Sitting in the car, looking at the friend’s front door, a man’s voice yelled out over the kids’ greetings. Luckily her son was running back to the car, unknowing the friend was still putting on his shoes in the doorway. He must have been looking for his other shoe. A flash of a man’s arm above the boy’s head quickly swatted the air. The disembodied hand matched the man’s voice with its intention. “Go on Wyatt, get out of here!” The friend tumbled out onto the porch and dashed for the car with one shoe in his hand, the other covering his toes and laces dragging as he one-foot sprinted as only an 11-year-old could manage. Inside the car the boys locked immediately into their friendly smiles, oblivious to anything else.
It would be wrong not to ask. “Are you ok?”
Stuffing his shoes on. “Yeah.”
“You have one shoe in your hand.”
“Yeah, it’s just more,” he looked up and thought for a moment, “efficient.”
The shoes were on. “Hey Wyatt, do you want to play cards at my house?” Their decks were out, the conversation blurred into connected friend chatter as she put the car in reverse. She took a moment and looked at the doorway. The door was still open, no shape of a head in the window, no wave, no face to match the hand. She hoped to get a glance of the ghoul who couldn’t hide his frustration to be rid of the child another moment, his girlfriend’s son. The mother was at work in a nursing home, didn’t know he was leaving the house, didn’t care. The friend has no phone, no one had asked for a number to reach him if they wanted him home for dinner. The boyfriend didn’t show his face, though she could picture it from the voice and the flashing hand in the air. Snarling mouth and vacant adrenaline filled eyes. He would be tall, large to a child.
She would normally have gone to the door, but the man’s urgency for the boy to make plans had told her everything. There was no need to see more.