An owl hooted softly, once, twice and then fell silent. Andy pulled the covers up and scrunched them over her head. And waited. There it was – the horrible cackling laugh. And she knew it would begin again.
The next morning, Andy scoured the news on her phone. At first she didn’t see anything,but there it was. A child stuck in a drainpipe. The child was at the park, playing hide n’seek with other children when she went missing. Someone found her jacket outside the pipe, which apparently went deep underground. Everyone assumed that the child must have gotten stuck.
Andy put down the news and thought once more about the pre-dawn laughter. She knew that child would not be coming home. She must have needed to feed; it had been awhile. Not for the first time, Andy wondered why She only took children. Maybe She wasn’t as strong as she thought or maybe She simply preferred them young.
“Andy! Hurry up, you cannot be late for school again!” Andy’s mom shouted up the stairs.
“Coming Mom. Be down in a minute.” Her phone beeped with an incoming message.
Billy: Did you hear the owl last night?
Andy: Yeah. I did. You see the news? I told you something is going on.
Billy: Puhleeze! You scaredy cat. That kid will be home for dinner – all boo hoo for Mommy!
Andy: I’m late. Gotta go.
When Andy got home after school, she was able to check her phone. The kid had not been found and there was a full blown search going on.
Andy texted Billy: Kid still missing.
Billy: Wanna go look for her? I can do homework later.
Andy: Be at the park in10.
When Billy and Andy met at the park, it was a buzzing beehive of frantic parents and cops. Everyone was trying to help. They got as close as they could to the drainpipe but it was taped off.
“Come on Billy, I think I know where there is another drain pipe that connects to this one.”
They ran to the edge of the park, jumped the small fence and followed a small stream that led away from the park. As they walked further into the woods, it got cooler and darker and much quieter. An owl hooted. Once.
Andy found the other end of the pipe and looked inside. She couldn’t see anything, but the smell was horrific. She motioned to Billy to take a look and stepped away. Billy bent down, holding his nose and stuck his head inside the pipe. Andy reared back and gave Billy’s butt a hard shove into the pipe and then she felt a release as something pulled Billy deep into the pipe.
Andy felt bad about tricking Billy like that, but knew She would be pleased. Andy gave the pipe two sharp knocks, turned on her heel and headed home for her dinner.
submitted by /u/Awake3_33am