Dec 07, Criminal Minds, Spencer Reid, Soul Stealers
Title: Soul Stealers Author: alti_angel (altaira) Fandom: criminal minds Characters: Spencer Reid Rating: PG Word Count: 1000+ Disclaimer:. Not mine and I make no money from this. Prompt: dec 07, snow globe Warning: a bit creepy A/N: not beta read
There were holiday items Spencer Reid never allowed at his place. Motion activated anythings…not happening. Singing stuffed critters, those were a no go. Reindeer antler headbands? No.
A tree –fake so it wasn’t quite as big of a fire hazard- with solid single colored lights was all right. He rather liked Christmas ornaments although he admitted to being drawn to the ones which weren’t really common…this year’s prize find had been a woolly mammoth and a musk-ox, with real musk-ox fur on them both.
Candles- candles were good. He liked holiday spice scented ones, but not too many of the evergreen scented ones. He liked the flickering light. He liked that if he got the big ones in the jars that he could burn them through the season and still have a great deal of burn time left and so he could put them in his candle emergency cupboard and have light when the power went out.
He could do bells, he preferred the ones with clappers and not jingle bells, but he found an old set of sleigh bells, honest to goodness heavy ones set on leather straps, that he displayed during the winter. He could do holly and ivy and mistletoe.
But he could not do snow globes.
Snow globes were not allowed. Not in his home. Garcia, before she knew better, got him one the first Christmas she started working with the team a whole lot. She got everyone one. It wasn’t big, and it had a nice choice of music with it. His just showed skaters out on a lake. He refused to take it home. If it had been bigger, or a building of any sort…he wouldn’t have even kept it at all.
Snow globes were creepy. Snow globes were eerie. Snow globes could steal your soul…or at least your mind.
When he was five, it was the Christmas time after Riley Jenkins and his dad dragging his mom in for stronger meds and more meds…ones he could use to make her compliant, especially at night…his dad’s mom brought over a big snow globe early in November, for them to display for the whole of the holiday season. She’d had is specially made, the house a miniature copy of their own…all decorated up as it had been the year before. There was his mom’s car and his dad’s car in the driveway and their mailbox at the corner.
But there were too many people. Too many kids. And it was snowy in the snow globe, a white Christmas with pine trees and a snowman off to the side and sleds set on the porch. Spencer, as an adult thinking back, suspects his grandmother maybe based it off a Christmas party that they didn’t have, but that she would have liked them to have. His mother though, his mother stared at the snow globe constantly. She picked it up, she shook it till it snowed (which it never did in Vegas…). She counted. She counted the children (four) and the adults (six) and the sleds (three). She a talked to them, and she told him to listen as they talked back. Spencer never heard them, but she’d make him stand there with his ear to the glass, trying and trying to hear.
Sometime she’d have him help her search the house…look for the missing children, find children from the globe so they wouldn’t be gone any more. Hours and hours she’d make him hunt through the house with her, calling and yelling.
And his dad just laughed. And his grandmother just laughed.
And when he broke the snow globe, his grandmother took a whip to his back and his dad locked him in the laundry room in the basement for nearly 24 hours. The globe was back by the end of the next week, with another one which they’d found of the campus where his mom had taught, the building she’d mostly taught in. He tried again the next year, when the snow globe showed his school and his moms car with too many kids in it. That time not only was the school back, but a snow globe of his mom’s school from when she’d been little and one with the cabin in the woods they’d spent time at that summer, with his dad and his dad’s boss and his family (it was horrid…Spencer had spent half the week tied to different trees as his dad’s boss’s boys tortured him…all in the name of cowboys and Indians, such a wholesome game). And he’d been whipped by his grandmother again and then spanked and locked in the storage pantry in the dark for all night and half the next day by his dad.
They added to the snow globes every years, even after his dad left them a snow globe showed up in the house at Christmas time, one made specifically for where they were living or where they’d been. Nothing else, nothing useful. Not money, or food, or clothes or help of any sort. Just a snow globe, with too many people, too many kids. The house they’d moved to after his dad left and they got the note informing them that the house they were currently living in was Reid family property and they needed to go. Spencer’s high school, Spencer’s dorm at university, the small house they’d moved to when Spencer was fifteen. His mother would stare into the globes all day and all night until Spencer could get it away from her. He’d hope for the searching time, the time when she made him hunt for the missing kids, the children she’d lost somewhere…who were calling for her to find them from in side the globes. Because when she made him hunt, she usually looked too, and she set the globe down and he could often snatch it then, hide it away. She’d rant and rave and scream and yell, until she forgot for a while. He had to hide them well, because then she’d remember and go hunting for the globes…looking and tearing things apart and throwing things for the whole season…until spring came, when the globes were no longer what was right, because they were winter. Every year…until Spencer’s seventeenth year, when his grandfather Reid called and informed him his loving grandmother had passed away and he thought Spencer should know since he knew how much his sweet wife had adored the boy, always spending so much on him for Christmas. Spencer choked and nearly threw up. Luckily his grandfather thought it was in sorrow. He sent the money his grandmother had tucked away in an account just for those snow globes to Spencer, due to Spencer’s sorrow. It was enough to fully pay for the first four years of his mother’s care and all the fees to get her set there.
He did destroy the snow globes. He smashed them till they were tiny bits of nothing, till they couldn’t play anymore. He looked over his shoulder the whole time he did so, too.