One of my favorites, I really hope you like it too. Enjoy!
Word Count: 794
My mom was always telling me, “Be nice Calvin. Not everyone appreciates your acerbic wit.”
So that’s what I was doing, all right? I was being nice. I got dressed up, I went over to her house. I knocked on the door. Only she wasn’t the one that answered.
Let me back up.
Her name is Caralee and she is just as pretty as that sounds, she really is. I ought to know. I’ve been watching her since they moved in next door two months ago. I watch her on the bus, in class, I avoid her eyes, but I watch her in the hallway too. After school I watch her right across from my bedroom window.
Her curtains are lacy, gauzy. White, I guess, but it’s more like transparent at night, you know?
Yeah. You know.
My favorite of her nighties is the pink one. It’s short, has this ruffled edge that’s supposed to make it longer but doesn’t hide much. It suggests. It teases, instead.
That’s the one she wears when she talks on the phone. I don’t know who she talks to for so long but she really likes them, I can tell you that. Likes ‘em til her finger’s tired if you know what I mean.
No, wait a minute. I’m not some creep. I’m really not. I’m just observant, that’s all. And lucky maybe, too. I watch but I never record. Caralee will never find herself on the internet for all the wrong reasons because of me.
I’d never do that to a girl.
See? Not a creep.
Anyway, I was sitting on the back porch and I must have looked like I was mooning or something because my mom came by and sat down beside me and offered her two cents. “You oughtta just ask the girl out, you know.”
Mom’s are crazy like that–how do they always know what you’re thinking about?
“Oil and water don’t mix, Ma,” I said thinking about her beautiful face and my ugly mug.
“Oil and vinegar makes a fine salad dressing though.” She said and now you know where I get my wit from.
I grimaced at her but I didn’t really mean it. Not really. I gotta hand it to her. My Ma’s got great insight into the world.
So, back to my story. Like I said, I got all spiffed up, fall colors, combed my hair and everything.
Oh, and did I mention that it was Halloween? So of course like the smart ass that I am, I dressed up too.
Maybe I had it in my mind to trick or treat with her or something. That would be cool, right? Unique, anyway. It would make an impression. Show up in my mask, surprise her, invite her out for a fun evening. What girl could resist that?
It played better in my head, I assure you.
So there I am in my mask and I’m smiling underneath only she won’t be able to tell because–well, the mask and I knock knock knock and the door opens–
Let me just tell you that I don’t scare easy. I don’t scare ever, practically. That’s not bragging that’s just the truth.
I wasn’t scared then.
But I was later.
My practiced jocularity stuck in my throat when I saw him. A him, not her, not Caralee. For a moment we just stood there staring at one another, he in his mask, me in mine. I had this crazy urge to say Trick or Treat to diffuse it somehow. Defuse him–right off the bat he felt like a bomb–a rage bomb ready to go off.
Then I started to worry–where was Caralee? Who was this guy? What was going on?
And the first nigglings of fear rose up like a bee flying too close to my face, only I couldn’t swat it away.
He yanked me inside then, hard, wrenching my arm because I wasn’t expecting it. Then before I got my bearings he’d shoved the door closed and locked it.
I slowly pulled off my clown mask and stared at him. He left his on. I heard a whimper then and swung around and saw Caralee, tied to a dining chair, her mouth taped. Her eyes told me everything I needed to know.
That’s when the fear spiked through me, nonstop like I’d stuck one finger into a light socket. It spread all the way to my toes.
I joined Caralee at the dining table. I felt compelled to say something impressive but the only thing that came out was ‘hi’ and that seemed lame under the circumstances. Then Mr. Mask taped my mouth and that was that.
It was a weird first date.