The Horror Zine
November 2009 Editor's Pick

The November 2009 Editor's Pick Story is by Jason D. Brawn

Feel free to email Jason at:


By Jason D. Brawn

“I’m coming to get you, Simon Ellis,” warned the killer who glared directly at me.

The killer’s voice came from my parents’ brand new 50-inch plasma TV screen that was mounted the stone wall of a four-bed detached house, located in the quiet suburban area of Snaresbrook, East London. Just after the heroine – Theresa Iozzi – was hacked to death with a machete, the killer spoke to me during a television broadcast of The Devil’s Shadow, a 60s Giallo horror flick from Italy. 

I was unable to move. I saw the life I had hoped for disappear in my mind because I was so sure I was about to die of a heart attack. All the dreams I had of becoming a great filmmaker someday, and of throttling my sister in the meantime because she was so annoying, would never happen if my heart stopped here and now.

Then the shadowy being crept forward, coming for me as he had promised; crawling right out of the television into real life. 

I had to get out of there. Much as I hated babysitting my sister, I needed to save her as well as myself. I flew off the sofa, and sprinted upstairs to wake my nine-year-old sister, but her bedroom door was locked. What in the world? My sister never locked her room!

“Marie! Marie!” I screamed, while fisting the reinforced door. No answer. I kept screaming, hoping she would wake up and open the bloody door. Why didn’t she open the door?  Where was she?

It was so dim in the hallway that I stretched to flip the wall switch without leaving Marie’s door. Nothing happened; no lights came on. Sweat poured down my forehead and now my mind was full of fear. 

Did I really see what I thought I had seen?

“What is happening to me?” I shouted out loud. “I’ve seen Giallo’s Devil’s Shadow hundreds of times, and nothing comes out of the telly and Theresa Iozzi never dies!”


It came from downstairs, and sounded like a crashing bang.  So it was true. I knew it really was downstairs. It had come out of the television!

Giving up on my sister, I raced into the upstairs bathroom. I locked the door.  I sat on the floor, hugging my knees, and listened.

Outside, the invading wind attacked the naked trees, twisting and bending them loudly. Our wheelie bin crashed down, and the front gates were swinging to and fro, smacking each other.

Wait! Did I have my mobile phone with me? Checking my pockets, I almost fainted with relief when I touched it. Pulling it out of my pocket, I telephoned my parents, who were due back in the morning from a weekend visit to my grandparents. There was a signal, unlike many cliché-ridden horror films. My heart raced in the hope to reach my parents. 

“Hello, Simon,” the killer’s voice answered instead of one of my parents. 

Shocked, I threw the phone down, helplessly watching it bounce upon the tile floor. I put my ear to the bathroom door to listen. I didn’t hear anything. Could I make it into my parent’s bedroom? They had a land line there.

I had to do something. It wasn’t just me in danger, but my sister was in danger as well. I took a deep breath and threw open the bathroom door. The hallway was empty. I ran to my parent’s empty bedroom and slammed that door shut behind me.

The small portable television that sat on my parents’ dresser lit up. And suddenly the killer was facing me on that screen, clutching my parents’ mobile phone in his hand. Only this time, he stood in front of my house, on my road, Bray Avenue.  No street lamps were illuminated outside, and so he was enveloped in the dim moonlight. 

My teeth were clattering with fear. How could this be happening?

“Thought I wasn’t real, did you, Simon?” the killer said. “I don’t just have your parents’ phone, but I have your parents as well.”

Finally, I found the strength to ask, “What have you done to them?” 

On the television, the killer moved aside and mum and dad’s bodies were scattered across the road, gutted and massacred in the goriest fashion ever displayed. Only this time, it was real. 

“Bastard!”  I cried out the only word that entered my troubled mind.

The killer inched forward to the front of the screen until he completely filled it, and my parents’ image disappeared behind him. “Oh come on, this is you.” The killer was enjoying this, laughing with delight. “Now you know how it feels to see the murders first-hand.” 

I didn’t want to see anything more. I grabbed the dresser and hurled it to the floor. The portable television tumbled off and the glass front smashed into a million pieces.

My frantic thoughts were that this was nothing but the worst nightmare I had ever experienced, and I was looking forward to waking up. I laid on my parents’ empty bed and rested my head back and closed my eyes. 

Twenty minutes later and all was quiet. I still laid in my parents’ bed. I climbed to my feet and cautiously looked at my parents’ television.

It wasn’t in pieces all over the floor. There it sat, unharmed, on the top of the dresser. Its screen was dark and quiet.

I climbed to my feet and peered out my parents’ bedroom door into the hallway.  All was quiet. All seemed well. It really had all been just a dream after all. Well, of course it was. These things never happened in real life.

As I walked softly to the darkened staircase to begin my descent into the living room, a shuffling footfall interrupted my thinking. I halted. Then an attacking thud sounded from Marie’s bedroom. I paused, until another sound arrived.

I hoped that my mind was playing tricks. To be certain, I bravely stormed to Marie’s door and this time, I didn’t waste time knocking. I simply kicked it open. 
The door flew off from its hinges, and was horrified to see Marie sprawled on her bed with stab wounds covering her chest. 

My scream filled the house.

A voice spoke over my shrieks. “Well done, that,” said a voice coming from the shadows. 

Defeated, I surrendered myself to my impending doom. I cried, “What do you want?”

“Your soul.”

That was the moment that my heart froze in my chest, for I finally knew who the killer was.

“It’s just a story!” I protested. “No one sells their soul to the devil!”

“You do, or else you’ll have to accept the blame for the murder of your own family,” his calm voice blackmailed me.

I shook my head many times. “This is a dream. I woke up from it once and I'll do it again.”

“It can only be a dream if you sign this.”

A yellowish paper and dagger appeared in both my hands.  I nervously looked at what I had to read.  It was a contract for the exchange of my soul.

“But why?” I screamed. “Why me?”

“Because this is one of the two things you most desire. I will grant you the gift of becoming the most talented film-maker in the world, where fame and fortune awaits,” promised the Devil’s Shadow. 

Suddenly, and from nowhere, tiny demons encircled me, small creatures that resembled gargoyles. I dropped the yellowed contract and tried to bat them away, but they dodged my hands. Voices murmured, “Sign it, and you can have your sister back.” Slowly the creatures faded from view.

“Fail to comply and you will be accountable for your family’s murder.” That meant that not only would my whole family be dead, but also that I would be incarcerated for life. “Or you can have your life back and have an enormous talent to display.”

I had to make a choice. 

I cast another look at my dead sister, realising this was no nightmare. 

“You have one minute to decide.” 

“But first I have to know why you came to me,” I said.

“You have murder in your heart, Simon Ellis. You were going to do this on your own sooner or later. So, I decided to get something out of it as well.”

I reached a decision. I picked up the things I had dropped on the floor, and quickly sliced my palm with the dagger. Droplets of blood landed on the contract.  

The contract vanished. But my wounded hand had a deep scar across the palm to always bear witness of the pact I made with the devil.

A minute later, all the lights in the house came on. I watched my sister sleep peacefully, hearing her snore. Then I heard the car pull up. I waited with dread. 

A key opened the front door; “Simon?” called my mother.  “We’re back early. Where are you?”

I ran down the stairs so fast that it was a miracle I didn’t fall. I hugged my parents, kissing them. They were surprised with my unusual behaviour.

But dad knew something was wrong.  “You’ve been crying.”  He stared into my troubled eyes, as mum walked off into the living room. 

“Just been sleeping.”

“Simon!” barked mother from the other room.

I shuffled slowly toward the living room, not knowing what to expect; not knowing if any evidence of the devil’s visit from the telly still lingered.

But when I got into the living room, I stared with surprise.

The 50-inch plasma television set was on and broadcasting The Devil’s Shadow. Except now, it had the original ending, where Theresa Iozzi shoved the killer into a pit of acid, saving her own life. 

“How many times have I told you not to leave the telly on when you’re upstairs?” nagged my mother.



Jason D. Brawn

Jason and John Landis

Jason D. Brawn with John Landis

Born 18th August 1973, the date the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was set, Jason D. Brawn has always been a lifelong fan of the genre. Jason has written a few screenplays, which have been shortlisted in various competitions like Straight Twisted Horror Screenplay 2008, Shriekfest 2007 and 2008 and The British Short Screenwriting Competition 2002. 
I’m Coming To Get You is Jason’s second short story published. His first, The Interview, will be featured in the forthcoming British Horror Films (BHF) Book of Horror Volume Three. 

You can visit Jason at: