“Emma, she’s here!”
I finish the rest of my homework and run down stairs. I walk into the living room and see my mom talking to who I think of her work friend. When my mom notices me, she throws on one of her award winning smiles and says, “There she is! Emma, this is Ms. Lee, Ms. Lee, my daughter Emma. She’s 16 and really responsible! Your daughter is in good hands, I promise!”
I look at Ms. Lee and give her a smile with a nod of approval, but Ms. Lee only looks me up and down with this emotionless face. After a minute or so, she gives me a small nod and digs in her purse. When she pulls her hand out, she’s holding a small bell. She rings it three times and sets it down on the coffee table. Then I see her. A little girl. She has long black hair, pale skin, and beautiful blue eyes. She’s wearing a pink dress that falls down to her knees, long white socks, and black shoes. She looks like a doll to me and kind of creeps me out, but I put a smile on my face,” Hi, my name is Emma! What’s your name?”
She gives me a small grin,” Annie.”
Even her name scares me, but I’m going to be mature about this,” Well, Annie, we’re going to have so much fun tonight!”
“You have no idea. “she says barely audible.
I give my mom a nervous smile, “So, how long will you both be gone?”
Ms. Lee speaks up before my mom can, “Not long! I promise! For your safety and hers! I don’t even know if I’m ready to leave her with anybody other than me!”
I take Ms. Lee’s comment, thinking she’s scared, and say, “I promise, she’s safe with me.”
Ms. Lee’s eyes look like they’re filled with fear,” I’m not worry about her, it’s you I’m worried about! This child is not ordinary; you have to always watch her! Eating, drawing, even using the bathroom! The moment your eyes come off her is the moment where terrible, unspeakable things will happen! Understand me? Don’t let her fool you, there is nothing sweet about her!!!”
Confused, I just nod my head. What does her warning even me? Is she talking about how bad she can be or something more serious? I’m to shaken to even think right now. Ms. Lee then grabs her daughter’s arms, hard, and starts talking in a hushed, serious tone,” Don’t you do it, understand! Don’t you bring him to attack her! There isn’t anything funny about it!!! I want both of you back her in one piece! You got rid of your father, don’t you do the same to this girl too! I’m warning you young lady, you better behave yourself! I’m the only person on this earth that knows and understands what you can do! Don’t make me regret this! Please, Annie. Please, just be a normal for once!”
Annie giggles, “Mother, you know me too well. When have I ever been normal? Shouldn’t you be going somewhere? I know your job is very important to you.”
Ms. Lee signs, “I really don’t want to go, but I have to if I want to keep my job. Annie, I love you. Please don’t make me have to be the bad guy.”
“OK mother. Have a nice evening mother. Hope you have fun.”
“You know I won’t” Ms. Lee grumbles.
After hearing this, I’m super confused. Parents and their children usually don’t talk to each other like this. I want to ask so many questions, but I don’t want to seem rude. Ms. Lee and Annie stare at each other with unreadable faces for a while until my mom clears her throat, “Well then, um, Emma! Why don’t you show Annie your room? You still have Barbie dolls in the back of your closet right? You love to draw so you have a lot of drawing supplies and stuff. I’ll call to make sure everything is OK? I love you sweetheart, have fun.”
I really don’t want her to go, not after hearing Ms. Lee’s warnings and Annie’s strange speaking. This little girl is terrifying, but I don’t want to sound childish,” Ok mom. Love you too. Bye.”
She flashes me a smile and she’s gone like that. I’ve been left by myself so many times, but this feels different. I feel like I might not see my mom ever again. I try to shake this feeling and turn to Annie, “Do you like drawing?”
Annie nods her head “yes.”
I grab her tiny hand and lead her up stairs. When we enter my room, I sit Annie at my desk so she has somewhere solid to draw on. I pull out paper, pencils, and markers and Annie starts right away. I sit on my bed, grab my phone, and start texting my friends. I make sure I keep my eyes on Annie, not allowing her to leave my sight. After 30 minutes of this, Annie turns to me, “I’m done. Would you like to see?”
I smile, “Sure Annie, I’d love to see.”
Annie gives me a grin and lifts up her paper. I can’t help but give a gasp. Annie has made the most disturbing picture a child her age could have made. It’s a picture of who can only be Annie’s mother, lying in a pool of what I’m guessing is blood and Annie is hold a grown man’s hand.
“Annie! What is this picture even about?!?”
“Mother, she’s going to have to leave too. She won’t let me be with my friend, she doesn’t like him. You’re going to have to leave as well, he doesn’t like you very much Emma.”
Suddenly, my phone rings, which makes me jump. I turn to answer it, but when I answer it nobody answers. Then the phone hangs up. I turn back to Annie, but she’s not in the room. Panicked, I start calling her name, “Annie? Annie? Annie, where are you?”
I run out of my room and down the stairs. When I’m in the middle of the stairs, I see Annie, but she’s not alone. Holding her hand is a man. He’s about 6 feet tall and he looks like he could be Annie’s father. My body is shaking with fear, but I speak in a clear voice, “Annie, come here. Please. Sir, I don’t know who you are but please go away and we won’t say anything to anybody.”
The only thing the man does is shake his head “no”.
Then, Annie looks me in the eyes with a devilish smile. My mouth drops open in both fear and shock. Annie’s beautiful blue eyes have been replaced with black, empty nothingness. Like color has never even touched her eyes. Annie giggles, “Good-bye Emma. It was fun.”
Tears fill my eyes as the man walks towards me.