"See anything you like?" the dad asks patiently.
The young boy scans the area once more then wordlessly points to a girl getting into a Ford Toyota, backpack swinging emptily from Friday's homework. Dad nods in approval and pulls out of their spot.
The boy's mother jots down the license plate and turns around to face her son in the back seat, "You've made a wonderful choice," she says admiringly, "She'll be just fine." A twinkle flashes into the mother's eye as she turns around.
The girl he has picked out just turned 10 years old last week. She stands 4'4 feet from the ground and is thing as a rail. She has long, curly brown hair that sways at her waist and big, doe eyes that follow everyone and everything silently.
Her pack consists of Tweety Bird and Tom, the old Disney cat. She is wearing a light blue soccer tee-shirt and cute, knee-length black shorts. Half her hair is thrown causally up into a pony that runs down with the rest of her locks and her long, brown lashes flutter as if sighing in relief when she enters the truck.
As for the young boy watching and picker her out is just about to turn the same age in precisely one month. He stares hungrily at her with icy blue eyes. He has grown his buzz cut out to shaggy blonde curls that frame his cheeks, trying to look older. His fingers twitch at his side, sliding across the top of his thigh with a flick of his wrist out of forced habit.
The mother who is also watching the girl with the same crystallized eye color and long blonde hair. She has defined jaw line that unfortunately her son didn't get, but instead he took on his father's oval face. Her blood red lips purse in anticipation as her fingers and wrist also twitch out of forced habit.
The driver or otherwise known as dad has a sharp, broken nose and thin nostrils. He has beady, black eyes and thick blonde hair. He stands at 6 feet, 4 inches taller than his wife and extremely broad shoulders. His softer features, such as his lips, chin and cheeks usually confuse a person on whether they want to talk to him or walk away very quickly. Because of this he often blends in unnoticed, picking pockets and stealing with ease.
Wrapping his long, skilled fingers around the wheel, he turns his family from the parking lot and onto the road, eyes clearly fixed on the girl's vehicle. They follow the unsuspecting family to their house and park down the block to wait for dark.
The little girl, who we will soon know to be Anna Clarington, has a small yet homey house. She has yellow shutters and white siding, with a short driveway that's surrounded by small pines and a grassy yard with a swing set.
The family sits patiently, running through the plan once then settling in for a quiet few hours. As the sun falls the father hands out a dagger to his wife and son. They take it without a second glance and wait for the white moon to appear.
"What if she doesn't like me?" the child asks with mild curiosity.
"Don't worry she will, but it might take a little bit before she warms up to you. We've discussed this," his mother says gently.
Casting one more look at the stars the father motions everyone to move. Sweeping through the shadows like a ghost, the three of them move cautiously to the front door. The wind is dead and the grass is still. A lone coyote howls faintly in the distance as the father takes off his jacket.
He wraps it around his huge hand and smashes it through the window to open the door. Glass shatters loudly and free falls to the round. Time suspends as the wait for movement within the house. The shards bounce off the floor, vibrating and reflecting a million images of the man in the clear, night sky.
Not wasting a second more, the dad unlocks the door from the inside and lets the rest in. since all the lights are turned off they take out a single flash light. Not looking at any of the expensive TV sets or IPods, the mother breaks off form them and heads to the girl's room.
She cracks the door, peeking her head barely through and taking in her surroundings. Anna's walls are painted a deep, royal purple with neon, orange spots. She has a desk on the South wall that has papers and photos thrown all over the top and spilling out for the drawers.
She has a dresser on the West wall next to her door. On the North wall lays a closet and a bookshelf that has books stuffed in every corner. On the last wall lies a white, stuffed chair with a nightstand. She has an orange, furry lamp that's currently unplugged and purple cushions. Her carpet is a stained, cream white and her bed has streaks of purple splashed onto an orange, white tie-dye comforter.
The mother opens the door the rest of the way and fingers the thread of rope in her hands. She tip toes across the room and as if that was her own child, carefully pushes the blanket aside.
Anna stirs slightly, but keeps her eyes closed. The mom grabs her hands gently and crosses them. Using as much care as she can, she ties her wrists together with the string tightly.
Stepping with ease around the cluttered room, she positions herself just right and then with practiced hands, grabs Anna from the shoulders and yanks her out of the bed.
Her heart skips a beat and her eyes fly wide open in a split second. She tries to scream, but it catches and muffles by a delicate hand.
"Shhhh," she whispers, "I won't hurt you."
Meanwhile the father and boy sneak past the girl's room and head to the parents. The boy stops briefly and gazes at Anna in triumph, proud of her spit fire and thrashing in his mother's arms.
Her eyes flash wildly as she tries to claw mom with tied hands. He smiles to himself and pads after father down the narrow hall.
His wrist flicks anxiously as his father swings the door open with confidence. He motions his son to be quiet and follow him into the room.
It is a small space like the girl's with brown walls and more white carpet. There's a closet on the North wall and a dresser combined to a mirror on the West. There is two nightstands on either side of the bed that lies smack dab in the middle of the East wall.
The couple moves on either side of the bed, the moon flickering through the open window, casting dancing shadows across their faces. The father and son look at each other as the dad puts his hand up.
Three finger float in the air, slowly counting down till there's nothing but a fist left. The dad looks down on the other father's sleeping figure and admires him as he brings the blade down.
He puts the tip at the far side of his neck and takes a deep breath. Air vacuums into his lungs and as he pushes it all back out, he slams pressure into the hilt.
The blade sinks into his flesh like bread and cuts into his esophagus quickly, but efficiently. Blood soars up onto the wall and splatters all of her puffy cheeks. Blinking coolly with hunger, he watches with satisfaction as the thick liquid deeps from the red smile and pours down by his shoulders.
At the same exact moment the boy also takes a deep, quivering breath and shakily lets it out. He plunges the tip into the skin as it glides over the neck with ease. Blood sprouts up and follows the knife like a puppy, dripping down to her collar bone. He takes another raspy slice then stifles a gasp as he glances at her face.
Her brown eyes are open and staring at him in disbelief. They hold his tiny gaze with terror as they flicker over to her partner's dead body. Her lips part, trying to summon a scream, but it gurgles in her throat.
The child watches happily as the blood spills over to the floor and the life drains out of her eyes, bringing the sparkle down with it.
Silent tears run over her sharp cheeks and her hand clasps by her side. The boy glazes the dagger across her forehead to see what she would do, but her eyes are already glassing over. Liquid squirts out with the last few pumps of her heart then her body convulses and lies still.
Fascinated with the dark pool their bed has become the boy dips his fingertips into it then brings it up to his face. He takes another deep breath through his nose, shivering with excitement as his father gazes proudly down at him. The boy opens his eyes, suddenly remembering what he got and recklessly bolts out of the room.
Chuckling at his son's behavior, the dad follows, wiping their finger prints along the way. The two meet up with the mother in the car and get in wordlessly.
The girl stares directly out the window with tears streaming steadily down, panic rising up in her chest. Her hair is in a tangled mess as they pull out.
"Well done," he dad congratulates his family. The boy beams proudly and turns to his future wife.
Anna looks at him, feeling his cold eyes bear holes through her. "Like I said you've made a fine choice," the mother says, openly studying her. She turns around to try and give the two youngsters some peace.
Anna shifts uncomfortably as the boy gawks at her, staring at her like a prize. "Please," she whispers low enough so the adults don't hear, "Let me go. I won't tell I promise. Just please help me." She whimpers as the boy takes in what she said.
She looks hopefully at him, pleading with her big eyes. Her heart races ahead as he turns to his parents with a determined look.
Sensing their son wants attention, they nod in acknowledgment. He cast a glance at Anna and smiles reassuringly, "I think I'll call you Savannah."