Flash Fiction 6- The Black-Eyed Kids

The challenge this week was to write a story using the urban legend of the Black Eyed Kids.  Here is my attempt.  It was fun to write, but I really had never heard of these Black-Eyed kids before.  Hope you enjoy!

The Black Eyed Kids

By Melissa Davis

My feet crunched in the leaves that had just fluttered to the ground like broken wings.  I smelled the sweet smells of Fall as I walked up the path.  It was Halloween, my favorite time of year, and I was headed up the path to my house from the small neighborhood pond.

I opened the door with ease and breathed in the pumpkin spice that was filling up the air.  I had just plugged it into the wall before my walk and it was definitely doing its job as I no longer smelled the paws from the lopsided dog under the table.  I made myself something to eat and waited for the evening when I would pass out treats to the kids that Trick-or-Treated in my neighborhood.  My wife was in Seattle visiting our grandchildren, so I was alone this year.

It didn’t take long for the usual steady flow of kids through the yard.  Every year I greeted the witches, zombies, super heroes, and monsters.  Every year I contemplated sitting lifeless on the porch and scary the stuffing out of them, but I just did not have the heart to ruin their night.  No matter how much fun that would have been for me I did not want to be that grumpy old man that everyone makes stories about.  We had an old man like that when I was a kid.  I remember him to this day.  He was an old persnickety sort.  He grunted at you when you said hello and was always staring at you through his window.  You could tell by the gentle sway of the curtain as it raised an inch or two and then swished closed.  One year his wife had disappeared and all the neighborhood kids swore that he had poisoned her then buried her in the backyard.  Kids would do that.  They create a huge story to deal with the world around them rather than rationalize what could actually have happened.  We later found out that one night she had a stroke that left her in a nursing home and we did feel a tad bit guilty, as guilty as the most carefree can feel.

They came in swarms at first.  One after the other, a steady stream of little people armed and ready with their little buckets and bags expecting to loot as many goodies as possible from each door they visited.  I loved to see them, especially since my own kids were grown and far away.  It made me remember how much fun it was to see my own child’s excitement as they counted every single piece and sorted their treasures into different piles: those that must be eaten right away, those they would trade with their friends, and those they would have to hide from their candy hungry parents.

When the parade of monsters had finally ceased, I picked up my candy bowl and went inside for the night.  Now it was time to put on some classic Hitchcock and treat myself to some extra butter theatre style popcorn.  I was halfway into the movie when the doorbell rang.

I, like that grumpy old man, peeped through the curtain from my couch and could not really see who was at my door.  “Who’s there?”  I called gruffly to the door.  I really did not want to get up.  There was no verbal answer, but the doorbell rang yet again.  I swore under my breath and pushed myself off the couch.  “Don’t these damn kids know what time it is?”

I opened the door and was about to give the kids in front of me an earful, but something was not quite right about these kids.  You couldn’t tell it from the way they dressed.  They looked normal in their jeans, hooded sweatshirts, and sneakers.  It wasn’t their clothes that set them apart from other kids their age.  I couldn’t help but stare helplessly at the two in front of me.  I was simply speechless.  Their faces were paler than curdled cream and their eyes were almost sunken into their sockets.  The eyes were black as coal.  There was no white, no blues or greens looking back at me, just a black abyss that made me take a step back.  I wanted to close the door, but I was frozen in place.  I tried to speak, but my voice was caught in my throat and not even a squeak would pass through my lips.  I wanted to close my eyes, to turn away from the feeling of desperation and fear that crept up my spine.  It was as if the world stopped spinning and I was caught in this one moment in time.

I finally managed to gulp past the lump in my throat and asked them “Can I help you?”  Was that my voice that shook so easily?  Were those my fingers trembling on the doorknob?

“We need to use your phone.”  The first one said as he looked straight at me.

I felt myself reach out to open the screen door that separated us.  My fingers touched the latch and I looked down at them.  Why was I opening this door?  It was way too late for these kids to be out.  I was alone and there did not appear to be another living soul in sight.  “Why do you need to use the phone?”  I asked them as I tilted my head to look at them closer.

“Let us in!  We need to use your phone now.”  The second child said to me.  There was something in his voice that made the room seem smaller and the air felt lifeless.  I felt trapped within myself, unable to move, simply stuck in a time and place that scared the crap out of me.

When my fingers once again started to play with the latch I wondered what the hell was wrong with me.  I was not going to let these two into my house.  Why should I?  There was no sane reason to let them in at this hour of night.  “Where are your parents?”  I asked them.

“Let us in now!”  The first one said and this time he grabbed at the door with so much strength that I thought he was going to rip the door right off the hinges.  I stepped back quickly and closed the wooden door before he could get the screen open.  I locked the door and I could hear the banging of their clammy fists trying to break through the screen and glass.  Their claws were scratching through the metal mesh and I jumped back almost expecting any minute for them to burst through the windows.  I ran to each door and checked the bolts.  I checked every window to make sure they were latched shut.  I went back to the front door with my cell phone in hand.  I switched the porch lights on and heard a hiss so loud I thought perhaps the neighbor’s cat was on the porch.  I opened the curtains, just an inch, like an old doddering fool and jumped back when I saw them running towards the window.  They were blinded by the porch lights as it seared their black marble eyes and were about to crash into my house.  I turned on my lamps to the right of me and yanked off the shade.  I tilted the lamp like a rock star serenading his mike and pointed it straight at the black eyed kids heading towards me.  They shrieked louder as the light from the lamp seared their eyes and they darted off in the opposite direction.

I called 911 and tried to report the black eyed kids who had tried to enter my home that night.  It was clear that the dispatch was just trying to console me into believing that it was just some teenagers out to play a trick on Halloween, but I knew differently.  When I was brave enough to open the door in the morning there were scratch marks in my door.  The screen had been shredded to pieces and the long marks on the door were stained with blood.  There were shredded finger nails and skin that had been left behind in their attempts to claw their way into my house.  These black-eyed kids were nasty little buggers.  I had never heard of them before, but I would certainly never forget them.  From this point on I would sleep with all my lights on, all the doors locked, and a flashlight in hand.

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