dear abigail mason mcdonald 01


Written by Mason McDonald

Dear Abigail,

You complained about the smell today. I was so scared I almost cried. So close! So close you came to figuring it all out. You were right next to me and you never even knew it. You can’t know the surprise just yet. The 14th is tomorrow, we are so close now. So close I can taste it. Can you taste it? I think you can. Sometimes you look at something and I suspect you see it for more than it is. Maybe one of your favourite crystal animals is moved and you catch the errant ring of disturbed dust. Or maybe there’s a wet footprint on the hardwood—which I apologize for.

It is quite warm in here.

I saw what happened with Carl last week. Well, do your best to forget him. Some men just don’t know what they have until it’s gone. You still cry over him and it breaks my heart. I want to caress your cheek, hold your skin in my palm, and whisper away your tears. My soul shatters with you, don’t ever forget that.

Oh, I wish I had the words to properly explain my love for you. There’s a space inside me only you can fill. Can you understand that? The unexplainable need to be filled by someone entirely? I breathe you like oxygen and am enriched by it.

The other night, while you slept, you whimpered something that sounded so close to my name. I bent low and put my ear as near to you as I dared without waking you and tried to hear it again. Instead, all I felt was your warm breath against the side of my face and I tell you, I almost melted. Your mouth smelled of the cinnamon toothpaste you use every night. Your hair of willows in the winter, fresh and full of a cool vibrance. Does that make sense? Can you smell a feeling? I think so.

Soon. Soon you can see my surprise. I’ve worked so hard to keep it a secret! I’ve struggled at times, I’ll admit. I’ve seen what Carl’s done for you in the past for Valentine’s and I can only hope I’ll live up to your expectations.

A few times I’ve caught myself just as I was about to spoil the surprise. Remember when you went out with Trish and Sam? You came home and could barely stand up. You collapsed on the couch in that red dress you know drives me crazy and I couldn’t resist. I was next to you before I knew what was happening, and I traced the curve of your calf with my finger right up to the crook of your knee. You whimpered under my touch. Your flesh prickled. It wanted me. You wanted me.

But the surprise! I pulled my hand away. All my work could've been spoiled. But don’t you worry—I paid my penance. I had to borrow your box cutter, I hope that’s okay. It’s for the best, however. My curious finger can’t bother you anymore.

Again, I apologize for the smell.

Oh Abigail. My darling Abigail.

Remember when you spent all night telling me your secrets? We sat and we talked over a bottle of wine. You cried and I did too. I cried with you although you never noticed, and that is okay. You yelled about Carl, and I listened. You told me about your parents and how they raised you to be alone and that in your loneliness, you’d thrive. And you will! Because you’re strong, Abigail. And when the wine ran out, and the room seemed dark and strange, and you were all yelled out, I wanted to end all the subterfuge right there. I wanted to show you what I’ve been working so hard for. It would cheer you up. It would cast away the dark cloud hanging over you.

I told myself patience is a virtue. That’s what Mother always taught me.

I stifled my feelings. I held strong. And then you looked at me, even though you probably didn’t even realize what you were doing, and you slipped a hand down the front of your Mickey Mouse pajamas. I couldn’t breathe. What was happening? Was this real? I bit my tongue to stay quiet. My vision turned to straws of light. I counted the quickening thrusts of your chest. When you threw your head back and closed your eyes, your hand gripping the arm of the sofa like you were scared you’d fall off and slip away into an abyssal eternity, I too thrust myself back, fighting internally to stop from falling with you.

Do you remember the next morning? When your head throbbed and your eyes were red and burnt out? You sat on the toilet and hung your head. I should have held your hair out of your face. I’m sorry I didn’t.

You’re strong, Abigail. Stronger than you know, I think.

Loneliness is a cancer. It eats away at you one day at a time. And it does it so sneakily, too. Whether you’ve always known it like me, or you’ve had it thrust upon you suddenly, like you have, you never really expect it to hurt as much as it does. First, it’s slight. It’s a rabbit’s bite. But then the bite becomes infected and it festers and no matter how many parts of you that you end up cutting away, you can never cure it. Cancer spreads.

I was ready to cut away all of my important parts and be done with it the day I met you. You remember that day, don’t you? How could you ever forget it?

I was working and you were in such a rush. You ordered your drink—a large coffee, splash of oat milk—and when I asked for your name, you said the sweetest thing I’d ever heard.


You cast a spell on me with that word. One word.

You smiled and set the world on fire. You flavoured the very air I breathed. When I passed you the coffee, the moment we shared was ethereal. What was your favourite part? Mine was the way your fingers grazed mine.

I was so nervous I forgot to ask for your number, can you believe it? A meet cute like that and I fumble?

It didn’t matter. We found our way back to one another in the end. Like every good love story, we are made for one another. Custom printed.

I have to end this letter now. You just got home, and I need to start making preparations. Tomorrow is the big day, after all. I’ll give this to you after the big unveiling along with all the others I’ve written to you over the past year.

Abigail. Oh, darling Abigail.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.

Yours always,



Detective Eastman hasn’t seen anything like it before. The walls of the apartment look as if they’d been painted red and the painter quit midway through the job. He doesn’t even clock it as blood until a few seconds after he steps inside.

“Have you ever seen anything like it?” A uniformed officer says to him. He doesn’t look older than twenty. Eastman feels his age in his bones at the sight of the young cop. He’ll retire soon, and that makes seeing this room all the worse. This is something he has to live with now. A goodbye gift.

“Time of death?” Eastman asks.

“Forensics haven’t finished yet, but they’re saying she’s been dead for about a day. Him, a little less. Maybe a few hours. Neighbours heard the screaming but waited to call it in because they thought she was just fighting with her boyfriend. Apparently they’d gotten into a big fight recently.”

One wall is adorned with crudely painted hearts, all drawn with palms and fingers drenched in red. Another has multiple variations of Happy Valentine’s Day and Darling Abigail written all over, dozens of times.

Eastman points at the writing. The officer nods. “Fucked up, right? Weird part?”

Eastman raises an eyebrow. “Okay,” the officer says, “it’s all weird. But that stuff? The uh…”

“Decorations?” Eastman says.

The officer snaps and nods. “Jesus. Yes, the decorations. They were done first. Forensics says it’s dried completely and has been for longer than either body.”

“Is it hers or his?”

“We don’t know yet. They think his. He cut off his finger. Looks like he did it a while back as it was almost rotted off. Must’ve gnawed through the rot and got it leaking again. Used it like a marker. Fucking freak.”

Eastman crouches next to the man’s body, careful not to step in anything. Which is, unfortunately, easier said than done. The corpse is half-sitting against the island between the living room and the kitchen.

The man’s finger is most certainly gone. His left pointer. The nub that’s left is black and green, a slight purple in spots. Eastman is reminded of the girl they found in Bell Park a few years back. She’d been left there so long her whole body began to decompose like a side of beef in a broken freezer. Smelled the same, too. Like the inside of a compost bin in the middle of summer.

He’s naked. Every inch of his body is coated in blood. The man looked like a brand new race of human, his hue that of one massive scab.

His body is covered in scratches and cuts and in some spots, particularly around his pubic region, bite marks. Eastman casts a glance at the woman. Good for you, girl, he thinks. The killing blow for the guy seems to be quite obvious: a jagged, sawed gash under his jaw from ear to ear. The box cutter is still in his limp hand resting on his thigh.

The woman is in much worse shape. Unlike the man, she isn’t naked. In fact, she’s dressed as if she’d just come home from work. A blouse, a skirt, heels. One of which is across the room in the corner, the other barely clutched to her toes.

Eastman’s seen plenty in his time. But this takes the cake.

He points at the bloody mass plopped atop her face. “Is that what I think it is?”

The officer crouches next to him. “Disgusting, right? Fucker cut out her own heart and made her wear it. What kind of sick bastard thinks of that shit?”

“Hopefully one who killed her first,” Eastman says.

“Jesus Christ,” the officer says.

Eastman stands up. “I can’t imagine he’s here with us right now. I damn well hope he’s not.”

“Detective?” Eastman turns and is greeted by a forensics agent covered head to toe in plastic. If it weren’t for her voice, he'd have no idea if it were a man or woman through the thick goggles and mask. She holds up a plastic bag with a bloodied piece of paper inside it. “This was found stuffed inside the victim’s chest cavity.”

The officer breathes out and shakes his head. “Holy hell. It doesn’t stop.”
Eastman claps the young man on the back. He’s not usually the touchy sort, some would even call him callous, but it feels right to do it. After all, the kid is right: it doesn’t stop. “What is it?” Eastman asks the forensics agent.

“Looks to be a sort of letter or note. We’ll know more once we get it back to the lab,” she says.

Eastman nods. He spends a few more minutes in the apartment, taking notes, making sure he isn’t missing anything. Eventually the coroner shows up and forensics declares they need to start moving the bodies and Eastman knows that means, politely, the cops need to back the hell off for a few and let them work. The young officer, who Eastman learns is called Barker, walks him out. As they leave, Eastman inspects the door.

“No marks. Nothing broken. We think he waited for her to open it and force his way in?”

Barker shakes his head. “Shit. I forgot to tell you.”

Eastman regards him. “Forgot what? And bear in mind, there’s no right answer here, officer.”

“Yes, sir. Sorry sir,” Barker says and clears his throat. “We actually don’t think he broke in at all.”

Eastman raises an eyebrow. “You think they knew each other? Dating, maybe? The angry boyfriend?”

Barker shakes his head again. “No, sir. Just before you arrived, Officer Lee smelled something off. He ended up taking a look inside a vent, and then he found a crawl space in the bedroom closet. Stank like shit, he said.”

Eastman considers this. When the realization hits, he wants to throw up. “Jesus Christ,” he says.

Barker nods. “Yeah. The fucker was living in her walls.”

mason mcdonald 01Mason McDonald is the author of A Time For Monsters. When not inventing yuletide boogeymen, he can be found drinking booze and fist fighting his own personal Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come. He currently lives in Port Morien, NS, with his wife Jenna and their collection of animals.

You can pick up his collection by clicking one of the links below!


This page includes affiliate links where Horror DNA may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Join Us!

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...