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Drips

You could hear the faint sound of each drop of blood landing in the puddle below it, falling off the tips of his fingers. Granted, you could only hear it when he stopped screaming but if you got past the sobbing, there it was. That's what I listened for. The every steady drop, splashing down in time with a metronome. It kept my head on straight whenever I started to get worked up, kept me going whenever I got bored.

There was a lone light bulb hanging over our heads, swinging in sync with the drip. The legs of the chairs cast tiny shadows, little lines continuously dancing around on the cracked concrete floor. I watched them twirl for a few seconds, before looking back at the man in the chair. His flesh was torn, wounds gaping and half closed. Clotted blood was smeared all over him, for every time the blood flow slowed, I wrenched the wound open again. I gave a little smile and reached for the alligator clips. His head started to buck back preemptively, weary of the constant torture he's been exposed to.

You always knew when you were electrocuting them right because there was an instant feedback to show you. Whenever a current was established, that lone light flickered. Whenever it did you could see almost see a faint glow from the eyes of whatever poor bastard was in the chair. This time was no exception. I let it go for a few seconds before pulling back, placing the clips back on the table.

“Again. What was her name?” No response. I had been asking this question for hours, but he had been surprisingly resilient. Much more so than I had expected from someone like him. He was protecting a villain, or so I was told. I didn't care for the reasons. They were usually just political wording so someone could justify to themselves what they were doing. I didn't need a justification.

I picked up the clips again, and his moaning intensified. It was clear he was afraid of the pain, but it wasn't enough. “You shouldn't protect her. She is causing you this grief, and it will keep happening until you give me the answer I'm looking for. No one needs to know it was you, no one needs to find out that you told me, but you cannot keep this up. There isn't much left of you, and if you keep holding back then your heart is going to blow. There are only 3 things in this room, sir. Your life, that light, and the lie. One of those is going to give out before today is over, and I replaced that light bulb yesterday.”

"Jingle"

On Wellington Street

It all started with a knock at the door. It was a late Christmas Eve, and it took some time for my father to separate himself long enough to answer the door and turn on the light. I followed him through the crowd of people I didn't know, friends of my father. My dad opened the door, the cold air stinging my face from my position next to my father's leg. There in the doorway was a very tall, pale creature. Its long, spindly limbs were settled close to its frame, its knees tucked against its chin as it attempted to fit within the short expanses of the porch.

“It's cold...Can I come in?”

Its face betrayed nothing of the motives behind its presence, save a warm smile settled low below a pair of bloodshot eyes. Its hair was drawn back and greasy, its form seeming to be lost between distinctions, rendering it without a sense of gender. The only clothes it wore was a single white nightie, its bare feet ending in purpled flesh surrounding blue toenails that sunk and trembled in the snow.

I looked back at the den, where all the stockings were hung. My mothers was still in the in the box. Dad said it wouldn't be going up this year...Meanwhile, the song “Santa Claus is Coming Town” began to play, the other members of my family yet to be aware of that horror that crouched at our front door.

“You better not pout, you better not cry, you better no shout I'm telling you why...”

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