Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),
Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!
First Impression: Honestly my first impression of this was just a very loud and very drawn out scream because this just absolutely nails the horror and just the sheer creepiness of the whole thing. You've done a very good job here.
Anyway let's get right to it,
Annie lay in her bed, waiting patiently for Santa to drop by from the chimney.
Why not see Santa now?
Annie crawled out of bed and gently opened the door, hardly containing her excitement.
Oh dear...well I can already see where this is headed judging from the bit in the description earlier. Annie definitely seems like she's not about to be running into Santa anytime soon. Well, love that you manage to build that tension pretty much immediately here.
However, when she got to the living room, it was not Santa that she saw.
Underneath the tinsel and ornaments was a…very big person, but certainly not Santa. Annie edged closer to the person, curious to see what they looked like.
She got closer..closer..
“Hey now, what are you doing?”
She backed away, startled that the person spoke to her.
The person stood up and…Goodness, he was very very tall…his head reached the ceiling…he was strange looking, too. He had a funny pointy nose and furry shoulders. He wore only black and white.
Well I love that Annie here is just being really curious here. That really puts into perspective quite how young she must be because most people would be screaming and running at the sight of some like that being in the house. Of course that just makes things even more terrifying as we realize Annie very young here.
He smiled at Annie with sharp teeth.
Annie was a little scared, but not enough to make her run away.
Instead, she curtseyed (like a pretty Princess would) and introduced herself to him (Princesses should always have manners).
He grinned wider at her, revealing more sharp teeth.
“My name is Laughing Jack. I’m a clown.”
“Is that why you look so strange?”
“Yes, yes it is.”
Well that is particularly terrifying here. I love how you play with these very childlike thoughts in front of something that we can recognize as a properly terrifying monster. It really brings it all to life with just that much more horror.
Laughing Jack stopped smiling and bent down low, to face Annie, as she was really tiny and he was really tall.
“I must tell you something, miss..what’s your name?”
“Annie. Nice name. I must tell you that I am a monster. I eat children. Especially little girls like you.”
“Yes, I do. I love eating them.”
Okay I stand corrected. This one just very casually introducing himself as someone who eats kids right to little Annie's face is significantly more terrifying. The horror factor is really creeping up incredibly fast on this one.
Now she wanted to run away and hide, but curious as ever, she stayed where she was.
“But since it is Christmas and my birthday, I’m not going to eat any kids with-“
“It’s your birthday? How old are you turning?”
“I’m turning 3810 years old.”
“Wow! That’s really old! I’m only seven and a half!”
Well that... I don't know if its bad that this seems mildly wholesome here, I suppose not too many people are up for the task of celebrating the birthday of someone like Laughing Jack here.
“What was it that I was saying?” Laughing Jack asked, tapping a long, clawed finger to his lips.
“You were talking about eating children.” Annie said in a small voice. She didn’t want to talk about that. Not on Christmas. Not ever.
“Ah yes! Eating children! Now, now, don’t look so glum. I was saying that since it is Christmas and my birthday, I will not eat a child unless I get their permission.”
“What?” Annie asked, a little confused.
AHhh I keep thinking we've reached the threshold for how horrifying this can be and its going to continue being normal and then you manage to pull the ol' carpet from right under me and suddenly it gets just a little more terrifying.
“I’m asking if you will let me eat you.”
“What? Of course not!” Annie cried fearfully. There was no way she’d let any monster eat her!
“My mistake. I didn’t tell you what I planned to eat of you. Really, there are only small things I want of you.”
“Like what?” Annie asked cautiously. Nobody had ever wanted to eat her before, but she rightfully assumed that it was a very unpleasant experience.
Ahhh the amount of innocent that Annie is displaying right here really is just making things so, so much more terrifying here. You're really playing with that aspect very powerfully here. The dialogue is just about perfect to elicit the maximum horror.
“I will only eat your right ear, two fingers on your left hand, three fingers on your right hand, and your right eye. That leaves you with one ear, five fingers, and one eye. I think that you’ll manage alright.”
“I don’t like that.”
“I’ll give you pink ribbons for the wounds.”
“No. I don’t want to do this.”
“I’ll take it down to seven. You’ll have seven fingers left instead of five.”
Well this deal definitely sounds like its not going to end in favor of Annie in the slightest. It looks like she's about to scammed in arguably the worst way that one can imagine and this is just once again reaching new heights of utterly terrifying.
“No! I don’t want this!”
Laughing Jack stood up to his full, towering height, which was very big.
“If you don’t like that, then I’ll eat you. Whole.”
Annie gulped. She had not a doubt that he could eat her. She didn’t want to get eaten.
“Oh, okay. You win.”
She held up her hands in surrender.
Well yup, that proceeded pretty much exactly how one would expect. Ahh, at this point all we can do is watch in petrified horror because I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that what's happening next is going to be the worst part of this.
He let go of her left hand and motioned for her to take out her right hand, to which she obliged. She watched with gory fascination as he ate her pinky finger from her right hand.
Well this definitely takes the whole thing to an entirely different level especially to have Annie her watching the whole thing in fascination. Ahhh, I'm gonna stop thinking that this has hit the ceiling of how horrifying it can be.
Finally, he opened his mouth very wide, showing all sharp teeth, all stained with blood, and ate her left eye.
When Laughing Jack was done, he wiped his lips and smiled at her.
“You’re a very sweet child, you know.”
“Everyone says that.”
AHHHHHHHHHHH. The ending there is just perfect to cap this off with the perfect amount of horror. Wow, this has really been an exhibition of creepiness right here.
“What will I tell Mommy and Daddy?”
He smiled evilly at her.
“Whatever you like.”
He crawled into the darkness, into the shadows.
Annie lay in bed, staring at the sunlight outside her window. She wasn’t in the mood to eat the candy cane that Laughing Jack gave her. It was sitting on her desk. What would she say when her parents saw her?
“What’s wrong, Princess? Why aren’t you opening your presents?” Mom asked worriedly.
She walked closer..closer..
“Sweetheart, what happened to you?”
Well that's about as well as that could have ended, I'm honestly just surprised the mother didn't just straight up faint there because that can't be a sight that gets Mom to remain quite that calm here.
Aaaaand that's it for this one.
Overall: Overall I think you've done an amazing job here with this piece. This is probably the scariest piece I've read from you and the way its played was just really powerful to see.
As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.