Archive for the Family Category

Jeff the Killer Reboot Part 3

Posted in Creepy, Creepypasta, Family, Memes, Short Stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Here we go guys, finally on to part 3! If you’re new to this tale here are parts 1 and 2 respectively. Have fun!

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The next morning began with Jeff and his brother getting ready for their first day at their new school. Their mother was frantic, trying to get them ready before she had to leave for her own errands. Apparently Liu had awoken late and was still getting dressed when Jeff had come down to the kitchen for breakfast, as he could hear the two bicker all the way upstairs.

“Honestly Liu, is it really that hard to set your alarm?” he heard his mother ask. Knowing her, she was probably picking at Liu’s clothes and hair, making sure everything was in place.

Jeff could hear his brother as well. “Mom, stop! It’s fine! My hair is fine! Would you just leave me alone?”

Not long after Liu stomped down the stairs, toothbrush in mouth and buttoning up his shirt.

“So how are you this morning?” Jeff asked with a hint of sarcasm.

Liu pulled the toothbrush out of his mouth, spat in the kitchen sink, and began pulling a box of Pop-Tarts from off the shelf. “Could definitely be better,” he replied in a bitter tone. “Watch out: Mom’s being a mega bitch today.”

The two fell silent as their mother quickly paced her way into the room, putting on a diamond earring in one ear. The business suit she wore was a bright red. Being a real estate agent herself, she did everything she could to get the attention of buyers and sellers alike; wearing bright colors was just one of her strategies. All it ever did for Jeff was make him think of blood, like she was some kind of ravenous predator.

Jeff’s father had already left for work, so at least he was spared from the nonsense. Jeff wished that he could just get his morning routine over with and leave. But he knew his mom would flip if she realized that he had left without inspecting him as well. She wouldn’t like Jeff leaving without the protection of his older brother either.

As he sat at the table, his mother gave Jeff a good look-over, and a sharp tsk of disappointment escaped her.

“Did you really have to wear that shirt today Jeff?” she asked as she walked over to him. She put a hand into his hair shaking her head. “Ugh, I should have taken you somewhere to get a haircut. It’s getting way too long. You’re starting to look like a damn hippie.”

His mother’s criticisms was starting to get to him. As he ate his cereal, he started gripping his spoon more and more tightly. It wasn’t until he pulled his fingers around the handle into a fist that he realized what he was doing.

Suddenly Jeff was gripped with the idea to shove the spoon into his mother’s eye socket. Her screams echoing in his head. He could imagine the wet sucking sound as he scooped her eye out, leaving nothing but a bloody hole in the side of her face.

This was only fantasy, yet it was one that managed to surprise even him. He was aware he was prone to such flights of fancy, yet he had never had such an intense desire to act until this very moment. He grunted, shifting away from his mother’s hand.

She sighed and left the room, saying nothing else to either Jeff or Liu. Most likely, she was content to ignore the two for now and move on with the rest of her day. Jeff shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he tried to push the images from his mind. He held his spoon properly and finished his cereal in haste.

“Come on, Jeffy,” Liu said as he slapped his brother on the back. “The bus is going to get here really soon. I don’t want to have to get mom to drive us if we miss it.”

Jeff grunted and gulped down the last of his cereal. “I’m coming, I’m coming,” with little enthusiasm. “Just don’t leave me here to rot.”

 

The Babadook: Grief Monster

Posted in Children, Family, Film, Horror, Monsters, Movies, Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

The-Babadook

You can guess what movie I just watched! And it’s about time too. Seems like this film has been released everywhere except the U.S. I wanted to see this flick so much, it was starting to drive me nuts (though not as crazy as Amelia).

Amelia’s a lonely widow living with her son, Samuel. He’s a difficult child, making his own weapons and talking about killing monsters – even to the point where he’s pulled out of school. To make matters worse, his birthday is coming up, which also coincides with the death of his father, Amelia’s lost husband. It’s a very stressful time in their household.

Which is made even worse by the inexplicable appearance of a strange pop-up book titled “Mister Babadook.” It tells the story of a monster by the same name. It terrifies Sam and sets him on an obsessive path to try to protect both himself and his mother from the creature. Amelia’s closer inspection shows the book predicting horrible things happening, things that she will do to her child.

Amelia tries to convince her son the monster isn’t real, but strange occurrences prove otherwise. Will mother and son be able to contend with the Babadook? Or will they find themselves overwhelmed?

It’s spooky, it’s smart, and tells a gut-wrenching story that left my stomach in knots.  Those who prefer a faster paced film or expecting a straight-up monster movie will be disappointed; The Babadook is not that kind of film. The slow tension is well worth it though, as we get to know Amelia and her son so well while they’re tormented, which only ups the ante emotionally. A horror movie is so much better when you actually give a damn about the characters.

In fact, I enjoyed the film so much that I pre-ordered my very own copy of the pop-up book shown in the film. It just hope it reaches the minimum amount of orders so it’ll actually get printed. Fingers crossed!

Okay, so I’d like to get in a little deeper at this point. I’ll be discussing different plot points throughout the film. If you’re wary of spoilers, DON’T READ PAST THIS POINT. You’ve been warned!

So, I imagine it’s safe to say that this monster is a personification of grief. It’s very clear that Amelia is still dealing with the loss of her husband, even after six years. Sam doesn’t get to celebrate his birthday on the proper date because it’s the same as his father’s death, and Amelia keeps all his old things down in their cellar. This grief leaves them very isolated from other people as they’re unable to connect with family or create new relationships.

As Amelia’s grief starts to overwhelm her, the tension builds and the Babadook makes himself known. This is especially true when Amelia’s mental state starts deteriorating and she gets ‘possessed.’ Grief-stricken people often lash out, even at the ones they love. There is a monster inside her, but it’s her own emotions that make her act out.

They say you can’t get rid of the Babadook, and that makes total sense if he and grief are one and the same. Those who have suffered the loss never really get over it. That pain will always be with them, and Amelia and her son are no exception. The solution is simple: you learn to live with it. It becomes a part of you and your daily life that you acknowledge and look after. In Amelia’s case that means keeping it in your basement and feeding it bugs from the garden, but hey, people often deal with their grief in strange ways!

Perhaps in a way all are secretly looking after a babadook of our own. How do you live with yours?

Jeff the Killer Reboot Part 2

Posted in Creepypasta, Family, Short Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

So here’s part two of the Jeff the Killer Reboot. I know it’s a long time coming, but I plan to keep this tale updated through October, so you can expect to see more. You can read part one here. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you think!

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“Hi, I’m Barbara!” she said, smiling cheerfully. Her white blouse ruffled in the early autumn breeze, along with her short, curly hair; a quaint, yet unremarkable appearance. As Jeff observed, he couldn’t help but think that this woman would be forgotten in seconds if, for some reason, she inexplicably disappeared.

“Just thought I’d stop by to introduce ourselves. This is my son-” She gave the boy a slight nudge, “Billy, say hi to our new neighbors.”

“Hi,” was all he bothered to say before weaseling out of his mother’s grip and running back across the street to play in his own yard.

“Oh! Well it’s wonderful to meet you,” Jeff’s mother replied with a warm smile. It seemed to Jeff she was putting on her charms already. Jeff picked up the last boxes and took them to the front porch before his mother’s pleasantries would make him want to vomit.

“So what do you think?” Liu asked as Jeff walked up the steps.

As Jeff set the boxes down, he turned and looked at his mother and the neighbor as they chattered like birds. “I think she’ll be the most popular woman in the neighborhood by the end of the week,” he said with a slight hint of sarcasm.

Liu snickered. “Always the optimist, huh?”

Liu’s grin didn’t last for long though, as they both overheard what the new neighbor had to say. “You know next weekend Billy’s going to be having a birthday party. Would you and your boys like to come?”

“Of course they would love to!” their mother exclaimed. “I bet they would love to meet all of Billy’s friends!”

The boys looked on bewildered. How could their mom be getting them into this nonsense? Still, neither had time to voice their objections.

Before long she had discussed the arrangements and said her goodbyes to the other woman. As she made her way back to the house Jeff and Liu were ready to give her a piece of their minds.

“Mom, what the hell?” Liu asked annoyed as they entered their new home. “Why’d you invite us to some little kid’s party?”

“Don’t ya think we’re a little too old to befriend that kid anyway?” Jeff added in agreement.

“Both of you stop complaining – and don’t use that word Liu!” their mother replied. Liu sighed and rolled his eyes.

Jeff’s mother stared he sons down as she made her point. “Boys, we just moved here; it’s important that we make a good first impression as soon as possible. More of our neighbors and other people in the community are likely going to be at that party. It’s vital that we all be there to show that we’re a good family. I’m not going to end up some kind of social pariah, and neither are the rest of you. We’re going to that party and that’s final.”

Neither son made an effort to reply. Living their entire lives with her, they knew when it was futile to argue when she was this determined. Liu turned went inside, slamming the door behind him. Jeff kept his head down and slowly followed.

“You’re going to be living here for a while guys,” she called after them. “You need to start fitting in!”

*                                                 *                                                 *

Jeff plopped himself on his bed and stared at the ceiling for the longest time. Oftentimes, all he needed was a little peace and quiet to quiet his angry moods like the one he had right now, but this time the feelings lingered longer than he liked. When things were like this he could get himself into real trouble – the kind of trouble that his mother didn’t like discussing with others.

When he was a kid his moods were harder for him to control. Jeff’s dad once found several dead songbirds hidden in his sock drawer. That’s when he had to go see Dr. Radcliffe for a while. He didn’t want to repeat that experience anytime soon.

Luckily the mood soon abated and Jeff rose to finish unpacking his things. The work helped as well, and he became so engrossed in his task that he almost didn’t hear his mother call him for dinner.

 

Jeff the Killer Reboot Part 1

Posted in Creepypasta, Family, Memes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Okay, so at the request of my sister and some other internet-dwellers I’d thought I’d try and write another version of Jeff the Killer’s tale. This is not to steal the thunder from the original writer or story; they made the original concept and should be given kudos in the regard. Mostly it was an interesting exercise for me and I really wanted to explore more of Jeff’s character and his relationship with his brother. I find family to be a major theme in my writing, so it was just a natural fit.

I’d would also like to hear everyone’s opinion on this one. How does it compare to the original? Do you think it’s too different or doesn’t capture the right kind of message?  Never forget – I love to hear comments and critiques of my work so I can improve! In any case, enjoy and remember to stick around for part two.

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Excerpt from the Alpine Valley Post

SURVIVOR RECOUNTS EXPERIENCE WITH MYSTERIOUS SERIAL KILLER

Despite law enforcement’s continued efforts to solve the unexplained murders terrorizing Northern California, the perpetrator’s identity still remains a mystery. Various reports of the killer and his rumored abilities have police unable to determine his next move.

Last Thursday’s incident, the latest murder attempt, has left one young boy very lucky to be alive. Although his family asks not to reveal his name, he has bravely chosen to tell his harrowing story with us in an exclusive interview.

According to the young survivor, the killer broke into his room through an unlocked window as he slept. The boy awoke to close it, with the killer revealing himself only when the boy was drifting back to sleep.

“His face was all wrong,” said the boy. “It was awful and ugly. His skin was white and looked kinda rubbery or something, and his eyes were sunken in and colorless. The worst was his mouth; it was in this huge smile that stretched from ear to ear; much wider than any normal person could. It was like a monster out of a nightmare.”

The survivor also describes the killer as tall – approximately six feet with a slim build. At the time of the attack, he was armed with a knife and dressed in an old white hoodie and dark pants. This is consistent with the wounds of previous victims, but the survivor has more to add about the killer’s modus operandi.

“He said ‘go to sleep’,” the survivor said, “That’s when I screamed and he tried to attack me.”

The young man fought and managed to keep his attacker at bay until his father rushed in to help. Neighbors overheard the struggle and called police. It is believed that the sound of oncoming sirens scared the killer off and saved the two.

Both the boy and the father received significant knife wounds that needed medical attention. The father has already been released from the hospital, but the young boy appears to have deeper psychological issues that keep him in North Harrison Hospital.

“I’ll never forget it,” he said. “That terrible face coming out of the darkness and talking to me – that picture never leaves my head. I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again.”

Police continue their investigation of this serial killer. They ask anyone who may know of this person or his whereabouts to contact their local authorities. They also advise citizens that this killer is armed and dangerous and should not be approached under any circumstances.

 

 

With his father’s latest promotion, Jeff found his life changing dramatically. His mother had insisted on moving them all to one of those ritzy communities where house were barely distinguishable from each other and the homeowner’s association dictated how high the grass could be. Not exactly his first choice of residence, but both Jeff and his older brother Liu couldn’t complain too much. Their new home was bigger, nicer, and even had a small pool in the back. How could they ask for more?

The act of moving was a different story. Their parents orchestrated everyone’s movements, leaving Jeff and Liu to lug their things into the house as the hired movers took care of the larger furniture. The warm September day had many other people outside, and it wasn’t long before their activity drew the locals. As the movers left and Jeff’s family began bringing in the last of their belongings, a woman from across the street approached his mother, a little boy no older than seven towed behind her.

A Special Story

Posted in Family, Humor, Short Stories, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

I don’t normally post videos on Tuesdays, but today I’ll make an exception. This is a story from my father. He always loves to tell this one around a campfire full of friends and loved ones. In fact, this is the first campfire story he told me as a child! Enjoy.

 

 

Yeah, dear old Dad was a troll long before it was a thing… Happy April Fools!

Creepypasta Critique: Jeff the Killer Sucks

Posted in Children, Creepypasta, Family, Horror, Memes, Monsters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by Stephanie Selby
Truly, a face not even a mother could love!

Truly, a face not even a mother could love!

Okay, before all you Jeff fans throw me to the wolves, hear me out. Those who are unfamiliar with the story can read it here and get acquainted with this merciless fellow.

Jeff the Killer is a psychotic young man who was maimed when neighborhood bullies attacked him and set him on fire. This triggered his psychosis, causing him to become a murderous lunatic and he now enjoys a life of murdering anyone and everyone he can get his hands on. He’s so ubiquitous with creepypasta, anyone who has ever spent their time reading such internet tales has at least heard of him. However, there is one significant problem with our pale-faced friend: his story sucks!

The number of bizarre plot points is significant: Suburban kids pulling knives and guns like they’re an intercity gang, the lack of involvement from intelligent adults and parents, poorly constructed motivations for revenge, not to mention the fire maiming Jeff in ways not possible in the real world. The dialogue and prose aren’t impressive either as events occur quickly with little reflection or emotional investment (Poor Jeff is depressed that his bother was arrested and sent to juvenile detention…oh well, make him cheer up and go to a silly kids party anyway!).

I’m sure many have noticed that his appearance is similar to version of Christopher Nolan’s version of the Joker. Come on, the guy cuts a smile into his face! Why so serious, Jeff? But I digress

This story makes the perfectionist part of me go a little bonkers because I want to fix the story somehow, like I’m an editor with a serious case of OCD.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that it doesn’t matter. That it’s just a story made for entertainment and not to be taken seriously, and it should be enjoyed for what it is. I disagree on all of these points. I don’t care if it’s a movie, TV show, book, or a short story on the internet; bad writing always gets to me. The plot holes, the lack of realism, bad dialogue: all of these issues take away my ability to immerse myself, to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the moment. All this story does is tick me off and wonder why I’m wasting my time when I could be reading something better. Forget getting creeped out or scared! There are many creepypastas that are much better than this.

All I’m saying is put effort into what you do. It really does make a difference.

Yes it is an internet story written by an amateur. We’ve all got to start somewhere when it comes to writing, and whoever wrote Jeff the Killer must be commended for their creativity. I certainly understand that it not something the author was getting paid for or anything, but why give success to such a lackluster story? Why couldn’t the original author do a little more editing before sharing it with all of us? The story just proves to me people are lazy and don’t care about the quality of what they do manage to produce.

So if the original story is so terrible, how has Jeff become such an iconic character in the creepypasta community? The answer, in my personal opinion, is that damned picture. Like many well known horror villains, Jeff’s features are striking and frightening, yet instantly recognizable. This is a trait of many horror movie villains; Michael Meyers has his creepy William Shatner mask, Freddy Kruger’ has a burned face of his own with a clawed hand and bold sweater, and Jason Voorhees has his hockey mask and machete. Most of these slasher flicks aren’t very good either, yet these characters have entered mainstream culture as well. Jeff’s even has his own catchphrase going for him, and easy to reference. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood tries to rip the internet off and make a movie with him at some point.

I suppose my point is that even though the story that spawned Jeff is a bore, the character has redeeming qualities that manage to make him one of the most popular creepypasta characters on the internet. I don’t hate Jeff, I hate bad writing!

So what do all of you readers think? Could the story be improved? Are you a fan of Jeff the Killer? Why do you think he’s become so popular? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

A Christmas Creepypasta Part 2

Posted in Children, Creepy, Creepypasta, Family, Fiction, Horror, Memes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Here’s Part 2 of Tuesday’s story. Enjoy!

Click here to read Part 1.

The old man that stood before me really was someone dressed as Santa Claus, and he looked every inch the part. His body was the perfect size, he had the long white beard, and his outfit was a beautifully made red jacket and pants. His face contained the soft, loving features of an old man enjoying the moment. What surprised me the most about this strange man was even though he had just entered through our musty chimney, there wasn’t single speck of soot on him. It was almost as if anything that could mar his perfect appearance was naturally repelled.

I was finally convinced he was the real deal by what came next. Throwing his sack of presents over his shoulder, Santa stepped away from the fireplace and a short elf-girl emerged to follow him.

 The elf had pointed ears, a glistening green suit, and was so short she only came up to Santa’s knee. Unlike the jolly old man, she seemed terrified to take a single step into our home. She looked all around as if there was some terrible threat in the room, and seemed only slightly relieved when she mistakenly thought it was empty.

 Santa noticed her fear, but rather than reassure her as would be expected, for a fraction of a second his kind face changed into a look of pure, horrifying malice. It was like the kind old man had been replaced by an insane, merciless master only to return a nanosecond later. The elf’s mood changed on a dime. In short order she was filling our stockings with small toys and candy with a smile plastered onto her face that seemed ready to crack at any moment. Being so short, she had to use some kind of magic to levitate so she could get within reach.

 With purposeful, yet quiet footsteps Santa made his way to our tree. Taking two presents from his bag, he placed them in the proper spot and went to where we had left his traditional snack. The elf was done with her job too, but Santa wasn’t inclined to share with his companion. Now that she was towing the line, he barely even acknowledged her presence. She just stood there next to him, waiting for him to finish, wringing her hands in nervous movements.

On its face this whole scene like something ripped straight from a Christmas television special, but even at my young age I could tell that something more was going on. What I’m trying to say is it seemed like they where attempting to appear whimsical for whimsy’s sake. Like it was all one big act they were putting on. The little elf barely passed as a convincing actress, and Santa’s momentary lapse only cemented my suspicions. It was something I was unable to articulate fully at the time, but I can now: it looked like a ruse.

Chris fell for it right away though. He must have been too young to notice the sinister signs that I had been able to. From my angle on the floor I could see him clearly in his own hiding spot. The look on his face told me everything I needed to know. He was completely enamored with these two people. To my horror, he slowly crept out from behind the chair.

I wanted to call out to him, to tell him to stay right where he was, that these two were strangers, that there was no way to tell what would happen once they knew we were there, but that would have given us both away. It’s not like he wouldn’t have listened to me either. How many kids out there can’t help but trust Santa Claus?

“Wow…” he whispered to our bizarre intruders. “It’s really you!”

At this both Santa and his elf turned to find Chris standing in the middle of the room. Both had this faux expression of surprise that only served to unsettle me further.

“Waiting up for us I see,” Santa commented with a warm smile.

“Yeah!” Chris said cheerfully. “I wanted to prove that you were really real and everything!”

“And it seems you have.” Santa replied with a chuckle. He sat down in my father’s chair and motioned to Chris to sit with him, to which he obliged.

“Oh man, I’ve got so many questions!” Chris exclaimed. “Are the reindeer on the roof? Can I see them? What’s it like living at the North Pole? Oh, I wish I could see it someday!”

“All in good time,” Santa said grinning at his remark. Maybe to some it would have looked like a friendly expression, but to me it was a smile that seemed to contain the self-satisfaction of winning a game.

As for the elf, she had lost all color in her face. She made no move whatsoever as the two sat together, but her expression was enough to tell me that something horrible was about to happen.

“I knew you were real! I just knew it!” Chris said. “And all the big kids at school give us such a hard time about it. Even sis was loosing it too! Just wait until everyone hears about this!”

“They won’t Chris,” Santa said, clasping his gloved hand over my brother’s shoulder.

“Huh? Why not?” he asked confused. “Do I have to keep it secret?”

Santa laughed a deep, evil laugh that was too much unlike his usual ‘ho, ho, ho.’ “Do you honestly think that you’ve been the only one to ever see me? That throughout history, the many little children of the world haven’t done the same as you?”

Chris shifted uncomfortably in the man’s lap. “I guess not.”

“You see Chris,” Santa began, “children are not to be trusted. They’re the ignorant, greedy, and selfish offspring of humans; a greedy and selfish race to begin with. Over the years I’ve been able to sustain myself on these human qualities, and humans have happily whitewashed my persona in order to satiate their desires without guilt. It’s the perfect season for it; don’t you agree my dear boy?”

The excitement in Chris’ face was all but gone now. He was finally starting to get it.

“The children who seek me out always want something,” Santa said. “More meaningless possessions, satisfaction of curiosity, or simple proof are only a few examples. However, there is always a price to be paid for breaking the rules and finding something that is not meant to be found.”

Throughout this conversation, the elf began to gather the gifts they had brought with a hint of reluctance. She even managed to make the cookies Santa ate magically reappear. She was ridding the house of any evidence of their presence.

Santa’s hand squeezed Chris’ shoulder tightly. “I’m always looking for more helpers,” he continued. “Children who have seen me, who could never keep such a secret are the perfect candidates.”

 My brother’s face turned to an expression of absolute fear. He now realized his fatal error.

“You are not the first,” he said, “You certainly won’t be the last.”

Turning to his elf Santa barked out a command, “Annabelle! It’s time! Change him now!”

“No! Pl-please, I-” the elf stammered. “Please don’t make me…”

Santa gave her a cruel look of distain and waved his hand towards her in an odd way. I was horrified to see the elf suddenly start clawing frantically at her face, digging her nails into her own skin. She screeched in pain, unable to stop harming herself. Santa waved his hand again, releasing her from her torture. Her face was now covered in scratches and dripping with blood.

Chris screamed and dove off his lap, trying to rush out of the room, but the old man made another strange wave with his hand and Chris stopped in his tracks. As if possessed, my brother turned around to face him, his eyes wide with fear. He was under that awful man’s control.

“Don’t you see? It’s too late for you now!” he said triumphantly, “Accept your fate!”

With a smug grin Santa looked to his companion. “I should really start having you all wear red,” he said in mocking tone. “At least then the blood wouldn’t show so much. Are you going to do as you’re told now, Annabelle, or do I have to think of something worse for you?”

The elf let out a heavy sob and looked up to my terrified brother. “I’m sorry,” she said in a sad, high-pitched voice. From where I was I could see her tears mingling with blood as she took a little silver wand hidden in the folds of her clothes. She pointed it directly at my brother, and a blinding flash filled the room.

It took some time for my sight to recover, but when it did I saw the Chris I knew was disappearing before me. His whole body looked like it was melting before my eyes; unnecessary flesh falling away and reshaping itself. When the transformation was over, he was shorter and squatter. His ears came out to sharp points; his nose was round and flush as if he had been out in the cold. Even his clothes had changed to a uniform similar to Santa’s companion-only red this time. His new elf appearance was a caricature of his former self.

He must have been so scared. Looking down at his new form, he could only let out a pitiful squeak. So was I, as I lay frozen underneath the couch clutching the carpet.

As that awful, obese man and strange crying elf dragged my newly turned brother into our fireplace, Chris looked down and stared directly at me, his expression a desperate cry for help. But what could I do? How could I fight off two, magical beings without getting myself into the same horrible situation? So I did nothing.

I still have nightmares about that.

With Chris in tow, they shot up the chimney all together through their strange magic, and that was the last I ever saw of my little brother.

For almost the entire night I stayed under the couch, softly crying. In my state of shock I had no strength to do much else, but as I saw the sun slowly rise from the windows, I knew it was safe to crawl out of my hiding place and find my way back to my room. The rest, I guess is history.

To this day I won’t have anything to do with this terrible holiday. I don’t decorate. I don’t give out gifts. I don’t go to parties. I won’t even live in a house with a chimney or fireplace. Hell, I even refuse to visit houses with one this time of year. Don’t even get me started about the mall or streetcorner Santas; I just keep to my apartment as much as I can. In my paranoia, I really just turn into a cheerless shut-in a month out of the year because I know that somewhere in the world there will be more unlucky children going missing.

I still don’t know why I didn’t meet the same fate as my brother. Has he never told his captors that I was there too? Could he really keep a secret for that long? Could they somehow…pry…the truth out of him? Every year since that night I’ve been terrified that they’ll finally come for me.

Perhaps what keeps me safe is the fact that I’ve stayed quiet all these years, never telling anyone what really happened. I can only assume that Chris has done the same. Anyone out there must be wondering why I’d say anything about it now. To be honest, I want to because… I’m not sure what that fat bastard could do to me…I mean there’s no way he could turn a fully grown adult into an elf, right?

But most of all I want to know what’s become of Chris. It hurts to think what could have happened to him over all these years, and I need to find out. Maybe if I share my story with the world, somebody out there will give me some answers. Maybe there’s some way I could help him. I’m willing to take the risk.

I just hope all the disturbing possibilities I’ve imagined won’t come to pass.

Christmas Eve is coming. Wish me luck.