Scissor Jim

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
"Snip, snip, snip away your troubles. Snip, snip, snip away the gray. Scissor Jim's gonna make you grin when he snip, snip, snips your frown away..."

Submitted: April 11, 2017

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Submitted: April 11, 2017

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I try to stand, but dizziness sits me back down.  My forehead throbs, like something bludgeoned the front of my skull.  Rubbing my fingers against it, I feel no physical injury and I see no blood when I look at my hand.  I blink hard a few times to get a better view of where I am.  Everything appears shaded, a room of silhouettes I can't identify.  The first thing I notice clearly is a window to my left, shattered open.  A warm breeze blows through, stuttering a whistle through the broken glass.  There's a dark color dripping from the shards.  Squinting, I see it's blood.

My eyes widen, letting loose a gasp as chills creep up my back and over my scalp.  I scuttle backwards, thudding into a wall not far behind me.  Something flops to my right against the wall.  I'm reluctant to turn my head, but a morbid curiosity sets in more heavily.  I look and regret doing so.  I'm unsure whether it's the throbbing on my head or the grisly smile that greets me, but the sight doesn't set in immediately.  After I remember to blink, the realization crushes me and I leap away from the corpse.

I can't take my eyes from it even as I lurch forward to puke.  Its cheeks are carved out, trapping its expression in an everlasting, macabre grin.  Its clothes are stained in scarlet torture, its body in a contorted posture, and a gap left in its throat.  I can barely make out tears on its face.  Whoever they were, they spent their final moments crying.

Snip...  Snip...

The sound of scissors echoes around the corner.  The noise crawls like a thousand tiny strings beneath my skin.

Snip...  Snip...

I think of every possible reason to run, but I don't know which way is out.  I want to go anywhere else, any direction, other than the noise.  I silently beg myself to stop, but my body compels me to follow the sound.  I slowly rise and begin to walk around the corner.  As I turn right at the corner my foot kicks at something plastic.  I look down to find an orange prescription bottle without a lid and blue pills lying across the ground from it.  They seem familiar to me, but my recollection interrupts at the relentless cutting of scissors.

Snip, snip, snip...

I continue, and it echoes louder from beyond the abyss of an open door at the hallway's end.  A flickering light bulb on the ceiling illuminates blood on the walls as smears of words and phrases.  I read them as I walk down the corridor and my blood runs cold with each eerie passage.

"Snip away"
"No frowns"
"Don't be gray"
"Make them smile"

These and many more sentences like them stain the walls like a pair of pages from a gruesome book.  It may be my imagination or the trauma, but when I read them I swear another voice repeats them back to me.  It sounds like a hoarse whisper in a creepily joyful tone. When I reach the end I stop before the door.  My eyes wander above the doorpost and I read the last sentence in unison with the accompanying voice.

"Jim's gonna make you grin"

But that can't be.  There's no way.  It can't be Jim.  I'm Jim!

Snip, snip, snip, snip, snip...

I bring my eyes back to the darkness before me.  I still hear the sound of scissors and it is loud.  I can no longer bear the noise, so I make a decision to enter.  The corpse, the writings, the noise: every image and whisper scratches at my mind.  And the snipping...  Damn that snipping!  It has to stop.  It must stop...  The snipping... The endless, unrelenting, insufferable snipping!  Tearing at me, screaming at me...  I can't take it anymore!

I step through and it stops.  The scissors... I don't hear them anymore.  Looking across the room, beneath the window on the opposite side, there's a figure looming over a body propped against the wall.  The figure faces away from me, but I can see their mangled haircut, black jumpsuit and leather gloves.  He sings the same rhyme over and over again as he uses a pair of scissors to slice the cheeks off their victim’s face.

"Snip, snip, snip away your troubles... Snip, snip, snip away the gray...  Scissor Jim's gonna make you grin when he..."

Snip, snip, snips...

"...your frown away!"

He lets the flesh fall to the floor as if it were scrap.  I can't speak or move.  It's sickening how someone can be doing this.  I don't think he can see me, but my legs are tensed in place.  I notice tears trickle down the victim's face.  They're alive!

"Stop!"

I don't know what came over me.  I can't move to run or stop him, but I manage to rasp out a plea.  The snipping of his scissors gives pause before he stands up, his back still facing me.  He replies with a twisted joy, the same voice from the hallway... 

"No."

My legs shake as my fists and teeth clench.  This sick bastard is killing these people, cutting up their faces to smile like some joke.  No one deserves what he's doing to them.

"Why are you doing this?" I question with a lump in my throat.

"Why?  Jimmy, don’t you remember?”

He sounds excited to answer the question, but not before turning his head slowly to pierce a stare at me.  My heart skips and I lose my breath.  Now my whole body is shaking.  The noise flows back into my head, like the dam of a lake bursting apart.

SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP, SNIP

I can no longer contain it.  My knees it the floor and I clasp my hands over my ears, hoping it'll stop.  It hurts so damn much!  Pulsing through my head, crushing my brain!  All the while his face flashes through my thoughts - those wide eyes, that unflinching, menacing grin.  There's no way that's who he is.  It can't be him, because that's me!

"...I am you, and you love this."

Heat courses my every muscle uncontrollably, compelling me to charge with a raised fist.  I swing, but there's no contact.  My hand passes through his face.  It's like he's not there.

"Ya done?" he asks after a snicker.

We are face to face, and again my legs freeze up.  I struggle to hold back my compulsion to strike again.  It won't matter.  After all, for some reason I can't touch him.

"What are you?" I growl.

There's a pause, and he holds his gaze without a blink.  His pupils are tiny dots amidst two spheres of reddish white, encompassed by dark, sleepless circles.  His sharp teeth show through the mischievous grin, stretching from ear to ear.  I look down at his scissors, rusted and caked in blood.

He replies, “You locked me away with those damn pills!  Do you have any idea what it's like, being nothing but a mute in your goody-two-shoes head?  It doesn't matter anymore.  It’s your turn to be the voice in our head.”

His victim starts to move, pulling themselves by their hands.  They try to crawl away, but the bastard is aware.  He reaches a hand to clutch them by the hair, pulling them back until the two are touching cheeks.  The snipping, already beating against my eardrums, echoes faster in my head.  With a slow, agonizing stroke he tears the scissors across their throat.  I can't bear to watch, but I can't turn away either.  Again I try to plea with him to stop, but this time nothing escapes my lips.  He holds them until no more blood pours out, dropping them to the floor before turning back to me.

"Get used to it.  The night's young, and we're not done..."

He walks right through me toward the door from where I entered.  How can he do that?  He can't be real...  I can't even touch him, but he cut those poor people up.  Am I real?  What happened to me?  I look down at the corpse, my rage sinking like a rock in my stomach.  I realize something peculiar in what he said.

"You said we...  But who's-"

I look up to him and my voice chokes out.  He stands in the doorway, staring into me with those sinister eyes.  The hallway light flickers behind him, flashing into view a silhouette – a humanoid shadow with points of pale light in place of eyes.  I shiver at my first glance of it.

"They welcome us, Jimmy - our new family!"

He holds out his hand to me and my feet slip out as a force drags me toward the door - to him - to that thing!  I resist, clawing at the floor to get away, but still I slide closer.  I yell as loud as I can, hoping by some miracle someone can hear me.  I turn my head for a brief second to see everything beyond the door fading to darkness, allowing only the sight of him and perfect oblivion.  I struggle as best I can, but nothing works.  In a panic I scream again, grasping at the doorposts with both hands to keep from falling in. Their pull is too strong, however, and in seconds they drag me through the portal.  Silence and blackness greet me as the door slams shut.


© Copyright 2018 M. A. Yacone. All rights reserved.

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