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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Horror Movie Survival Lessons - Vol. 1: My encounter with The Kid

This wasn't supposed to be the post for today.  I'd actually written up something completely different.  Then we went to the neighborhood pool at night and I met The Kid.

You know the one.  You've seen him or her in grocery stores, the kitchen section of Target, or in line at the bank (although admittedly, nobody goes to the bank anymore).  It's that one kid who's bored out of his/her skull and is looking for someone, anyone to interact with.  They're usually cute and precocious and their parents have completely had enough of them.

That was the case tonight.  My wife, daughter and I are all hanging out in the jacuzzi, when in the gate comes a mother, a grandmother, a three year old girl and The Kid.  The Kid is in first grade.  He's blonde.  His mother calls him "imaginative" and he comes right over to us and introduces himself without anyone asking him to.  The world is a wonder to him and it's full of nothing but friends.

I used to be that kid.  Maybe that's why, when all the adults started talking about school and homework and vacations, I started paying attention to what The Kid was saying because let's be clear.  He started talking from the moment he came in the gate until the moment he left.  It was a running dialogue that was meant for everyone and no one in particular. 

The first thing that caught my attention was the word "monster".  I mean, it's not a word used in common conversation by most people over the age of 10, so it grabbed me by the ear.

"And when you see him, you have to run over and tell your neighbors because he's really spooky."

That's what I heard after the word "monster".  Now, everyone in this hot tub was ignoring The Kid.  Hell, I'd been ignoring The Kid.  However, about a thousand hours of horror movie watching have taught me a thing or two over the years.  One of those things is to listen to the person no one else is listening to.

"What monster is that?" I asked.

The kid's expression didn't change.  He didn't brighten up or become more engaged.  He just looked my way and continued.

"He's really spooky and he rises up out of the water like this and then he does this."

The Kid howled.  

This got his mother's attention.  She looked over and apologized to me.  Then she literally asked him "Is that your best behavior?"

He looked down and replied, "No."

Then she went back to talking to my wife and The Kid's eyes drifted back to me.  He continued.

"You have to watch out for him.  He likes to stay in the hot tub because it's warm but he comes out when everyone is asleep and then he comes in your house and makes that sound."

"The howling sound?" I asked.

"Yeah, just like I did."

"Is there anything else I should know?"

"Yeah, he has a red blanket."

"My wife has a red blanket," I said.

"He has a red blanket and he's really spooky."

"I should be careful then.  Maybe it's her."

I nodded toward my wife.  He looked at her and then back to me.

"Yeah, you probably should," he said solemnly.

So yeah.  It's 9:00 p.m. and I'm headed to bed here shortly. I'll probably read a little before I fall asleep but I'll also be wearing my crucifix and maybe sprinkling some holy water down the middle of the king sized mattress because let's face it, not too many people have red blankets.

You can never be too careful.

Want to read something creepy?  Head over to my Amazon authors page and check out my novel The Wash or my short story A Debt to the Dead.  They'll scratch your itch for you.


Lisanne Harrington said...

What a great post. I love that you chose to talk with The Kid and discuss monsters with him. Having once been that precocious child, I'm sure that while he didn't say anything, he will remember you.

Oh, and by the way, I use a red blanket...

Cary said...

Thanks Lisanne!