Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
The summer was nice and warm that year. The sun, as always, brought warmth to your skin. The light breezes that swept through the neighborhood made the days not too hot or cold. It was simply perfect weather. But one summer Sally will never forget.
Sally was a young girl, eight years old, long curly brown hair, and bright green eyes. She was always polite, she never lied, and did as she was told. Her mother and father simply adored her, they couldn’t ask for a better daughter.
Sally giggled as she played with her friends outside of their home. Various games like hopscotch and jump-rope. Even dolls and tag. Sally’s mother smiled warmly at the innocent sight and wiped her hands on her apron, calling out.
“Sally! Come inside now, it’s time for lunch!” Sally looked up from her doll and smiled.
Sitting down at the dinner table, Sally lightly bounced in her seat, excited for who knows what. Her mother placed down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts cut off. Some carrot and celery sticks on the side, and juice to drink.
“Thank you, mama.”
“You’re welcome, sweetie.” As the child began to take hold of her sandwich, her mother took a seat across from the girl and smiled watching her eat. “Guess what! Your uncle Johnny is coming over.” Sally looked up and smiled, the corners of her lips had traces of peanut butter on them.
“Mmg! Munle, Jommy??” she repeated through her food. Her mother laughed and nodded.
“Mhm. He’s coming to help daddy with his job, and to look after you too. Maybe all of us can go to the carnival too!” Sally chewed the rest of her bite quickly and swallowed.
“Can Sarah and Jennie come too?” Her mother looked up in thought.
“Well, that’s up to their mom and dad’s to say. But if they can, sure!” Again the child giggled and bounced in her seat again, now even more excited of this year’s summer vacation.
Over the course of the next few days, uncle Johnny drove up to the house. Climbing out of his car, the man stretched his arms over his head and let out a tired sigh.
“Uncle Johnny!” A small voice chirped, earning the attention of the man. Sally dropped the jump-rope she was playing with and ran over to the family member, hugging him.
“Hey, Sal! How’ve you been?” He asked lifting the girl up with ease, giving her a proper hug. The girl giggled and looked back to her friends, who were now waving in their direction.
“I’ve been playing with Sarah and Jennie. Let’s go inside and tell mama you’re here!”
“Sounds like a great idea.” He smiled and walked inside the house, calling out to the woman. “Marie! I’m here!” He called, followed by Sally mimicking him.
“Mama! He’s here~!” The housewife hurried out of the kitchen and smiled to see Johnny made it.
“Johnny, you got here safe and sound.” The man placed the girl down on the ground and gave her bottom a pat to send her off. And hugged the woman.
“Of course I did. Why else wouldn’t I come here safe and sound?” He laughed, walking into the kitchen with the woman. Sally trotted over to the front door, calling out that she was going back outside to play.
“Make sure you come in before dark!”
“Yes, ma’am!” And off the girl went.
As dinner drew near, Sally’s father came home, happy to see his brother was there as well. Walking in with his daughter, he strolled up to Johnny with a handshake and hug.
“Nice to see you man, how have you been?” He asked crossing his arms, watching his wife set the table up for supper. Johnny gave a shrug of his shoulders, fiddling with his thumbs.
“Karen and I split up.”
“Aw, that’s terrible, I’m sorry..” Johnny shook his head with a smile.
“Nah, it’s alright. I’m happy, I can move freely without having someone constantly wanting to know where I am and what I’m doing.” The two men laughed together, making their way to the table to eat. “Mmm.”
“Thank you, I’m glad you like it.”
“Mhm! It’s yummy, mama.” The adults smiled and chuckled from the child’s praise.
Plate after plate was empty, and Sally began to yawn over and over again, rubbing her eyes with her hands. Her mother smiled and gently rubbed her back.
“Looks like someone is tired. Time for bed!” Sally nodded and hopped off her seat, picking up her plate and carrying it to the sink. Her mother rose up to take her to bed, but stopped from John grabbing ahold of her arm.
“I’ll take her to bed.” He smiled, earning one in return.
“Alright, thank you John.” The man nodded, watching the woman make her way to clean the dishes and put up any leftovers. Then looked to see his brother leave for the bathroom to wash up, and followed after the young girl to her room.
John smiled and closed the door behind him, watching the girl rummage around through her dresser for pajamas to wear.
“You need any help?” He asked, watching the girl look up and nod. “Okay, let’s see what you got.” The man waltzed up alongside her and began looking through her various pajamas. “You got some strawberry printed ones. I bet you’ll smell just like them in your dreams.” He took the shirt up and showed her, giving it a few deep inhales. Sally giggled and shook her head, indicating she didn’t want to wear her strawberry pajamas. Johnny nodded and placed the shirt back, then pulled out another shirt with a unicorn on it. “How about this one? Bet you’ll ride on miss unicorn here.” Again the child giggled and shook her head no. The man let out a small huff before placing it back. Then took out a regular white nightgown. “How about this? Be able to turn into a princess with this.” Sally’s eyes lit up and clapped her hands excitedly and nodded. Placing the gown on her bed, he reached over to her and began to unbutton her shirt.
“I can get dressed uncle.” She said with a smile, looking down at his hands on her shirt. The man smiled back and nodded, continuing to work his way down her shirt.
“I bet you can, but you’re tired, and why not have some help?” He asked, watching Sally nod a few times. Once getting her shirt unbuttoned, he slipped it off her shoulders and gave her tummy a nice poke, making her giggle. He grinned and took a hold of the rim of her shorts and pulled them down. Finally, the man grabbed a hold of her nightgown and pushed the opening over her head, making sure her arms could go through the sleeves. “All done!” He said happily, watching the girl smile back, giggling when she bounded on top of her bed. Johnny rose up and picked up her clothes, the door opened up and in walked Sally’s mother coming to tuck her in.
“You ready for bed?” She asked walking around the bed. Johnny looked up and hurried over to the other side of the bed.
“I’ll tuck her in, that okay?” Marie looked up at him and smiled shaking her head.
“Of course not.” She looked down at her daughter and leaned in, kissing the child on her forehead. “Goodnight sweetheart.”
“Goodnight mama.” Giving the girl a gentle rub with her thumb on her forehead, the woman took the clothes Johnny had and made her way out of the room. Johnny smiled to the mother and walked over to the light switch, flicking it off. He carefully closed the door to her room and locked it. Slowly, he looked over his shoulder towards Sally. Johnny wore a chilling, crooked smile.
After the next few days, Marie noticed that Sally wasn’t acting herself. She wasn’t smiling as brightly as she did. She wasn’t chipper and didn’t speak with the same amount of happiness. Marie took ahold of the child’s hand before she left to play with her friends, and took her aside. Sally looked up at her mother with a confused look.
“Honey, are you feeling okay?” She asked, kneeling down to be at the child’s hight. Sally stared at her idly, and slowly began to weep. Her mother widened her eyes in confusion. “Sally?”
“M-mama… I… I didn’t want t-to…” The girl managed to say though hiccuping sobs.
“Didn’t want to do what, sweetie?”
“I-I.. I didn’t want t-to play… I didn’t want to play his g-game…” The child looked up at her mother and hugged her tight. “H… He touched m-me… A-and made me t-touch h-him!” Marie frowned and gently began stroking the child’s hair, comforting her. Lightly shushing her to calm her down.
“Shhh, it’s okay. Mama’s here now.” It was a nightmare, that’s all. The girl had a scary nightmare. “Everything is fine now, okay? Don’t worry about it anymore.” She watched Sally look up at her, her breathing chopped up from her crying, and smiled.
“O-okay mama..” Her mother smiled and kissed her forehead.
“Now go wash up, don’t want to play with your friends with a dirty face.” Sally let out a small giggle and ran off to the bathroom to wash her face.
Later that day, Johnny and his brother came back home from work. Frank sighed, smiling when he saw Sally wave to him. The father waved back and closed the car door making his way up to the house. Johnny looked up at Sally as well and smiled, waving to her. The child’s smile slowly wilted, showing less happiness in it, but waved back as well. Johnny also walked inside the house, pausing when he heard the conversation between his brother and his wife.
“Sally what??” Frank asked.
“She had a nightmare. A very bad one. She said ‘He’ touched her.”
“Well, who the hell is ‘He’!?”
“I don’t know, Frank… But, it was only a nightmare. I just wanted to inform you of what’s been going on with her and, why she was acting differently.”
Johnny furrowed his brows in anger, his knuckles turning white. Then, calmed down quickly, thinking fast. He put on a smile on, and walked into the room, making it look like he just walked into their conversation and rose his brows.
“Whoops.. did I interrupt something?” He asked, watching the couple shake their heads. Johnny smiled again and thumbed back in the direction of the car. “I’m going to head to the store, you need anything, Marie?” The woman smiled and looked towards the kitchen.
“Yes, actually. Can you get me some eggs, milk, bread, and juice?” Johnny nodded, about to leave until he paused.
“Sally wanted to come along too, just wanted to inform you.” Marie smiled.
“Thank you, John.” He nodded again and made his way out of the house. Keys in hand. Looking out to Sally with her friends, he cupped his hand over his mouth.
“Sally!” The child looked up at him and stared. “Come on, let’s go to the store!” John made his way over to the car, gesturing for the girl to follow him. Sally sat there for a moment, then placed her dolls on the grass.
“I’ll be back, please watch over Marzapan and Lilly for me.” Jennie and Sarah smiled a nodded, continuing to play their game of dolls without her. Sally reluctantly made her way around the car, climbing into the passenger’s seat, and buckled herself in. “Did mama want you to go to the store?” She asked. Johnny nodded and put the keys in the ignition, turning it on and backed out of the driveway.
“Yep, she wants me to get some food for her. Maybe I can get you something too.” He grinned looking down at the child. Sally nervously smiled back and looked ahead, watching the scenery pass by. As soon as they got to the road leading to the store, Sally noticed he wasn’t slowing down to turn into the parking lot. She furrowed her brows, confused, and looked up at him.
“Uncle Johnny, the store is back that way..” She said pointing in the direction of the whole foods store. But nothing came from the man. He just continued driving, a very faint smile on his face. The child sat up and looked past the backseat, watching the store slowly grow smaller till it was out of sight. Realizing they weren’t going grocery shopping, the child watched her uncle drive into the small parking lot in the community park near town. No one went to the park on Sundays. Sally felt nervous, her breathing quickened, watching the man with wide eyes. Johnny put the car into park and turned the ignition off, looking to the child. Anger obviously showing in his features.
“You told your mom what happened, didn’t you?” He asked, watching the girl frantically shake her head no. “You’re not playing the game right, Sally.” His tone almost had a slight singing to it. The man reached over and pulled the girl to him, ignoring the struggling she was putting up and her whimpering pleas. “You said you’d play the game with me, Sally, you lied to me.” Opening the car door beside him the man climbed out along with the child and shoved her to the ground, quickly pinning her down. Ignoring the cries and writhing the child was making. “You have to be punished now for breaking the rules.” He said in that slight sing-songy tone and began to unbuckle his belt.
“This just in, a couple finds the body of eight-year-old Sally Williams in the community park. The week-long search is now closed. More tonight at 9.”
She could have sworn she closed her door before climbing into bed. Guess I forgot… Getting up from the warmth and comfort of her bed, the teen made her way across the room and shut the door. Before she could climb back into her covers, a creek outside in the hall rose up. Was her parents up? They must have checked on her to see if she was asleep or something. As soon as she got her legs covered up, the teen froze to hear a faint sound of… crying? Though, it sounded like a child. Slowly rising up from bed once more, the girl made her way to her door and opened it. The crying seemed to be louder outside of her room. Peering down the darkness the teen crept down the hallway, following the sounds of the whimpering. Once getting to the end of the all, the girl gasped. Sitting on the floor in front of the moonlit window, was a little girl. She was hunched over, crying. How did she get into their house? Through the window? Swallowing hard, the teen spoke up.
“Who… Who are you? How did you get into my house?” She asked.
Suddenly the crying stopped. The child slowly moved her trembling hands away from her face, and looked behind her, twitching lightly. Blood replaced her tears, staining her hands. There was a deep clot of blood and hair on the side of her head, blood leaking from the wound down her face and onto her dirty nightgown. Her bright green eyes seemed like they saw right through her soul.
“This is my house….” The child spoke, her voice raspy, sounding as if she was struggling to speak. The girl’s body twitched and wiggled oddly as she rose up to her feet and turned to face the teen. Her feet were dirty, as if she’d been running through mud. Scrapes covered her knees and legs, and the end of her gown was torn and tattered. The name Sally was sewn into the front. Reaching out with her blood-soaked hand the girl slowly smiled, blood staining her teeth as she spoke.