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"THE CAROLER"

Written by Mason McDonald

[The following has been compiled by the Mayflower Police Department from a series of online posts made by Lucas Miller, under the alias LilDrummerBoi, on the ScaredSh!tless message board.]

 

[Thursday 2007-12-20 10:32PM AST]

Subject: A CHRISTMAS CAROLER IS OUTSIDE MY HOUSE AND WON’T LEAVE

I can hear him right now. He’s singing O Holy Night. He showed up about an hour ago and won’t leave. I don’t know if the other tenants in the building are deaf or they just really fucking like Christmas Carols, but none of them have come outside. This guy won’t go away and he won’t stop singing. He’s not even that good. He sounds exactly like he looks: old man, early 70s, yellow parka with the hood up, big grey beard, round Jeffrey Dahmer spectacles. Can’t sing worth a shit, if you’d even call it singing. Really, it’s closer to spoken word with a little jive to it. And slow. So fucking slow. Like these songs are slow enough, you don’t have to perform them at half-speed.

I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m worked up. Annoyed. I have work in the morning.

Let me explain.

I was sitting on my couch like I do every night. I played some Halo and then threw on some shitty Made-for-TV Christmas movie for background noise. You know the type: city girl inherits a house or shop or farm in a small town, meets a handsome ranch hand or gardener or shopkeep, falls in love, learns the true meaning of Christmas or whatever. I was eating a microwave dinner and wanted some equally terrible-for-my-health junk food for my brain.

My place is small. Nothing to brag about. Single bedroom apartment on the ground floor of the old brick building I live in. There’s a dozen more on this street just like it, and inside of them are dozens upon dozens of shitty apartments just like mine. Shit, this guy won’t shut the fuck up!

Ugh!

Anyways. Where was I?

Right.

I was eating my frozen turkey and potatoes and watching a nameless woman kiss a nameless man under a plastic mistletoe when I first heard him. Initially, I thought it was something in the movie. But then I paused it to bring my tray to the trash bin, and the singing kept going, so I knew it was outside the TV.

I figured maybe it could be my upstairs neighbour, Jim. Jim’s a cool enough guy, sells me weed sometimes and we talk about the Jay’s from time to time. I’m not much of a baseball fan, and neither is he, but what else is there to talk about with your neighbourhood weed dealer? The weather? It’s cold, the end. So fun.

But I knew Jim’s voice. Wasn’t him. And besides, it sounded like it was coming from outside. I went to the front window and peeked out my curtain. There he was. Old fucking fart out there, songbook in hand, staring at my door, singing.

Now listen. I’m not an asshole. I’m not some get-off-my-porch type prick. Although not one for decorating (I have a tree that comes pre-decorated and a plastic mistletoe in case some lonely city girl shows looking for some holiday cheer), I do like Christmas. Generally. And besides, how often do people even go caroling anymore? Have you ever even seen it outside of the movies? I figured what the hell. Let’s go have a listen to the old guy, clap a bit, see him off.

So that’s what I did. I went outside, nodded to him, smiled, did the usual thing; I crossed my arms and leaned against the doorjamb like a proud daddy in a family movie. At first I made eye contact with the guy but as the seconds ticked on, and he continued that slow drawl, it got really damn awkward so I started looking around for any relief. Now this is the part where you could say I started getting paranoid or whatever, but just hear me out, okay?

There were no cars driving up and down the road. The only vehicles were the ones like mine that were parked in the snow on the sides of the road, covered in a thin layer of white frost, bathing in the orange light of the arc sodium lights. It was snowing and late, so I didn’t expect to see a crowd, or people walking outside, but like…I should have seen someone, right? There was nobody. Not a damn soul. No cars, no walkers. I saw lights on in the buildings across from me, and when I craned my neck I saw Jim’s light on, but nobody came to the windows, stepped outside, opened a window to tell him to shut the hell up, nothing. There was zero evidence of life save the caroler and me.

After he finished one song he would simply move into the next one, no pauses, no breaks. After a bit I got tired of standing in the cold. Besides also feeling awkward, I was starting to get weirded out. I realized the man wasn’t looking at me. He was staring at a single fixed point and only met my eyes if I happened to position myself there.

“Alright fella,” I said, trying to force an end to it by lifting my hand in a good-bye, “this was fun. Merry Christmas.”

He kept singing. I didn’t know what to do. He never even stuttered. It was as if I wasn’t even there.

“Buddy? I gotta go back in, okay?”

Again, nothing.

“I said Merry Christmas. Let’s call it, eh.”

I got mad. I’m not a prick, but my patience only goes so far. And to reiterate, he was giving me the fucking willies. “Okay dude you gotta go. This is a little much.”

He kept singing.

“Dude!” I said and swept my arm sideways, motioning up the road. “There’s plenty of other people to go and annoy. Fuck off.”

I stepped back into my house and closed the door. I tried to go back to playing Halo and relaxing, but he wouldn’t stop. Won’t stop.

I’m beginning to get seriously creeped out. This shit is spooky, right? Like what if he is unhinged or having some sort of psychotic break or something?

Why isn’t anyone else bothered by this shit?

I’m going to call Jim. And then maybe the cops. I don’t know if I should because he hasn’t actually done anything to me and I’m not sure singing Christmas carols actually justifies a disturbing the peace charge, but I’ve got to do something.

He’s not right.

He’s on to Silent Night now.

I’ll keep you all updated.

[Thursday 2007-12-20 11:04PM AST]

Subject: WHERE IS EVERYBODY!?

I’m freaking the fuck out.

Is anybody reading this? If you are, please respond. Call me a paranoid loser. Anything. Just answer me. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I tried calling Jim. No answer. I didn’t even get his voicemail—it just kept ringing. That was pretty weird, but not like freak-the-fuck-out weird, but this next part is. When Jim didn’t answer and the old guy was still singing, I called the cops. Thought fuck it, best case scenario they show up and remove him, tell him to kick rocks. Worst case, they hang up on me, call me the lunatic.

So I dialled 911. And it rang. And it rang. And it kept on ringing. No answer. No automated message. Just that damned ringing.

I called my mom. Same thing, just ringing. I worked my way through my entire list of numbers, every family member and friend and co-worker and my doctor and even my goddamned favourite pizza place. The same thing. Nothing.

No sense. It makes zero fucking sense.

He’s still singing.

[Thursday 2007-12-20 11:40PM AST]

Subject: I CAN’T LEAVE

I need help. He won’t let me leave. I tried. I told him to go fuck himself and that he better not be there when I get back. He just looked at me with that stupid, blank look on his ancient face. Snow had built up on the hood and shoulders of his parka because he hadn't been moving. He was singing Jingle Bells.

I couldn’t get past him. I can’t explain it better than I just…couldn’t. Every time I tried to walk around him, any direction, something stopped me. You ever run out of bounds in a video game? If so, you’ve got an idea of what I’m talking about here. It felt like tens of hands grabbing me. Hands I couldn't see. Little hands. Big hands. I looked all over and couldn’t see a damn thing but I felt them. They pulled at me and kept me from going. I’d be walking in place fighting against things that weren’t there. If anybody was outside or driving by, they’d think I was crazy.

But nobody was outside. Because I was all alone.

I’m dreaming, right? I have to be. This can’t be real.

Are you there? Is anybody seeing this?

Hello?

[Friday 2007-12-21 12:13AM AST]

Subject: I THINK HE MOVED

I don’t know it 100%, but I think he moved. I’ve been doing pretty good about keeping an eye on him, not letting him out of my sight for too long. But I had to piss. So I left for just a second and when I came back, all the snow had fallen off his jacket and I swear he was closer. I swear he was.

What should I do? What…what can I do?

I read once on this site about this guy down south who thought he was heading out for some work but in reality the family that hired him ended up eating him for Christmas dinner. It always stuck with me how this guy was just normal, like me, thinking he had some work lined up for himself and next thing he knows he’s getting diced up and munched on. I can’t stop thinking about that right now. What if this guy is here to hurt me?

What if he’s here to kill me?

Am I already dead? Maybe I am. Maybe this is the end. I died a few hours ago. Took a heart attack playing Halo, or choked on a piece of dry microwave turkey. I died and this is Hell. Endless Christmas carols in a prison you can never leave, guarded by the dead.

No. I can’t think like that. I need to find a way out of this. I will find a way out of this.

If you’re reading this please respond.

[Friday 2007-12-21 01:21AM AST]

Subject: IT’S LIKE A LULLABY

I’m going to try and get some sleep. My mind is racing. Things are spinning. This is what losing it feels like, isn’t it? My mind is leaking out of my ears. I started banging on the walls and even grabbed a broom and started bashing the ceiling. Neither Jim nor any of my other neighbour’s responded. I’m alone. They’re gone. I swear I heard Jim’s footsteps a few minutes ago so I banged again but nothing came of it. Jim laughed. I heard it. Or maybe I thought I did.

Christ, I never imagined I’d be excited to talk to Jim. What I’d give right now to hear my phone ring and have Jim be on the other end asking me what the fuck was up with the old fella outside.

Speaking of him, he’s singing Deck the Halls. Who told this guy he could sing? I’d rather listen to a cat caught in a lawnmower.

I unplugged my Christmas tree and all my other decorations. I can’t turn off the soundtrack, but the movie’s over now. Fuck this holiday.

Alright. I’m going to try and sleep now. I’m hoping one of a couple options will happen here. First is I wake up in the morning and he’s gone and everything is back to normal. Second is this is some kind of shitty nightmare and by going to sleep I’ll in turn wake up. Third is I die in my sleep and then this is all over. I don’t really like that option but something needs to happen here. What if this lasts days? Weeks? Months or years?

Death has to be better than being trapped in a lost mind.

I don’t think I’ll have trouble sleeping.

It’s like he’s singing me some lullabies.

[Friday 2007-12-21 02:14AM AST]

Subject: HE’S INSIDE

FUCK FUCK FUCK.

I’m in my bathroom, sitting in my bathtub, hoping to get this out before my laptop battery dies. Please, send somebody!

I was in bed. I was asleep. You know how sometimes you wake up from seemingly nothing, and some people think it’s because a ghost or something is looking at you and you instinctively feel watched, so your body reacts? Maybe I’m making that up. I don’t think I am though. This was like that. I was asleep and then suddenly I wasn’t.

My bed is against my wall and when I opened my eyes, I swore I was blind. I wasn’t, I was just facing the dark wall. Right away I heard the singing and thought fuck, he’s still there. But before I turned over, I realized it sounded different. More clear. Louder, too.

It was as if he was right beside me singing Up on the Housetop but it was so agonizingly slow and gruff.

More than right beside me, it felt like he was singing it directly into my ear. Like he was whispering it directly into my brain. I even thought I could feel hot breath on the nape of my neck. He was leaned over me, singing to me, and I knew it without looking.

I couldn’t look. I was too scared. I didn’t get off the side of my bed, instead I scrambled out through the bottom, moaning in fear, and I grabbed my laptop from my desk as I ran out of the bedroom and into the bathroom. It’s the only room that locks properly.

He’s outside the door. I forgot to hit the light switch. Once my laptop dies, I’ll be alone in the pitch black, unable to see or hear anything except his awful carols.

My battery is at 3% now.

I’m scared. I think the doorknob just rattled. Oh God, did I lock it? I know I did, I know I did, but what if I...

It’s opening

Why did he stop singing

Why did

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[Lucas Miller has been missing for over 30 days. The investigation is ongoing. The Mayflower Police Department suspects foul play may be involved. If you have any information regarding Lucas Miller’s disappearance, please contact Detective Eastman at 902-574-XXXX.]

mason mcdonald 01Mason McDonald is the author of A Time For Monsters. When not inventing yuletide boogeymen, he can be found drinking booze and fist fighting his own personal Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come. He currently lives in Port Morien, NS with his wife Jenna and their collection of animals.

You can pick up his collection by clicking one of the links below!

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