Flash Friday 04/07/2014: Baby Bothers
A pair of dark fingers slid the window upwards.
The figure clambered through the gap, its body long and thin. No matter its position, its head with glowing white eyes and shark-like teeth stared at one spot in the bedroom.
The sleeping couple in the double bed.
It crawled across the floor, keeping its back as low as possible. As he approached the bed, he passed a crib at the foot of the bed. He eyed the baby inside, but passed it. It would not even quantify as a snack.
It sidled up to one of the sleeping adults in the bed. Male, female, it didn’t matter — both were made of the flesh it so desired. Bearing two racks of sharp teeth, it leant forwards to bite into the neck of the human closest to it.
The baby started crying.
The figure stopped. It couldn’t afford anyone waking up. Slinking back down and to the crib, it reached a hand down to the baby. Placing a black finger against its lips, the baby stopped crying.
Resuming its attack, the figure crawled back to the bed. Once again, he bore his teeth, moving forwards to take a chunk out of his new victim.
The baby started up again.
This time, the figure did not even crawl. Standing on its own two legs, it simply walked over to the crib, picked up the baby, and started rocking it side to side in his arms. He tried to hum a lullably, but the only thing he could really muster were deep croaking noises and occasional splutters. The baby stopped crying, but given its wide eyes, it was definitely not out of relaxation.
Once it had stopped, the figure placed the baby back down. He hadn’t even turned around entirely before the crying began to bubble up once more. The figure rolled its eyes, looking around the room. Off to the side, it could make out an open box full of stuffed toys. Grabbing one in each hand, he brought them back over to the crib, where he playfully shook them in front of the child.
The baby took immediate notice.
The figure started to act out a fun little scene. The baby enjoyed the scene where Mr. Heffalump met Mrs. Sealey and danced with one another (with a playful tune performed by the figure himself). The baby didn’t much like the part where Mr. Heffalump led Mrs. Sealey down a dark alley, hit her across the head with a brick and tore out her throat. The figure quickly retconned this by pretending the whole thing was a joke, and that nobody had actually died. The baby seemed pleased with this change.
The figure wiped the sweat off of his forehead. Human babies were tough.
The figure was so engaged in calming the baby down, he didn’t notice that the two adults in the bed were already awake. Both of them were looking down at the foot, watching the dark, crooked man make childlike ‘la dee da dee da’ noises as he made the two stuffed toys skip down an imaginary path.
“Honey,” the husband whispered. “Have you seen that there’s a foul creature of the night currently at the foot of our bed?”
The wife nodded, turning to the husband. “Have you seen how good it is at getting our child to go back to sleep?”
The husband nodded. “It’s phenomenal. No other babysitter we got could keep him from wailing for anything longer than a minute. And yet…it’s like this thing knows him. I mean, look at him.”
The wife looked back at the creature. He had apparently become tired of the stuffed toys, and was now holding the child by the waist, ‘flying’ him around the room while making ghastly, yet well-meant, aeroplane noises. The child had never been so happy in its life.
Neither had the being, in fact. Of all these years of tearing out the throats of humans and muffling their final cries, doing some childcare for once was a great deal of fun. If it wasn’t such an abhorrent beast of the night, it would have stopped this murdering gig and gone into babysitting without a moment’s notice. Still, he could always come back tomorrow and do this again. Not like anyone would catch him.
The lights turned on.
The being froze on the spot, still holding the child in mid air. It turned its head to the bed, where the husband had sat up, his hand on the light switch. Before the creature could return the baby and retreat out of the window, a note of money was held out towards him.
“Listen,” the wife said. “We can pay you this for taking care of our child. I don’t think we’ve ever experienced total silence since you stopped that tyke from crying all the time. If you…kinds of people don’t take money, we could always buy you steaks. You like steaks?”
The being grinned, nodding.
“Alright. Honey, go get the steaks from the fridge. We can just have Chinese take-out last night. So…what was it you did with those toy animals, again?”
The being placed the baby back into the crib, picking up the two animals again, and waggled its eyebrows. He always liked someone who he could share his passions with.