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The Strange Disappearance of the Babysitter

by Tom Paré

A story of creative justice meted out by two brothers tired of suffering at the hands of a cruel babysitter in the early 1940s.

Every Wednesday afternoon the boys’ mother left them in the hands of the babysitter, a huge 300-pound girl who couldn’t wait for their mom to be out of sight before practising her rituals of torture including, but not limited to, head slapping, hair pulling, thumb bending, and neck pinching, all done while she stood on their feet so that they couldn’t get away.

When not actually doing the physical abuse, she would make the brothers sit in a straight back chair while she explained gleefully what she planned to do to them.

The brothers hated the babysitter. Try as they might, the boys were never able to convince their mother that they were being subjected to the tortures, because the sitter always told her how the little rascals had misbehaved and she had been forced to use minor punitive measures.

No matter what they said, the girl always got to her first and it only looked like the two brothers were making excuses.

“Mom, she hit me in the back of my neck when you were gone,” the older of the two said to her after one particularly abusive day.

“Yeah, and she twisted my thumbs too,” chimed in the little brother.

“Now boys, she is only doing her best to make you both behave. She told me that you sassed her because you didn’t like the lunch she made.”

“Mom, she didn’t even make lunch,” the older boy cried out. “As soon as you left, she started hitting us and telling us what she was going to do to us later.”

“I think you boys had better tell her that you’re sorry for saying bad things about her or your dad is going to hear about your behaviour.”

The babysitter always convinced
the boys mom of her innocence

It was apparent that something radical had to be done or the boys would probably live in bondage to her for the rest of their lives. So the brothers contrived a wonderful, sinister, plan.

On a warm, humid, August afternoon, the younger brother knocked on the back door of his house and then ran as fast as he could across the alley and hid in the bushes of the neighbour’s yard. The sitter answered the door impatiently.

“Now, what do you two wa..” ?

She never finished the sentence. There on the porch lay a young boy in a bloodstained shirt, with hands wrapped around a butcher knife protruding from the left side of his body, his eyes wide open, staring into space, his face contorted into a final grimace of pain.

Grasping her huge chest, the sitter screamed in horror and fell to her knees. Screaming in terror, she rose up and backed through the door.

“Jesus, oh, Jesus,” she wailed, while stumbling and running back through the house toward the front door, her big body shaking uncontrollably.

It was apparent that something radical had to be done or the boys would probably live in bondage to her for the rest of their lives.

Out onto the veranda she ran, and fell down the steps, still screaming: “Oh my God; Oh my Jesus Christ.” She looked back once or twice until she retreated behind her own slamming door. She did not return.

The brothers washed the ketchup out of the shirt in a bucket in the basement, and returned the knife to the cupboard.

They told their mom that the sitter left early but they never explained the reason for their tormentor’s disappearance.

The babysitter did not return their mother’s phone calls. A few days later, as the boys passed by her house, they heard her shrill voice.

“Punks,” she screamed. “You lousy punks.”

The brothers giggled all the way to school.



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