's 2018 Horror Write-off:

'Tis the Season

Submitted by The Bee Keeper

'Tis the Season

This Yule tide was very special indeed. As the wind howled through the oak boughs, we sat warm n' snug by the likkle well trimmed fir. Dwarfed was it by the tower of wrapped boxes. This was truly miraculous, as neither I nor my likkle sis ever got more than one gift 'fore. It was not that we was starvin'; however, with our pater workin' a meager living as a farrier and our mater having so precious few moments to do her writings and handicrafts with us wee gremlins about, well, we were content... but far from the town's finest.

The wake was a somber occasion. But in her passing our Great Aunt left us many sorts of tools for baking n' gardening. She left to us her antiques, heirlooms, and even her favorite hobby, her camera n' all its fittings. But this wasn't all.
There was yet more!

She left us boxes which she specifically said not to open until Yule tide. What could be in them? We had no idea. We didn't even think an old lady such as her could have ever have squirreled awa so much. Though, we were so glad she did. She said in her will that we ought not live in the mighty shadow of grief... for life is too short for such utter nonsense.

And that we partake in what "pleasurable clutter" she'd accumulated, for taint no reason for her to be hanging on to such, not where she was headin' anyways. And yes, she really was that wry in humor. But that's also what made her our favorite relative. We will never let her memory fade. For some it will be happy moments we shall never let escape our hearts. For others, her memory will live on like a stubborn coffee stain. It will live on... ...and that's all that counts.

I looked longingly at that stack o' presents. I know Great Auntie said to wait, but wasn't this close enough, I mean we got our tree. We got our two obligatory nutcrackers. We got the wreath of lucky horseshoes me pater made, hung up upon the front door. Surely, 'tis close enough in the great scheme o' things?

My sis was in the kitchen watchin' the chocolate chips melt into the cookies, as they spread in the warm oven. I love 'er, but she'd tattle on me in seconds. Haha, the coast was clear. I gingerly pried a flat box from between to larger ones. Nobody would 'spect a thing if'n I only took something small. I held the pretty gold box like a squirrel holdin' an acorn.

I started to work on unwrapping my prize. Shrizzzzzzz... oh no, I hoped no one heard the tearing of wrapping paper. No sibling or mother came a burstin' through the threshold t' give me a scolding. So, I continued. Crinkle! Shlip! Crinkle! Good lord, it was as if the present wanted me caught. The paper continued its absurdly loud protest until I finally got the white box within free. A pearl, to me, finally out of its mysterious (and quite obnoxious) gold shroud. I slipped off the top to reveal...

A book. Hmmm... not necessarily the most exciting treasure for me. I'm afraid, I was as yet too young t' understand and appreciate literature. My sis was hardly more 'an a babe at the time and I only just a lassie. So I stashed the leather bound article in the bedroom where no one would discover me likkle devious deed.

"Wha dis?" Lacey said as she squeezed the book in her tiny hands. "None o' yer business, ya wee rotter." I growled as I tried to tug the book free of her grasp. Finally I got it and went sprawling on the floor. Lacey burst into giggles and pointed at me. "Me sis so clumsy. Big ole clumsy sis!"

"Oh teehee yerself. You stay outta me stuff. Weren't ya helpin' to make cookies?" Lacey was out in a flash. The promise of warm fresh cookies clearly had greater appeal than whatever I was up to... Good.

But now she knew that I had the book. Was she going to blab to our parents? Hmmm... prob'ly not. She was still too young to be said to possess much of an attention span. She'd practically forgotten about the thing already. Better safe than sorry though.

I sat down and thought about where to stash this thing. Running my thumb along the edge of the smooth leather bindings, I couldn't seem to think of any place in our small home that this book wouldn't be found by the days end. I flipped the cover open while still pondering the book's ultimate fate.

A beribboned pony sat in a placid meadow and scrawled across the bottom half of the page was this:

Hobbily Knobbily Wobbily, Hobby horse be I, So 'tis, But only in your eye,

They say here lies Marbury Dunne, A mare who no man or beast could outrun, Decaying here beneath that old field of rye, But 'tis not I!

For I never was so spry, Ole bony cheeks n' mouth spittin' venom, I even spat upon death an' set free was I, My steely stare when I put on airs, Will benumb!

Upon hoof I step through the vast dark, Of the sleepers' dear dream, And the place where waking fears do teem, Hark!

Let Me In!

On the other side of the page was another whimsical illustration. A tall maiden with a flower crown of yellow crowfoot blossoms and billowing red hair stood over the pony.

But the pony...

...twas only bones now.

And the maiden was eerie too; for she reminded me of some one, but I couldn't quite place a name to 'er face. And under this scene was a bit more squiggly writing:

I place my cold muzzle on your door, Where hath my beauty gone? Where be that family o' mine?

I can hear your heartbeats and creaks of the floor, Mine beats no longer yet I go on, I expect no less than the heartiest o' welcome, From dear family o' mine,

Pour that cider, Bring out the mulled wine, Dry my tears with all the spirits at hand, Please do understand,

Let Me In!

I hastily slapped the book shut. I don't even know why I did a silly thing like that. It's not like I actually believed in boggles, or the hedley cow, or other imps n' such. I was letting a silly book jangle me nerves.


We had a great feast of roast duck, hazelnut bread, plum jelly, and o' course the chocolate chip cookies me mater and sis had been scoffing earlier that day. It was really somethin' to remembers. Lastly, before we was sent ta bed, there were the carolers coming by.

Several young ladies dressed in matching green sweaters with hand stitched reindeer sung gaily from their cards.

"Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way! Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh"

(I could swear that I heard the lightest of clippity-clop at that moment.)

"Jingle bells, jingle bells"

(It was definitely there. And definitely getting louder.)

"Jingle all the way!"


"Oh what fun it is to -

The gels went dashing off to the right n' left like a spooked flock of quail. As something about a heads height taller than them came trotting right into the middle of what was their caroling troop.

We stood at the top of the steps dumbfounded and it stood staring fiercely at us with eyes like melting candle wax.

Where its lower eyelids ought to have been hung long silk tassels of red, silver, and gold. Its head was the bare skull of a horse. It did however, have ears and a tongue which for all the world looked like molded pieces of the tackiest ugly Christmas sweaters you could think of, you know the ones I mean.

Her ears folded back into what I got the impression was a frown. Her lanky form wasn't that of a horse though.

She had a long white gown, though beautiful by itself, was, I'm afraid, quite revealing. She had sagging grey skin with bumps all over and her arms terminated into what appeared to be something like wrinkly grey pickled pigs feet. While her actual feet were the silver shod hooves of a plow horse.

Trailing behind her was a great mass of warty grey bulges with clumps of long red hair sprouting out like unmanageable weeds. It wasn't so much a fat tail or even a body that she was dragging behind... as it was simply uneven sporadic masses.

"So, are ye goin' ta stand there all night, like dummies?! Or ye gonna let me in fer somethin' I can quench me thirst with?" it said somehow by rattling its lipless jaws.

My dad n' mum had one very curt reply to this.

"Go home Auntie Mari, you're sloshed."

And we shut the door right in her face.