more than she bargained for

As Melanie decorated the yard for the surprise party, an unease overcame her.

Looking up from the balloons, Melanie saw him. A pale boy glared back from the kitchen window.

She turned away and forcefully blew into another. I’m stressed, she thought.

Suddenly, the boy appeared. “Why won’t you help me?” He asked.

Melanie ran terrified to her car to escape.

After turning over the ignition, the child’s cold hand grasped hers on the gearshift.

“Why won’t you protect me?” he asked as she screamed and hit the gas.

An oncoming truck, horn blaring, smashed and killed her on impact.