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Jingle Bell Rot

Content Warning. Death happens. Another piece inspired by Stephanie Hoogstad's prompt.

By Paul StewartPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
Jingle Bell Rot
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The idea of Santa Claus is a curious thing. A gentle, fat, joyful man who delivers gifts to good little girls and good little boys. The same good little girls and good little boys that are told not to accept gifts from strangers. But Santa doesn't count, does he? He's magic...he's an exception...so definitely can be trusted.

If I'm honest, the whole Jimmy Saville and a large number of Catholic priests being disgusting predators almost ruined things for me. The truly altruistic people that are actually predators in disguise. I thought Santa Claus would be a dead and buried thing. Surely, no one would welcome me into their homes, knowing that very often, the people that seem so squeaky clean, are not very clean at all.

But, as long as Christmas is celebrated and people remember good ol' Saint Nick, I'll be fine.

You're probably thinking...how do I get away with it? I mean, although a lot of children die at Christmastime...especially if they are below the poverty line, homeless or have abusive parents, there is still not the kind of numbers you'd expect to have if a homicidal flesh-eating monster was travelling around the world on the December 24th. That is true. But who said I need to kill them?

Not me.

Aside from the odd little brats that succumb too quickly to my grips...most of the children, I simply drain them slowly over time. It's a slow and gradual process. But it helps to sustain without drastic action being necessary.

Often, it's the eager, overly suspicious little brat, like you Timmy, whom wanders in at the wrong time when I'm busy...that I need to consume, there and then. Even if their parents didn't believe them, it's a problem I don't want to carry around with me for the rest of the year when I'm enjoying a peaceful existence. Besides, if I'm perfectly honest, eating a whole child every now and again makes for a delicious side dish to a mince piece and a dram of whisky, brandy or whatever cheap muck some have a custom of leaving out for me.

One thing I miss about consuming children whole is the look on their face, when the smiley, fat man disappears and the claws and rotting flesh come out and they are faced with the real question - not whether Santa Claus is real or not - no, the real question of what is Santa Claus. I enjoy the screams and think it's a shame, Timmy, that you won't be able to tell anyone of your once-in-a-lifetime meeting with me. Here comes the claws and rotting flesh. Ho Ho Ho!


Ah, the tape stopped, Blitzen. It was a close shave that I spotted the camera in the corner of the room. I liked my speech, though. Poor, delicious little Timmy...I can enjoy the rest of the year now. I'll keep this movie for next year.


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: Just Paul Stewart trying to ruin Christmas. I make no apologises. Inspired by Stephanie Hoogstad's prompt, which you can find out about here:

Here are other things:

You can also check out my profile for the rest of my work here and get my book from Amazon here (it's available on Kindle and paperback.)

supernaturalvintageurban legendmonsterinterviewfictionCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

I put myself into all writing I publish.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!


Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (25)

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred2 months ago

    Suitably on the wrong side, excellent work

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Satan Claws?

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    Bad Santa!!!!

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    I always thought Santa was creepy too. Now I know why!

  • K. Kocheryan3 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story! I need Blitzen's POV of this lol.

  • JBaz3 months ago

    So deliciously dark and wonderful to read.

  • The content warning sounds less like a warning and more like a philosophical statement

  • Oooo, delicious little Timmy for dinner and a Top Story for supper! Congratulations!

  • Mark Gagnon3 months ago

    I always knew there was something off about a guy running around in a red suit with fur trim. And the chimney thing, ho ho ho no way. Great story, Paul.

  • Kenny Penn3 months ago

    Damn Paul!! Awesomely creepy, though you might be getting coal in your stockings! 😂

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    Only from the mind of Paul! Very well written and you nailed the creep factor! Congrats, bud!

  • Sid Aaron Hirji3 months ago

    Haha horror Santa

  • Tina D'Angelo3 months ago

    That story had to have come from your Scottish side. No Italian would wreck Christmas that badly! lol

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    Well, that was an interesting take on the jolly old fat man.Well done, and congratulations on that little star up there ^.

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    "not whether Santa Claus is real or not - no, the real question of What is Santa Claus" From the cynic. Bloody brilliant! Congrats on TS x

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    You got my attention at the part about not accepting gifts from strangers and gave me a who new perception of the jolly old elf. Well done and congrats on the TS. Now let's sing. Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rot. Bite off the head and eviscerate the gut. Crying and screaming while paralyzed with fear. In the frosty air. 🎵

  • Donna Fox (HKB)3 months ago

    I loved the narrative you chose for this, the opening premise about the not so squeaky clean folks. The whole story was such a great twist on the classic Santa Clause, so well thought out and written! Great work Paul and congrats on Top Story!

  • Kageno Hoshino3 months ago

    Dam the title gave me some off vibes ntgl

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    I mean, I guess if he's magic already....why not?

  • Stephanie Hoogstad3 months ago

    Haha this takes the idea that we shouldn’t trust someone who breaks into people’s houses every year to the next level! Well done!

  • Real Poetic3 months ago

    “The same good little girls and good little boys that are told not to accept gifts from strangers.” This really made me think 🤔

  • Next year's "Better Watch Out"?


  • Hahahahahahahahhaha this made me grin so much! Now, where do I find myself a delicious little Timmy? 😋😋😋

  • Natasha Collazo3 months ago

    Yup! 👏

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