The Reappearance of the Brigantine Children

📅 Published on December 2, 2021

“The Reappearance of the Brigantine Children”

Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
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 — 5 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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December 25th, 2018 was the worst day the town of Brigantine had seen since its founding. People call it the Christmas of the Lost.  My heart still stammers just writing about it.

Hundreds of parents laid out gifts under their Christmas Trees the night before. Each parent woke up to an identical scene as when they went to sleep. Cookies and milk were untouched, stockings bulged with undisturbed treats, and gifts rested in their places under the Christmas trees; cold from the lack of children’s joy. My wife Nina and I were no exception.

I remember us tiptoeing past our son’s bedroom as we carried his gifts from Santa down the hall. Nina was tipsy on eggnog and I had a bit of a holiday buzz going myself. We giggled and shushed each other as we stumbled through the house. It’s one of my best memories, because it’s the last time we ever laughed together. Hell, I can’t even remember if we’ve laughed at all since then.

Ronnie was sleeping in his bed as he always was. I know this because my wife and I bickered about her going in there to give him a goodnight kiss. Looking back now, I thank God that she won that battle. It brings me something close to a hint of solace to know that some of his last moments in this house were spent under his mother’s love.

We set up his tricycle; placing the largest yellow bow atop the handlebars that we could find. Nina’s mother’s tradition dictated that we place an orange at the bottom of his stocking; but the rest was filled with little toys and candy. I groaned as she handed me the full plate of cookies.

“Ugh, why do we always make so many again?”  I joked.

“Because it’s fun! I don’t know about you but when Ronnie and I are making them, a small part of me actually believes they’ll be eaten by Father Christmas.” She blushed as she placed an amber strand of hair behind her dainty ear.

The thick peanut butter cups atop the cookies were killing me that year. I remember choking on my own saliva; turned into a biting syrup by sugar. We got it done though, leaving exactly one cookie uneaten for Ronnie to sneak in the morning.  The milk, however, was all mine.

We awoke to the sounds of sirens and the sun shining through our windows. Nina’s bedside clock read 9:18 AM. As much as I tried to fight it, a cold chill enveloped each cell in my body. We knew something was wrong. It’s not normal for Ronnie to sleep past 7 o’clock, but especially not on Christmas.

Nina took off running to his room on instinct, fearing that he’d left the house and gotten hit by a car or injured. I held my breath, praying to hear his sleepy little voice. But so far, my wife’s calls have gone unanswered.

“Chris! Ronnie’s not here.” She yelled down the hall.

“What do you mean he’s not here? You haven’t even checked the living room.”

Chris, I’m telling you our baby’s not fucking here!”  She choked out through sobs. Her footsteps boomed through the house and I heard the front door slam shut as she left.

My breaths started coming in faster and larger puffs as I tried to process the quickly unfolding situation. The robe I wore the night before was disgusting on my skin. Nothing felt right. It’s like at that moment, I already knew that the joy in my life was over. I just couldn’t accept it.

Thousands of scenarios invaded my rationality from the corners I’d done so well at keeping them hidden in. Each fear I’ve ever had as a parent that was always out of reach for someone like me was now all too tangible.

When I opened my front door, I was met with an overwhelming number of sobs and wails. Dozens of people on our street were outside of their homes. Most of them were crying hysterically, some wore blank expressions of shock. Others demanded to search every person’s home on the block who didn’t have children.

I held my wife as she tumbled to the ground. An officer had told her every child in the county had gone missing Christmas Eve night. My brain fought with itself as to how I should feel. On one hand, hundreds of children kidnapped at the same time would be hard to house and even harder to hide. On the other hand, though, the irrational part of my mind told me that something unnatural had happened altogether, and none of us would ever see our children again.

As the months went on and the seasons changed, most of the parents in town had reached the same heart-rending conclusion; until November.

Nina and I were still married, though we slept in separate bedrooms now. She got on this kick right away about trying for another baby; which I was… am fully against.

First off, I felt that if we had another child we would be replacing Ronnie. Even worse, we’d be accepting the fact that he was never coming back. We didn’t know that. I always held out heartbreaking hope that they’d find him; find all of the missing kids.

Furthermore, if something in this town was taking children, I certainly didn’t want to give them a new target.

Anyway, one morning Nina’s screams woke me from a heavily medicated sleep.

“Chris, it’s Ronnie! He’s home!”

The covers are thrown in a corner of the room as I spring out of my now cold bed. Each step closer to my son fills my heart with a happiness I feared I no longer possessed. The long-lost and dearly missed sound of his voice stops me cold. Whoever is talking to Nina is not our little boy. His voice sounds low and detached; like it’s being run through a voice synthesizer.

My stomach heaves when I finally bring myself to finish taking the steps to his bedroom. A mutilated, mangled body lay in the bed that was once meant for our son. Don’t get me wrong, he is alive and healthy. He just came back…wrong.

His face is a mingle of features that seem random at best. It was as if Picasso had genetically designed a human being and brought them to life. Licorice whip braids of pink scarring surround his every joint, knuckle and limb. One leg is shorter than the other by six inches. His left arm is thinner and four shades lighter than his other… left arm.  The right eye placed haphazardly on his face is one of the only qualities that proves to me it’s really him. The eye on the left looks like it belongs to someone else entirely.

Once again, the street is thick with police officers, but fire rescue is here this time too. Parents are holding disfigured children as they’re laid on stretchers. Each one yelling about how they’re fine and don’t need treatment. I caught eyes with the little girl who lived across the street from us and I recognized one of them as my son’s.

Whatever happened, it’s as if each child was put into a machine, had their DNA all mixed and randomized, then spit back out. The children walk, talk, eat and play like they always have. It’s almost impossible to tell who is who anymore.

The next year, I heard whispers of a reckoning of sorts. The town leaders and religious figures had labeled these children, some of them their own, as abominations. Plans began for a massive event to return the children to the melting pot from which they came.

Nina and I decided to get him the Hell out of here. By the time they noticed a child was missing, we would be long gone. Surely there was somewhere in the World that would greet Ronnie with acceptance and love. We were just happy to have him back.

This Christmas morning, as Ronnie opened his simple gifts in our new home under our tree, the doorbell rang.

An abandoned gift sat lovingly on our doormat. It was a rectangular box wrapped in gold and red paper with a large green bow and tag perched atop it.

Inside lay a set of light blue children’s gloves, made up of two left hands. The note on the tag read:

To:  Ronnie

From: Your Secret Santa

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Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: N.M. Brown


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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