(Read the first part of our 3-part serial HERE. Then plunge right in to Part 2 of our Halloween Day Terror Fest.)
A Dark House! A Killer on the Loose! A Babysitter all Alone!
“Did you see the news?” Andrew said. “The dude stabbed her like 20 times!”
“Yeah,” Amber said into her mobile phone. “The news alert scared the children to death. You should have seen little Joanie. She was inconsolable. I just got them to bed.”
“Creepy. I was just on Marybeth Kincaid’s Facebook page. She was a babysitter, you know.”
“Stop it, Andrew.”
“You sure you don’t want me to come over? I could protect you from the boogey man!”
“Ha, ha. And who is going to protect me from you?”
“Hey, I resemble that remark.”
“Listen, I’ve got to go because my battery is getting low.”
“Hasta la vista, baby!”
Amber rolled her eyes as she hung up. She peeked into the children’s bedrooms. Joanie muttered in her sleep and rolled over, the blankets spilling to the floor. Amber tip-toed into the dark room and tucked her in. A damp sweat covered Joanie’s forehead. Poor thing!
In his bedroom, Joey slept soundly, snoring a little. His hands were folded across his chest. Impulsively, Amber reached out and flicked some of his blond hair off his forehead. His eyes popped open and she nearly screamed.
Joey looked up at her. “I thought you were a good babysitter.”
She smiled at him. “Go back to sleep.”
Amber tucked him in, turned out the lights, and returned to the living room downstairs. The house felt big and empty. She pulled schoolbooks out of her knapsack. If only Andrew could see her now. After an hour of studying Spanish verb tenses, she wandered into the kitchen for the bag of chips Mrs. Curtain had offered. She ate a few handfuls with the Pepsi, staring at her dark reflection in the sliding glass door that opened onto an expansive deck.
When she got back to the living room, the lights were out. Amber didn’t remember turning them off. She found the lamp and clicked it on. The room brightened. It was empty. She sat down on the couch and went to work on her Algebra II homework.
At 10:15, she heard a scrapping noise from below – then a bang. The basement. She walked to the cellar door and made sure it was locked and then pressed her ear against it. The only sound was the thump of her heart. She was being silly.
She wandered to the middle of the living room, found the remote, and turned on the TV. CNN was reporting some dire economic news, but Amber wasn’t listening. She heard another loud noise from the basement. Now she was frightened.
Rushing into the kitchen, she pulled a butcher’s knife from a wooden holder. The knife made her feel safer and she crept toward the basement door. Unfastening the lock, she turned the handle and eased open the door. Cool, stale air washed over her. Her hands patted the wall until she found the light switch. A dim bulb revealed a steep wooden staircase that led down to a finished den.
“Hello?” she called.
Her voice echoed back. Holding the knife in front of her, Amber walked down the carpeted stairs, her mind reeling with images of “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th” movies. Wasn’t it always stupid to be checking out strange noises? Was she walking into a trap set by the killer of Marybeth Kincaid?
Her feet barely made a sound as she descended. The den was decorated with old German beer signs and rows of beer steins. It smelled of must. There was an old leather couch, a console TV, and a painted toy chest. The den was otherwise devoid of life.
Oh, brother was she being ridiculous!
Walking back up the stairs, she heard the television. The station was tuned to the Cartoon Network. Bugs Bunny skipped across the screen with a sardonic grin. The wide-eyed bunny stared out at her and growled; “What’s up, Doc?” Amber pressed the off button and the house plunged into a tomb-like silence.
“Is there someone here?” she called. “Andrew? Andrew, this isn’t funny.”
A horrible thought hit her. The children! The thought of them startled her. She had completely forgotten about them. She hurried up the stairs to Joey’s bedroom. She flicked on the light. His bed was empty.
“Oh my God!”
With her fear mounting, she darted down the hall to little Joanie’s bedroom. She was missing as well.
What the hell was going on?
She pulled her mobile phone out of her pocket and dialed her parents. But the phone was dead – the battery used up. She nearly cried out in frustration. She stood at the top of the stairs, breathless, and paralyzed by indecision.
And that’s when the voice called out to her.
Stay tuned today for Part 3 -- the Horrifying Conclusion to "The Babysitter!"
Labels: Fiction, Horror, The Babysitter