Date Published: December 7, 2015
Around the world, Christmas Eve is a time of joy, hope and new beginnings, where children open presents, parents smile, and all is right with the world.
Except in Matryville.
Holidays are dreaded, rather than anticipated. A killer is on the loose, and he strikes as parents hide their kids, fearing the bogeyman’s wrath…
Liz Rhodes, Special Detective at the Matryville Central Police Department, is heading the investigation of the Holiday Killer. She’s close on his tail, a suspect in her grasp…
… and then her son is taken.
Will Liz be able to track down the Killer before it’s too late? Or will Jamie pay the price for her arrogance? Only time will tell...
A young boy, five years old, sat sleepily behind his mum's recliner, watching the fireplace in front of him. On the clock behind him, midnight ticked slowly closer. The Christmas decorations around the room were gaudy, tired, and past their lifespan, but they were heirlooms and well-loved, so his mother continued to pull them out every year.
The boy tilted forward a little, yawning. It was well and truly past his bedtime, but he was definitely going to stay up to see Santa Claus.
The clock ticked over to midnight, and a rustling emerged from the chimney. Tom looked up, suddenly wide awake, and peered around the armchair to the chimney. Grains of soot dropped from the chimney into the fireplace below, and Tom hid a little more, watching the fireplace with trepidation.
Then the rustling stopped, and Tom watched the fireplace. But nothing happened.
He peeked out a little more, his heart starting to sink with disappointment. Maybe Santa didn't come if you were waiting for him?
Suddenly the front door clicked open and Tom gasped, hiding behind the chair, watching. He could hear the door creaking open, and feel the slow gust of cold as the wind from outside crept into the warm house. A large, bulky man stepped into Tom's view, dressed in a red suit, but lacking a beard or white hair. Tom watched him with one eye from behind the chair, and stared. Santa!
The man turned to look at him, smiling, and gestured for the boy to follow him. But Tom hesitated. This man was dressed like Santa, but his parents had taught him to be wary of strangers. Should he go? Or should he run upstairs and tell his parents about this?
The man gestured again, then reached into his large sack and pulled out a small present, perfectly wrapped, and held it out to him.
Tom emerged slowly from the chair, stepping slowly toward Santa. The bulky man smiled and headed for the front door, gesturing after him for Tom to follow. Tom looked at the present and cautiously followed the man to the front door, looking out. He couldn't see the man, but that didn't mean he was gone.
Suddenly something grabbed him from behind, pinning his arms to his sides and covering his mouth and nose with a large hand. Tom tried to scream, to wriggle out, but the man was much stronger than him, and he was cutting off his air.
The man carried him from the house, managing to steer him out without the kicking boy knocking anything over, and threw the boy into the trunk of his car. Winded, on the verge of passing out from oxygen deprivation, Tom weakly gulped in air as he watched a second shape carefully shut the door to the house, leaving behind no sign.
Butcher by day, author by night, Holly spends her days off writing, playing in her garden and watching superhero cartoons. Holly lives with her husband Matthew and her cat Talia al-Kitty in a two-bedroom flat crammed with comics, video games, books and movie memorabilia. An active cosplayer, Holly and Matthew take time out of their days to entertain kids as various DC comics characters, and make their own costumes (when Real Life allows).