Each Night Before Xmas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Trying something new with this semi-horror story that borders on strange.

Scarlet Bristol is one of Porterville's Librarians, there are only the two and Candice Muller, the Mayor's daughter, is the other.

To look at Scarlet, you'd never suspect that she was once called, "Scarlet, the Wicked Witch of Hanover". But that was in the past, during her wild collage years.

During her college years you might hear someone say, in passing, "Scarlet, who's on the menu this weekend?

To which she would always answer, "Mischievous Mayhem!"

 

Satanic rituals, and crystal-ball attempts to contact the dead, were her guest's party favors on weekends.

Mostly, they were just get-together parties for those who fancied themselves as the cut-above, intellectuals.

But if the truth be known, and for the most part, they were the odd ducks that could never get in a row, or just didn't want to; so they walked on their own self-inflicted fringes.

 

Booze was always mixed into herbal teas and pot was usually baked into something; brownies were a favorite.

And yes, there were other drugs, but those were usually reserved for the "One Visit Only Guests"; you know, those that would end up to be the subjects of attention in Scarlet's latest covetous acts.

Yes, it was all fun and games to Scarlet and her friends, but for her One-Time Guests, it was no fun at all.

The last of it came with Conner Jennings, the socially and mentally challenged gardener. A 2nd cousin to one of the literary professors, Jennings was given a job at the college because no-one else would have him.

He wasn't dangerous or anything. For instance, on any given day Jennings might be emptying trash, or any number of other things he was assigned to do. Then out of the blue he would just start talking to someone who wasn't there. Or he would swing his arms violently around; then he would stop and go back to what he was doing before, as if nothing had happened.

 

Hanover College, Scarlet's alma mater. was founded in 1827, and nestled in 650 acres of wooded campus that is located on the banks of the Ohio River.

It's religious leanings were not an issue to the students unless they got caught doing things that disgraced the college itself.

After all, Hanover had a good conservative standing in the college world, and was affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

Hanover College is a private, liberal-arts institution where brains and beauty truly intersect, so Scarlet fit right in.

Yes, their rigorous interdisciplinary academic program, with 34 majors, attracted the best and the brightest from many areas of the country, sometimes the world.

 

The last year Scarlet was at Hanover, she decided to hold a ritualistic cleansing of the evil spirits that were obviously possessing Conner Jennings.

And knowing Jennings never went anywhere for Christmas, and knowing that Jennings was pretty stable as long as he took his anti-psychotic medications, Scarlet invited him to a Christmas Eve party at her rented house, just off campus.

Jennings acted confused by the invitation, but with a little encouragement from Scarlet, he accepted.

 

At last, Christmas Eve came around and Scarlet sent two men over to Jennings bungalow to make sure he attended. They took a bottle of Scarlet's special brew to loosen his inhibitions, and after about an hour he was ushered into the party.

A few more drugs, and some more of Scarlet's secret brew, then Jennings was ready, actually he was almost immobile.

That's when Scarlet handed out horse-whips to her guests and then she tore the shirt off of Jennings.

"Be gone, Oh demons of Satin!" Scarlet yelled, then she hit Jennings on the back with a whip.

Jennings screamed as best he could, all the drugs and alcohol were dulling his abilities, and his senses.

"Demon's of the spirit, be gone from Conner Jennings, I command it!" Scarlet yelled and hit the man again.

That is when others joined in, beating Jennings and yelling at the supposed spirits.

One very drunk woman yelled something at Jennings, then she unbuttoned Jennings pants and some guy pulled them down.

"The demons are hiding in his lower extremities, hit him lower!" the drunk woman yelled, then she hit Jennings harder and harder.

Jennings struggled to stay standing while whip after whip marked his skin, top to bottom.

 

It wasn't long before Scarlet realized that things had gotten out of hand, Jennings was on the floor, bleeding, and making the most horrific sounds.

Scarlet tried to stop the attack, but when she drew near the bleeding man, to shield him, he grabbed her!

Kicking off his shoes, and then his pants, he sprang to his feet holding Scarlet by the hair of her head.

"Gorrundel, I am the demon called "Tri", for I am three!"

Then the hands of Jennings took Scarlet by the ears and placed his mouth over hers! In seconds, she went limp!

And as soon a Jennings let go of her, she fell to the floor.

Then Jennings ran around the room beating everyone with the whip that he took from Scarlet. He spared no-one and he was so fast that no-one could escape.

Then he assaulted the woman who had exposed his lower body, beating her and tearing what little clothes she had on, off!

***

 

When Scarlet woke up, the police were at the residence and there were bodies everywhere. Some beaten pretty bad, some hardly alive.

Scarlet, on the other hand, was hardly scratched. She had some bruises, a few welts, but other than that she was fine.

But not so for Conner Jennings. She saw them load him onto a Conner's gurney, still naked, but now he was dead.

***

After a few weeks the police closed the book on the whole incident, calling it a random attack brought on by Paranoid Schizophrenia.

So everyone went back to their studies, but not Scarlet.

Scarlet packed her belongings and left Hanover College for parts unknown; eventually ending up in Porterville.

And now, every Christmas Eve, Scarlet stands naked in her front room and from her mouth comes the words, "Gorrundel, I am the demon called "Tri", for I am three! We will rise up and punish this woman for her transgressions!"

 

Then three demonic spirits rise from Scarlet's head and begin to beat her body with invisible whips! Then welts rise from Scarlet's skin, welts that will not be seen tomorrow, but are there and painful today.

And Scarlet cries out in agony with each lashing, each night before Christmas, year after year.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

12-23-2020


Submitted: December 24, 2020

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Ann Sepino

Certainly horrifying. Reminds me of some of those campy horror movies that develop a cult following. This trend of mixing horror with Christmas is never going to die down, lol. That twist at the end is epic.

Sun, December 27th, 2020 12:49am

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