Damned Payphone – Christmas Break – 1986

📅 Published on December 3, 2021

“Damned Payphone - Christmas Break - 1986”

Written by Chisto Healy
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 14 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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Gary came out of his house, letting the screen door slam behind him. His best bud/ultimate nemesis, Ray, was waiting on his bicycle at the edge of his lawn. Gary ignored the spitballs Ray was sending his way and went around the side of his house to his bike, pushing up the kickstand with his foot and hopping on. He was glad he was bundled against the winter chill as he could see his breath like plumes of smoke.

“While I was waiting for you, I made it through the Labyrinth, so now David Bowie is pissed at you,” Ray said, putting away his spitball gun, aka pen tube with no ink in it.

Gary rolled his eyes as he pedaled into the street. “No way you escaped David Bowie on a BMX. Everyone knows Huffy is better.”

The boys rode beside each other, racing through the streets. “We’ll settle this on the new Rampage game when we get to the rink,” Ray said.

“Fine, but you can’t be the werewolf,” Gary answered as he pedaled by. “It’s gotta be Kong vs. Zilla for a true classic battle.”

“I just watched it at Thanksgiving again. I love that. You’re on.”

The boys rode their bikes across town to the roller rink, where they skidded to a halt. “I win,” Gary said. “Told you. Huffy.”

“It was a tie, loser.”

The door opened, and a girl stepped out in rainbow leggings and overalls with her brown hair in pigtails and her eyes wide with fear.

“Oh no. It’s Punky Brewster,” Ray said with a snort. “Hope you had your cooties shot.”

“Shut up, dude.” Gary waved at the girl. “Hey, Lucy.”

Lucy walked up to them, her eyes distant and full of terror. Behind her, the door fell shut, cutting off the sound of Tears for Fears playing inside.

“What the heck is wrong with you?” Ray asked her.

Lucy turned slowly and looked him in the eyes. “It’s the payphone,” she said. Then she whipped around and pointed at the maintenance hole in the street.

“You’re being kinda creepy,” Gary told her. He looked over at the maintenance hole she was pointing at. The cover jumped and rattled. The two boys paid wary glances towards each other, and then both looked at Lucy. “Okay, what the hell was that?”

“That was hell,” Lucy said.

The boys looked back at the maintenance hole cover and it jumped again, landing at an angle this time and exposing the hole beneath. Thick gray taloned fingers emerged from the darkness. Both boys yelped, dropped their bikes and ran into the building. People were happily dancing laps on the rink while others were putting skates on and taking them off on the other side of the big room. A disco globe spun above, scattering multi-colored lights over the skaters while the speakers crooned, “Everybody wants to rule the world.”

“Was that a C.H.U.D.?” Ray asked, trembling from nerves. “I think we just saw a C.H.U.D. dude.”

“C.H.U.D.s aren’t real,” Gary answered, but he glared at Lucy. “What was that? Tell him.”

“Probably a demon,” she said. “Come on.”

Gary and Ray glanced at each other but they followed behind her. They walked past the skaters that didn’t look at all frightened. They walked past the tables where kids were eating slices of pizza and sipping sodas from wax-coated cups. Lucy stopped beside the payphone.

“Can you please just stop being a weirdo and tell us what’s going on?” Ray huffed.

Lucy rolled her eyes. She cracked the gum in her mouth. “Pick up the phone and try to call someone.”

“Should I call Santa?” Ray smirked and shook his head. He gestured towards an arcade game across the way. “Heck no. I’m saving my quarters for Rampage. You do it and just let me hear.”

Lucy sighed. “Fine.” She dropped a quarter into the appropriate slot on the phone. “I’m going to call your house, Gary.” Gary shrugged and she dialed, punching the silver buttons. Then she reached past Ray and handed the phone to Gary, who reluctantly took it.

Gary held the phone to his ear and listened, his eyes on Ray. He heard what sounded like a campfire, flames crackling and popping. He squinted his eyes and listened more carefully. It sounded like there was some kind of low moaning in the background. “Hello?” he said. “Mom?”

Deep laughter came through the phone into his ear accompanied by screams of terror and agony. Gary dropped the receiver and jumped back. Ray eyed him cautiously and then grabbed the hanging phone, putting it to his own here. “Hello Ray,” a booming voice full of bass said to him. “I will see you at home.”

Ray slammed the phone down, hanging it up. He stared angrily at Lucy. “Who was that? What is going on? Why did he say he would meet me at home?”

“That was the Devil…I think,” Lucy said, cracking her gum again. “Evan and those other mean boys were making fun of the old lady on the hill, calling her a witch and throwing stuff at her. I think they egged her house. Anyway, she followed them here and put some strange-looking coin in the payphone. Then she just left. Now the payphone calls hell and whatever house you dialed, that’s where the demons show up. I tested it by calling the main number for the rink. Joey at the desk didn’t answer,” she said, pointing at the older boy who waved back, “ but the Devil did.”

“And that’s why that demon was coming out of the sewer outside?” Ray asked in a panic. “You just killed us all, you idiot.”

“Wait…why did you call my house?” Gary cried out. “You sent demons to my house? I thought we were friends.”

“We are, so I called Ray’s house.”

Ray snarled. “I hate you so much! I gotta go save my parents!” He ran past them before Gary could say anything, but he stopped in his tracks when the music cut off. He looked back at Gary and Lucy just as the power cut out. People immediately started screaming. Ray whirled back around and saw people hurrying off of the rink in a rush to get to their shoes and belongings. A hand clamped down on his shoulder, and he yelped. He shook free of the hand and spun around, ready for battle. Gary raised his own hands defensively. “We have to get to our bikes if we wanna save your family, and there are demons out there.”

Lucy cracked glow sticks and handed each boy one. “These will help us see in the dark.”

“Thanks,” Gary said with a smile.

“I still hate you,” Ray told her.

The front door flew open with a bang as huge gusts of wind blew in. A ferocious growl sounded in the dark. The three kids watched as skinless creatures of gray bone crawled on all fours, moving fast and leaping onto fleeing skaters. The screams started again as blood sprayed the polished wood of the rink.

“Run!” Lucy screamed, racing for the door. The boys pumped their arms and churned their legs behind her, barreling through the open doors. Each boy grabbed up their bicycles, and both turned to look at Lucy.

“What about you? Handlebars?” Gary asked, his eyes going back to the open doors and the sounds of chaos emitting from the darkness within the building. Lucy smiled and pointed down at her feet. The boys followed her finger as they did before and saw that she was wearing skates for the first time. Gary nodded and started to pedal away. Ray shot past him, and Lucy worked to keep up, weaving back and forth on her skates.

They heard padding feet and panting breaths like a dog running behind them. Curiosity mixed with fear forced them to turn their heads. The horned demon and its lone red eye made them turn back and pedal faster.

“I’m about to lead another demon right back to my house! This is all your fault!” Ray barked at Lucy.

Lucy ignored him. She reached back with something in her hand, and liquid splashed onto the horrible face of the pursuing demon. Steam rose where it connected, and it howled in pain and turned away from them, running off in the opposite direction. “What was that?” Gary asked her.

“Lorde’s water. My mom orders it for the dishes in our doorways. We’re Catholic, dude.”

“And you just carry it around with you?” Ray chimed in.

“I do since I saw Fright Night. You just never know anymore.”

“Hey. Just be glad she did,” Gary said, “or we might all be demon food right now.”

“If those things ate my parents, I’m gonna feed you to them,” Ray said, tugging the handles of his bike and sharply turning a corner.

“Whatever, Master Splinter.”

“Is that supposed to be an insult?”

“He’s a rat, idiot.”

“A frickin badass ninja rat!”

“Guys, look!” Gary shouted over their argument. He was pointing towards the maintenance hole cover on Ray’s block. It was off to the side, and the hole was open. “That can’t be good!”

Ray pedaled up to his house and jumped off of his bike before he even stopped. He ran up the stoop to the door, banging on it. “Mom! Open up. It’s me!”

“You think they’ll ever make a cartoon of the ninja turtles?” Lucy asked Gary.

“Probably not. It’s pretty dark. Keep that holy water ready.”

A scream sounded inside the house, and Ray moaned. He cried out for his mother and pounded on the door some more. “I’ll try the back,” Gary told him. He dropped his bike and ran around the house.

Suddenly, the front door came open, and Ray was staring into his living room. No one was there to have opened the door. He swallowed a lump in his throat. “Mom? Dad?”

When he got no response, he turned back and looked down the steps at Lucy. She shrugged. “I don’t think I can get up the steps in my skates.”

Ray grumbled under his breath, but he knew that there was no time to argue, so he turned back and crossed the threshold. The house was dark and quiet. Too quiet. He stepped forward with tentative steps, clutching to the glow stick Lucy had given him. “Mom? Dad?”

Ray made his way to the kitchen, where he saw a note held to the fridge door by a magnet. His mother said that she and his father had gone out bowling with Gary’s parents and dinner was in the refrigerator. He sighed with relief until he heard snarling from behind him. Ray trembled and turned slowly to look.

A tiny gray creature was on his kitchen table, rippling with muscles and oozing slimy drool from between fangs too big for its tiny head. Ray put his hand out towards the creature. “Easy now,” he said, and it lunged, snapping its giant teeth at him and causing him to jump back.

“We can talk about this,” Ray said, his eyes moving around the room in search of a weapon. He started to back up towards the knife rack on the counter. The creature seemed to sense the threat, and it leaped from the table, jaws wide open and fangs headed for his face.

Then something smacked it mid-jump and sent it flying into the wall, where it collapsed to the ground. Gary ran over and beat the thing with a baseball bat until it was just a stain on the kitchen tiles. When he turned around, heaving breaths of adrenaline, Ray was smiling at him. “Hell yeah, Darryl Strawberry.”

“Good thing you never listen to your mom and put your stuff away. Your bat was in the yard.”

“Sit on it,” Ray said with a scowl.

Lucy rolled into the room behind Gary. Ray threw his arms up. “There are steps back there too.”

“They’re easier,” she said.

“We have more important things to talk about,” Gary told them both.

“You’re right,” Ray said with a nod. “Gobots or Transformers?”

“Still Transformers,” Lucy said with conviction.

“I mean, how do we stop this thing,” Gary interrupted. “People are going to keep using that payphone. They’re probably all trying to call for help from it right now. The demons will be all over town.”

“I have a plan,” Ray told him, “but you have to answer the question first.”

Gary sighed. “Transformers.”

Ray threw his arms up again. “Well, fine. I have tickets to the Gobots movie that we missed when it came out in March, and they’re re-releasing for Christmas, but I’ll just find someone else to go with.”

Gary slapped himself in the forehead. “I still like Gobots. I just think Transformers are better. We didn’t miss that movie in August, did we? Why? It was more important.”

“What’s your plan?” Lucy said, stepping between them.

“Take it to the source, duh.” Ray shot Gary a last dirty look. “The witch that cursed the payphone has to have a way to undo it.”

“Maybe if we kill her, her curses will die with her,” Lucy responded.

Ray looked impressed. “Okay. I don’t completely hate you.”

“How are we going to get to her with demons all over the street?” Gary asked.

“I have a plan for that too.” Ray gave a sly smile. “Gimme that holy water of yours,” he said, tearing a piece of loose-leaf out of a nearby trapper keeper.

A few minutes later, Gary was pedaling his bike down the street towards the witch’s house. Lucy was skating beside him and pulling a Radio Flyer wagon by its handle. Ray was sitting in the wagon. Each time a demon appeared in the street, snarling and prepared for murder, Ray pulled a paper ball from the container of holy water and used his spitball gun to fire it and send the howling demon running in the opposite direction.

“It’s working,” Gary whooped. Then an enormous monster was standing right in front of him. He tugged his handles and swerved, but his bike crashed, and he was sent tumbling across the street. Lucy cried out and let go of the wagon handle as she swerved herself to avoid the beast’s massive legs. The wagon rolled a few feet but came to a stop right in front of the thing. It leaned forward on a serpentine neck, and glazed yellow eyes stared directly into Ray’s.

Not knowing what else to do, he raised his gun and blew a spitball point-blank into the thing’s face. It bounced off the monster’s snout with a sizzle of steam, and then a long forked tongue came out to lick the monster’s scaled lips. “Crap,” Ray said.

The snakelike jaws of the demon unhinged and spread wide, ready to swallow him. Ray just reacted and threw the whole container of holy water down the creature’s gullet. It froze for a moment, then burst into flame and collapsed in the road. “Hell yeah!” Ray shouted, bounding to his feet and pumping his fist.

“That was all I had, you idiot,” Lucy snapped as she rolled over towards him.

“It was going to eat me. I didn’t see you doing anything.”

Gary stumbled over, a hand to his head. “Guys, we’re here.”

All three turned to look up at the old house on the hill. “Any idea how to kill a witch?” Lucy asked.

“Beats me,” Gary said.

“Everything beats you,” Ray told him.

“You don’t.”

“You’ll never know. We didn’t get to play because the roller rink got overrun with demons.”

“We’ll just wing it then,” Lucy said, leaving them behind to skate up the hill towards the old house. The boys grumbled and ran after her. When they got to the towering front door, Lucy reached up and rang the doorbell.

“Seriously?” Ray snapped.

“Well, I don’t know.”

“We’re not trick-or-treating.”

“Guys!” Once he had their attention, Gary pointed towards the open door. “Shall we?”

“I don’t see what choice we have,” Ray said, stepping past him into the creepy old house. Lucy looked at Gary and shrugged her shoulders. Then she stepped inside as well. When Gary followed her in, the door slammed shut behind him. “That can’t be good,” he said.

They were standing in a foyer before a winding staircase under a crystal chandelier. A candelabra burned under an old painting of a frightening woman with an intense stare on each wall at their sides. When they looked up the stairs, mainly to get away from the terrifying painting in the glow of the many candles, they saw her. She was standing on the landing, looking down at them, her white hair wisps jutting out in every direction. She pointed down at them with a bony finger.

“You dare come into my home!” she bellowed from above, her voice shrill and piercing. Below, the children shivered.

Lucy swallowed and stepped forward. “I know that Joey and those other boys are total jerks,” she said, “but you need to remove the curse. It’s hurting innocent people.”

Suddenly the witch was right before them. No one had ever seen her move. They all gasped. “No one in this town is innocent,” she said. “They tormented my mother and her mother before her just like they do me now.”

“I never did anything to you,” Gary said.

The witch glared at him. “You and your friend over here dared each other on Halloween to come to invade my house. You were so bent on winning that you didn’t even think about the fact that you were breaking into someone’s home.”

Ray spoke quietly out of the corner of his mouth when he said, “She’s right. We did do that.”

“I’m sorry,” Gary said then. “We were messing around. We didn’t mean any harm. Please. People are dying down there.”

The witch gave a big toothy grin. “Yes, and they will all die before it’s over, and so will you.”

“What was that strange coin you put in the payphone?” Lucy asked her.

“It belonged to Charon. He would give it to the dead when they crossed the river Styx.”

“Like Clash of the Titans!” Gary exclaimed. He and Ray high-fived.

The witch shot him a stern look and then continued. “It was passed through my family for generations. The coin is a link between our world and the underworld, and now that payphone is the connection.”

“That’s kinda badass, actually,” Ray said. When Lucy glared at him, he said, “What? Charon is rad.”

“How do we stop the curse?” Gary demanded to know. “We have to fix this, or it’s going to ruin Christmas forever.”

The witch laughed at him. “The only way to stop the curse is to get the coin back, and you won’t be able to do that because none of you are ever going to leave this house.”

The boys backed up until they hit the closed door. The witch’s smile returned. With a long black fingernail, she caressed each boy’s cheek. Then a whistle made her turn her head. She was just in time to see Lucy slam the candelabra down on her robe. It caught fire quickly, and she screamed. The witch stumbled away and fell, rolling on the ground as the flames grew in intensity. She started to scream then, and she writhed in agony as she was consumed by fire. When she fell still, and all remaining was her charred corpse, Gary reached behind him and tried the door. He sighed with relief when it came open.

“You’re growing on me,” Ray said to Lucy as they left the house.

“Like a wart?” she said with irritation.

“No,” Ray said, shaking his head. “Like a friend.”

“That’s sweet,” Gary chimed in. “Now we have to go back to where it all began and get that coin so we can end this nightmare.”

“We have to go to that damned payphone,” Ray agreed.

“Literally,” Lucy added.

“So we’re like the three amigos,” Gary said as they headed back down towards the street, “except cooler.”

“My dad watches that,” Lucy said. “We’re Spidey and his amazing friends. I’m Firestar. You’re Spidey, and Ray is Iceman.”

“Definitely growing on me,” Ray said with a smile. “You wanna go see Gobots with me?”

“Seriously?!” Gary snarled.

Ray laughed, but it didn’t last long. When they were back on the street, they saw the full extent of the carnage. There were smashed cars and wrecked houses, downed trees and power lines. Lightning crashed in the sky above, and rain started to fall with force.

None of them said anything else as they walked towards the roller rink, Lucy still on her skates. They were doing their best to remain vigilant, to watch for stray demons hungering for human flesh. Terrified screams sounded in the distance.

When they reached their destination, a pair of legs wearing skates came rolling out of the open door. The kids cringed at the sight and feared finding the rest of the body inside. “Do you think they’re all dead?” Lucy asked, breaking the silence.

The boys just nodded.

“Do you think once the demons kill everyone at a location they were called to that they return to hell?” Gary asked as they approached the door.

“God, I hope so,” Ray said. When they stepped back into the roller rink, they all clamped hands over their mouths to avoid being sick. There were body parts scattered everywhere, blood dripping from the walls and ceiling, and a lone pair of skates still spinning around the track.

“The smell is horrible,” Lucy choked.

“Let’s just get that coin and get this over with,” Gary said.

They hurried forward, navigating the body parts like it was a minefield until they made their way back to the payphone. “How do we get the coin out?” Lucy asked, inspecting it.

“Watch out,” Ray said, moving her aside. He reached up and kicked the phone. It rattled, and some coins came out but not the cursed one the witch had put in it.

“Do it again!” Gary shouted. “Keep doing it.”

“Not so fast,” a voice said from across the room. When the kids looked that way, they saw a translucent man with enormous wings and long, razor-sharp claws walking in their direction.

All three of them commenced beating on the payphone, kicking it and punching it. Quarters were raining out everywhere. “Where is it?” Gary shouted. “It’s got to be here!”

The demon reached them. The clawed hands shot forth and seized both Ray and Lucy around the throat, lifting them high into the air.

Gary looked from his squirming friends to the payphone, unsure of what to do.

“Back away from the phone, or I will cut off their heads,” the demon told him.

Gary didn’t trust that the demon wouldn’t do that anyway, but he didn’t know if the coin would come out if he hit the phone again. If it didn’t, the action alone might be enough to cause the thing to kill his friends. “Okay,” he said, raising his hands. “Just please don’t hurt them.”

“Go,” the demon boomed. For emphasis, he squeezed his hands. The children in them kicked and struggled, their faces going purple.

“Okay. Okay!” Gary shouted, backing away. Then he stopped and did his best to duplicate the crane kick he saw in Karate Kid. His left leg came down as his right leg shot up and hit the payphone with a bang. A filthy old coin came tumbling out of the coin slot and landed on the floor. It wobbled back and forth with a rattling sound before falling flat.

The winged demon disappeared, and Ray and Lucy fell from the air to the ground, where they coughed and gasped for air. Gary bent down and picked up the witch’s coin, stuffing it into his pocket. He would bury it somewhere where no one else could use it for evil.

Ray and Lucy got to their feet, wiping the gore they fell in off of their clothes. “Nice kick,” Lucy said with a smile.

Ray clapped his friend on the shoulder. “Hell yeah, Gary-san. Wax on, wax off. The Gobots ticket is yours again.”

“I had no intention of going with you, “Lucy said to him as they navigated the carnage on their way to the front door.

“I vote we start using the word heck,” Gary said as they stepped outside.

“Agreed,” Lucy said.

They looked around at the too-quiet streets. “You think they’re all gone?” Ray asked the others.

“I hope so,” Lucy answered.

“If not, we’ll just find a way to beat them,” Gary said. “We’re a pretty good team.”

“Still not the Three Amigos,” Ray said as they headed down the street. Lucy laughed, and Gary sighed.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Chisto Healy
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Chisto Healy


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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