01 Feb I found a very strange babysitting service.
“I’m sorry John, there’s a family emergency. I won’t be able to make it tomorrow.”
The words rang through my head as I pondered what I should do. Marcie was supposed to babysit on friday night so that I could go out on a date, she’d been reliable before. I was looking forward to going out for once, but it seems that things were not going to work out as I had hoped.
I’m a single father with a one year old son. He’s quite a handful, but I wouldn’t give my son up for anything. He’s a little bundle of joy, and the satisfaction of raising him makes me feel incredibly proud. I recently started dating a woman named Ashley, and things were going well, but now I was looking at having to cancel the date.
There were a few more options to find a babysitter. I figured my best bet was to try the internet to see if there was anyone reputable and more importantly within my price range. I hopped onto my computer and did some google searching for a babysitter. There were some really highly reviewed ones, nanny types, but they wanted a ton of money for a few hours of babysitting. It was a bit out of my price range. I didn’t like the idea of meeting a complete stranger and then leaving them with my kid anyways, no matter how highly reviewed they were.
I kept scrolling through the list of potential babysitters, subtly hoping I’d spot the easiest solution to my problem. Instead I saw a strange posting for babysitter services that at the time I assumed must have been one huge joke.
Mister Stickyfingers Babysitting Service
I laughed out loud at the post. Who the hell would ever hire a person with that name to watch their kids? It was totally absurd. After a good laugh I decided I would have to call Ashley and let her know I wouldn’t be able to make it out on friday night. I dialed the phone, a tinge of nervousness welled up inside of me. I hope she doesn’t take this the wrong way I thought. After a few moments Ashley answered the phone.
“Hey John! You ready for tomorrow night?” She said.
I sighed and took a deep breath. “I have some bad news. The babysitter canceled on me. I have to stay home and watch my son. I can’t get a babysitter on this short of notice. I’m sorry.”
There was a pause that felt way too long, but it could have all been in my head. I knew that canceling on a date early in a relationship is not a good idea, but I had no choice now.
“It’s ok. Why don’t I just come over to your place and we can watch a movie after you put your kid to bed?” She said.
I eyed a pile of dishes and dust coated furniture while she said this. My eyes darted around the room assessing if I could whip my house into a more presentable state before she came over. I figured I could fix the place up in time. I probably would have laughed if I could see the huge grin on my face. Things were looking up.
“Sounds like a great idea! Why don’t you come over at 8 tomorrow. I’ll try to get my son settled before that.”
“Ok I’ll see you tomorrow!”
The time up until the date was spent dusting, wiping, vacuuming and all other manner of cleaning until the house was in a decent state. My son was rather peaceful. He rested in his crib and for the most part was quiet, save for when it was time to change his diaper. I was excited for the date, I dug through my closet trying to find something nice to wear. I brought out a bottle of wine and put on what I thought were some nicer clothes. They were nice looking while still being casual. I wasn’t sure fully how to dress for the moment and didn’t want to go overboard.
As the time grew near I had a flare of anxiety, but I fought it down to a reasonable level. Nerves are a good thing I told myself. There was nothing to worry about. The doorbell rang at exactly 8. She was very prompt I thought as I went to get the door. But when I opened the door my smile went from eagerness to disappointment in the span of a second.
At the door was a very tall man. I am 6’4, but he towered over even me. Must have been seven foot tall though he had a lanky frame that made him appear feeble. His face was gaunt, cheekbones pressed against the thin skin of his face. Heavy bags drooped under his eyes as he peered down at me. His skin was pale, a grey listless color. He wore a long black coat, specked with dirt and ragged edges, the occasional tear marked the coat. Underneath he wore a black shirt, and a pair of black slacks and shoes. His hands had a certain shine to them in the moonlight. A waxy looking substance coated them. The odd bit dripped off onto the ground as I inspected the man. On each shoulder was a large butterfly, one was black, and one was white.
“Mister Stickyfingers here. I’ve come for the job,” he said in a deep, but stilted voice.
I felt a tinge of fear as the man awaited a response from me. Something about it did not feel right. I certainly never called for him, and I would not let this guy anywhere near my son. Something seemed wrong with him, and I eyed him and those two butterflies warily. I thought maybe they were props, but they flapped their wings indicating they were real. The sticky substance continued to drip from his hands onto my porch. I felt nervous, but felt I had to stand my ground. I cleared my throat hoping to keep a confident voice.
“I never called for you. I don’t want any trouble. You should go,” I said. I tried to say it as politely as I could and hoped that he’d get the message and leave.
“I don’t go by calls. I just go where I’m needed,” he said. The two butterflies lifted off his shoulders and flew into my house as he stood perfectly still.
I slammed the door in his face. I liked butterflies, but I wasn’t going to let these strange things in the house. I grabbed a fly swatter and chased after them, but they were agile, darting in different directions to dodge my swipes. They were headed down the hall towards my son.
When they reached the room with my son they went straight for his crib, landing on him while he slept. Their wings began to glow until there was a pulse of blinding white light that had me shielding my eyes. It took a minute or two to regain my vision, but when I did I saw that my son and those two butterflies had disappeared.
Panic set in as I ran around the house in search of my son. I ran around like a madman checking every corner of my house to make sure that he hadn’t somehow just been moved elsewhere. But he was gone, taken it seemed by those butterflies. By Mister Stickyfingers.
The doorbell rang as I was headed to the front door in a rush. I opened the door quickly, Ashley stood there looking a bit perplexed. I looked to her right and left.
“Are you okay?” Ashley asked.
“Did you see a tall guy leaving here? I mean real tall. Skinny.”
“Uhhh…no I just got here but there was this note on the ground.”
She handed me the note and I unfolded it as fast as humanly possible. The paper read.
Don’t worry about your son. I will take good care of him. You can pick him up at 622 Sycamore Lane in eight hours. Do not come earlier or safety is not guaranteed. Do not call the police or safety is not guaranteed.
I ran back into my house, leaving Ashley standing there unsure if she could enter or not. I didn’t have time to think about her at the moment. I opened the door to my garage and ruffled through the tools until I found a nice hatchet that had a leather sheath. It would do. I wasn’t going to call the police, but I sure as hell was not going to wait eight hours either. I grabbed my coat and car keys and closed the front door while Ashley still stood there confused.
“What’s wrong? What’s going on?” She asked.
“My sons been kidnapped. I need to go save him.”
I was already moving towards my car in the driveway.
“Wait you should call the police! What are you going to do? I don’t understand…”
I handed her the note and let her read it. Her face sunk as she read it.
“But if you just wait eight hours he’ll be safe it says!”
“I’m not trusting it. You wouldn’t either if you had a kid in danger. I’m going to get him back.”
I turned and headed for my car when to my surprise Ashley spoke up again.
“Let me come with you!”
I got into my car and told her to hurry up if she was coming. She rushed around to the passenger side and got in. The place was not far, a few miles away according to Google Maps. The road we had to turn on was a dead end with only a single house. I had Ashley hold my phone to be the navigator as I took off in a hurry.
It was dark, but even then I couldn’t help but notice the strange butterflies who followed my car. They seemed to be watching us, following our every move. As I turned onto the road that led to our destination a butterfly landed on the car. Its wings began to glow a brilliant white color. A second later there was a blinding flash that instinctively had me try to cover my eyes. I put a foot on the brakes, but the car didn’t stop in time. My body whipped forward when the car ran into something with a loud thud. For a few seconds it was quiet, my eyes still blinded I called out to Ashley.
“Ashley? You ok?”
There was no answer and then there was a sound of movement.
“Y-yeah,” she said shakily. “What was that?”
Slowly our vision returned and I could see we’d run into a tree. Somehow in the flash the car had steered off the road a bit. I opened the door which had crumpled a bit. Somehow we were both uninjured, and the house was in sight.
The house was shabby, the siding was old and falling off. Windows were boarded up. It rested in the middle of an overgrown grass lot with a small walkway up the house. I don’t think the house had anyone actually living there.
I ran up to the house with Ashley trotting behind me. When I reached the door I slammed my shoulder against it, but it would not budge. I could hear my son crying within, it fueled me to force the door open. As I was getting ready to hit the door again it opened. Mister Stickyfingers stood in the doorway, staring down at us. The two butterflies were back on each shoulder.
“I told you not to come early,” he said.
I shoved him hard, he fell to the ground quietly and I ran to my crying son. My son rested in a silky cocoon with only his face protruding. The cocoon hung down from the ceiling, attached somehow by a skinny silky thread. Ashley came in behind me trying to assist. My son appeared uninjured, but just as I was going to try to tear him from the cocoon I felt a heavy hand fall onto my shoulder. A second later I was tossed across the room, my shirt tearing. An intense pain radiated from my shoulder and as I looked at Stickyfingers I could see why.
The hand that had gripped my shoulder had that same sticky substance now also mixed with layers of my skin and part of my shirt. Blood poured from my shoulder as Stickyfingers shook his hand, layers of skin and blood dripped onto the floor. Ashley’s stood shocked, too terrified to take action.
“Grab him and run!” I shouted to her.
She turned to try grab my son, but Stickyfingers was behind her. He gently placed both hands on her cheeks and then pulled them away. Her skin ripped off her face as she screamed in pain. She fell to the ground, part of her cheekbones exposed. She screamed for a few seconds before she went quiet.
Using all my strength I pulled myself to my feet and unsheathed my hatchet. Running at Stickyfingers he seemed unaware of me while he shook skin and blood from his hands. I struck him solidly in the back, but he did not even emit a sound. For a second there was just silence, and then his body burst into butterflies, hundreds, maybe even thousands. They flew out the opened door and into the night.
I ran over to check on Ashley. She was breathing, but part of her skull was exposed and she was losing blood fast. I got my phone out and called the police while I pulled my crying son from the strange cocoon.
The police arrived along with ambulances that took Ashley and I to the ER. They took my son and promised to take care of him until I was ready to be released. My shoulder was not too bad, they cleaned the wound and put a gauze pad on it and I was ok, but the police hounded me about what happened. I showed them the note and told them this story.
Ashley recovered, though with her disfigurements she is not the same person. She no longer talks to me, but she did corroborate my story. I tried to visit her but she didn’t seem to want to talk.
When I brought my son home I thought things would return to normal. But every night he cries and cries, and I can’t seem to comfort him. His skin looks a little grey now. I have to wipe his hands that constantly have a sticky substance on them. Butterflies seem to congregate outside the window to his room.