I misinterpreted the woman’s worried glance up at the darkening sky. I thought she was concerned about rain and lightening, as she herded her two little boys out of the playground towards their home. The clouds – big, puffy grey ones – looked ominous and the forecast did call for thundershowers. Her agitated tone and hurried gait made sense at the time, though I remember thinking that she seemed a little dramatic.
I missed another clue about 10 minutes later, when the little dark haired Armenian kid started to whine and cry out of the blue. In an instant, his playful run had turned into a tired stumble. I figured he was probably just whipped after a long day of play. When he finally managed to pull his mother away from our conversation back into their townhouse next to the playground, I thought nothing more of his behavior.
And when the three remaining kids were all blond-haired and blue-eyed, I saw no cause for alarm. It was a little odd and disappointing that they all huddled inside the top of the plastic castle, ignoring T as he played on the sidewalk below, but I’m learning that kid-cliques start early. T was fine goofing around on his own.
Like those clueless characters in horror flicks who never see anything coming until it’s way too late, T and I hung around, oblivious to the looming danger. The sky continued to darken. Parents called for kids to come inside for dinner. All seemed normal and fine with the world.
So when one of the blond/blue kids stuck his face out one of the castle’s head-sized holes and said to me “When is HE going to leave?”, I knew something wasn’t quite right. The “he” in question was T, my lovable two-year old who was minding his own business and having a good time pushing around a dusty old Tonka dump truck.
Me: You want him to leave?
The Kid: Yeah
The Kid’s Father (several feet away, engrossed in Blackberry): That wasn’t very nice. Why do you want him to leave?
The Kid: He’s been here a long time.
Me (thinking): Fuck off, you little brat. Little did I know that I might regret that thought.
Then, it got weird. Really weird. Village of the Damned glowing eyes freaky blond-haired kid weird.
The Kid: The bad people that killed Jesus made monsters and the monsters come out when it gets dark. You better leave before it gets dark.
Me (thinking): What da hell?
I didn’t know what to say. I glanced over at the dad to see if he had heard what his precious little one had just said, but he seemed oblivious (maybe because the kid had rendered him deaf temporarily), continuing to plug away at his Blackberry.
Suddenly, the vibe was all wrong. The air felt thick. Heavy. I got extremely uncomfortable. I had no desire to be near the blond brood and their spooky six year old leader, so I scooped up T and got out of there in a hurry. I had seen enough movies to know how it would end if we stayed. I’d get impaled on a corn stalk, my last thought being a regret that I actually thought “Fuck off!” to a six year old. T’s hair would suddenly go bleached-blond in a flash of blinding light. His eyes would start glowing orange. The little blond ones (T included) would all giggle that giggle that doesn’t actually sound funny at all. It’s usually the one that means all the adults in the movie are screwed.
Seriously, what da hell? The bad people that killed Jesus? Monsters? The dark?
Out of the mouths of babes…and their parents.