Frosty The Child Molester

“Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Look at Frosty go”
- Jack Rollins & Steve Nelson

He stood at the counter, across from the Indian man with the accent so strange, the Indian man who wouldn’t lower his cell phone to card a nine year-old with a crate of beer, or to raise an eyebrow at a priest with a box of condoms, but here was Berbert- according to the name tag- tilting his Blackberry away from his chin, cocking his neck and interrupting his call and asking Frosty point-blank:

“What do you need with all this Reeses Pieces?”

Frosty slipped a fifty from his wallet toward Berbert, who accepted it, but asked again without breaking eye contact:

“What are you going to do with all those Reeses Pieces?”

Frosty flashed him a warm smile. “Nunyo,” he said proudly.

“Nunyo?” asked Berbert.

“Nunyo fucking business.” He beamed back at Berbert, who babbled profanity in a language not yet discovered. Berbert handed Frosty his change- sixty-seven cents- and reached beneath the counter for a plastic bag. Frosty raised his reusable canvas shopping bag, and with that Berbert was back on his Blackberry, lost in a conversation with no beginning, middle or end. Maybe he was talking to another convenience store clerk somewhere?

Frosty scooped up all thirty bags of Pieces and headed out to his car, the sleigh bell on the door jingling as he made his exit. He checked his watch: 2:49. Perfect; he was right on time. He got into his Kia Paloma and cruised down Neptune Avenue, finding a station playing Electric Light Orchestra.

Frosty loved Electric Light Orchestra.

He turned off Roxbury Road and drove past the Ridgeway Theater. He flashed back to his days in the darkened auditorium, enjoying action pictures, reaching accidentally into the bucket of popcorn which the strange man beside him had offered to share. As a kid he loved hot buttered popcorn, but when he went to reach in the strange man’s popcorn bucket he found it wasn’t popcorn that the strange man had in his hot buttered popcorn bucket of –it was- hot buttered popcorn- something else- in the bucket of- something else, something else-

His brakes whined to a stop at the same instant the school bell rang, audible even from the parking lot. There was a moment of silence, of strange quiet, and then the children began to emerge from the doors of Davenport Elementary. They sprang out like snakes from a can- full of energy and running for their lives. Frosty licked his lips because he just couldn’t stop himself.

Boy children… girl children… androgynous children who could be boy children and girl children at the same time. Frosty felt like a boy today and tore open a bag of pieces… he poured a pile in his palm and stuck his hand out the window. A six year-old wandered by and Frosty asked, “Want some candy, little boy…?”

The boy covered his mouth and walked directly past Frosty’s car. That was bizarre…

The next boy walking by had already made eye contact with his mother, who was eyeing Frosty suspiciously. He retracted his arm into the car and dumped the pieces into his ashtray… even in the winter the damn things melted so fast! If they weren’t so effective he would switch over to fun-size Snickers, if only for the ease of-

Frosty saw him. A beautiful boy, a boy he simply had to have. He was nine years old with light brown hair and blue eyes, wearing a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap. He walked with a proud posture, taller than his four-foot five frame, and he almost seemed to be walking directly towards Frosty’s car. Frosty took a deep breath and got into character.

“Excuse me? Son?”

The boy stopped, alarmed.

“I’m supposed to give you a ride. What’s your name?”

The boy arched an eyebrow but answered anyway. “Logan.”

“Yeah, Logan- my name is Mr. Whitman- your Mother asked me to give you a ride. Home today.” Frosty cursed himself- that hesitation may have cost him his prize.

“Where’s my Mother?” Logan asked, wary.

Frosty decided to go for broke… he took a shot. “She had to pick up your sister… your sister got sick at school.”

The next moment seemed to last an eternity. Finally Logan’s face relaxed. “Is my sister okay?”

“Oh yeah,” Frosty said, his heart pounding in his chest, “she’s fine.” He could barely keep the grin from his face.

They pulled out of the parking lot, Frosty chatting about baseball and Logan carefully fastening his seat belt. After a few minutes on the road Frosty felt ready, and he pulled into the Rite-Aid plaza, in the back parking lot, back by the dumpsters behind the Yarn Barn. There was no other car in site.

“I need to take a break from driving for a few minutes, Logan.” Frosty put his foot on the brake, letting the car idle to keep the heater going.

“Okay,” said Logan, uneasy.

Frosty popped open a fresh bag of pieces… he held it up to Logan. “You want some candy?”

“I’m diabetic.” The boy said this as if it were the most obvious fact in the world.

“Should I have guessed?” Frosty snapped, and Logan shot him a panicked look. He suddenly felt very uncomfortable in this strange car and tight-fitting seatbelt.

Frosty kept his cool. “A lot of people are diabetic,” he said smiling, calming, “like me. I’m a diabetic also!” He reached for the tupperware in the back seat, popping the top and taking a deep sniff. “Do you know what this is?”

“No,” said Logan, with more fear in his voice than he knew he was feeling.

“This,” said Frosty, “is seafood salad. It’s delicious. Do you like seafood salad, Logan?”

“Is it imitation crabmeat?”

The kid better be good.

“No, it’s the real thing,” said Frosty. He pulled a stainless-steel fork out of the center console and handed it to the boy. “Just a few bites of this and you’ll be… it’s delicious.”

“I don’t feel like it,” Logan said.

Frosty put his hand on the boy’s knee. “You’re gonna love it, Logan… just take a bite and enjoy the taste…”

Logan bristled in his seat, a shiver of cold fear running down the back of his neck to the base of his spine. He tried unbuckling the seatbelt but it wouldn’t budge.

Frosty stroked Logan’s thigh through his denim jeans. “It’s delicious, Logan… tuna, onion, celery… crab and lobster…” There was a musical quality to Frosty’s voice- a sinister lullaby in a minor key- and Logan saw in him something he hadn’t noticed before. He saw Danger. He looked up to see Frosty staring at him, two eyes made out of coal.

“Just relax, buddy,” Frosty said. He ruffled the boy’s hair.

“I want to go home now,” Logan said, but Frosty was just getting started. “I’ll take you home in just a little bit…” Logan tried his seatbelt again but it wouldn’t budge. It felt like it was bolted closed... and tightening around him.

Frosty’s fingers found Logan’s belt buckle, and he began to unhook it slowly. Logan felt sick… paralyzed.

“Please,” Logan pleaded, “Stop…” His speech was slow... he could barely muster the power to protest. He felt like he was underwater... awake in a nightmare...

“Relax…” Frosty went straight to his work, unhooking the clasp and pulling the boy’s belt through the loops in his jeans.

“Please…” But Logan’s mouth was so dry the word was just a mumble.

“We’re gonna have a little fun,” Frosty said, salivating.

“No,” said Logan, but that didn’t make it stop.

“I’m gonna make you feel good,” Frosty whispered, un-tucking the child’s shirt, “and you’re gonna make me feel good too. Just trust me, Logan...”

Frosty’s fingers found the zipper of Logan’s pants, and-

Logan plunged the metal fork into Frosty’s right thigh, and Frosty howled like an animal caught in a trap. His leg jerked involuntarily, slamming the gas pedal and sending the car flying over the icy pavement. Frosty was too distracted to steer, and Logan braced for the worst..

It was probably in the boy’s favor that he’d been wearing his seatbelt, because as the car smashed into the brick wall of the Yarn Barn Frosty flew out of his seat and directly through the windshield, which had spider-webbed and fallen out of its frame. Logan couldn’t be sure whether or not Frosty’s head had collided with the wall directly but he knew there was blood all over the dashboard... and he knew that it wasn’t his own.

In the impact Frosty had bitten off his own tongue, and it lay there on the dashboard, mocking the boy, taunting him, and Logan only felt better when he definitively recognized that Frosty’s skull had cracked open and that there was hot brain dripping down the car’s grill.

Logan released his seatbelt, which flew open like a hand, and stepped out of the car. He could already hear sounds from the front of the shopping center, could already hear the excited shrieks and worried voices from the people who’d felt the crash. He knew that the adults would be here soon, doing what adults do, so he walked off in the opposite direction, away from the car, away from the people, away from the child molester and his bags of Reese’s Pieces.

The force of the crash had popped Frosty’s trunk open, and who should appear but twelve year-old Katie Zelic, missing from the middle school since Friday afternoon. She climbed out slowly, wincing in the bright sunlight, sore and disoriented. She looked at the wreck- unable to process- and staggered away from the car. She sat down on the freezing pavement, too traumatized to move any further. Katie licked her dry, chapped lips and waited for the customers and employees to come around the corner and find her, to pronounce Frosty dead, to call the police in a vain pantomime of making sense out of the senseless, to return her to her home.

She sat, waiting.

Frosty’s car radio was still working, a Christmas song:

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O Come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord

Katie couldn’t stop herself from laughing.


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