Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
 
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame
Projects
Visitors
Contests
Search

He Could Take Care of his Sister

Story ID:11395
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Caldwell Idaho United States
Year:2017
Person:Fictional
View Comments (4)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
I entered into the Writer's Weekly 24-Hour Short Story contest this weekend.

I could not use more than 850 words.

Here is the topic I received and my entry.

TODAY'S TOPIC!

~~~~~

She wasn't too comfortable letting the children go trick or
treating by themselves but her son was almost 11 now. Surely he
could keep an eye on his little sister, right? She heard them
laughing as they stepped into the chilly night, with the
crackling of orange and red leaves under their feet. Less than an
hour later, she heard someone at the door once again, and
expected to see ghosts and goblins from the neighborhood.
However, it was her children. Back so soon? The children silently
walked past, handing her their candy bags for inspection. She
walked to the dining room table, and dumped the contents of her
daughter's bag on the table. And, that's when she saw...



This is my entry

He Could Take Care of his Sister

Sarah wasn't too comfortable letting the children go trick or treating by themselves but
her son was almost eleven now. Surely, Paul could keep an eye on his little sister, Susan, right?
She heard them laughing as they stepped into the chilly night, with the crackling of orange and
red leaves under their feet. Less than an hour later, she heard someone at the door once again,
and expected to see ghosts and goblins from the neighborhood. However, it was her children.
Back so soon? The children silently walked past, handing her their candy bags for inspection.
She walked to the dining room table, and dumped the contents of her son’s bag on the table.
And, that's when she saw the blood stains.

She turned to her very quiet children. Susan had removed her mask and stared back at her
with wide and frightened eyes. Paul had not removed his mask, but there were blood stains on
the front of his costume.

“Paul, you’re bleeding.”

His mask moved up and down as he protested in a voice muffled by his mask, “No I’m
not!”

“You are! Now, take that mask off.”

“Mom!”

“Now!” she demanded.

He reached for the mask with his left hand.

His mother noticed more blood on his hand.

Paul removed the mask.

Sarah gasped. Her son’s nose was bent to the left, obviously broken, and his eyes
were blackened. She rushed to him. “What happened to you, Paul? Were you in a fight?”

Susan and Paul looked at each. They both started to cry.

“What’s wrong?” Sarah demanded.

They couldn’t talk through theirs sobs. Sarah called the police. While they waited,
Sarah cleaned the blood from Paul’s face.

The policeman arrived, but could not get the children to talk. The police had a child
phycologist on staff. She was called in. Sarah was amazed at how the phycologist’s calmness
settled her children. With her prompting, their terrifying story was told.

They walked down a lonely lane, headed toward the center of town and a lot of homes
and, hopefully, lots of candy. A big kid dressed like a hobo came toward them. There was no
other kids near. It was just the three of them. The first clue that something might be wrong was
the smell of stale urine. It hit the kids like an invisible wall and made them gag.

They moved to the other side of the lane, to skirt around the, what Paul now knew to be
a man and not a big kid. He should have noticed he didn’t carry a bag for his treats. The smell
wafting from him was nauseating. He smiled at them. His teeth were yellowed by cigarette
smoke.

As they passed, the man leapt. grabbed Susan and tried to pull her toward the woods, but
Susan kicked and screamed. Paul joined the fray, kicking and punching the man, “Let go of my
sister, you stinky old man!”

The man backhanded Paul in the face. Paul felt and heard the cartilage in his nose break.
A bright light of pain blinded him, as he fell to the ground. Blood covered his face. He lay there
stunned. His sister’s screams brought him back to reality. He got to his feet and saw a heavy
branch on the ground. It was the size and shape of a baseball bat. He picked it up and ran toward
the sounds of his sister’s screams.

He caught up with them, hefted the club, and with all his might, swung and hit the man
in the upper arm. Paul thought he heard a bone break. The man’s grip on Susan loosened. She
struggled free. Paul turned to make sure she made it to safety. She screamed and pointed, “Paul,
lookout.”

Paul turned and saw the man almost on top of him. “You little bastard! You’re going
to pay for this!” the man growled.
Paul gripped the stick and made a swing that would have made his little league coach
proud. The stick connected with the side of the man’s head with a thud. Blood flew from his
crushed ear. He staggered and dropped to the ground.
Paul ran to his sister, took her hand in a tight grip and together they fled home. Both
of them shook with fear.. They don’t remember doing it, but they must have grabbed the
Halloween bags from the lane as they fled.

Police found the still-groggy man stumbling along the lane and took him into custody.

Sarah was correct, Paul could take care of his little sister.

Michael T. Smith

Word Count 759