If You Ever Hear Your Child Talk About ‘The Bloody Monsters’ Be Very, Very Afraid

I expected to feel the familiar touch of dry paper envelopes when I stuck my arm in the mailbox, but instead brushed up against the stiff plastic of what felt like a VHS tape. I grabbed hold and pulled the thing into my car to confirm it was an unmarked VHS tape.

Luckily my elderly parents still had a VCR hooked up and ready to go in their living room. It ironically sat next to a DVD player I gave them about 10 Christmases ago that they never set up.

My fingertips started to sweat when I pushed the tape into the VCR, hit play and looked up at the blue screen of the TV. I had no fucking clue what I was about to watch.

I took a deep breath when I saw the video open up to a grainy shot. I gulped that breath down when I immediately recognized the setting.

The fake wood paneling of the play room in Barbara’s double-wide trailer which housed her daycare was unmistakable. I can still remember the box of a room which was kept empty except for one basket of toys and was lined with a shockingly-thin carpet. All those years later, the stale, empty space still gave me a hollow feeling and tingle in my spine.

The video cut back to blue again then crackled back to life with a grainy image of myself at age seven. I could tell my exact age by the white character date read out in the corner of the screen. Dressed in Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles pajamas and a bowl cut with a cowlick which sat atop a melon head which was too big for my skinny, little body.

“What’s your name?” A groggy male voice I remembered as belonging to Barbara’s husband Dale asked my younger self as I looked away from the camera.

“Sam,” the younger me mumbled on the camera and winced against the sharp lighting which seemed to be shining in my face.

The camera quickly zoomed out and panned a little to the right to reveal my sister Mandy standing next to me in Little Mermaid pajamas.

“And what’s your name?” Dale asked.

About the author

Jack Follman

Jack has written professionally as a journalist, fiction writer, and ghost writer. For more information, visit his website.

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