A babysitter is watching after some kids to make some quick cash when the phone calls start... But the killer is closer than anyone could imagine!
The Babysitter by Rob Fields
Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com
Produced by Daniel Wilder
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I’m walking down Sheffield Avenue, which is located over in Strickfield Commons. As I’m looking at all of the beautiful homes that line each and every block here, I remember that everybody and anybody who lives in Strickfield knows that this is where the rich people live. Further down this street, I can see the wall that surrounds the properties where all of those Mirrens live. It must be nice to have the kind of money that they’ve got. They sure don’t have to take babysitting jobs just to be able to make money. “Kelsey?” a woman calls out to me. I quickly come out of my thoughts and turn to see Mrs. Nancy Marsden standing in the front door of the house I’m supposed to be babysitting for. “Sorry, I guess I got lost in my own thoughts,” I say to her in my mousy voice. She gives me a little smile. “Well, come on in. My husband and I are getting ready to leave. We were just waiting on you.” I turn and walk to the front porch. I walk up the steps and Mrs. Marsden steps aside to let me come in. This house always smells like potpourri. Definitely a pleasant smell. This beautiful house isn’t one of those mansions the Mirrens live in, but I would live in a house like this if I had that kind of money. The potpourri smell is overtaken by the smells of something savory, which makes my stomach growl. Then Jonathan Marsden himself comes out of the kitchen. “Kelsey, glad you could finally make it.” “Um, aren’t you two going out tonight?” I ask. “Oh, we are,” he says. “I’m actually putting dinner on the table for you and the kids.” One of the perks about babysitting for the Marsdens? They feed me real good. Either they give me money to order something to have delivered or Jonathan makes dinner. I take off my coat and let Mrs. Marsden have it. Then I go into the dining room and see three very nice turkey dinners on the table. “Oh, you’re way too kind,” I say. “I’ve got to take good care of you, Kelsey, since you take good care of our kids,” he says with a wink. “Sit.” I go and sit at the table. Then the two children I’m babysitting come in and sit. Stephen and David are across from each other, nine and ten. They both give me those dirty looks. “Can’t you get a better babysitter?” Stephen complains to his dad. “Yeah, she’s such a nerd,” David adds. “Kelsey wears those stupid glasses and she can’t even play video games that good.” Jonathan gives them a gentle sigh. “Now, you two . . . Kelsey takes good care of you both, doesn’t she?” They give me their dirty looks again. As you can tell, they really don’t like me that much. Still, they can’t tell their dad that I hurt them in any way. No, I treat them with kid gloves and pretty much let them do whatever they want. When the kids don’t reply, Jonathan tells us to go ahead and eat. Nancy comes into the kitchen. “We’d better get going, dear. We don’t want to be late.” “Right!” Jonathan agrees. When Nancy leaves, Jonathan comes up behind me and pats my shoulder. “You’ve got this under control. As always, I’ll pay you when we get back. You’ll probably get a bonus if there are no issues.” Jonathan and Nancy leave. Now it’s just me and the kids. They start giving me a hard time again about my glasses and how I suck at video games. Then Stephen tells me the only reason their dad hires me to babysit them is because he says I’m a cute little thing. Then David tells me I look like a little girl. Sigh . . . I sure wish my body would have developed as much as my brain. They’re right when they say I look really young for my age; I’ve been told that I look like I’m twelve, when I’m really much older. I can’t even get into R-rated movies without having my I.D. with me. After we finish dinner, I go ahead and do the dishes. The kids are running around and acting like . . . kids. I have to tell them to settle down. When I’m done with the dishes, I join the boys in the living room. Then they attack me and start wrestling me. I end up getting a little rough with them, not enough to hurt them of course. In time, I get them to sit down and we watch a couple of movies (their choices). When it gets to be around ten o’clock, I tell them it’s time to head upstairs and go to bed. Of course, they always have to ask me if I can let them stay up a little later. I bend a little and give them another half hour. Then I finally make them go upstairs. In fact, I make sure they’re both in their pajamas and getting into bed. One other time before, I caught them messing around in their parents’ room. “Don’t even think about raiding any of the other rooms up here,” I tell them. “I can hear you downstairs and I’ll be up.” “Yeah, you’re just waiting for Dad to get home,” David quips. “Well, yeah,” I say. “He’s got to pay me, right?” “And then you can show him your boobs,” Stephen teases. I open my mouth wide. “Stephen! You are much too young to be talking about things like that!” I point at both of them. “Now get to bed! Remember, I’m downstairs and I’ll hear you if you’re messing around up here. And if I hear you . . . I’m coming back up here and killing you both.” They both give me pouty sighs and finally get under their covers. I wait a bit before I turn out the light and head back downstairs. I sit in a recliner and turn on the TV. I turn the volume down enough so I can hear it and not disturb the kids. There’s a news program that shows the Statton house, which is just a few blocks away, still here in Stickfield Commons. A reporter is talking about a murder that happened there just last night. Turns out the three children who lived in that house were all murdered – violently! They’ve been reporting on a lot of kids being murdered in the last few months. They obviously haven’t caught whomever did it. I click the remote and try to find something to watch. It’s one of those nights where nothing’s on. I adjust my new glasses and wish I hadn’t broken my other ones. I guess that’s what happens when you get careless, right? I turn off the TV and pull out my smartphone. Just as I’m about to mess around on it, I hear the telephone ring. It surprises me that the Marsdens still have a landline, as rich as they are. I get up and answer the phone. “Hello? Marsden residence.” “How are the children this evening?” this weird voice asks me. “Excuse me?” “How are the children this evening?” the voice repeats. “Um, can I help you with something?” I demand impatiently. CLICK!! “Stupid crank callers . . .” I mutter as I hang up the receiver. I go back to the living room and sit down with my smartphone. I open up Facebook and check out my notifications. Then I mess around on Twitter and post a few responses. After that, I look at some of my pics. After a while, the telephone rings again. I groan and get up to go and answer it. I pick up the receiver. “Hello? Marsden residence.” “Don’t you think you should be keeping a closer eye on the children?” It’s that weird voice again. “Seriously, what do you want? The Marsdens aren’t home right now. You’ll have to call back later. Preferably tomorrow morning,” I say, with a bit more impatience. “I wouldn’t get too comfortable if I were you.” CLICK!! I groan and hang up the receiver. I realize I have to go to the bathroom. After I finish, I’m washing my hands. Then I’m looking at myself in the mirror. “Yeah, right. I’m a cute little girl? Give me a break,” I mutter to myself. I look myself over in the mirror again. The best I can do to describe myself is that I look like a small beanpole version of Velma from “Scooby-Doo”. I’ve got the same dark hair as Velma, except mine is straight and goes halfway down my back. I also have freckles on my cheeks. Then I look down at my chest. I can’t believe that Stephen would attack me and talk about my boobs. Okay, I’m not endowed like many of the cheerleaders at Strickfield High, but I’d like to think that I have enough to at least tell people I’m really a woman and not a little girl. So frustrating . . . I turn away from the mirror and leave the bathroom, turning off the light. And . . . the telephone’s ringing again. I groan again and go pick up the receiver. “Yes?” “Did you even check to see if all of the doors were locked?” A pause. “Kelsey!!” My eyes open real wide! “Seriously, what do you want?” “I’d be checking those doors if I were you.” CLICK!! I growl and slam the receiver down. Then I move and check the doors. They’re all locked up tight. I even check the windows down here. I mean, the Marsdens wouldn’t have them unlocked anyway, right? Not in the middle of November. Seriously, what does this person want? Why does he keep calling here? I take a deep breath. Keep it together now. It’s just some idiot who’s trying to scare you for some cheap thrills. I return to the telephone and wait for it to ring again, which it does. I pick it up. “Now what?!” “You should have been checking the doors to make sure you could UNLOCK them. I’ll be coming for you very soon, Kelsey. There will be NO ESCAPE for you.” This time I’m the one who hangs up on him. I need to go and check on the kids. Then the telephone rings again! I swear I am going to rip the phone cord out! I pick up the receiver. “Leave me alone!” I yell. “In a little while, you’ll be more alone than you think . . . permanently! I’ll be coming for you in just a short while! You will belong to me!” CLICK!! I have had it! I hang up the receiver and then pick it back up again. I dial 0 for the operator. Yes!! I can’t believe I actually got an answer – from an actual person! Must be the phone service the Marsdens are using. “Yes, I’ve been receiving these harassing phone calls. I don’t know where they’re coming from, but the caller’s been threatening me.” The operator tells me to call her back again if it happens again and she would try and trace the call. And that’s the end of that conversation for the moment. Not even thirty seconds after I’ve hung up the telephone, it rings again. I pick it up and hope it’s maybe the operator giving me a big break and telling me she’s found the creep who’s been calling me. No such luck . . . “You’re a very bad babysitter, Kelsey! Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you should go and check on the children?! You’d better hurry . . . because I’m coming for you. NOW!!” CLICK!! I quickly call the operator back and tell her what happened. She tells me to hang up and she will call me back shortly. After hanging up, I turn to go and check on the kids. I hold myself at how scared I really am. I shriek when the telephone rings again. I quickly turn and pick up the receiver. “Leave me alone, God damn you!” It’s the operator calling me back! I quickly apologize! There’s no time for pleasantries as she tells me that I need to get out of the house immediately! She’s just told me that . . . that . . . the calls are coming from another line inside this very house!! She tells me she’s already got the police coming. I hang up and quickly make my way to the front door. I’m already hearing the sirens coming. As soon as I’m outside, the police car parks right across the street. Two police officers get out. Then the driver opens the rear door and lets a college-aged girl get out. I rush to the officers and explain everything that’s been happening. “I can go in and check it out,” the girl tells the officers. “Maybe clues got left behind.” “Not without one of us backing you up, Devereux,” Officer Strowe tells her. “Remember, even though you’re working with us, you’re still a college intern.” “I understand,” Devereux replies. “Which one of you is accompanying me?” “I will,” Officer Shuldon offers. Officer Shuldon accompanies the Devereux girl to the house. They both go in and look around. It’s several minutes later before they come back out. “There’s nobody upstairs,” Officer Shuldon tells us. “Devereux and I both checked out the upstairs.” Devereux says, “The two beds in the kids’ room were slept in, but they’re not there now. Officer Shuldon heard me calling for them, but we never got an answer.” “They’re really not there?” I shriek. “Are you serious?!” I run away from them and head back into the house. I don’t even hear the officers calling out behind me. I race up the stairs and into the boys’ room. Sure enough, Stephen and David are nowhere to be found. “Oh, my god!” I scream. “What am I going to say to the Marsdens?!”
It’s a little after 1:00am when I cut through a yard and walk into the wooded area between there and my house. Boy, did I ever hear about it from the Marsdens after the police called them and got them to come home. Needless to say, they refused to pay me. How did somebody just come inside the house and take the kids like that? How?! I’m halfway through the woods when I hear some twigs breaking just behind me. I gulp and turn in another direction. Seriously, who did I piss off? Who wants to kill me? Where did I go wrong? I run out of the woods and back out to well-lit streets. I keep moving and know I’ll be home soon. Just then, a car pulls up to me. The passenger window rolls down. It’s Devereux, that police intern. “Are you all right, Kelsey?” she asks me. “You want me to take you home? I don’t mind.” I look back in the direction of the woods and know I don’t want to face down that creep, if it turns out he’s really following me. Without a second thought, I open the door and get in. After pulling the door shut, Devereux starts driving. “Thank you!” I exclaim gratefully. “No problem. I just want to make sure you get to where you need to be.” “I remember who you are now. You’ve been on the news before. You’re Raigen Devereux. When the cops said you were in intern, I thought your name sounded familiar. You’ve been helping the Strickfield Police Department solve their hardest cases.” “Why, yes, you’re right,” she says. “I’ve certainly earned plenty of credit hours, that’s for sure. I was just told today that there would be a detective position waiting for me at the Strickfield Police Department after I graduate from the university.” I feel sad. “Too bad you couldn’t solve what happened to Stephen and David.” There’s a brief silence. Then Devereux talks to me. “I wouldn’t be too worried about the Marsden kids. When it comes to them, they’re just fine. In fact, there’s really no mystery to solve regarding them. I’d even be willing to bet that they’re explaining everything to their parents right now. But make no mistake, Kelsey Bishop . . . you are in a world of shit. I told you I’d be coming for you.” I gulp as she reaches into her jacket pocket and pulls out something that looks like a little speaker. Then she says into it, “Didn’t I, Kelsey?” It sounds just like the voice I heard over the phone. She drops the voice changer. “And now . . . you belong to me.” And before I can do anything, Devereux lashes out fast and punches me hard in the face. Hard enough to knock me out . . .
I wake up and look around. I find that I’m secured to my dining room table. Then I recognize where I’m at. The next thing I know, Raigen Devereux comes into the room from the kitchen and is looking right at me. She looks so . . . evil! I’m so scared now! “What do you want with me?” I cry. “Why are you doing this to me? What have I ever done to you?” Raigen pulls up a chair and sits down beside me. “Let’s answer those questions, shall we? First question: What do I want with you? Answer: To punish you most severely. Second question: Why am I doing this to you? Answer: Because punishing the wicked and the corrupt, such as yourself, is what I was born to do. Final question: What have you ever done to me? Answer: Nothing to me personally. However, you made the most unfortunate mistake of attracting my attention, Kelsey Bishop.” Raigen stands up. “So tell me . . . How does it feel to make the news? How does it feel knowing that you’ve viciously murdered so many children?” “I didn’t – !” I start to protest. Raigen raises her hand sharply to quiet me. “My proof!” She turns to a little table she’s got set up that has multiple instruments on it and picks up a pair of broken glasses. She has plastic gloves on her hands. “Recognize these? You should. They’re yours. I discovered them at the last crime scene, which was just last night – at the Statton house. I could have easily handed these over to the police. They would have fingerprinted them and found you themselves. But I decided that you should be next to satisfy my bloodlust. Of course, I have to make sure that I have sufficient evidence. I must make sure that you’re a hundred percent guilty before I pass sentence. “After secretly conducting my own investigation, I discovered one commonality with all of the child murders that have been happening here at Strickfield Commons. You! In every interview that the police have conducted, each parent said that you were the babysitter at each of the murders. You see, I’m there at each crime scene when the parents are being questioned. Remember, I work with the police. I’m not just there to gain credit hours. They rely on me to help them solve cases. Not to brag, but I do make the papers quite a bit with this beautiful brain of mine. On the one hand, I gain honor for solving the cases. But what the police don’t know – that you are finding out – is that I make the papers in a second way.” Her stare is really scaring me now. “I am also known as the Angel of Death! Your society has labeled me a serial killer. Perhaps I am. But you certainly are. Why would you kill children? They’re still innocent and haven’t tasted corruption yet. Yet, you viciously slaughtered them without a second thought. Please, Kelsey . . . enlighten me. Why children?!” She raises her finger. “And stop denying it. I found blood on these broken glasses and did a match with one of the victims. It’s definitely not yours. But the true evidence is indeed in your fingerprints. And your name isn’t really Kelsey Bishop. It’s Mindy Arkman. You escaped from the Glennview Correctional Facility, which isn’t far from North Ridgeway – where I’m from. You’re much older than you appear. I believe your true age is actually twenty-eight!” Now I’m very angry! “Those fucking brats deserved everything they had coming to them! Why should they get to grow up in luxury while I was forced to live in poverty? All their parents do is leech off of us ordinary people. We bite away! We fight and claw! And we can never get ahead! Because fucking rich people make sure we’re put in our place. My mom gave up and blew her fucking brains out when she realized she couldn’t afford to care for me. I bounced around from one foster home to another. I got the living shit beat out of me from one home to the next. I finally saw what I needed to do and started taking my revenge. You’re right! I am twenty-eight! But I’m small enough to look like a brat, so I used that to my advantage. I made myself look like different girls and took babysitting jobs for rich families so I could fucking kill their brats and make their parents pay for putting me where I am now. I even steal their cash they have lying around when I find it. There! Is that what you want to hear?” Raigen gets up and turns on some more lights. She’s got photos taped up all over the dining room. So many photos. All of them are kids I’ve murdered over the years. She raises a mini- recorder and turns it off. “I turned this on once I saw you were going to confess. The police will find this here when they find your body.” She puts a note on the recorder that says PLAY ME and sets it down. I also see my smartphone. “The police will find all of your pictures on your phone as well. Seriously, why do you people insist on taking pictures of your victims?” I laugh scornfully. “Oh! You really expect me to believe you are the Angel of Death? You? You’re going to kill me? Look at you! You’re way too hot – like a fucking porn star, especially with those big tits!” Then I growl and start thrashing wildly. “Struggle all you want,” I hear Raigen say. “The tape is industrial strength and I’ve perfected my technique with the bungee cords. You’re staying right on that table, Mindy Arkman. And this is where the police will find your body. And, yes . . . I am going to kill you. I must!” I look her over again. It finally registers that she’s wearing a rubber apron. She’s even wearing . . . a fucking bathing suit on underneath her apron. “Oh, you finally noticed the swimwear,” Raigen says. “Killing you is going to be quite messy this time up. But . . . this is how it has to be.” Raigen takes a huge cutting knife off her table and approaches me. Oh, God . . . ! Why does she scare me so much with the way she looks at me?! She’s fucking pure evil living in this beautiful girl’s body! “Wait!” I scream. “You have to tell me what happened to Stephen and David Marsden! I looked in their bedroom. They weren’t there! You said they were both still alive! You owe me that before you kill me!” Raigen shakes her head. “I owe you nothing, except for the death you so deserve for each and every one of those children that you murdered in cold blood. All you need to know is that I will leave you in the very same way that you left all those kids. After that, I’ll take a shower and put my clothes back on. When I’m long gone, I’ll make my usual anonymous phone call to the Strickfield Police Department to let them know where to find you. It’s time to satisfy my bloodlust now.” I shriek as she raises the knife above me. “And now, Mindy Arkman . . . let the punishment fit the crime!” And then I scream as the knife comes down and plunges deep into my stomach. I think I even feel the tip of the blade scrap my spine! I feel her withdraw the knife. I scream again as she raises the knife again and stabs me hard one more time. I manage to hold on for one more raise of the knife before I finally die when the third thrust cuts into me.
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