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Humans with Hats (Short stories)

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The sound of Carl’s long-time best friend and roommate, Paul’s, voice rang through the house. When Carl peeked in from the kitchen, he rose an eyebrow. By the looks of it, Paul had dropped everything in his hands. Which meant he’d just dropped the extra Christmas bulbs, the ham, and the fruitcake he’d bought at the store - the fruitcake being at Carl’s request. He hated the stuff, so Paul hadn’t known what in the world that Carl wanted it for. He suspected it was something nefarious, or in the least, something morbidly disturbing, that Carl had in mind for it. After an hour-long session of pleading and begging while Paul was trying to finish his book, he had finally given into Carl. The look Carl gave him when he got his way was unsettling, and made Paul wish he’d just locked himself in his room like he normally did, when Carl was being ...Carl.

“Yesssss?” Carl asked, tilting his head to the side, as he walked into the room, holding an oven mitt and wearing his-bloodstained- apron. As usual, he wore his favorite green striped hat, as well. The look he gave was all too innocent, and only infuriated Paul even more than he already was.

“Carl. THERE IS A DEAD-- Santa..?!..-- IN OUR HOUSE!” Carl yelled, flailing his arms around like an excited and or frustrated anime character. Which, Carl was all too happy to giggle and point out. Paul simply glared at him, causing Carl’s sheepish look to become a bit more nervous.

“Oh..hey.. How did he get here?” Carl asked, tilting his head off to the side, as if he were genuinely surprised to see the dead, hands-less body. “Doesn’t he know he’s going to stain up our new carpet?” Carl questioned, crossing his arms and cocking his hip to the side in a sassy manner, as he pointed an accusing finger at the dead man.

“CARRLL!” Paul yelled, exasperated to the point of tears by his insane roommate. “WHAT DID YOU DO?”

“Me?!” Carl sputtered, frowning and looking hurt at Paul. “I didn’t do this!” he pouted, looking off to the side.

Pinching between his eyes, Paul sighed. “Explain what happened, Carl.” Paul was sure he was going to get some kind of weird story, considering it was probably another poor Mall Santa that had ‘scared’ Carl into killing him.

“I’ve never seen him before in my life.” Carl said, staring at Paul. The shimmer in his eyes told Paul that there was no way that was the truth.

“Why did you kill Santa, Carl?” Paul asked, looking Carl in the eye, giving him a glare, trying to evoke the truth from him.

“Pfftt..I didn’t kill Santa, Paul.” Carl said, rubbing the back of his neck, not looking Paul in the eye. “I don’t kill people. That is...that is my least favorite thing to do.”

Rolling his eyes, Paul frowned. Why couldn’t things with Carl ever be simple? “Tell me, Carl. What exactly were you doing, before I came home?” he tapped his foot, beginning to grow impatient with Carl’s antics.

“Alright, well..I was in the kitchen..” Carl began, rocking back and forth on his feet.  

“Okay..” Paul nodded, knowing that already he was in for a doozy of a story.

“I was by the stove..uh, no..I was ...I was by the table..” Carl said, tapping his fingers now, looking at his socked feet.

Yes? ” Paul asked, tapping his foot quicker and frowning deeper.

“I was making cookies..You know, those cute little sugar cookies I alway eat too much of?” Carl asked, attempting to get out of trouble by smiling sort-of sweetly at Paul.

It of course, didn’t work. Paul simply stared at him. “Go on…” he said, motioning at Carl to hurry up with his clear lie.

Carl was silent for a moment, swallowing and looking around. “And, uh, well..I heard noises in our the fireplace..”

Paul rose an eyebrow to this, tilting his head. “Okay..” There was no reason why a Mall Santa would have to come down their chimney for real, was there?

“So, I went in there to check it out..” Carl said, now rocking back and forth on his feet again.

“Yes..” Paul nodded, seeing where this was going. Maybe. He still was never sure with Carl.

“And I..I took my kitchen knife with, uh, check it out..” Carl paused, chewing his lower lip, before adding. “I..ah..I stabbed him thirty-seven times in the chest..!” Carl grinned at Paul as if he had done something amazing. He had no shame, no shame at all.

Paul was quiet for a moment, digesting what it was that Carl had just told him. He blinked, his right eye twitching. Carl tilted his head, frowning. “Are you okay, Paul?”

Paul remained silent for a few moments longer, before yelling at the top of his lungs. “CARRRLLLLLLL!!” he looked at Carl with a look as if he could strangle him. He took a heavy breath, before shaking his head. “No, Carl. No. I am NOT okay. Do you know why, Carl? Because- THAT KILLS PEOPLE, CARL!”

Carl flew back, tumbling across the floor, much like the way Charlie Brown did when Lucy took the football away before he could kick it. Ending up upside-down and against the wall, Carl shook his head. “Oh..w-well..I didn’t know that!” he answered, folding his arms and pouting again.

“How could you not know that?!” Paul asked, feeling like he was about to have a coronary

Carl giggled, tapping his fingers together. “Yeahhh..I’m in the wrong here. I SUCK.” he said this as if it made up for the fact that he’d killed one of the most legendary figures of all time.

Paul went quiet, astounded by Carl. truly astounded, and not in a good way

After about five minutes, he went pale, and realized there was something else wrong with the corpse in their living room. Swallowing hard, Paul looked over to Carl. “What happened to his hands?”

“What’s that?” Carl asked, as he went to sit up.

“His hands. Why—why are they missing?” Paul repeated, his voice shaking a bit. He was kind of afraid to hear Carl’s answer.

“Oooooohhh..” Carl nodded, as if he had only just now heard the question. “Well..I cut them both off..and I..well, I cooked one up and ate it. The other, I put on top our tree.”

Paul went quiet again, his stomach churning and what he had for lunch coming up his throat. Unfortunately unable to stop himself, he ended up throwing up on their carpet.

“Oh, look. Now you’re the one messing up our new carpet!” Carl said from the side, only feeling bad for a second or so before it passed again.

“CARLL!!” Paul yelled, wiping his mouth off on his sleeve.

Startled by being yelled at again, Carl stuttered out a lame excuse, shrugging his shoulders. “W-well, I..I was hungry. And, well..we also needed a tree star..S-so...when you crave hands..and need a tree star..”

“Why. Why on Earth would you DO that?” Paul asked, more upset than angry by this point. He thought he was going to cry, actually.

“I was hungry for hands, a-and wanted to decorate! Gimme a break!” Carl whined, pouting at Paul.

“Carrll…” Paul sighed, feeling angry tears begin to prick at his eyes.

“My stomach was making the rumblies for hands..the tree was begging for a star.” Carl said, waving the annoyed tone in Paul’s voice off.

“Carrlll..” Paul growled again, this time, grinding his teeth a bit.

“I will not apologize for my art!” Carl said, sticking his nose in the air. Thinking about it, he added “Or my preference of snack choice.” then stuck his nose in the air again and shut his eyes.

Paul stared at him for a moment, before finally just asking “What is wrong with you, Carl?!”

Carl opened and eye and looked over at Paul. “Hmm..well.. I killed Santa and I ate one of his hands..That’s two things!” he grinned. Giving up, Paul simply passed out, falling over in the floor.

Not too long after he opened his eyes, Carl was standing over him with the fruitcake he’d picked up off the floor.

“Do I still get to throw hard fruitcake at people’s heads?”