I check my watch- 3:00. Perfect, I think to myself. When I look back up again, a white van with windows painted over- yeah, you know the type- pulls up. Right on time.
I put on my best scared little girl face and sure enough, when I started to produce fake tears, the man pulled up next to me and rolled down the window.
“Hi, sweetheart. Where’s your mommy?”
I sniffle and look down. “She’s at work. She told me I had to walk home by m-myself. I’m so scared.”
“Oh don’t cry honey. What do you say I give you a ride home? I’ll even let you pet my puppy and I'll let you eat some candy."
Another sniffle. "Really?"
"Of course. Why would I let a sweet little girl walk all by herself?"
"I don't live too far from here. I need to get home soon though, my little brother is all alone waiting for me."
The man smiles to himself, but quickly hides it. "Of course sweetheart. Do you know the address?"
"Perfect. Could you tell me so I know where to go?"
Another nod. "It's 495 South Mariam Way."
"Okay. I know where that is."
"Mhm. Do you have any cameras at your house? I just want to make sure your mommy knows you got home alright."
"No cameras sir, but I'll call right when we get there."
Another sly smile. "Okay. Go ahead and climb in the back."
I nod, I open the door, and climb into the backseat. The van smells of… dog and smoke. The seats are covered in fur and there are candy wrappers on the carpet.
Wow there's actually a puppy this time. Convenient.
"All ready to hit the road?" He turns to look at me from the front seat. I take in his features for the first time: dark green eyes, dirty blond hair, and a bright smile. Not what I normally find they look like, but it'll do.
"So where were you walking home from?"
I see his eyes in the rear view mirror. "I was coming home from the library. I wanted to get a new book."
The dog climbs up onto my lap. It was a small beagle puppy with a pair of sparkling blue eyes and a wagging tail.
"Her name is Vannah. And next to you is the bag of candy. Try to keep it away from her"
"Okay, sir." I pet Vannah's head.
"No need to call me 'sir'. My name is Robert. What about you?"
"My name's Wendi."
"So, Wendi, did you end up finding a book?"
"Hmm? Book?" I meet his confused eyes in the rear view mirror and remember what I had told him. "Oh, no I didn't."
A silence settles over the van and I see that the windshield of the van has a few cracks and is in need of a deep cleaning, but that was nothing compared to the stains on the carpet. I'm not sure what they were from, but not anything good; that I am sure of. After a few more minutes of me zoning in-and-out of conversation, we pull up to my house. The man unlocks the door, walks over to my door, pulling it open, and helps me out of the van.
The two of us walk over to the door, and I unlock it, turning to the man. "Would you like to meet Thierry?"
"Sure. If he's just half as sweet as you, he's going to be wonderful." He smiles.
I push the door open and step into the house. As soon as I cross into the foyer, I breathe in the overwhelming scent of cleaners and scented candles.
The man coughs and I assume he smells it too.
When Thierry walks into the room, I hear both of our parents walk in behind us, but I know the man does not since he doesn't take his eyes off of my tiny brother, who has dark brown hair and piercing blue eyes.
My parents creep closer to him. My brother's stomach growls. Another step closer. Another one. The man screams and thuds on the tile floor. My parents smile at me, and take the man's body into the kitchen. I'd feel bad about the whole situation, but mother told me to bring home dinner and these types of humans are just so easy to fool.