Disclaimer: Resident Evil is the Property of Capcom. Any Christmas music not in the public domain is owned by their respective copyright holders.
"Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o'er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their Joyous Strains…"
Morgan finished the song. And immediately her hostess demanded an encore, her voice raising when Morgan hesitated.
She made the mistake of following it up with 'White Christmas'. She had barely managed to get to "Just like the one we used to know" when the hag backhanded her and glared into her eyes, boring straight through Morgan.
"Stop!" The hag yelled, loud enough to make Morgan's ears ring. She directed Morgan's attention to a dirty, boarded-up window. "Do you see any snow out there?"
Morgan looked to the window seeing nothing of the outside, then to the woman. She couldn't force herself to look at the her, instead changing her focus to Nate, wrapped in colored lighting and with a big, gaping wound in the side of his head. His chest was still rising and falling shallowly. Like she hadn't just been slapping Morgan, the hag tilted her head. "Go on."
'It's the most wonderful time of the Year' earned a rotten-toothed grin from the hag who leaned right into Morgan's peripheral vision, close enough to feel her reeking, hot breath against her face. It bled into 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear'. That song about the Christmas shoes earned hear a slap to the face and a profanity-laden admonition to look keep things upbeat, there were children who wanted to hear her sing. She could've sworn she heard manic giggling when the next thing that popped into her head next was 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer'. The hag looked pissed, but nodded.
She had no idea how long the crone forced her to continue. The room was hot and stank of rot and she could barely breathe, but she had to keep going, give encore after encore. She'd get cheers when she picked a song well, and shrieking and violence if she offended her hostess's tastes. She tried to work out a pattern; the really, really old stuff went over well, mostly. Anything mentioning snow did not. The woman winced at silly children's songs, like 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas', but softened when the little girl… where was the little girl… laughed. But it seemed luck of the draw. The singing had turned to sobbing half-intelligible lyrics. Her throat was raw and her eyes burned. Eventually her voice gave out.
The hag approached. Morgan turned her head to look at her brother. He was still now, and a mat of flies had covered his face by now, shifting constantly, patches of bone white skin and clotted red visible underneath the pile. She couldn't look at him anymore. Tears blurring her vision, she forced herself to look at the hag.
The hag nodded appreciatively. If it hadn't been for the past several hours, she would've thought the woman's tone was kind when she said. "You have a lovely voice, child."
Morgan tried to beg. "Please let me go."
Instead her throat felt torn apart and no sound came out.
The woman babbled on about frivolities, how Evie liked her performance and she would make a good big sister. She managed a wail at that thinking back to Nate smiling at her and saying there was nothing for them to worry about as they walked up the road to this house, looking to ask to use a phone. They had to get to Dulvey in a hurry if they wanted to make Christmas with mom and dad. Nate had just gotten his license and drove up to pick her up from school when she told her parents she wasn't going to make it back.
It was going to be a surprise.
When they saw the old woman with the lantern, they approached her to use a phone. She had been singing The First Noel, and Morgan joined in, putting her choir practice to good use. The woman stared at her and smiled warmly, then things got confused and Morgan was screaming at Nate to run and falling to the ground and she woke up in the darkness, tied up. Until the old woman flipped a switch and the red, green, blue and orange lights wrapped around her and Nate provided enough dim illumination.
The woman rambled on a bit and then turned to leave, promising to come back soon with some cocoa. As soon as the door shut, Morgan was thrashing. Christmas lights were not that great a restraint, and Morgan managed to pry her way loose. She immediately ran over to her brother.
The mat of flies took off as she shooed them off, and she immediately gagged. His body wasn't warm, and she could see the cracks in his skull through the gaping wound in his head. The blood was almost black against his now bone-white skin, a pair of unfocused brown eyes boring into her. She planted her head against his slimy, stained t-shirt and sobbed. Something moved in his chest. She looked up at his face.
A centipede slid out of Nate's mouth, crawling over her.
Morgan screamed through a throat that felt full of knives, falling backwards on her ass and scrambling away from him. She clamped her hands over her mouth, but it was too late. She heard the old woman yelling from far away, and the rapid beating of feet against the floor. She looked frantically around the room.
Cringing, Morgan grabbed one of her brother's arms and pulled, dragging him off the couch his body lay on. She let out a cry as his body thudded obscenely on the floor. She then set to work shoving the couch. It was heavy, she could barely move it. She heard the woman yelling something about how she had better not be scratching the floors. She shoved and shoved, and the couch was up against the door to the room she was in.
It thudded. The hag swore, promised Morgan that she'd be sorry. It thudded again. And the hag said that Evie would be very upset if she didn't open this fucking door, now.
Evie could die in a fire, for all Morgan cared.
She sat on the couch and hoarsely sang "Let it snow". It wasn't loud, but she hoped it was loud enough for the hag to hear. The door thudded a few more times, and the hag swore, lengthily and creatively, before stomping off. This couldn't last. The hag could get through the door eventually. Morgan had to get out before then.
She walked over toward the window and glanced it over. The wood that barricaded the window had mold on it, but it wasn't rotted through; it was sturdy. Prying it out would take some work.
Morgan got to work.
She had no idea how long she went at it. Her arms ached and head was swimming, and her hands were raw and she was soaked with sweat, and she hadn't managed to tear off the barricade. On occasion, something skittered across her feet. She kept at it until she was exhausted and even a little bit beyond.
Then she heard something behind her. She half turned. Something slowly swayed on its feet, person-shaped but not a person. It was dark, with glints of something lighter at the head and arms tinted by the reds, blues, greens, and yellows of the Christmas lights wound around it.
Marguerite Baker had taken her time before getting a hatchet. And she waited until she heard screaming before starting. The girl should've behaved herself, shouldn't have tried being clever. Evie would be displeased, but it was the girl's fault for blocking the door.
As the screams turned to gurgles turned to silence, Marguerite stopped chopping away at the door. That girl wasn't going to be making any more pretty songs. She'd wait to deal with that particular mess. As she turned and walked down the hall, she started singing.
"Siiilent night, Hooooly night.
All is calm, All is bright…"
Author's Note: This was a random idea that struck me last week at work; a little anthology of 1000-1500 stories revolving around the Baker family celebrating Christmas like only an insane murderous cannibal clan can. I'd like to thank Ferric and Cakes Blargh for beta reading parts and being around to bounce ideas off of.
And yeah, I'm totally not sick of Christmas music to the point where I legitimately find the fact our heroine was forced to sing them was a worse than her being eviscerated by her fungus zombie brother.