‘Because she was preoccupied, she didn’t notice what was different about Charlie Manx until she was easing around his cot to reach the IV rack. He happened to sigh heavily just then, as if bored, and she looked down and saw him staring up at her, and she was so startled to see him with his eyes open that she bobbled the sack of blood and almost dumped it on her feet.
He was hideous-old, not to mention hideous. His great bald skull was a globe mapping an alien moon, continents marked by liver spots and bruise-colored sarcomas. Of all the men in the long-term-care ward—a.k.a. the Vegetable Patch—there was something particularly awful about Charlie Manx with his eyes open at this time of year. Manx liked children. He’d made dozens of them disappear back in the nineties. He had a house below the Flatirons where he did what he liked with them and killed them and hung Christmas ornaments in their memory. The papers called the place the Sleigh House. Ho, ho, ho.’
– Joe Hill, NOS4A2, 2013
(Art by Gabriel Rodriguez & C. Wilson, III)