Helen was just leaving the grocery store when she noticed a crying child sitting on the sidewalk.
"Hey," she called out. A boy of about five years looked up with tears running down his cheeks. "What happened?" Helen asked, kneeling down to his eye level. "Are you hurt?"
The boy slid the back of his right hand across his nose.
"M-my mommy went h... home w-without me. I d-d-don't know how to go home... from here."
"Do you know your address? I can drive you home."
"Yeah. *sniff* Thank you."
The boy stood and followed Helen to her car. He sat in the passenger seat when she opened the door.
Helen put her plastic bag of groceries into the back seat. When she got into the driver's seat, she asked the boy for his address. She knew of the street, so she drove away.
The car drove through a suburban area through which street lights lit the way.
"There's my house. That brown one."
The boy pointed at a two-story house with a garage on its side. Lights could be seen through the downstairs windows. A leafless tree stood on the lawn.
Helen pulled over and unlocked the passenger door.
"Are you sure your parents are home?"
"Yeah. Thank you, miss."
Helen smiled. "No problem."
The boy left the car and ran up the concrete path.
Before the boy could get to the doors, a figure suddenly ran out from behind the tree and tackled the boy to the ground.
From the car, Helen watched in panic as the child struggled with the adult. With her windows open, she heard the child's screams from yards away. She left the car and rushed to help.
"Leave him alone!" she shouted as she ran along the path to the house. As she got closer, she could have sworn the child's screaming sounded like they were more of joy than pain.
The attacker suddenly stood up and faced Helen. He grabbed the woman as she attempted to tackle him, causing them both to fall down.
The attacker wasted no time in reaching into his pocket. He unfolded a pocket knife and plunged it right into Helen's side.
Helen's scream was cut short when the man's hand went to her mouth. A searing pain went to her stomach. Her eyes rolled up and her yells lost their volume until they went silent.
The man stood up before folding his knife and putting it in his pocket. He turned and walked over to the boy, making sure to block the child's view of his victim.
"Christopher," the man said in a tone that was oddly cheerful. "Why don't you go inside and see mommy? I'll be there in a minute."
Christopher stood up with a smile.
"Okay, daddy. When are we gonna play the "take me home" game again?"
Swiftly, the man reached down and tickled Christopher, causing him to giggle and run into the house.
The father walked back to Helen's lifeless body and picked her up. He then carried her to the car and put her in the back seat. Getting into the front, he drove away in search of a place to dispose of the evidence.