It was a frosty Christmas evening, a psychopath lurked behind the shadows of the night. A cold blade held firmly within leathered palms dripped with the fresh blood of its victims. Remembering the shrieks as each of their necks was perfectly sliced open. Their tender flesh stained red as it poured from the deep cuts. The multiple stab wounds in each of their torsos.

A little girl watched as her family was gutted beside the Christmas tree and squealed, “Why, Santa, why?!” only to have the man in the Santa outfit charge her down like a bull.

The man paced slowly around the streets and grinned at the sinister thought of the crime he had committed less than an hour ago.

With each passing window, he could see into the soul of the homes; the souls of the families. All the smirks and smiles from the parents allowing their children to open one present each or setting out milk and cookies for Santa sickened him, yet reminded him of his own childhood. He could almost smell the pine needles that used to litter the tree skirt. He remembers being able to see his reflection on the multiple glistening ornaments that were passed down through each generation of his family.

He remembers that night where his parents were bound to the couch and gagged as his six-year-old eyes were forced to watch the tragedy before him. Three men in holiday outfits had broken in and looted his home before brutally murdering his parents before his eyes. They left him bound to the armchair and escaped into the night. The final things he could remember were the horrific sounds that each plunge of the blade made and the fatal shots that ended their lives.

A swift breeze brought him out of his trance and he quickly stepped through the yard of another home. Without hesitation, he kicked in the door and the parents turned around from the Christmas tree only to be shot multiple times in the torso. Two small children shrieked and cried in horror from the stairwell. They stood in shock as the man turned out the door and stepped into the cold. He quickly switched clips and fired a few shots into the air to alarm the neighborhood. Children and adults peeked out their doorways and windows, startled from the loud gunshots.

“Give me your attention, please!” the man shouted in the desolate street.

He gazed around to see all eyes on him before continuing, “Before police arrive, I would you like for you all to do one thing: Never forget the tragedies that can happen in such small and innocent communities. Never let your guard down and always keep together as a family…” his voice trailed off as the echoes of sirens approached.

He lifted the cold steel to his temple and spoke his final words as police arrived on scene with weapons drawn, “…Never forget…” he shouted before pulling the trigger.

The fatal gunshot seemed to echo forever in the midst of the tragedy that had occurred. Children stayed close to their parents and siblings. Emergency vehicles closed off the street and sent a small group to retrieve the bodies. One of them, a young man in his early twenties was preparing to cover the body of the killer when he noticed something odd.

He noticed a photograph peeking from the sleeve of the outfit. He pulled it out and studied it. There was a small boy with a wide grin across his face with his two parents behind him and a tall brightly decorated Christmas tree. On the back was a letter in sloppy handwriting as if a child had written it. It read:

“Dear Mom and Dad, I’ll be coming home soon. To join you in the afterlife so that we can enjoy a holiday season together. Love, Tommy.”

He turned the photograph over again and noticed it was his family instead of the one previously there. A few days later, he and his family were brutally slaughtered in their home.

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