First Christmas at the Cabin
17:30 – December 23rd
The log cabin Anna and Laura had rented for Christmas looked like it had been purpose built to go on a postcard, everything was covered in eight inches of sparkling white snow which added to the affect but the cabin sat in a little clearing in the woods, with a cute little chimney and picture frame windows. The owner had been outside to meet them and given them a quick tour showing them how to work the heating, shower and cooker before leaving quickly and telling them to have a merry Christmas.
It was the girls first Christmas together, having only haven met 6 months ago but they couldn’t have been more in love. Neither girl had an easy earlier life but Laura being twenty eight had left her past behind a long time before Anna did. Anna was only 20 and had met Laura at a boxercise class. It had taken a few weeks before they had spoken much but Laura had seen that same lost look in Anna’s eyes that she used to see when she looked in the mirror. The girls had ended up going for a coffee and over the next few weeks gotten to really know each other, both having shared secrets they had never told another living being.
When the cabins owner left, the girls done a little unpacking before turning on the fake log fire and breaking out a bottle of mulled wine. They heat the wine on the stove and filled large mugs before sinking into the comfy sofa next to the fire, putting their feet up on the facing sofa. Looking out the window at the snow covered woods while being inside, toasty warm, the girls sipped their wine.
“I love you” Anna said, beaming at Laura.
Laura had always loved Anna’s smile. She wasn’t one for offering smiles on a whim but if you were lucky enough to see her smile it would fill your heart with warmth.
“I love you too baby” Laura said, reaching over and squeezing Anna’s thigh.
Anna got a naughty grin on her face before jumping up and running into the room where they had left there bags. She re-appeared in the doorway holding a tiny red lace outfit, with some fake white fur in front of her with her gorgeous smile still in place.
“I… Uh…. I thought maybe I could give you and early Christmas present.” Anna said, her cheeks flushing red with embarrassment even though they had slept together on more than several occasions now.
23:47 – 23rd December
A few hours later both girls lay in bed wrapped around each other. Anna could hear Laura’s breathing steady as she drifted off to sleep. She wondered at her luck changing and thanked god for bringing Laura into her life. Although Laura was most definitely her girlfriend she was also like a mother figure to her. Anna had grown up in foster care and it had rarely been a pleasant experience, having been on her own for a few years before meeting Laura she was very independent but she loved feeling looked after and cared for and that’s what Laura gave her.
Feeling thirsty after their energetic lovemaking Anna decided to quietly sneak through to the kitchen for a drink of water. The lace garment had been lovingly removed and then thrown across the room so Anna decided just to slip her feet into the cotton panties she had discarded earlier when dressing up for Laura. She pulled on the fleece lined hoody that lay at the bottom of the bed and crept out into the hall.
Anna was standing in the kitchen sipping some chilled water from the fridge when she heard a noise that sounded like a sip. She turned round quickly and had to rub her eyes because what sat in front of her could not be. Sitting on the window ledge was a little man, no more than 3 foot tall, sipping a cup of tea. His clothes were all lined with fur, it was around the collar and cuffs a bit like Santa’s but his outfit was green and he wasn’t fat. I suppose a lot of people would have said he looked like an elf but his outfit looked expensive and like it would be worn by someone of importance. He did have a lot of little bells hanging on him. He gave a polite nod and one side of his mouth turned up in a slight smile. Anna would normally have screamed in a situation like this but the little man didn’t seem to be threatening and made no signs of moving.
“Who are you?” Anna asked quietly before realising she might actually want to wake Laura up at a time like this.
“Laymon’s the name” said the strange little man, but said no more before returning to sipping his tea.
“And you’re in our cabin because?” Anna asked feeling a little bolder.
“Well. It’s not really your cabin. It could be said that it belongs to the man the rented it to you but that would be incorrect also. Again the small man trailed off, peering out into the snowy night and taking gentle sips at his small tea cup.
Anna looked back towards the hallway wondering whether to go and get Laura but when she turned back the little man was sitting on a window ledge at the other side of the cabin. Anna hadn’t heard him jump down from the other ledge or run across the room so she knew something strange was going on.
“Who are you? Why are you here and what the fuck do you want?”
The little man went on. “Well, when you were little you would lie in bed and pray every single year to have a nice Christmas, with people who loved you and think about how you would give anything to have it. Do you remember?”
Anna remembered well how Christmas had almost crushed her and how the feelings of loneliness had been so much more painful at that time of year. “Yes” she whispered. “But, how could you?”
“I always listen Anna. I heard your cries and I answered your prayers. Isn’t this everything you’ve always dreamed of?” Laymon asked, waving his hand around the picturesque cabin setting.”
“Well yes, but you didn’t give me all this, I got here through a lot of hard work, struggle and heart ache.” Anna replied.
“Are you sure? Is that how things really work? People work hard and they get what they want? I’m not so sure that’s how the world really works. It may be the illusion sold to the masses to keep them plodding along in line but I don’t believe that you of all people think good things just happen to good people.”
Anna took a minute to think it over and knew she had always had a problem with Karma. She had been a very good person who had always been shat on and she knew some total cunts that seemed to have all the luck under the sun. She had heard sayings like they will get their comeuppance but knew that it was all bullshit. “So what? You’re suggesting you listened and gave me the life I wanted and now I owe you something?”
“What a clever girl?” Laymon said and in a flash he was sitting on the couch across from where she stood. “Now. How about I tell you why I’m here so we can get things moving along? I’m a busy man you know.”
“Are you a man though? What are you?”
“What I am, is of little importance darling, what you must do to keep this life you have is all you should care about. It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow and if you haven’t done as I ask before the clock strikes midnight then your happy life will be gone forever.”
“Isn’t Christmas supposed to be a magical time with happy elves and Santa and presents and shit?” Anna snapped
“Well I’m about as close as you’re getting to an elf honey, I’m definitely magical and as far as Santa and presents go I think you’re out of luck.You have your happiness, you have a life that makes you feel complete and so does your partner. There needs to be balance in the universe and for all the happiness there needs to be an equal amount of unhappiness. Now this is where it gets interesting for you. The more unhappiness you cause before 12 o’clock tomorrow night, the more happiness you and Laura will experience throughout your lives together.”
Anna couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “So you are telling me I’m supposed to go on some day long quest to bring misery and pain to others and the more I cause, the happier I’ll be after this day?”
“Exactly” Laymon said eating a large piece of cake that had appeared from no where.
“Fuck that and fuck you” Anna said still keeping her voice down but unsure why.
Laymon laughed and finished his cake before beginning to speak again. “I’ll show you”
With that Anna’s mind was filled with a momentary understanding of how the universe functioned on a level that the human race will never come to understand as we just don’t have the capacity and then it was gone but it was enough for Anna to know that what the strange creature had said had been true. She had no choice.
Laymon looked her in the eyes and said “The choice is yours. I will see you tomorrow evening at midnight. Do not tell Laura about anything that has happened tonight. It was your prayer I answered and it is you alone who must perform these tasks” And then he was gone.
Anna collapsed into the couch sobbing. Less than an hour ago she was cuddled up in bed with the first and only person that had ever loved her and here she was now in a situation where she had to cause as much unspecified carnage as possible before tomorrow night and the more she caused, the happier she would be in the future. She had been put back in the position of a scared little girl who couldn’t talk to anyone for help. A familiar feeling.
23:47 – 24th December
Anna stood behind the couch nervously waiting on the creature called Laymon appearing. She wondered if she had done enough, if she had made the right choice. Could she live with herself and her decisions now? Life was never going to be the same after this night no matter what happened. Anna’s mind ran a million miles an hour as she sat in the darkened living room and then he was there. Just like that. He had appeared sitting on the couch across from her.
“So Anna, after all I told you and all the suffering you have been through you still couldn’t bring yourself to bring pain to others, not even to give yourself the life you feel you deserve. I’ll never understand your kind. You have chosen to give up everything. Within a month your life will have slumped to a lower point that you’ve ever felt before and it’s all because you couldn’t bring a little balance, you couldn’t make the hard choice.
As Laymon finished his speech the curtains behind him flew aside and Laura sprang across the room, wrapping an arm around Laymon’s neck and dragging him back over the couch while shrieking at the top of her lungs. Anna sprung up from her seat to pear over the couch where her partner and Laymon had disappeared. When Anna got over to the other couch Laura was standing in only a pair of Elmo panties, Trying to slam a knife into the chest of the creature. He was trying to fight free when it came down hard, stabbing into the floor and cutting a slice out of the side of his neck. As the blade cut him he disappeared and reappeared across the room, both hands grabbing the gash in his neck. Anna pulled the nail gun out from under the couch cushion that her and Laura had hidden earlier after finding it in the tool cupboard. Without hesitation Anna shot four nails at the bleeding midget but only the first one hit him before he appeared behind Laura and started chocking her, the nail sticking out of his hip bone where it had hit.
Anna knew with the creature holding onto Laura she couldn’t fire nails across the room at him so she jumped the couch slamming into the two of them, knocking them into the wall. Laymon kept his grip but the way they fell aloud Anna to get above them. They were both lying on the floor on their sides with Laymon trying to choke Laura from behind. It meant when Anna pressed and held the trigger of the nail gun that at least 5 must have smashed through his scull before he would have had a chance to think about teleporting.
Anna knelt down, pulling Laura to her and away from the bloody mess she lay next to while Laura still gasped to catch her breath. They both broke down in tears and it was a long time before either moved or spoke.
Their plan had been a long shot but had seemed to have worked. Anna had sat long into the night trying to decide what she should do, knowing she couldn’t risk loosing the love of her life but knowing she couldn’t tell her what had happened either. The more she thought about it, the more she realised that was exactly what every bad man who had ever been in her life had said. “You can’t tell anyone.” Well no fucking more thought Anna. She had gone, then and there and awoken Laura who had listened intently and never doubted a single word Anna had said. Then they had prepared together.
Anna stood up and helped Laura to her feet and they both stood looking down at the small dead man with nails sticking out of the mess that was once his skull. Neither girl knew if this was the start of a very bad time in their life or whether they had put an end to it all before it started but they both knew that they would never face anything alone again and that was enough for them both.
As the clock struck midnight, signalling Christmas Day was beginning, Anna spat on the dead things face and said “Merry Fucking Chritmas.” She took Laura’s hand and leaving the body where it lay grabbed a bottle of wine from the shelf and headed back to bed.
This story was initially submitted to the 'Deathlehem Revisited' anthology and while Grinning Skull Press liked the story they didn't feel it was quite dark enough for them so asked me to submit another story. Rather than submit this to another Christmas themed horror antho I thought I would post it here. Follow the story of Anna and Laura, a young couple who are spending their first Christmas together at a log cabin. Their romantic getaway turns for the worse and one of the girls is posed with a horrific dilemma. Will their be a happy ending to their Christmas? Will they make it out alive? Only one way to find out. I hope you enjoy my little Christmas Horror story. Have a Happy Horror filled Christmas. Kevin J Kennedy