“And that is why you must never build a snowman in our backyard,” Trevor looked serious. He was perched on the edge of his little brother’s bed. Pulling the covers up tight to his chin, Timothy shivered, his eyes wide with fear.
“Goodnight! Sweet dreams!” Trevor jumped up. He flicked out the light and went downstairs to enjoy an evening of gaming undisturbed. Charged with babysitting duties while their parents were at the neighbours’ Christmas party, Trevor felt pretty pleased with himself for getting the little brat out of his hair early. Little Timmy was scared good and proper. There was no way he’d set foot out from under his duvet before morning. Job done!
And, Trevor reflected, I’m pretty much a genius! I should write it all down, the story I told him. Yes, it was all based on fact, on actual events, and they didn’t take much embellishment to weave into a scary story. It was well-known around the town that years ago, the house had belonged to an infamous serial killer. It was the reason why his parents had bought the place so cheap. Out there, in the backyard, the killer had been gunned down by the police, staining the white blanket of snow red – Trevor had been especially proud of that detail. If you build a snowman in our backyard, it will be possessed by the spirit of the murderer and it will come into the house and add you to his list of victims…
Haha! He wouldn’t hear a peep out of Timothy tonight! Little kids could be so gullible, so credulous. Evil snowmen! Possessed by a serial killer! Priceless!
Even so, Trevor drew the curtains. A fresh fall of snow made the backyard pristine. Beautiful, in fact. Impossible to think that years ago, it had been the scene of such horror…
He went to the kitchen to gather snacks; he was hoping for a good few hours before Mom and Dad came back, during which he hoped to kill a few noobs and get to the end of the game.
Mom and Dad would be drunk. They’d stagger in and of course they’d want to know how Timothy had behaved himself. No trouble, Trevor would say, and they’d pay him the promised fee. Mom would be extra soppy and try to hug him. Embarrassing! Trevor decided he needed fortifying against an onslaught of maternal affection. He decided he was old enough and man enough to sample his father’s whisky.
Up in his room, Timothy heard his brother open the fridge, looking for ice cubes for his illicit drink. Timothy held his breath and listened, straining his ears.
He heard Trevor scream and drop his glass. Timothy heard his brother gasp and choke as arms made of snow reached out from the icebox and squeezed the life out of him.
As soon as his parents had told him he’d be left in the care of his bully of a big brother, Timothy had known he had to take steps to protect himself. Half an hour gathering snow in the backyard before Trevor came home was now paying dividends.