Title: All Boxed Up
Artist: April Martinez
Coming from Loose Id Dec 2008
Christmas Eve is not supposed to be celebrated naked, tied up, and locked in a dark cardboard box. But that’s exactly where Aimee Small finds herself.
Has she been kidnapped by some strange Christmas themed psycho-killer fascinated with the owner of the local Christmas shop, or is it something else entirely?
Joseph Christopher was not expecting to come home and find a huge ass box in his foyer. Especially one that makes noises.
When he lifts up the lid he finds Santa’s come early this year, and left him a tasty gift indeed — Aimee, the girl he’s been crushing on all year. She’s naked bar for some red satin ribbon wrapped candy cane-style around her body.
Oh yeah, some years it pays to end up on Santa’s naughty list…
Oh God. I’ve been abducted by some nut job with a weird Christmas fetish, or maybe a vendetta against Santa for not bringing him a bike when he was eight.
Maybe she should have listened to her mother when she’d told her opening an all year round Christmas decoration shop was a bad idea. But she’d been wrong! The Jolly Santa had been running profitably from the day it opened — apparently, like sex, Christmas sells.
Aimee froze mid sob as she caught the click-clack of keys bouncing on a door lock. The assembly rattled as it was turned, the locking mechanism horribly loud to her over-stressed hearing, despite the distance. She began to shake as she heard the eerie screech of the door opening. Her abductor was happily singing.
“We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merr — what the fuck?” Heavy footsteps came through the door and halted, the keys rattled again — being removed from the lock no doubt. It was strange the way she could rationalize every single little sound.
The door slammed, the reverberations rattling through the floor and to her box, all the way through the soles of her feet and her butt. The steps marched closer, then there was a heavy thud as something substantial was dropped to the floor…some sort of bag, maybe?
It was true what they said, when faced with certain death your life did flash before your eyes. Aimee blinked back the memories and regretted only one thing: that she’d never told Joseph Christopher how she really felt about him.
More steps; around her cage now. She dared not move in case she drew attention to herself. Something scratched around the sides — fingers? Aimee barely let herself breathe.
“How the hell did this get here?”
The box rocked as it was pushed from side. “Heavy, whatever it is.”
Hey! Aimee threw her shoulder into the side of the box the push had come from.
“And it moves. Great.” The man seemed annoyed. “If Darren snuck in here and left me a sheep, I’m going to keep the damn thing, fatten it up and feed it to him at Easter.” There was scrabbling at the top of the box. “A card, how nice.” The ironic sarcasm was thick.
Something was not right with this situation, not right at all. But who was she to complain if the guy, who ever he was, wasn’t a psychotic mass murder. But it begged the questions: who and why?
“Joseph,” the man read, “you’ve tried so hard this year, but Aimee just couldn’t see it. So we decided it’s time you both got what you really want. You’ll find your gift inside the box. Make the most of it. C&P”
Understanding hit with a flash of disbelief. Her incredulous scream of “No, no, no, no, no!” only came out as a muffled squeal as she tugged against the restraints on her limbs. The box rocked to and fro as she fought; her terrorized emotions screamed at the injustice of it not being a stranger, but the man she’d crushed on for a good five years now slowly lifting up the lid of the box her demented cousins, Candy and Petunia, had trapped her in. They must have drugged her at dinner, stripped her, tied her up and left her on Joseph’s doorstep like the proverbial pig with an apple in its mouth.
Her cousins had gone much too far this time.