Merry Christmas

A throbbing pain in his left temple kept Scott awake, the migraine medication barely taking the edge off of the sharp pangs radiating out from behind his eye. He’d been to all the doctors, and they’d all said the same thing: he was in perfect health. Which just couldn’t be as he had nightly pains in the left side of his cranium, as if something were slowly digging it’s way out using a dulled spoon. Walking don the steps to the ground floor of his home, Scott moved with practiced ease in the darkness to set up a kettle for some tea that he found soothed his aching nerves.

Sitting down at the kitchen table while he waited for the water to boil, beneath the dim light of a hanging fixture hung low over the table, Scott flipped through the pages of a guitar magazine, ogling the many different instruments that the big name musicians seemed to carry about. Only when the tea pot let out a harsh whistle signaling that the water was hot enough did Scott tear his one good eye away from the magazine and move to stand up

But to his surprise, the tea kettle was off the burner and one of his novelty mugs was already filled with the steaming liquid.

Looking around, Scott heaved a sigh and closed his eyes. “Not again… not now…” he pleaded to the universe, who seemed rather indifferent on the subject.

Standing up and moving to his knife stand, Scott pulled out a butchers knife that was easily nine inches long and sharpened to a point. The gleaming metal glinted in the dim lighting of the kitchen as Scott moved to investigate the surrounding rooms for anything suspicious. He found plenty.

Entering the living room he found several old Crayola crayons melted atop a mirrored tabletop, along with the shutters to the windows flipped about haphazardly. Brandishing the knife, Scott rounded the corner into the living room, moving beneath the space under the stairs to look about the room illuminated by a glowing Christmas tree. A rustling within the tree caused several large red and gold ornaments to fall and crack on the tile floor, the tinkling of glass echoing throughout the empty room.

“I know you’re in there,” Scott said, brandishing the knife. “So you can just come on out now and save us both the hassle of me coming in there to get you.”

A light, airy giggle emanated from the sparkling Christmas tree, leading Scott’s eyes from the top to the middle of the tree, where two winking red eyes stared out from within the branches. Moving past the fireplace with the oversized stockings hung so gently with care, Scott plunged his hand into the mass of pine needles, groping for the little bugger that was the source of his holiday woes. Instead of finding skinny arms and bloated belly, he merely found coiled up wires, along with two small red bulbs winking in unison.

Before he could even pull his arm free and shout with surprise, the creature was upon him, ripping free from one of the stockings, small gifts tumbling down into the fireplace to be roasted as the grey-skinned nightmare pounced upon Scott’s back. With fingers like needles and a wild shock of hair leading from the crown of its head all the way down its back, the feral little elf bared its teeth as it sank its claws into Scott’s shoulder, pumping him full of the poison that these evil creatures possessed.

His head growing light as the pain ebbed away, giving way to the euphoria of a drunken stupor, Scott fought to keep his balance as he swung back behind him with the steak knife, slicing nothing but air. The creature grabbed a handful of Scott’s hair, scaling his back as it repeatedly jabbed him in the spine with its poisonous fingertips, flecks of blood flying to spatter the walls.

Scott backed up into the mantle, slamming the tiny creature between the rick and his back, a loud crunch emanating from behind him followed by a pigs squeal. Reaching back as he gasped for air, Scott grabbed onto the hand that had gained purchase on his shredded shirt and skin. Pulling the hooked fingers out one by one, Scott dropped the creature to the floor and, in a moment of rage, stomped on its chest as hard as he could.

His vision cloudy, his hearing garbled, Scott stumbled back towards the kitchen, the floor teetering on its own as he made his way. He never heard the shot coming from the police that had kicked in his door, nor the warning the officers shouted out to him. As a bullet tore through his side into his chest cavity, Scott stumbled to the side, slamming into the wall. Swinging his head around, he stared at the blurry image of the officer, listened to the distorted calls that sounded as if they were being made from underwater. He raised his hand, knife clenched in his numbed fist, trying to tell them he wasn’t a threat.

Instead his swollen tongue only allowed him to gurgle loudly, to which the officer replied with three square shots into Scott’s frame, not that he felt it. Blood dribbling down his chest in torrents, he shuffled forward before falling down into a puddle of his own fluids, twitching and moaning as the paralytic toxins of the little elf completely cut him off from the outside world. Now a prisoner in his own body, Scott stared with unfocused eyes as his vision grew dark, his body growling cold. His last thoughts revolved around the dark sprite that had caused him to be slain in such a manner, and how these creatures were supposedly Santa’s helpers.

Then he closed his eyes and allowed the darkness to consume him, waves of cold pressure billowing over him as the officer knelt down to check Scott’s pulse, only to find nothing.

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