I Want My Children

It was a nice spring afternoon, so we had the front door open with the screen door shut to let in the breeze. My mom and I were cleaning the house, wearing shorts and old t-shirts, enjoying the refreshing weather. Although winter is my favorite season, it's always nice to open the house and let it breath.

Mom and I took a break in our cleaning and headed for the kitchen to get some iced tea. I still carried a dust rag in my hand as we passed by the front door. I stopped suddenly, seeing something out of the ordinary. Although we lived in a little neighborhood just out side of town, we rarely saw anyone close to our yard, let alone standing in it. We lived at the end of the street, so no one usually walked by. An old man was standing in the yard, just off of the walkway, staring at the ground. He was balding with short gray hair. I couldn't see his face. He wore a crisp blue and white striped button-up shirt, tucked in to his black dress pants. His black leather shoes crushed the soft baby grass beneath his feet.

"Can I help you?" called my mom, unaccustomed to visitors, especially strangers that just came and stood in your yard. "Why, yes!" he said, almost over-friendly like, approaching the door, "I just came to get my children." Confused, I peered at the man through the screen. He looked earnestly at my mom with ice blue eyes and a yellowed, crooked smile. I glanced at mom, who seemed to be as lost as me. "Oh, you must be mistaken," Mom said kindly, "the other end of the street is where the woman that baby-sits lives."

"No, no." chuckled the man, "My children. I want my children." Suddenly, he turned his gaze on me and I felt like he was looking right into my soul, as if he could see and know absolutely everything about me. A chill crept up my spine and over my whole body. I could look away even though I desperately wanted to. I felt my hand give a feeble twitch and drop the dust rag that I was still clutching. The man turned back to mom, his smile gone, now very angry. "1972!" he yelled, shaking in rage, "Where were you? I want my children!" "You're…. you're him." Mom said slowly, taking in a ragged breath as she understood.

This did nothing to clarify who this man was or what he wanted to me, but it seemed to make sense to my mom. I listened, trying to make sense of it all as they talked. Something about the murder of multiple children, a court case, and a bunch of stuff I couldn't grasp. The only thing that I figured out was that this man was the one that killed them. "How did you get out?" asked my mom. "Clause 5." replied the old man, now calm once again. "Really? And what did it say?" Mom said, seeming not to believe him. "Why, I'll go get it for you." he said stubbornly, and walked away. Once he was out of sight, mom shut the door, locked it, and grabbed a timer from the kitchen. She wound it up for five minutes. "He'll be back." she said, looking scared.