By M Ferry

Have another drink! That’s how you made my list in the first place. I know all about your “accident”. You had so much alcohol in your system that you were able to stumble away from the wreckage, but you left a man unconscious and his child pinned in a burning car. The father survived, the boy did not. There was not enough evidence to convict you, but the case certainly caught my attention. Your lies were convincing. I watched you for weeks and waited until I found the perfect opportunity.

I planned to drug you, but I found you so drunk that there was no need. I covered my backseat with plastic so that you wouldn’t vomit on the upholstery then I brought you here. Let’s call it my workshop. You have been bad, but you are going to help me create a very special gift for that father whom you hurt. He will open his door on Christmas morning to find a perfect box of crimson candy canes. I make these by hand. Each is a work of art, perfectly smooth and polished. The thick, crimson swirls are a brighter shade than you have seen before. The stripes are uniform, but if you look closely you may see the slight texture left by a brush. I paint every one of them myself. Procuring that precious paint is the most difficult part, but that is why you are here to help me.

Please don’t struggle. I am not a phlebotomist by any means, it took me a dozen tries before the needle found a suitable vessel. It was very messy. I considered leaving you to live, but that would diminish the meaning of this special gift. It has to be perfect.