Most people think of Christmas as the epitome of family holidays; wholesome, magical and shielded from anything nefarious, which is what makes my story a break from tradition. If it wasn’t true, I would’ve kept it to myself, for the sake of preserving the happy image of a wonderful day for those who love Christmas.
As a child, I already had my work cut out for me, with parents who were far from normal. My father hated Christmas and he refused to observe the day – which meant that I had to keep my mouth shut if I didn’t want to incur his wrath. Mom was always out of it due to her issues with substance abuse.
Dad also had issues, handed down from his father. Mom said that he was born with a bottle of beer in his hands and at Christmas time the situation always worsened. It was like he had a secret vendetta for the holidays and he did everything he could to make sure our house was Christmas free.
When I was ten, things took a bizarre and evil turn for the worse. Some nasty friends of my parents turned up and they all decided to conduct a séance. I hid myself away in the bedroom while they all got wasted and tried to summon demons – to act as sentries against Santa – and to invoke Satan instead.
I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until around three a.m. Seeing as the house was silent, I crept downstairs to check out the carnage. My parents and their guests were spread throughout the living room, passed out and draped over each other. It was disgusting, but I was distracted by a creepy noise.
It sounded like old, creaky gears grinding against each other and it seemed to be coming from the fireplace. The child inside me grew hopeful and excited, but something told me that I might want to run. When a dark creature started to clamber out of the fireplace my flesh began to crawl.
The sound started turning into a mix of crackling skin and old bones being crushed. The creature looked like it had been incinerated to a crisp, but it remained intact as it continued to creep around the room, stepping gingerly over the bodies like it was trying to decide which one to choose.
I saw the charcoal hands and long fingers reach for my mother’s hair. I gasped loudly and it suddenly looked up. I’ll never forget the eyes – like tiny fires in large, burnt-out sockets. It opened its unholy mouth wide and screeched with a dry, crackling voice. I screamed when more creatures scrambled out of the fireplace.
Running to my room in a blind panic, I could hear the demonic entities racing up the stairs behind me. When I got to my room and spun around to close the door, I saw at least six of those ghastly monsters only inches away. As I slammed the door shut, several of their charred fingers were chopped off.
I screamed again when the fingers started growing into smaller versions of the black creatures. I jumped under the covers and cried while the demons tried to drag the sheets off me. Imagine my surprise when I saw my parents grabbing at me with a frightened look in their eyes.
Maybe I imagined it all, but it was bizarre how everything changed from that day forward. My parents cleaned up their act and the following year we started to observe the holidays – including Christmas. Mind you, I always keep an eye on the fireplace, in case those demons decide to return and drag my family to Hell.