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.


Lawyer Leonard Bradley visits his client, George Hallas, a man sentenced to death by lethal injection for 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 had died in 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, 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. She didn't survive the accident.

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 committing suicide. Then, 3 years after Hallas married his now ex-wife Carla Winston, the kid caused a gas explosion in a mine that killed Hallas’ father, and then started harrassing 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 got a hearth 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 his loved ones, and decided to set a trap. He became an active volunteer for the local church, helping troubled boys through the Conquest programm in hopes of luring the Bad Little Kid out. The kid showed up again after Hallas succesfully helped a boy named Ronnie Gibson get an eye surgery he desperately needed. This time, Hallas was prepared and used a gun to kill the kid in front of dozens of witnesses, hench why he is 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. Bradley doesn't believe the story of course, though he has to admit it's remarkable the police still hasn't identified Hallas' victim yet. The next day, after the execution is completed, Bradley finds a beanie in his car with two notes attached, one stating “SEE YOU SOON!”.

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