59 comments

Horror Drama Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

“I’m Simon, you have to do what I say,” said the blonde boy who could barely make eye contact over the principal's desk.

“Simon Simple, I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately but you have to stop this. What happened to Erik. What he did. He said you told him to.”

“He had to do what I say.” Simon smiled. Little teeth that didn't fill his mouth were white squares with gaps between. Two blue eyes were anything but remorseful as his face creased around the grin.

“Simon-” the principal in his faded suit jacket and trousers started but was cut off.

“Touch your head.” The boy’s smile was almost innocent as he did the same.

Not knowing why, Principal Smithers touched his head. “Simon you can’t just-”

“Stop talking.” All innocence faded into a frown. “Touch your shoulders.”

Unable to speak, Marlon Smithers complied. His eyes bulged as he fought the command of the boy’s voice in his head.

“Touch your knees,” said Simple with glee.

Groaning as he bent down, Smithers touched the scuffed knees of his black trousers. Straightening again, he frowned at the boy in the grey uniform.

“Touch your toes.”

Something in Marlon’s back made the cracking noise of a dry twig snapping. He groaned louder as he stretched to touch his toes. His knees bent as he stooped to comply.

“No. Knees straight. Touch your toes.”

The principal’s ink stained fingernails stretched more than an inch from his toes as he strained his fifty year old body. Groaning in discomfort, Smithers couldn’t help a drip of spittle dropping from his lips as he gasped and stretched himself painfully.

“Do it,” said Simon angrily as if the man’s protests were weak excuses.

Tears welled in the principal’s eyes as he pushed himself past his physical limit, feeling muscles stretch and tear. His fingers touched his toes. All consuming relief flooded his body despite the agony.

“Head,” Simon touched his head. “Touch your head. You have to do what I say.”

Marlon felt a burning sensation in the muscles of his legs and shooting pain in his back. Smithers did the only thing he could following words that had become the law of his soul to the marrow of his bones.

“Shoulders,” the boy sped up. “Knees and toes. Knees and toes.”

Muscle fibers ripped. Stop. Please stop, thought Marlon. Wanting to speak, he could not part his lips. Smithers’ body was not his own.

“Faster,” Simon barked. The Rhythm picked up.

Marlon wept as his body destroyed itself at the child’s beck and call. Chemicals flooded his veins, numbing some pain as more came along for the ride.

All of the man’s energy seemed to drain in an instant. Half of his body rebelled, obeying neither the boy’s instructions or the will of its own mind. Smithers felt the breath stolen from his lungs. Simon blurred through Marlon’s weary eyes.

“Do as I say,” the boy said with a fury too old and deep to have come from his lungs. “Get up and do it.”

Get up? Marlon saw the world on its side. That wasn’t how it was supposed to be, was it?

“Get up. You have to do what I say.

Get up, Mister Smithers. I said get up.” Tiny feet stomped at the periphery of Marlon’s perception. Despite only subconsciously hearing the demands, his body fought to obey, one half fought with strength and conviction. His left side was jelly and confusion.

Where am I?

“Stand up, Mister Smithers. I said you have to stand up. Listen to me!” Blue eyes filled the man’s vision. Blurry eyes bound up in rage.

“I’m in charge.”

Though he could see that Simon was clutching both sides of his face, Marlon felt nothing down his left. The principal heard voices of concern and the door opening.

“Is everything alright?” asked a kindly voice Marlon recognised vaguely.

“Get out,” Simon screamed. “Now.”

The door slammed behind the woman Marlon couldn’t put a name to. “What’s going on?” she asked.

“Stop talking. You have to do what I say.” The feet stomped again. Simon’s round face was red with anger. The frown lines on his forehead were expertly drawn but well beyond his tender years.

“Stand up, Mister Smithers. Do it.”

Marlon’s body held itself as straight as it could, which was barely at all. Pain and numbness on opposing sides made the man tremble as he wet himself in deathly horror.

I’m going to die. What’s going on? I’m going to die. Wake up Marlon, please. Let this be a nightmare.

“Ew.” Simon recoiled. “That’s yucky, Mister Smithers. Yucky. You shouldn’t do that. It’s dirty. Stop it.”

Marlon couldn’t.

Simon fled the expanding puddle on the grey carpet tiles. “Stop it. I said stop. Mummy will spank you for wetting your clothes.”

Marlon thought of his wife Casandra. Thirty years of love and hard work to keep themselves on the same track. Their daughters Lisa and Melanie were in good jobs. Lisa was expecting his first grandchild.

Don’t let me die, God. Please. I beg you. Save me.

“Show me red, Mister Smithers. Show me your red?”

What? Wanting only to spend his final moments thinking of his family, his mind was bent to the task of deciphering Simon’s command.

“Show me your RED. I want to see it.”

Marlon thought about his office, his clothes. Everything he had. My pen. He wobbled into and fell across the desk, spilling the contents of his organiser. Out came a red biro.

“No, Mister Smithers. Your red. The red in you. Show me. Now.”

Not giving himself a moment to think, Marlon stabbed himself in the arm with the biro. Blood welled out.

“I can’t see it.” Simple pouted.

Marlon fell out of his suit jacket, a gift from Casandra who always said he looked good in suits. He’d worn it on a few date nights with her before it became workwear.

“More.” There was no mercy. No feeling. Only a demand that could not be denied.

“More.


More.


More.”

I love you Cassandra. I love you, girls. I’m sorry. I love you so much.

“More.”

Principal Marlon Smithers collapsed, blood pouring from dozens of stab wounds in his arms and chest, then finally his neck.

“All red, sleepy head

Sleepy sleepy, now you’re dead.” Simon turned to the door, and smiled.

May 19, 2023 14:15

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59 comments

Joe Smallwood
14:52 May 24, 2023

Thanks for reading my stuff Graham. You must be a voracious reader. I need to do more of that. I won't soon forget this story, unfortunately! I need to be honest because if writers are anything, they must be honest above everything. I absolutely did not like this story, this coming from a thirty-year retired teacher! But it is just fantasy, I suppose. I need to read some of your other stories, I'm sure I will find things that I like.

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Graham Kinross
22:05 May 24, 2023

Thanks for the honesty, you read it and I’m grateful for that. Was it too violent for your liking?

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Joe Smallwood
15:12 May 25, 2023

(My apologies for the wall of text!) Life is full of violence. So, no I don’t have a problem with violence per se. A theme in my writing going forward, (although this will seem outlandish) is the decline of our civilization. We can see this in neighbors not bothering to get to know each other, declining birth rates, and people who expect too much from others because of the influence of computers. You can see this in ever higher expectations for job performance by teachers, the police, and nurses, from the primary people who provide care or h...

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Graham Kinross
22:11 May 25, 2023

I don’t think declining birth rates are necessarily a bad thing, especially in a world that is so overpopulated. Declining births coincide with higher educational attainment because families can focus their funds on funding their children’s education. It also means fewer unwanted children when people have greater access to birth control. Prisons all over the world are full of people who might well have been aborted or never conceived of their parents had condoms or the pill or access to abortion. Declining birth rates in western countries co...

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Joe Smallwood
22:37 May 25, 2023

I like the fact that you take the time to argue a point, Graham. Most people don't bother. I'll look forward to reading more of your stories.

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Graham Kinross
23:02 May 25, 2023

It’s easier online than in person. I like that I can take my time and pick my words in writing.

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Galen Gower
00:39 May 24, 2023

I actually started reading this story on the highway while I was driving to work yesterday! Didn't get to finish; glad you left that comment because I forgot whose it was. Excellent work!

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Graham Kinross
00:53 May 24, 2023

Thanks, don’t crash though!

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Jasmine A Taber
00:12 May 23, 2023

This was really clever and I was hooked from the beginning. I'm an avid listener of The NoSleep podcast, it's a fiction podcast where they bring horror stories to life, and this reminds me of some of the stories i've heard on there. Fantastic job!

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Graham Kinross
00:24 May 23, 2023

Thanks, Jasmine. I’ll have a listen to that podcast.

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Brynn Helena
13:53 May 22, 2023

this was very much up my alley, as a lover of horror especially involving children. simon gave me a bit of ezra miller in "we need to talk about kevin" vibes, and that just sweetened the deal for me. in relation to the real life dangers educators face in this country i think this story becomes a couple shades darker upon analyzation. short, dare i say sweet, and to the point. no minced words. i like it! well done!

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Graham Kinross
14:19 May 22, 2023

Thanks, Bryyn. Have you seen End of the F***ing World on Netflix?

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Brynn Helena
14:28 May 22, 2023

i have!! loved that series! i thought back in the day they'd said they were going to make more seasons but that feels like forever ago. netflix never keeps their promises... a shame!

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Graham Kinross
14:30 May 22, 2023

Yeah I’ve felt like that a few times. Marco Polo, Altered Carbon…

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Graham Kinross
14:33 May 22, 2023

And there was a film where the premise was what if Superman was a killer kid. I wanted to see that but never managed.

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Philip Ebuluofor
19:45 May 21, 2023

Fine work. My principal came back from the US where he spent half a decade studying. You can't kill such a man and remain alive. I chose this prompt because I recalled the tree part during my time there.

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Graham Kinross
21:44 May 21, 2023

So you think someone would be able to stop Simon? Thanks for reading, Philip.

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Philip Ebuluofor
15:20 May 22, 2023

My pleasure.

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Lily Finch
20:40 May 20, 2023

Simon was a powerful young soul. Killing the Principal could be high on elementary school kids' bucket lists. I am glad i never met anyone like him in my years of being in a school. LF6

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Graham Kinross
00:35 May 21, 2023

Small chance of meeting a Simon. Thanks for reading, Lily.

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Lily Finch
00:58 May 21, 2023

True. LF6

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Viga Boland
23:41 May 19, 2023

Ok…gory, horrible, and every other adjective you can think of. How do you come up with stuff like this? Did I love it? No because I’m not into horror. But why the hell couldn’t I stop reading? You got me hook, line and sinker. Hope I never meet Simon Simple! 😂

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Graham Kinross
00:17 May 20, 2023

You had to read it. Simon said so. Thanks, for reading, Viga.

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20:59 May 19, 2023

This story is violent but still REALLY good. I have a question though, it seemed like the principal resisted for a moment, was I wrong, or? I have a story called ‘Sparkling Cider and Murder Victims’ I think you would like it.

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Graham Kinross
00:24 May 23, 2023

Thanks, Kylea. I’ll check it out.

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Mary Bendickson
16:13 May 19, 2023

'Thirsty years of love' sounds a bit naughty. 'Naughty' isn't enough to describe this villain little boy. Oops, a typo of my own I see. I thought 'thirsty' worked.

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Graham Kinross
23:41 May 19, 2023

Thirsty was a typo which I’ve now corrected, thank you for pointing it out. A couple still being thirsty for each other after thirty years is a worthy relationship goal though.

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Amanda Lieser
14:00 Jun 07, 2023

Oh Graham! This totally feels like a Netflix horror film! I was just talking with my husband about the chilling juxtaposition of taking some thing that’s supposed to be innocent in society and purposefully making it particularly evil. I was talking with him about the industry of horror films with children as main characters because we have a society really sincerely hope that our children get to stand is beacons of innocence. It’s an interesting trope that I think you did really well in this piece, especially because you were not only relyin...

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Graham Kinross
22:03 Jun 07, 2023

Thanks, Amanda. I’ve been surprised so many people enjoyed this one as it was a rush job for me.

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Shannon C.
19:58 Jun 02, 2023

Great story and a fun read!

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Graham Kinross
21:39 Jun 02, 2023

Thanks, Shannon.

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David Ader
12:58 May 28, 2023

This would make a wonderful (?) Twilight Zone or Black Mirror story! I love the contrast between the innocent-looking Simon and the monster inside. Clever use of the name Simon and Smithers, the latter giving me a visual image of what a man named Smithers would look like and the implication...smithereens. Maybe that's just me, but it worked.

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Graham Kinross
22:13 May 28, 2023

I’ll pretend Smithereens was my conscious choice all along. Thank you. Would be cool on Black Mirror. Are they still making that?

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Martin Ross
18:08 May 27, 2023

Damn! I both felt primeval chills and wanted to see if I could find my old gym teacher on Facebook. Monstrous children are a favorite horror subgenre for me — this recalled Jerome Bixby’s It’s a Good Life (for once, the slightly more grounded TV version on TZ improved on Bixby’s more phantasmagorical story). Effective POV BTW. With the grandkids visiting this weekend, I will now keep my bossiness to a minimum…

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Graham Kinross
21:22 May 27, 2023

Your old gym teacher? Could he command a person to do things against their will using supernatural power?

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Martin Ross
22:17 May 27, 2023

No, he was just a jag.

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Graham Kinross
22:20 May 27, 2023

A jag? I don’t know that term.

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Martin Ross
22:34 May 27, 2023

An arsehole. A wanker of distinction. I watch Ted Lasso — hope that wasright.

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Graham Kinross
22:41 May 27, 2023

I haven’t seen Ted Lasso yet. I’ve heard good things though.

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Mike Panasitti
14:53 May 25, 2023

Someone's got to pick up the copyright to this and make a feature film from it. You couldn't pay me to see a Chuckie film, but I'd gladly hand over my debit card to watch a movie about Simon Simple. I hope this was a welcome getaway from your serials and that it was as much of a thrill to write as it was to read.

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Graham Kinross
22:01 May 25, 2023

It was nice and quick to write, Simple in that way. Thanks for reading Mike.

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Unknown User
16:13 May 19, 2023

<removed by user>

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Graham Kinross
22:27 May 19, 2023

Thanks for reading. Was your principal that bad?

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Michał Przywara
21:46 Dec 14, 2023

This was great! The opening is almost storybook, but there's something unsettling underneath it - and soon enough we find out what it is. Not immediately though, as there's a bit of tension building up. Initially we don't know what the issue is, and I wondered if maybe it was just mind games, and some kids taking Simon Says too far - but no, this kid's voice is something else. The horror of being controlled by a child that doesn't seem to understand what he's doing (although I do wonder; at times it seems there's an older darkness in him, ...

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Graham Kinross
23:43 Dec 14, 2023

Thank you. I like when things we all know like fairytales and nursery rhymes are twisted into horror because we all know the rules they usually play by and seeing that translation into a different, grotesque structure can give us the feeling that we know how it’s going to go down. Simon says reminded me of the Purple Man from Jessica Jones, possibly my favourite villain in Marvel. Thanks again.

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Michał Przywara
21:49 Dec 15, 2023

That's an interesting point! A lot of horror gets mileage out of fear of the unknown, but here we *do* know it, and we know enough to guess where it might go. So maybe this kind of horror is less about fear and more about dread, like watching a slow motion accident and being powerless to stop it.

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Graham Kinross
23:11 Dec 15, 2023

Exactly. Like a more extreme version of knowing someone in a bad relationship that’s only getting worse.

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Kamille Ashley
23:44 Jun 25, 2023

This was incredible! A truly great read !

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Graham Kinross
23:58 Jun 25, 2023

Thanks, Kamile.

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L M
12:38 Jun 10, 2023

This is really vicious. Why is he called Siimple Simon?

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Graham Kinross
12:54 Jun 10, 2023

Why not?

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L M
11:04 Jun 28, 2023

Ok

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21:59 Feb 02, 2024

Liked it. How the boy liked to torture the principal with such a simple game as Head, shoulders knees and toes. That's just creepy. Keep it going.

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Graham Kinross
10:40 Feb 03, 2024

I didn’t think a kid would know traditional torture methods so a game seemed right for it. Thanks for reading and commenting Eduardo.

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Aoi Yamato
01:00 Jan 10, 2024

Simon is very scary. where is his superpowr from?

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Graham Kinross
05:36 Jan 10, 2024

That’s a mystery I want to leave alone. I think an explanation would only make the story seem smaller.

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