Popsy, by Stephen King, is a horror story. It’s horrifying even before the vampire part of it is introduced. The narrator, Sheridan, is a bad man who kidnaps children from shopping malls. This time though, the tables are turned on him.

Sheridan continuously tries to convince himself that he’s not a bad man. He’s a gambler who got himself in a whole lot of debt, and very large men would come “add some more elbow-bends to his arms” if he didn’t come up with some money fast. Mr. Reggie, the man Sheridan owes all this money to, hooked Sheridan up with a man named “Mr. Wizard.” Mr. Wizard pays off Sheridan’s gambling debts in exchange for the children. When Sheridan asked once what happened to the children, Mr. Wizard only said, “They go on a boat ride.”

And so Sheridan claims that he’s not a bad man, but just someone who’s in a bit of a jam. See? No vampires yet, and it’s horrifying already.

That’s when the little boy comes in. Sheridan picks up a green-eyed pale little boy, who looks about five or six, at a shopping mall. The boy, crying pinkish-tinged tears, has lost his Popsy. Sheridan comforts the kid and takes him into his van, claiming that he’s going to take him to his Popsy.

Sheridan then drives the van behind a McDonald’s near the dumpster, and handcuffs the boy to a metal strut next to the passenger seat that Sheridan welded into place himself. The boy fights, and manages to bite Sheridan in the struggle. The boy also starts pulling apart the metal strut. Sheridan starts to realize that this is no ordinary little boy. He notices that his canines are extraordinarily long, more like fangs. He manages to quiet the terrified boy by threatening to sedate him with a needle he pulls out of the glove compartment.

“You’ll be sorry,” the boy tells him. “When my Popsy finds you, you’ll be sorry.”

The ending is deliciously gruesome. The story is found in Stephen King’s book of short stories, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, and it is definitely worth a read.

By Holiday

Holiday is a secretive squonk from deep in the darkness of the forests. She loves helping people, reading about obscure myths and folklore, and having adventures.

1 comment

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