Bad Little Kid
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|"Bad Little Kid"|
|Publication date||March 14, 2014|
Bad Little Kid is a short horror story by Stephen King, which was originally published in German and French in an electronic version. The first paper print in English was in Kings 2015 short story collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.
Leonard Bradley, a Lawyer, visits his client, George Hallas, a man sentenced to death by lethal injection for the murder of a young boy, in prison. Hallas will be executed next morning, despite all Bradley’s attempts to prevent it, but so far has never given a statement for why he committed this brutal act. Now, however, he finally feels like talking about what he calls “the bad little kid”; a six or seven-year-old, rather pudgy boy with orange hair, green eyes, and a beanie, that made his life a living hell for years.
Hallas’ mother died during childbirth, so he was raised by his father and the housekeeper, Mama Nonie. His first encounter with the "Bad Little Kid" was in 1977, in Talbot, when Hallas was good friends with a slightly older and mentally challenged girl named Marlee. One day, the kid showed up out of nowhere and caused Marlee to get hit by a car by first insulting her and then throwing her lunchbox into the street. Years later, when Hallas was studying theater arts and had a relationship with a woman named Vicky, the kid appeared again, still the same age as he was back in 1977. This time, he drove Vicky to commit suicide. Then, three years after Hallas married his now ex-wife Carla Winston, the kid caused a gas explosion in a mine that killed Hallas’s father. Then, he started harassing Mama Nonie with threatening phone calls, to the point that she decided to get rid of her phone and thus couldn't call an ambulance when she suffered a heart attack. Finally, when after many attempts Carla and Hallas were expecting their first child, the Bad Little Kid caused an accident that resulted in a miscarriage for Carla.
By now, Hallas realized the kid was after him and decided to set a trap. He became an active volunteer for the local church, helping troubled boys through the Conquest program. The kid showed up again after Hallas successfully helped a boy named Ronnie Gibson get an eye surgery he desperately needed. This time, Hallas was prepared and killed the kid in front of dozens of witnesses, hence why he's in prison now.
Hallas finishes his story with a warning to Bradley that the kid might come back, considering what kind of monster he was. The next day, after the execution is completed, Bradley finds a beanie in his car with two notes attached, one stating “SEE YOU SOON!”.