“The New Babysitter”

This is one of my first short stories, and I think the first work I ever tried to get published. I’ve never been really sure what genre it should fall under—a sort of horror-comedy-thriller, I guess. Can’t say if it holds up, but it has a special place for me.
It’s a twist on the old babysitter story where said babysitter gets harassed on the phone by a creepy guy lurking outside.

I know I have problems.

My parents knew—I knew—we were taking a risk letting me babysit the McAllister kids. But in my defense, honestly, what are the odds? I certainly didn’t go in that night thinking things would escalate the way they did. I didn’t want anyone to die …

I’d say a half-hour after Mr. and Mrs. McAllister left, I was pretty zoned out. I was watching TV, but not really paying attention to it, slumped in the McAllisters’ super-comfy leather couch like some kind of bum. I think drool trickling out the corner of my mouth wouldn’t have seemed out of place.

I was snapped out of my comatose state by my cell phone ringing. “Hi, Mom.”

“Hey, Stacy,” she said. “Are you at the McAllister’s?”

“Yeah,” I answered, resisting the impulse to ask where else I would be.

“How are you doing over there?” she asked, sounding like a boss seeking a status report. “Everything all right? How are you with the kids?”

“Everything’s fine,” I said, like an underpaid telemarketer who wants their boss to leave them alone. “Timmy and Beth have the flu and are asleep. I’m watching TV.”

“Okay, good,” she said with noticeable relief. “At least this will be an easy night for you. Did the McAllisters ask you any … questions?”

“Nothing, really. Mr. McAllister asked about Layla, how we liked it Bartlett, and stuff like that.”

“Okay,” she said with even more relief. “Better they don’t know about you and your … um …”

“I know, Mom. Don’t worry about it.”

“You have your medicine, right? Have you taken it yet?”

“I have it. But I don’t need to take it until nine.”

“Don’t forget to take it.”

“I won’t,” I said and noticed my hand shaking. I figured it was probably the lithium, but I hoped she’d hang up soon.

I understand wanting to check up on me and make sure I was okay, but this phone call was a waste of time. However I’ve also come to accept that given my … problems … and the trouble I’ve caused our family, I’m not in the position to act indignant.

She was quiet after that, but I could tell she was trying to think of something to say. For a second, I thought (hoped) she would maybe say something encouraging. Maybe something …

(something that didn’t make me feel like the burden I was)

… I don’t know. She cleared her throat and said, “Well, okay. As long as everything’s fine, I’ll let you get back to what you were doing.”


“Call if you need anything. If you need a ride, call. Don’t even worry about waking us up.”

“Okay,” I repeated.

“And Stacy,” she said, and again, for a second I thought (hoped) … “Don’t forget to take your medicine. Bye.”

I shouldn’t be too hung up about it. I think, as far as family support goes, I just about used mine up dry. At this point I should take the fact they didn’t send me away as support enough. I know my parents discussed that more than once—especially when I was younger and at my worst. And they did trust me to babysit the McAllister kids. That’s a start, I guess. I hope.

My stomach felt bubbly, so I got a glass of water from the kitchen. While there, I checked the refrigerator for orange juice, which I feel covers the taste of Haldol better. There wasn’t any—but there was apple juice, which worked just as well. I left the bottle in the kitchen and plopped down on the couch to return to my TV-induced, vegetative state for another half-hour before I needed to adjourn to the bathroom.

Again I had to marvel at how nice the house was. My family isn’t poor or anything, but we have nothing on the McAllisters. The living room and kitchen were all top of the line, as you’d expect.

Then there was the bathroom. I mean, yeah, it’s just a bathroom—but to be honest, it was almost nicer than my own room. The fact I could smell Mrs. McAllister’s perfume still lingering in the air only made it seem fancier.

While washing up, I noticed a zit forming on my cheek and started looking through the mirror cabinet, hoping for some Clearasil or something. No luck there, but I did find Mr. McAllister owned a very nice straight-razor and was kind of impressed he shaved the old fashioned way.

Then I got the first call.

I heard the house phone ringing and rushed to get it. The caller ID said Unknown Caller. “Hello?” There was no answer, so I repeated, “Hello?” I could hear a kind of buzzing that I thought was static and said “Hello” one last time. Still no answer, so I hung up—figuring it a bad connection or wrong number—and continued watching TV.

About ten minutes later, the phone rang again. Unknown Caller again. I answered and said, “Hello?” No response, so I repeated a little louder, “Hello?” I still couldn’t get an answer, but I did hear the buzzing again. I finally hung up, mumbling, “Whatever.”

There was a blast of wind that hit the house, and I was surprised to see how much it picked up. Full night now and a big tree in the front lawn with long hanging branches blew wildly like it was having a seizure. I could hear the leaves even from inside, and it occurred to me the buzzing I heard on the phone might be wind. Like someone calling from outside.

After another ten minutes, the phone rang—again—and I saw it was Unknown Caller. Again. “You’ve got to be friggin’ kidding me,” I grumbled.

I asked who it was, allowing some of my impatience to come through. No answer except for the buzzing. Listening closely, I could hear it wasn’t consistent—like it would be real faint, then suddenly loud for a second, and that’s when I realized it was the wind. So I repeated “Hello” pretty loud in case the moron on the line wasn’t hearing me because they were outside.

“Do you hear me?” I asked. “Are you looking for the McAllisters? Because they’re not here, I’m just the babysitter. Any of this getting through?”

By this point I had the receiver jammed against one ear, with my thumb stuck in the other, trying with all my heart and soul to hear something. But no, I still got no response and was ready to hang up when I heard another noise beneath the scratching static of the wind blowing.

“I can hear you breathing,” I groaned. “What? What do you want? Speak!”

The breathing on the line became clear, and a crackly, slimy voice whispered, “Have you been a good girl?”

Then he hung up. I found myself staring at the phone for a minute, trying to process this latest development, and all I could manage was: “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

I put the phone down, not really sure how I was to respond to that—all I got was confusion. Finally, it sank in and I realized I was the victim of a prank caller. Worse, a persistent one looking to scare or offend me. Maybe both.

“Well, that’s just great,” I moaned, slumping on the couch with a huff. I suppose it figures. I thought I had gotten it pretty easy with the kids being sick and in bed all night. I guess it’s only fitting something else go wrong instead.

I spent the next ten minutes wondering who Unknown Caller could be. The more I thought about it, the more aggravated I got. The calling was enough, but what he said and the creepy, almost pervy way he said it … I thought if he called again I should just go off and rip him a new asshole. That would show some prick to start with me …

I checked the house clock and told myself to relax. I still had a little less than an hour to take my medicine, and there was no need for the bad thoughts to start creeping in. Especially over something as stupid as a prank call. Besides, I figured, it couldn’t be coincidence someone should start making prank calls on a night there’d be a babysitter. It must be a neighbor or friend of the kids—some punk trying to bust my chops. Nothing to get bent out of shape about.

When the phone rang again, I decided to not let it get to me and play along. “Ahoy-hoy?”

“Have you been a good girl?” said the voice on the line in the same slimy manner.

“Nope, not at all,” I said. “I only do this babysitting crap while I’m on probation.”

He hung up. Ten minutes later, he called back asking if I was a good girl. So I responded with another smart-ass remark, and he hung up again. Another ten minutes—phone rings, am I a good girl, I don’t take him seriously, he hangs up. Rinse, repeat.

Finally, when he called back, I said, “Is there a right answer to this I’m just not getting? Help me out here, guy.”

He didn’t answer, but I heard him breathing on the line. I looked at the time and saw I needed to take my medicine in about twenty minutes.

So that combined with the fact I lost all interest in his little game. “Look,” I said. “This has been loads of laughs and all, but I’m going to have to call it a night, okay?”

I was about to hang up, when he said, “You shouldn’t make fun of me.”

“Well, you should come up with better material than the ‘good girl’ BS. You sound like Santa Claus. Not intimidating, sorry.”

“You’re a bad girl.”

“Wow, you are thick,” I moaned. “Goodbye, Santa. Don’t call back till Christmas.”

I hung up the phone and happened to look up, and that’s when I saw it. I saw a shape, like a person, standing not five feet outside the window, staring right at me. I only caught a glimpse—I barely made out the shape in the dark—but those eyes were right on me.

“Holy…!” I screamed, leaping off the couch and about halfway across the living room in a single backwards bound. I stumbled on my landing, but when I regained my balance, the shape outside was already gone.

I stood there a few minutes, my skin crawling like I had just found a monster centipede on my arm. It happened so fast, I couldn’t be sure, but it did look like someone standing there.

I thought it might be Unknown Caller lurking outside to say hello—but that would be ridiculous. That sort of thing only happened in movies, right? And if some guy was outside, trying to get in, he wouldn’t start harassing me on the phone. Right?

But if there was someone spying on me, that went a little beyond some kids making prank calls. That was serious, I should call the cops, problems.

My heart was already pounding in my chest, but then I felt sweat form on my forehead when I started to wonder if I had really seen anything at all.

Back in the old days, before I started taking my medicine, I sometimes would see things that weren’t there. Shapes and shadows like what I saw out the window.

It was a quarter-to-nine. I looked in the kitchen at the bottle of Haldol and wondered if I should take it now. The doctor said I should only take it when I was supposed to, but my thoughts were already getting jumbled and I might have seen something that wasn’t there. It doesn’t take long after that for the bad thoughts to start, so I wondered if I should make an exception.

It was only fifteen minutes early …

When I heard a phone ring, I managed to feel horrified and infuriated at the same time. Luckily, it was only my cell phone. “Layla?”

“Hi, Stacy!” I heard her shout, apparently someplace crowded and loud. “I just wanted to check up on you. How’re things going?”

“Um—okay, I guess,” I mumbled, while in my head I yelled at myself: No, things are not okay, idiot!

“How’re the kids treating you?”

“Fine—I mean, um, I haven’t seen them. They’re sick, so they’ve been in bed all night.”

“Oh! You lucked out.”

I could tell she was drunk, but even then, I expect Layla would still be regarded as the more reliable and rational one. “Listen, there’s this guy who, um, he keeps prank calling me and, uh, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.”

“What?” she yelled. “I didn’t catch that!”

“Someone is prank calling me.”


I resisted the urge to smash my phone on the wall and repeated, “Someone … is … per-rank … call-ling … me!”

“Oh!” she said. “Oh, oh! Oh, that sucks!” I rolled my eyes at that bit of wisdom. “Yeah, that’s happened to me. Yeah, you should just ignore them and—NO! What you should do is bust their balls!”

“Well, I kind of tried that and—”

“No, listen,” she cut in. “If you get mad or scared, they’re just going to keep doing it. And it’s probably some neighbor, so they might try to freak you out by saying they see you or something.”

I nodded—which was dumb, I know, being on the phone.

“Just call them on it,” she continued. “When they realize you’re not buying it, they’ll cut it out.”

“I guess …”

“That doesn’t work, just stop answering and tell Mr. McAllister when he gets home.”

I managed to calm down and felt better. “Yeah, you’re probably right. Thanks, Layla.”

“How are you feeling, Stacy? You have your medicine?”

I sighed and said, “Yes. I haven’t forgotten about that. You can relax.”

Layla was quiet for a moment and said, “You know I’m proud of you, Stacy. I’m really glad you’re better now. You know that, right?”

“Layla, you don’t have to—”

“Mom and Dad are, too,” she added. “I know Mom still gets on you, but we’re all happy you’re doing good now.”

“I, uh …” I started, but didn’t know what to say. “I know that. I … I’m trying.”

“Well, I gotta go,” she said. “Take care of yourself!”

“You’re not driving home, are you?”

“Don’t worry. I’ve got a driver,” she said. “Love ya lots!”

I hung up and sat down on the couch, rubbing my eyes. I know my problems were as hard on Layla as they were on my parents. It couldn’t have been easy being sisters with Crazy Stacy Morris. And while my parents were dealing with me and all my baggage, she was taking care of herself.

But she was there for me when I needed her—especially when Mom and Dad were talking about sending me away. She shouldn’t always have to drop everything or cancel a date every time someone needs a last-minute babysitter.

I know the McAllister thing was just some stupid babysitting gig, but it meant something for me. My family’s put up with so much on account of me. The expulsions, the doctors, the medication, we had to move—I saw it as a chance to prove I could be responsible. And maybe then, I could be a part of my family again.

My moment of self-reflection was interrupted by the house phone ringing again, and sure enough, it was your friend and mine: Unknown Caller.

After talking with Layla though, I felt better and decided not to let the creep get to me. He was talking like Santa Claus for God’s sake. I laughed to myself and answered the phone—forgetting about my Haldol.


“You’re very jumpy,” he said. “Who did you call?”

“Ghostbusters,” I said. It was unsettling to know he could see me, so I took the phone and started looking out the windows.

“What are you looking for?” he asked.

“I ordered a pizza,” I said. “The hell you think I’m looking for, dick?”

“You won’t see me,” he hissed, sounding eager. “Not until too late.”

“Ooo, I’m scared.” I wasn’t finding anyone outside, so I wound up pacing around the living room. “So let me get this right—you’re planning on breaking in, but you decide to chat me up on the phone and tell me about it first? Great plan, Napoleon.”

“I like talking first. I like getting to know what I’m dealing with.”

“Ah. And what’s stopping me from just calling the cops?”

I remember I was about to check the time, when I heard a hard pounding on the front door that made me jump. The knocking was rhythmic—about four or five knocks every couple of seconds.

This stunned me. The calls were one thing. Spying on me through the window—hell, I shouldn’t have even taken that lightly. But this was going too far.

“And is that you, jerky?” I said into the phone before shouting towards the door: “Because I doubt it’s a goddamn raven looking to hang out with me!”

The knocking continued, and I paced back and forth in front of the door, grumbling to myself. Bad thoughts were seeping into my mind—thoughts of charging outside, yelling and kicking and fighting …

“Asshole!” I shouted. “Enough! There are kids upstairs! Cut it out!”

The knocking stopped, and I saw he had hung up. I stomped back into the living room and continued pacing around. My thoughts were getting jumbled and chaotic. I was wondering who this guy thought he was. I was worried the kids might be woken up. Should I just call the cops? Part of me was dead certain if he tried that again, I would go out there and smash his face in.

And drowned underneath all this, I had forgotten I was supposed to take my Haldol.

The phone rang again, still in my hand. “What!”

“Not having fun anymore?”

“Oh, har-dee-freaking-har,” I said, rubbing my forehead which was damp with sweat. I took a few breaths and said, trying to manage a calm voice, “Look, this is going too far. Okay? There are kids sleeping upstairs. Okay?”

He didn’t answer—all I heard was his breathing, which sounded excited and eager, and that was only making me angrier.

I added, through gritted teeth, “So why don’t we just end this now? Okay.” He still wouldn’t answer, so finally I said, “Right. Goodbye.”

I was about to hang up, when I heard him say, quick and blunt like a slap to my face, “I’m just thinking of better things you could be doing with that mouth of yours.”

He hung up before I could respond—not that I noticed or it would’ve stopped me. I wasn’t even holding the receiver to my ear. I instead screamed at the phone as though I was shouting into a canyon to hear my echo.

My rebuttal started out reasonably coherent—if obscenity-ridden. But it quickly dissolved into … well, I won’t repeat what I said—only that it was not very lady-like.

Thoughts of my medicine were long gone, and the bad thoughts were taking the driver’s seat. I stomped from the living room to dining room, back and forth, hissing and growling like a caged animal.

My mind turned into a kaleidoscope of imagined violence, more cursing, and fire. My vision blurred, and to me, the house seemed to be breathing. Thumping and pulsing with a stinging red hue. The rumbling wind outside sounded like someone laughing at me. My left fist clenched so tight, my nails dug into my palm and actually drew blood. The phone was still in my right hand—practically embedded into my palm.

It was with my last clinging shred of common sense and reason I managed to not smash the phone against wall when it rang again. Heart pounding and teeth gritted, I growled, like an order, “You did not just say what I think you said.”

“That’s some temper you’ve got.”

My free hand was shaking bad and I know it wasn’t the lithium. There was a hurricane of violence going off in my head—different versions of my own voice egging me on to do something nasty. One of them didn’t even sound like a voice—more like a chainsaw going off. They were all itching and screaming to go nuclear and let ol’ Crazy Stacy off the leash.

Then I remembered Layla’s voice. I’m proud of you. I held it all down, pent it in with a huge breath and massive gulp. My eyes locked shut and voice trembling, I whispered, “Listen, you had your fun. But please … please … don’t push me.”

“You’re just like all the others,” he said, sounding indignant. “You act high and mighty, but when things don’t go your way, you think you can do what you want.”

“Do you have … any idea … who you’re talking to?” I mumbled.

“Typical. Just like the others. Like the world owes you something. I’m a dose of reality, little girl. I’m going to teach you what happens when you think you can act however you want.”

“Don’t act like you know me! You don’t know a damn thing about me!”

“I know you’re a foul-mouthed little bitch who’s going to learn what pain really is.”

I made a noise. I think it was supposed to be a sentence, but it came out more like a grunt or snap. Snap, I think is the operative word.

Before I knew it, I had the front door swung open and I charged outside with the phone still in my hand. I can’t say what exactly happened here—it was a blur of noise, color, and anger.

I do remember I was on the front lawn, roaring at the top of my lungs a tirade of threats, ravings, and random cursing. I was circling around, as though I expected an army to appear and attack me. You know the Incredible Hulk? That was me—little Stacy Morris on the McAllister lawn.

When I finished my harangue, I spiked the phone into the ground like a football and stormed back into the house. I slammed the door shut behind me and, just like that, all my anger and fury was joined—but not replaced—by panic and horror when I saw on the clock it was almost nine-thirty. My hands slapped to my mouth, and a chill rushed through my blood that was so horrible, I nearly burst into tears.

I stood there repeating, “Oh no … oh no …”

In my head, it was more like: I screwed this up—who does that asshole think he is—I’m so stupid—my medicine, how could I have forgotten my medicine—I should’ve called the cops—yelling on the lawn like a crazy person—Crazy Stacy, Crazy Stacy—how could I have screwed this up—he’s still out there—what if I woke up the kids—oh God, they’re going to send me away—I’m so stupid

“Okay,” I said, rubbing my temples. “Okay, okay, okay. I can fix this. I need to take my medicine. Take my medicine, and that’ll straighten me out. Then I need to call the police. I need to—” You left the phone outside, you idiot. “Okay. Take my medicine. Then I get the phone back. And then I’ll—HOLY FUCK!”

I was so caught up in trying to salvage my mess, I didn’t notice the large figure sneak up behind me. I turned around, only to catch the glimmer of something shiny and a hand grab at my throat.

We tumbled over the couch and he was on top of me, strangling with one hand and a knife in his other pressing into my cheek. He was talking, but I didn’t hear—I flailed and thrashed, trying to get away.

I was able to reach the coffee table and grab something to hit him with. It was small and light, but I didn’t care and jabbed at his face. That stunned him enough for me to slip away. I was stalled by something stinging into my shoulder, so I snatched a nearby lamp and smashed it over his head.

He crumbled to the floor in a heap, and I bolted for the bathroom. I slammed the door shut, locked it, and stumbled backwards into the shower door—almost crashing through it.

I sank to the floor, my back pressed against the shower, expecting him to kick down the door any second. I eventually crawled to the sink and washed some cold water over my face, hoping it would help me calm down and organize my thoughts, but that wasn’t happening. The room wasn’t just pulsing, it was spinning. My heart pounded, and a dozen voices were piling on top of each other—not to mention that chainsaw still going off.

I saw in the mirror a nasty gash on my face, while the right shoulder of my hoodie was turning a dark maroon—apparently that sting I felt was him slicing my back. The bathroom door still hadn’t kicked in, so I dunked my face in some more water and tried as best I could to assess the situation.

Unknown Caller had managed to get into the house—likely while I was throwing my tantrum, because I’m an idiot. The small and light object I used to fight him off turned out to be my cell phone—now broken and useless—and the house phone was outside. And most distressing, since he hadn’t kicked the door in yet, he might go upstairs and hurt Timmy and Beth.

I tried to come up with some sort of plan, but my mind was a jumbled mess. Should I stay in the bathroom and hope Unknown Caller: a) doesn’t break the door down, b) doesn’t try to hurt the kids, c) maybe leave on his own, and d) the cops happen to show up? Do I try to sneak outside and get the phone? Do I try to get the kids first? Should I even be waiting—if he was unconscious from the lamp, maybe I was wasting time even trying to plan something out?

And I promise you, as coherent as I’m describing my thought process, it was nothing like that in my head.

“I need my medicine,” I groaned. “I can’t think straight without my medicine …”

But through all the jumbled thoughts, pulsing walls, spinning floor, and that chainsaw … there was one fact I kept coming back to.

The McAllister kids were in danger and their safety was entrusted to me. Whatever happened to me, I couldn’t let anything happen to them. I then found myself thinking of Layla. If I hadn’t offered to babysit instead of her, Unknown Caller would’ve been doing this to her.

I saw Mr. McAllister’s straight-razor where I left it on the sink, and I had this dawning moment of clarity. I was the Babysitter, and the welfare of Mr. and Mrs. McAllister’s children was up to me.

And in this situation, with a murderer in the house, who would they rather have defending their children’s lives? A scared and confused girl, hiding in the bathroom and hoping the cops come? Or an emotionally unstable, paranoid schizophrenic prone to fits of narcissistic rage?

I picked up the straight-razor, and smiled.

I peeled off my hoodie and slipped out of the bathroom, razor in hand. I looked by the couch and saw no sign of Unknown Caller.

The front door was still shut, so I decided not to get my hopes up and assume he just fled the scene. I kept my back pinned against the wall—which, unfortunately, left a trail of blood from my shoulder—and made my way to the stairs.

My plan was to get upstairs, wake the kids, and get them to a neighbor’s house to call the cops. And if I happened upon Unknown Caller along the way, I had handy Mr. Razor.

I was halfway up, when I heard two voices shriek like the sound of scratching glass and my heart jumped into my chest. Every nerve went on fire, and I bolted up the remaining steps three at a time.

I followed the noise down the hall to the parents’ room and found a figure crouched in front of a closet where the screaming was coming from.

I heard myself make a noise I didn’t even know I was capable of and took one step onto the bed and launched off like a missile. I only weigh a hundred and fifteen pounds, but I was enough to crash that bastard off the kids and into the nearby wall. Wasting no time, I grabbed Timmy and Beth’s hands and led them out.

We reached the front door and the kids were ahead, but I stopped and told them to go on without me. Timmy started talking—I think he was trying to convince me to go with them. I can’t really say, because at that point I was in my own world. His voice just sounded like a test pattern to me.

With the straight-razor gripped in my hand, I said, “You go on ahead and tell the neighbors to call the police. Me and Mr. Caller are going to have a chat.”

He said something else, but I was already on my way back up the stairs. When I returned to the parents’ room, Unknown Caller was up and shaking out the cobwebs.

He grimaced and said something, but I wasn’t listening. It was too dark to get a clear look, but he was a thick bastard with a wide face and thinning hair. I could see he was soft, and I kept imagining him leering from outside—not just at me, but other girls before me. Waiting for the right time to jump them from behind.

Before he finished talking, I lunged at him with the razor. “Stacy smash!”

I doubt he was expecting a lot of things that night. I don’t think he expected me to react to his phone calls the way I did. I’m sure he wasn’t expecting me to fight back the way I had. And I’m dead certain he was not expecting me to hit him as hard as I did.

I cracked him in the jaw with all my weight and sent him stumbling. Before he knew what was happening, I wrapped my arms around his neck.

With me on his back, he tried slamming me against the wall, but I didn’t feel it. He yanked at my hair and continued hurling me into the walls and furniture, but nothing hurt. I was in full nuclear mode with adrenaline pumping full blast and nothing was going to stop me.

While he tried fighting me off, I slashed and dug away at his face and neck with the razor. He stumbled towards the door, desperately trying to shake me off his back, and lurched to the stairs. After taking one step, he dove—I guess hoping to crush me on the landing.

But I saw what was coming and let go midair. I took a hard landing on the stairs, but he toppled down and slammed to the floor with a nasty thud. When I saw he was still moving, I jumped the rest of the way.

I’ll admit … I might have shouted, “Banzai!”

I crashed my elbow into his back and returned the razor to its place at his throat. I ground and dug the blade into his neck and felt something warm, wet, and sticky soak my hands. I wrenched the razor away, taking a thick spurt of blood with it, and Unknown Caller gurgled, twitched, and then belched before going limp.

I sat on top of him for a minute, trying to catch my breath, and felt the physical toll I put my body through starting to set in. The room was still spinning, and my thoughts were still jumbled, but I felt less in frenzy and more disheveled.

“Okay. Now I take my medicine.”

* * *

The police arrived shortly after. At first, I was surprised they got there so fast, but not after I found out why. Timmy and Beth had run to the neighbors and asked them to call the police—but someone had already called to report a crazy girl shouting obscenities on the McAllister lawn.

The two officers came into the house to find me sitting on the stairs, drinking apple juice, near the body of a man whose neck had been severely lacerated.

There was a lot of noise and confusion after that, but luckily it wasn’t due to me having another episode. The two patrolmen that found me and Unknown Caller did a lot of shouting and threw a lot of questions at me, and when the rest of the police showed up, there was even more screaming and yelling.

Fortunately, by that point my medicine had kicked in and I was exhausted anyway—so I’m happy to say I was very cooperative.

I spent the night in the hospital. My shoulder needed some stitches, but aside from a lot of bruises, it was nothing serious.

After some investigating, the cops confirmed Unknown Caller was in fact a serial killer responsible for the deaths of at least four girls my age. The calling when they’re alone and breaking in was all part of his M.O. I didn’t pay much attention to his backstory—history of mental problems, abusive parents, issues with women … blah-blah-blah.

Even though I was assured I had a pretty solid self-defense case, that wasn’t what worried me. As freaked out as the McAllisters were to find a line of cop cars outside their house when they returned home, it was nothing compared to my parents when they found out what happened.

We had to come clean about my own history of mental problems, and for a while, there was a lot of bad air about my being left in charge of the McAllister kids. I had a feeling I’d set back any goodwill I gained with my parents several years.

The news had a field day with the whole thing and actually painted me as some sort of hero. This was helped by Timmy and Beth McAllister who, more than anyone, really went to bat for me.

They told anyone who’d listen how I saved them from the guy that broke into their house and how, if it wasn’t for me, they might’ve been killed. I instantly fell in love with both of them.

I’ll admit my being dubbed the “hero” of this weirdness is pretty dubious. But it was because of them a positive spin came out of this whole screwed up episode where Crazy Stacy Morris saved the day.

Things are better now. I’m still taking my medicine. I’m something of a local hero. My stance with my parents is about the same. But funniest of all, I was just called by Mr. and Mrs. McAllister.

They have plans next week, and Timmy and Beth are insisting I babysit.


©2015 by M. Walsh

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