I thought I would be able to get my Havamal study and writing done this morning but the snow came in (not as much as was predicted) and that warranted some attention so I could get to work. I have been working on this little short story since I was nominated by Matthew over at Normal Happenings for his prompt the Monster In The Dell. I got to choose a nursery rhyme and try to turn it into a nightmare of sorts. I have to admit I was stumped at first then really wanted to do more like this. Oh, also, beware the content is for mature audiences which are also not of my norm. I’m just stepping out all over the place today.
Did you ever see a lassie, a lassie, a lassie? A once upon a time innocent nursery rhyme is now forever associated with one of the most horrific crimes in our town’s history and sung as a warning reminder by the remaining innocent children. For those not familiar with the game that goes with the rhyme; children would form a circle with a single child in the middle and when the song was over the child would perform an action and the circling children would imitate. Then the process would repeat. The circle and game changed in 1962.
Best was a small Texas town that had the picturesque quiet living community where families lived the American dream. Houses full of families, a butcher that knew you by name, a paperboy with true aim, block parties full of games, gossip, and food, and the quiet neighbor that all the children adored. The quiet man, Gregg, always kept snacks and juice for the kids as they played on the playground equipment behind his house. It wasn’t until after the investigation and trial that Best learned the fate of their children and of their neighbor’s true nature.
The radio crackled, ‘In breaking news, Best citizens are still searching for seven of their children that have been missing for seven days. They were last seen playing in the community park. If anyone has any information please contact the local police department.’ Monster Mash started to playing with October 31st being the seventh day into the search for the missing children. ‘Have you ever seen a lassie, a lassie, a lassie could be heard over monster mash. I could see my Susy playing with four other children in the park from my window. It was getting time to get her in her costume so I headed that direction when I noticed Emma, Susy’s friend in the middle of the children flopping around on the ground. The kids do the weirdest actions for the other kids to follow in this game. Walking towards the children I could see blood pooling around Emma’s tiny body. The other kids seemed to have been in a trance of some sort and a record player was nearby playing the nursery rhyme.
The closer I got the stronger I could smell copper. Emma’s tiny body was being mutilated by a man in a mask. Not a Halloween mask but one that was made from an animal hide of some sort. What happened next was all a blur. I remember screaming then trying to push the kids away from the center of the circle. They just fell over staring in off not fixing on anything. Some were making gurgling sounds some were in a catatonic state. I picked up the radio and blocked the knife-wielding masked man and then everything went black.
‘A young mother discovered the gruesome scene of a murder in progress possibly saving the lives of other unnamed children. Gregory Church has pleaded guilty to a total of thirteen murders.’ I sat there cradling my child realizing how close I was to losing her. Greg was actually the leader of a cult that believed in sacrificing innocent children to please his God. The investigation proved that he had several followers in our small town of Best and that he and they were responsible for the other seven missing children. The nursery rhyme he played helped him drug the children. He would give them all cups of poison and they would follow his lead as he drank from an empty cup. A neighbor heard my scream that day and tackled Greg to the ground before killing me. This allowed other people in the community to come and help the children and notify the authorities. Gregg got greedy on Halloween night and he was caught. If he had waited who knows what other town and what other nursery rhyme he would have destroyed.
As the town got older the incident turned into a memory that spawned several different versions. But the one thing that remains true throughout each version is the nursery rhyme. Kids sing it as a way to warn and remind others of what happened and that one of the members weren’t caught in 1962.
© Jo Create PTSD Gal