursing. Instead of breaking pearl necklaces to trip the bad guys, he told a group of bikers, “two men are chasing me.” Kevin proceeds to escape while Harry and Marv are brutally beaten in the streets. Upon returning to the hotel, the owner claimed the room was never paid for, and tried to make the boy pay again. When Kevin refused, the man grabbed him, taking the money by force. Red faced with fury, the kid fled back into the streets.

He ran until Harry and Marv, limping and beaten to a pulp, found him once again. They pulled him through alleys, describing brutal methods of torture he would endure. I can’t even repeat the words… I don’t think I have ever heard such gruesome ideas before. I didn’t believe a child’s face could be more consumed by hatred, but the way Kevin looked at them gave me chills.

When he saw three homeless men ahead, he began frantically digging through his pockets. The bandits were too busy watching their surroundings to notice, but the kid found a few crumpled twenty’s. As they passed the homeless, he threw the cash into their circle. “Help, kill these guys!” He screamed. After retrieving the cash, the three men descended upon the bandits, and Kevin was able to escape.

In the next scene, Kevin was alone in the dark park. The sulky child walked with his head down, frightened by the shady characters he encountered. More than one tried to sell him drugs, and when the prostitute taunted him, he flipped her off. After running from the taxi driver, he bumped into the ex-pigeon lady again.

They had an almost-normal chat if you can pretend it’s normal to teach a ten-year-old how to shoot heroin. Where she once placed bird seed into his hand, she now rolled his sleeve up with a mother’s tenderness. She injected the drug into his vein, and when finished, he fell backwards into a snowy hill, looking up into a clear, night sky. As the camera pulled away, Kevin could be seen smiling for the first time.

It skipped their touching scene at the orchestra, instead going directly to Kevin entering his uncle’s home. I didn’t notice any difference in the trap-setting montage aside from the same eerie music as before. This is where the movie got truly graphic. I’ve seen a lot of horror, but I’ve never seen anything so incredibly brutal as the derailed special effects to come.

The scene at the toy store began with Kevin, hat off for the first time since the apology scene. His ears were turning green with infection from his still untreated burns. He smiled wickedly as he collected bricks, but he never bothered taking a picture. Actually, I don’t think he had the camera or voice recorder at all. Likewise, he didn’t attach a note to the brick he threw into the window.

Harry ran outside, tripped on the failed seesaw, and face-planted into the sidewalk. He lifted his head to show a bloody nose and murderous eyes. Seeing the trap failed, Kevin began running away. Marv emerged, also tripping on the board, and fell into Harry.

When the boy taunted the bandits from his uncle’s roof, they responded in the usual way. The first brick dropped still hit Marv in the forehead, but left a wide, bloody gash. The next two bricks gave matching lacerations, and blood sprayed the sidewalk on impact.

Both the men’s faces were already in poor condition from previous beatings, but somehow, each new wound was prominent among the rest. I wish I could tell you I watched because some strange power stayed my hand, or that the movie threatened me in some way, but I can’t. The only reason I continued watching was because some twisted part of me wanted to see what else they’d done to it. There was absolutely nothing to give any indication it was edited. If I had never seen it, I would have believed it genuinely filmed that way.

After Harry left to find another entrance, Marv struggled to his feet. At the front door, he pulled the knob off to initiate the same staple-gun trap, albeit without the comically long rope. The string quickly pulled tight, shooting a staple into his nutsack region, not his ass. He then fell to his knees, pulling the trigger once more. I had to look away when the staple penetrated his eye… they just made it so graphic.

Harry tried to go up the slippery ladder and fell on his back, but nothing worse than usual. When he kicked in the side door, most of the falling tools missed him, but the camera didn’t cut away when the last wrench fell. The sound of his skull breaking was nothing compared to the blood that splattered and the way his head caved inward. He should have been dead, but he wasn’t.

Marv kicked open the front door, but fell off the incomplete floor ledge, landing with a sickening thud. Blood stains spread beneath him as he moaned in agony. When finally able to stand, he walked on shaky legs around the green goop he normally slips in. He still tried to use the sink, probably because he was covered in as much blood in my version as he was paint in the real movie.

The electrocution scene was horrible. When he attempted to use the sink, his body went rigid as electricity coursed through him. His hair caught fire, and the screen filled with smoke. I know it was only my imagination, but I swear I could smell him burning. It felt like it lasted longer than normal; he fried for almost a full minute. He, too, should be dead… but wasn’t. Kevin laughed maniacally as he maxed out the voltage before running away. It didn’t stop until the actual device blew sparks and died.

It skipped Harry catching on fire and dipping his head in the toilet. Instead, it stayed with Marv as he somehow recovered. He erected a tower of junk to climb through the hole in the floor and almost made it to the top before it fell, burying him beneath the rubble with more gut-wrenching sound effects.

Back upstairs, Kevin sneaked down a hall, past Harry, and attempted to climb the ladder he previously sawed halfway through. It broke too early and sent him crashing into the ground. Recovering quickly, he almost made it to the top of the stairs before Harry saw him. When Marv caught up, the two undead bandits pretended to run upstairs. This time, they avoided the paint cans thrown by the kid, and there was no giant, metal, beam-like object.

The bandits hurled more threats at Kevin as they tried to enter the attic, but they didn’t conveniently listen as the tool-chest hurtled down the stairs. Instead, they backed away, confused looks on their disfigured faces, as the door exploded with a loud crash.

On the roof, Kevin still climbs down a rope and sets it on fire as the bandits descend. The difference is, Harry and Marv are engulfed in the flames before falling several stories to land on their backs – legs protruding at angles that made my stomach churn. The dozens of paint cans to fall on them after was just overkill.

Kevin calls the police from a pay phone while the bandits recover, but they catch him when he slips on the ice. Harry and Marv hardly look human anymore with their lumpy faces and broken limbs, but they still lifted the boy to his feet. Then they dragged him to the park, putting a gun in his face, and enjoying each new cry of terror they won.

Eventually the beating began, making Kevin suffer before he died. The kid was on the ground, curled in a ball, trying to protect his head with his arms, screaming for help. Finally, when the sharp kicks to his body stopped, he looked up, into the barrel of Harry’s gun. As the hammer pulled back, he squeezed his eyes shut. Then a loud bang echoed through the park, followed closely by a second.

Kevin remained still until he heard a booming voice say, “This is the police, you’re safe now.” As he opened his eyes, red and blue lights flashed all around him. Two paramedics wrapped him in a blanket and carried him to an ambulance. There, he met Mr. Duncan who praised him for saving his store.

Next, we see a few clips of the boy being adopted by Mr. Duncan and going on to live a happy, normal life. When you think the credits are about to roll, it fades to a scene zoomed in on Kevin’s smiling, jubilant face. Very slowly, as beautiful, inspirational music plays in the background, it zooms out to reveal him lying on a snowy hillside in the park; his eyes are glazed over in death, and a needle hangs from his arm.

I went to the website to see what I could find out about the person I got it from, but the torrent was removed. I looked on other sites, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I tried to show my partner the next morning, but it said “file corrupt” each time I pressed play. Next time I was alone, the movie suddenly worked again. I tried to screen record, but it only showed blackness when I rewatched the video.

I keep trying to add a link below for anyone who wants to see it, but they are being disabled faster than I can post more. Hurry – click the one below before they remove it too.

There’s only one thing you should know first. Since seeing it, no matter what I’m watching or who I watch with… occasionally I’ll see flashes of strange scenes… whatever is on will stray from its usual script and change into something horrible. That’s probably my imagination, but I thought I’d mention it… just in case.

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