Title: The Hand

Author: Lynn McEachern

Archive: No

Rating: PG

A/N: This is my own idea, and my own characters. Inspired by a strange, 3 am visit to a McDonald's drive-thru.

A/N2: Will write for feedback! LOL!

***

(Hey, kid.)

( C'mon over here!)

Nine-year-old Brian Corey frowned a little, at the sight of the hand waving at him. Waving him closer.

(C'mere, kid!)

Brian stopped, a bit uncertainly, and looked around. He was on Crassidy Street, just one and a half blocks away from his house, and he was late getting home. His mom was gonna be pissed.

He'd lost track of time -- it wasn't real late, just going on to supper. His mom had called at Kevin's house, because she'd known he'd be there, playing Nintendo like he did every day after school. She didn't mind, as long as he was home in time for supper. And he usually was on time. But today they'd managed to swip Kevin's brother's Resident Evil game, (the one they weren't allowed to play), and since Kevin's mom was watching Oprah in the other room and Kevin's brother wasn't home, they just played as long as they could. Until Brian's mom called, anyway.

(Hey, kid. C'mon over here.)

Brian couldn't figure out what the hand wanted. It was waving him over. He couldn't see a person attached to it. All he could see was this ordinary-looking hand, patiently gesturing him over. He supposed the person that it belonged to was behind the building from which the hand seemed to be emanating.

He hesitated. Mom told him never to talk to strangers. But it wasn't talking to him. It was just waving. It seemed harmless -- although it did make him feel a little bit uneasy. Why was it just waving? Was it waving at him? Or at someone else? Or at no one in particular? Was it a joke? Was there something more to it?

Brian was curious. He could backtrack and take the longer way home, but he was already late, and his mom sure had sounded pissed. But -- the hand. What was it all about? What did it want?

(Kid! Come here!)

Brian turned, and slowly began to walk the other way. But he was still curious. Was it still there?

He turned back, just to sneak a quick peek. Yes, yes it was. It was still waving at him, in a friendly, yet compelling, way.

He was already late. Mom had sounded pissed.

It was just a hand.

He resumed his original course.

It was just a hand.

But it was waving at him.

What could it mean?

(Hey, kid! C'mere!)

Brian felt a grin, tugging at his lips...he just had to know what was going on. It wouldn't hurt just to go over and see what it wanted. He turned and headed for it, but just as he reached the corner of the building, the hand pulled back. He stopped.

He peeked around the corner of the building.

Nothing there.

But...but where did it go?

The street was deserted, and there was nowhere that a person could have moved to and hidden in so quickly.

Brian stood there, and looked around. He was a bit disappointed, and had forgotten all about being late for supper, and all about his mom being pissed. Where did that hand go?

A movement caught his eye -- it was across the street! Behind another building! How did it get there so fast? He still couldn't see a person -- just the hand, gesturing to him from behind another building.

(Hey, kid! Come here! C'mon!)

It took Brian all of two seconds to make up his mind. Carefully looking both ways first, he crossed the mostly-deserted street. He watched the hand all the way over. It was still waving.

(Kid! Over here!)

With a puzzled frown on his face, he trotted up to the corner of the building, and couldn't help a surprised little gasp when it disappeared again.

Where was it now?

He rotated in place, slowly scanning the street. How did it move so fast? He was intrigued.

There!

Through the alley beside him, he could see the hand waving at him from the next block over, from behind an old brick building full of offices.

He thought about this. He really did have to get home...and the next block over was...well, it was on the way down to the river. Not the best part of town. His mother didn't let him go down there by himself.

But if he took the time to go home and tell his mother all about the hand, he was sure that it would disappear by the time he was able to come back, assuming that his mother actually would let him come back. No, this was a mystery that he was just going to have to solve on his own. He kind of felt like Shaggy, from the Scooby Doo cartoons...a bit nervous, but willing to go ahead and solve the mystery.

He sure wished he had Scooby Doo with him, though.

(Kid! Over here!)

The hand was merrily waving at him, gesturing for him to come on over. Brian took a deep breath and plunged forward.

He ran through the quiet alley, crossed the street, and had just set foot on the sidewalk on the other side when the hand disappeared again! He wasn't surprised this time, though. Quick as quick, he whirled around, his sharp eyes searching for it...

...and it was right at the end of the block, just around the corner of yet another building.

(C'mon, kid!)

Brian squared his shoulders, and strode forward. Just like Shaggy and his friends, he was going to solve this mystery. Already he was beginning to anticipate the hand's next move. This time, when it disappeared, he spotted it almost immediately waving from the next block over.

(Yoo hoo, kid! Over here!)

He almost hesitated at this point. It was moving closer and closer into the "bad" side of town, and he was sure that he wasn't allowed down that way.

(Hey, kid! C'mon!)

But he had to solve the mystery.

Brian headed purposely toward the hand, which was still waving gaily, if a bit more urgently. If he could just grab hold of it...

But he was not quick enough. Again, the hand disappeared...only to appear the next block over. It was a bit harder to see, as the sun was setting and the shadows were growing longer.

There wasn't much traffic down here this close to the docks, and the streets, mostly lined with warehouses, were eerily quiet. The air was growing a bit chilly. The whole thing was starting to feel...well, a bit sinister to him.

Should he go on?

Brian looked up and down the street. It was quiet here. It was too quiet, and he didn't much like it here. He felt a pang on uneasiness, and looked back over at the hand.

(Kid! C'mon, let's move it!)

Maybe he should just go home...

(HEY KID! OVER HERE! NOW!)

Maybe just one more block...

This time, he broke into a sprint, determined to catch the hand and solve the mystery. It continued to wave to him, and he got closer than he ever had as he ran full-out.

It was still waving. Brian decided to try a running tackle. He pounced...

Only to fall flat on his face, knocking the wind out of him for a bit. The hand had done its vanishing act again, but he had almost grabbed it this time.

(HEY KID!)

With a small groan, he turned his head.

The hand was waving to him again, a bit more urgently this time. And it was no longer waving from outside of a building. It was waving from the slightly-opened doorway of a beat-up looking old warehouse.

(C'MON, KID! IN HERE!!)

A creepy chill was making its way along his spine, as Brian slowly got to his feet. The hand was inside the warehouse? It wanted him to go inside of that dark, smelly old warehouse?

He sure wished he had Scooby Doo with him right now.

He sure didn't want to go into that warehouse.

(HURRY UP, KID!! NOW!!)

He couldn't stop staring at that hand. He wanted Scooby Doo with him...

(NOW!)

He was slowly walking towards the hand. He didn't want to.

(NOW!!)

Why were his feet moving without his permission? Please stop please stop please stop...

(KID! COME HERE!)

...he couldn't stop but there was nowhere he wanted to be more than far away from here why couldn't he stop and where was Scooby Doo...

(THAT'S IT KEEP WALKING NOW HURRY UP!)

...scared he'd never been so scared he couldn't stop staring at that hand it just kept waving and waving and he had to pee...

(COME HERE!! NOW!!)

...Scooby Dooby Doo where are you...

(NOW!!!!!)

...Brian started to sob. He couldn't stop his feet from moving forward. He couldn't tear his eyes away from that hand, from that dark, dank-smelling empty warehouse...

(NOW!!)

...but it wasn't empty, he just knew that it wasn't empty but he didn't want to know what was in there, he really didn't want to know...

"BRIAN ALLAN DAVIS!"

As though a spell had been broken, Brian gasped and nearly jumped out of his pants. He heard a car door slam and angry footsteps heading toward him.

"Brian!" His mother glared at him and grabbed his hand. "What on Earth are you doing down here? When I tell you to come straight home, I mean come straight home and not to go wandering around God knows where all over town. Do you realize how late it is? Do you? Just you wait till your father hears about this, young man, you're going to be so sorry..."

As his mother dragged him back to the car, thoroughly chewing him out every step of the way, Brian chanced a quick glance back at the warehouse, and felt his blood run cold.

The hand was slowly, mockingly waving farewell to him.

(See you later, kid.)

(See you next time.)

***