The Watchers :
It was getting dark, fast. I needed to get home soon, otherwise I would be stuck traveling the back-roads by the light of a quarter-moon. I quickened my pace in an effort to make it in time. I wasn’t going fast enough, the little light I had left was now nearly gone. As I turned the corner going into the subdivision where I live, the sun left the sky completely and handed its shift over to the moon. Now I was forced to slow down, I could see almost nothing, and I needed to let my eyes adjust to the darkness. I was scared already, but what I saw about thirty feet in front of me was the start to a nightmare I could never have even imagined.
Standing in the middle of the road was what looked to be a man staring straight at the ground. Once I got closer I discovered, the “man” had almost nothing in common with me. He wasn’t wearing clothes, but that wasn’t the strange part. It appeared he was made of sticks. Not sloppily with three or four sticks, but what looked to be thousands upon thousands of sticks carefully placed with no gaps between them. I was still about ten feet away from him, when he revealed his final deformity. He slowly lifted his head to show a featureless face, the only human-like feature was two oval shaped indents where eyes should be. Him being in the middle of the only road home forced me to walk right by him. I wasn’t anymore scared than I had been before, just curious. I continued walking towards him, his only sign of interest being that his head would follow me, even though he had no eyes it appeared he still was capable of sight. It was time to pass him, I kept an eye on him to see what he would do as I briskly strode past him. Fortunately he didn’t take one step, he just shifted his body to keep watching me. I sighed with relief and kept going.
I looked forward again and stopped dead in my tracks. There were more of them. This time there were three of them standing in a drive way on the right, a little girl, a man, and a woman. I could tell they were not men because the were wearing dresses, but being made of sticks they didn’t flow. The dresses were rigid, reminding me of the woman that symbolizes a woman’s rest room. I kept walking towards them, my eyes locked with the mans, as he and his family watched me pass.
Once I had gone past them I looked forward. They were everywhere, in driveways, standing in the road, and walking up and down the street. Some of them ignored me, but some of them took an interest and watched me walk. I chose one in particular to look at, it was a little girl no larger than three feet tall, skipping towards me. I stopped and watched as she skipped right past me and disappeared into the night. I breathed a sigh of relief as that confirmed they were not in fact hostile. With a newfound confidence I bravely strode down the road, ignoring them. Finally I arrived at my house as I strode down the driveway I noticed that there was one stick-man standing directly in front of the front door.
As I approached him I could see that this one was different, he was different in a way that both disturbed and intrigued me. He had a mouth and a lump on either side of his head that looked to be a crude ear. Now I was face to face with him, and he wasn’t moving. I started to push him aside when his arm shot out at his side blocking my path. In a moment of frustration I yelled, “What do you want from me?!” Strangely enough, he replied. In a raspy voice that sounded like it had only been used once before he said, “Nothing, just to watch, to wait.” I gasped and stepped back. He continued, “But now it is time for another Watcher to join us; we are here to escort her.” He then turned around, opened my door and walked in. Cautiously I followed him.
The “Watcher” walked through my unlit house like he lived there. As he silently descended the stairs to my daughters room I began to become worried. The door at the bottom of the stairs opened with a loud, long creek, and he walked through it. Trailing behind him, I stood in the door frame as I watched him pick up my seven year old daughter Jessy from her bed. “W-what do you want from h-her?” I stuttered out. “It is her time.” was the only reply I got.
As he walked toward me, Jessy in his arms, I saw a change in her. She was no longer completely human, I could see that she was turning into one of them, starting at the extremities and moving to her heart and head. Her ears, nose and eyes were slowly becoming lumps on her face. Maybe it was because of fear, maybe I knew I couldn’t stop him, but for whatever reason I let The Watcher walk right out of my house with her. I stood there afraid and confused as the monster purposely walked out my house with my daughter. I decided to follow him, he was already out side so I sped up the stairs and into the driveway. Once my eyes adjusted I could see there were two lines of Watchers on either side of my door, leading all the way into the forest on the opposite side of the road. There being only one way to go, I walked down the funnel the Watchers had created and slowly caught up to my daughter’s taker. As we reached the forest I realized it was too dense to continue after him.
Right as he was about to disappear into the woods, I quietly said, “Why her?”
The Watcher stopped dead in his tracks and gave me an eerily simple response “She was alone” and disappeared into the black forest.