Jack of Many Trades

Stranger Danger

Originally posted: 2014-02-05

I was no more than seven, lying in the grass away from my unit and the camp counselor. I wasn’t hiding, I just didn’t want to talk to anyone.

Suddenly a silhouette cut into my view of the sky.

“Are you with them?” he asked, head inclining toward the playground below. I nodded.

“So why be up here?”

I shrugged. He sat down next to me. I should have called out or run — this was the era of ‘stranger danger,’ after all — but I didn’t. He was wearing jeans and a black t-shirt and he had overgrown dark hair that fell in his face. He looked kind of like kidnappers on TV, but I didn’t feel threatened by him.

“You’re different,” he said finally. It sounded more like a statement than a question, so I didn’t respond. He wasn’t looking at me anyway, he was staring far off at the trees.

“You’re too young, really. But someone should, and it might as well be me.”

Then his hand was on my face and it went dark before I could scream.