Happy New Year everyone.
Thanks to Laura once again for a Horror Bites Challenge – I feel I’m a little late to the party, given the image this time round, but anyway here’s my bit of (un)festive flash fiction based on the photo prompt below:
They’d opened all their gifts, none were left.
Only they remained.
The pair of them left behind in the house.
Stuck there once again with the man who said he was their father and, yes, he might just look a little like him – or at least as they remembered him – but it wasn’t him. They both knew that.
Problem was, they were having trouble convincing anyone else of that fact, a hell of a lot of trouble.
He charmed most visitors, that’s what the children saw happening. Each and every time he’d manage to laugh off anything they said or hinted at as just them playing make-believe games.
‘Sorry’ he’d say, ‘You know what kids are like? They come up with the craziest stories – next thing you know they’ll be telling people I’m from outer space or something’ – He even said that. It was as though he mocked everything they knew to be true.
But, Auntie Grace had sensed something. Both of them thought that, exchanged knowing glances, but dared not speak of what they thought.
Perhaps she would come back with help, maybe bring the cops.
Whether she was to return or not, however, they’d both been quick to see what she’d done, the final gift she’d hidden there for them, tucked as they were between the branches of the family Christmas tree.
To cut their bonds in the night where he always tied them, or to draw across his throat, the glint of the scissors catching the light of the bulbs on the tree was clear to both of them.
They were their final gift this Christmas, possibly their final gift for any Christmas if they didn’t act quickly and cautiously.
He was in the kitchen then, had gone there as soon as he was certain that Gracie had driven away. The children heard him pouring drinks away down the sink. He no longer drank, or ate, or – as far as they could tell – even breathed. All human traits seemed to be being shed.
There were to be no more sleeps unless they acted.