Aphelion Issue 274, Volume 26
July 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Those Damn Lights...

by Ray Prew

My name is Eddy Scott. You've never heard of me, and now you never will. But you know my work...

As I walked through the snow from the farm house, I could feel the delicious bite of the cold through my pants leg. The head I carried dripped blood, staining the virgin white snow marking my trail from the farm house back to my car.

They had those lights, those damn blinking Christmas lights. I hate Christmas lights, I always have. Five years ago I vowed no more. Those wretched blinking lights are so annoying. I never had a good Christmas as a kid. These people flaunt their good times in front of me. They laugh at my unhappiness by waving those damn lights in my face. Blink, blink, blink all night long. These people don't give a damn about me all the rest of the year, and don't really give a damn now. They put up those wretched little lights and their damn trees, pretending we all love each other, but not anymore. Five years ago I vowed things would be different.

I remember how as a young boy of five years old I lost my dad on Christmas Eve. Our old Christmas lights didn't work so well anymore, so he went out to buy new ones. He went off the road on a patch of ice and into a tree, a fully-decorated tree in someone's yard. Even with the car folded around the trunk, the damn lights stayed on, red and green and yellow and blue, hiding the blood...

The next three years were hard on my mother and me. Without dad, we could barely afford the dinner let alone presents. The neighbors always put up those lights, mocking our poverty. By the time I was nine my mother remarried and I got a stepdad -- a drunken abusive stepdad. He frequently made it clear to my mother, sometimes in front of me, the only reason he took us in, was so he could have an in-house piece of tail.

One Christmas eve in a fit of drunkenness, he sodomized my mother right in front of me in the parlor. All the while telling us we should be grateful that he gave us a home and food. He slapped her ass hard making her yelp, and told me this is how she pays the rent. The whole scene was illuminated by the blinking lights of the tree.

By the time I was fourteen my mother couldn't handle things any more. I came home from school one December day, to find she hung herself with the Christmas lights. The still blinking Christmas lights.

So far, I've dispatched 25 people, right in their own homes. I have a souvenir head from each one. I have the heads of men, women, and even children. The papers call me Frosty the Snow Fiend because I make a snowman in the living rooms of each house I visit. In some of my snowmen, I put human eyes, in a couple I cut off the arms of the light happy fucks and put those on my snowmen too. I bet that freaks out the cops. In each of the houses I tore down those damn blinking lights, and those trees, those damn hypocritical trees. Houses without lights I left alone, they were okay.

The blood stopped dripping from my souvenir, so it was safe to put in my car. I'll add it to the others. Sometimes the heads talk to me, they tell me how happy they are that I killed them, now they won't have to looks at the lights anymore either. I'll be glad when Christmas is over and people take down those horrid blinking lights.

All this killing is hard work. First, I must select a house that's isolated with few people inside; after all, I'm not crazy. It takes up most of my free time and my free time is precious. My day job as a paramedic takes up most of my day. Being a paramedic is a lot of work but seeing all those injuries is fun.

The next day I came out in an ambulance with my partner to the very site of last night's fun. As I carried my end of the gurney with the body my headless victim past the detectives in the living room, I overheard the cops talking; they have no clue who has been committing the holiday murders all these years. They have no idea who I am.

There was nothing my partner or I could do for the victims. I am very thorough in my killings. I take pride in my work. The place looked like the inside of a butcher shop, but at least those damn lights are out.

It's a good thing the holidays only come once a year; I couldn't handle those damn lights all year long.

As we were locking up the van with the two bodies inside, I saw an older couple crying and trying to console two little children. From what bits and pieces I could gather from overheard snippets of conversations, and the fact I was the killer, the kids weren't home last night they had spent the night at grandma's house, lucky for them. I really don't like killing kids but I can't afford witnesses.

So far in this my fifth year, I've dispatched 3 people; soon I will reach my limit of 6 people. I never exceed that number, too many and I might get caught. Each year the newspapers and the cops all put out warnings that with the new Christmas season will come visits from Frosty the Snow Fiend. I rather like the name; I find it inspiring. The best part, and the most bizarre, is that the cops still haven't seemed to connect the killings with the lights.

As my partner and I drive away I see a neighbor setting up his own damn lights. I never did two houses in the same neighborhood before, let alone so close in time, but he was putting lights in the windows and on a tree in front of his house. This will never do, that is way too many lights. He will be my next victim.

Later as I prepared for what might be my last killing for this season, I remembered how in the second year of my killings, one of my victims saw me. I usually try to do them in their sleep but every so often they wake up on me. This time he was wide awake on his feet and saw me.

He thought his black belt in karate was a match for my full blown psychosis and surgical scalpels. I made my first snowman out of him in his living room using his eyes and arms as finishing touches. Getting the eyes to stay in place was easy; the weight of the arms forced me to cheat and use twine to keep them from falling off. That's how I got tagged with the name Frosty the Snow Fiend. No magic hat, just eyes and arms.

That night I returned to the neighborhood. The man had finished his light display. It was disgusting. There were lights in the windows, lights on a tree, just like the tree that killed my dad. I'll take my time with this one, hell I'll make his head my prize trophy. I got out of my car and started across the street.

The last thing I remember was the honk of as horn, the squeal of breaks and a flash of lights. I woke up in a hospital bed. They tell me I was run over by a truck delivering some Christmas lights to a neighbor.

The staff at the hospital was very nice. They gave me a room with a great view of the city. The only problem is it's still the height of the season, so I see nothing but blinking Christmas lights all over town. From my bed I can see the nurse's station; they have a small tree with blinking lights. The hall has blinking lights too. Everywhere I look I see those damn lights. They tell me I'm now a quadriplegic, a talking head. I'll never walk or move again. A local church organization heard of my accident and tomorrow they will give me my own tree which I'm certain will have those damn blinking lights, at least until I beg somebody to turn them off.

I'll be this way for the rest of my life, unable to walk or move. But at least as the years roll on, I won't have to see the houses with those damn lights.


© 2012 Ray Prew

Bio: Ray Prew's stories have been published in alienskin magazine, s.n.m.magazine, horrorbound magazine, Aphelion magazine, (Thank God It's Not Me..., November 2011), the online cynic magazine, and spine tinglers magazine (twice).

E-mail: Ray Prew

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.