posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:44 PM
The cold, windy day was quickly becoming an even colder night as Annie turned carefully onto her icy street. She was finally finished with her
Christmas shopping and looked forward to a quiet night wrapping presents by the blazing fireplace, with a giant mug of cocoa.
She parked in the driveway and started gathering things up, steeling herself for the chilly sprint to the front door. Her phone suddenly chimed an
alert and she saw that she had received a new email, as well as a dozen missed calls from her sister, Dottie.
She opened the email and saw the subject: *Re: Delivery Confirmation (The Scariest Christmas Carol)*. Delivery, eh? Annie was curious, but the
sender was unfamiliar. She decided it was just spam and deleted it.
Her phone tinkled a different chime and she saw it was a text from her sister. Where are you?? Call me. Annie rolled her eyes; if she got on
the phone with her sister, she'd never get off of it. She'd call her later. Taking a deep breath, she made for the door.
Half an hour later, Annie was in her warmest fuzzy slippers, sipping hot chocolate and surrounded by wrapping paper and bows. She was in the middle of
untangling a roll of ribbon when someone knocked on the front door.
Extricating herself from the mess, she got up and walked to the door. A look through the peephole revealed no one. She cautiously opened the door a
couple of inches and peered around. No one was there. Annie shrugged, closed the door and headed back to the gifts.
As she sat down, her phone rang again. Her sister. She sighed in resignation and answered. She heard nothing at first but static. Just as she was
about to end the call, she heard her sister's muffled voice.
"Dottie, where are you, outer space? I can't hear anything you're saying. You'll have to call me back." Annie strained to make out her sister's
words. She sounded strange...almost frantic. Then abruptly, the call ended.
At that moment, Annie heard again a sharp knock at the door. She started in that direction, then stopped as she heard a different noise; it seemed
familiar but she couldn't identify it. It was coming from the kitchen.
Suddenly it clicked; the sound was her house phone. No one ever called that number. She only had it for emergencies and could not recall the last time
she'd used it. Who could be calling the house phone?
The ringing stopped as Annie reached the kitchen door. Almost immediately, it started right back up again. She reached for the receiver and snatched
it up. "Hello?" Once again, she heard static, followed by Dottie. This time her sister spoke clearly, but only in fragments, words disjointed by
bursts of electronic hissing. "If...don't...whatever you...OK?!?" Once again, she sounded upset.
The knocking sounded again from the front, loud and insistent. Annie jumped, startled. "Dottie, you're breaking up and there's somebody at the
door. Call me when you have better signal OK?" She waited for a response.
Suddenly, the knocking on the door became pounding. Alarmed, Annie dropped the receiver on the counter and headed quickly for the front. The door was
shaking with each heavy blow, the security chain rattling. What on Earth?!?
Annie reached the door and, out of habit, peered through the peephole. To her utter disbelief, the front porch stood empty. She rubbed her eyes,
squinted and looked again. Nothing. Then, she heard what sounded like a giggle from behind the door, and her confusion quickly turned to anger.
Kids, playing stupid pranks.
She turned away from the door in disgust, took two steps toward the kitchen, and froze as she heard a lilting, breathy little voice from the other
side of the door begin to sing. The tune sounded familiar, but she could not place it. Something about it made her hair stand on end. It was creepy.
She strained harder to hear the song.
What...is that a Christmas carol?? Suddenly, a grin spread across her face. Of course! Carolers. She felt almost giddy with relief. It was just
some kids out caroling, maybe too shy to show their faces. Laughing at her own silly imagination, Annie slid the chain off and opened the door.
In the kitchen on the counter lay the abandoned phone receiver, the green "On" light still glowing softly. At the other end of it, Dottie paced
frantically back and forth, waiting for her sister to return to the phone.
Dottie had visions, had them her whole life. Sometimes they were dead on, other times they weren't. She had never had a vision of her sibling before,
and this one was horrifying. She had been trying all day to reach Annie, to warn her, even though she knew it would likely only annoy her. She thought
it was nonsense.
Dottie paced faster as she heard a loud pounding from her sister's end. Someone at the door. It got louder and more insistent, then abruptly ceased.
Dottie strained to hear more over her own pounding heart. She heard Annie fiddling with the locks, the rattle of a chain, and a distant creak as she
opened the door. Suddenly, the silence was shattered by a scream.
Dottie, in a panic, called out her sister's name over and over, but there was nothing after that solitary scream. Just as she was about to hang up
and call the police, she heard footsteps echoing across her sister's kitchen tile. "Annie", she said softly into the phone, "are you there?"
The footsteps halted. Dottie heard a rustling noise as the receiver was picked up. She heard breathing, raspy and loud. "Annie?" The breathing
became a rhythmic whisper...chanting? No. Singing. Someone was singing...was that...a Christmas carol?
"Who is this?" Dottie whispered into the phone. The singing stopped, only the raspy breathing could be heard for a long moment. "Hello?" A
rattling inhalation. "Who are you?" A mirthless chuckle. "Hello?!?"