The Squid Kid By: Terry D. Scheerer


The Squid Kid
By: Terry D. Scheerer

There were no cutesy pictures of butterflies or animals on the walls and no mobile over the crib. As far as I could see, the only furniture in that room was the crib and a low dresser with a small lamp sitting on it. I got the feeling that the Smith’s didn’t even consider their kid to be a ‘baby,’ least ways not in the normal sense of things.

It was maybe two weeks after Doug and I first heard the kid shriek that I got a good look at it, and even to this day I’m not entirely sure what it was I actually saw. That night I stood on the trash can for about thirty minutes before Mrs. Smith came into the room and turned on the light. She set down a jar filled with dark liquid on the dresser. If it was supposed to be for her kid the jar didn’t have a nipple on it, but instead what looked like half a tennis ball covering the top. Swear to God! Mrs. Smith went over to the crib and stared down at the kid for a few seconds, then she shook her head and it looked like she wiped a tear from her eye. She took a key from her pocket and unlocked the top set of bars on the crib—yeah, I forgot to tell you that the crib was locked when no one was in the room with the kid—then wrapped the squirming thing in a blanket and picked it up.

Immediately the kid started in with a low wail and Mrs. Smith went back to the dresser and retrieved the jar of dark junk. As she bounced the bundle in her arms gently up and down, she offered the jar to the kid; and this is where things start getting really weird. When she lowered the jar, with the half a tennis ball on its top, down toward the kid, several grey, ropy, wiggling things shot up from inside the blanket, grabbed hold of the jar and pulled it down. Mrs. Smith held on to the lower portion of the jar as these weird, twitching… tentacles slid over the glass. I saw one of the worm-like things slide up and wrap around Mrs. Smith’s wrist for a moment, and then I noticed that her shoulders were gently shaking. She was softly sobbing. I didn’t know if it was because the thing was touching her or ‘cause it was… well, touching her.

I was horrified, but couldn’t take my eyes from the spectacle before me and as I shifted my weight to get a better view, one of my feet slipped off the trash can lid and the container tipped over with a loud crash. Since I didn’t want to fall, I held on to the fence for a few seconds and could still see into the bedroom as Mrs. Smith turned quickly toward the window. As she moved, the blanket fell away from the kid and I got my first, and only, good look at it. Wish to God I had just hit the ground and run for home, instead. That would have saved me a lot of sleepless nights and years worth of nightmares.

As the blanket slipped away I saw a grey mass of deformed… flesh, I guess, which was lumpy and mottled looking. At the front end of this mass were all of these tentacles—a half dozen at least—and they were wiggling around, all frantic-like. Maybe it was scared; I don’t know. I was certainly scared. And as the blanket fell down over Mrs. Smith’s arm, a large, round eye was exposed in the thing’s head. The eye was about the size of a baseball and it had a bright yellow ring around a big, black pupil. This unblinking fish-eye thing was staring right at me, and even though it was dark outside I could tell it saw me, ‘cause it starting in with an ear piercing shriek that chilled my bones. I saw its mouth, if you could call what looked like a small parrot’s beak with two sharp, bony jaws a mouth. The thing’s tentacle arms really started flailing around then and I dropped to the ground and took off like a frightened rabbit. I flew over those fences and hit my back door at a dead run, went straight into the bathroom and puked my guts out for a good three or four minutes. Fortunately for me, my mother thought I just had the flu so she sent me to bed and I was so upset I didn’t bother getting up for two whole days. I didn’t sleep much during that time, either.

I was pretty sure Mrs. Smith didn’t see who was outside her window that night, but I knew the kid had seen me and for some reason that bothered me even more. When I finally managed to drag myself out of bed I discovered the whole neighborhood was abuzz with talk about the Smith’s. Seemed like for some reason they both went and disappeared from their house about two nights ago, without a word to anyone. No one knew where they went or why they moved away so suddenly.

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