A strange man stands at the end of a dark street, or the beginning depending on how you look at it. The man looks down the street and sees everything that he cannot see, for he can only make out the strange behemoth shadows that create the houses and trees of the neighborhood. He cannot see the houses because it is dark and there is nothing to illuminate the streets, yet he knows what it is he's looking at because he knows what general shape a house is. The moon, however, has been so kind as to at least allow for one to view the front yards of the houses, if one so chose to.

The man stands at the end or beginning of a dark street, labeled Maple Drive, although in a twist of irony, he realizes that there are no maple trees around for at least ten miles. He sees the claws of shadow that envelope the lawns, lawns of families that live peacefully and have no knowledge of the man, the one that stands at the beginning or end of Maple Drive, and go about their lives never expecting any harm to befall them, or perhaps they are,and believe and wish and hope that not discussing their worry will make it untrue. No matter their thinking, the claws hold the houses captive or safe, depending on how you look at it that is.

The man begins to walk down or up Maple drive and begins to actually see the houses because he is now close enough to see them. Each of them different in their own right but ultimately the same. They are the same because they all have a family, or have had a family. He wants a family too. He had one once. It broke so easily.

He stops at a house. It's a white house with lavender shutters over the windows on the second floor. Yes, this will do nicely. He walks towards the white house, with the lavender shutters on the second floor, near the end or beginning of Maple Drive, who's lawn is encased in the rage-less yet mysterious and unknown claws of the trees that grow and feed off of the nourishment of the land that the moon has benevolently revealed for his viewing pleasure. But he has things other than lawns to worry about. He needs a family.

The family inside is a family of three. It consists of a mother in her 30s with a four year old daughter and an eight year old son, although he does not know this. Not knowing is sometimes a virtue until you begin to question what it is you don't know and then it tears at your mind, slowly, like a child gawking at the sweet choices of candy in a store and eventually deciding to pick up a piece of candy to examine it, and quickly place it back, until it develops into a ravenous hunger and becomes less like a child and more like a mindless zombie eating at your brain, and the only cure is knowledge. Knowledge can also lead to the same results as not knowing as well.

He doesn't know who lives here, but the feel of the house made him feel. Feel good.

The man thinks about knocking or ringing the bell at first, imagining the confused look on the owners face as they get a visitor in the dead of night. When they opened the door and found no one, or at least no one they knew, they would go back to bed, slightly upset that they had to get up to answer the door, ruining their sleep. The man smiles.

He runs his knuckles along the inside edges of the rectangular insets of the wooden door. The wood is hard, yes, but it feels soft as well: inviting. He checks the door, hoping it will be unlocked. He hears a click. Success, he thinks, until he realizes that the click is just the tumblers reaching their maximum turn capability. The door is very locked.

The man frowns, but it was to be expected. No one goes without the added precautions of locked doors hoping to stay safe from the prospect of men like him. He smiles.

A small breeze passes between the lush trees and barely touches the man's chin, like a hummingbird hovering mere inches away from a hibiscus and drinking the nectar,  carrying the sent of the chlorophyll and the sent of the local fauna. It's peaceful. Almost.

"Lollipop, lollipop, ooh lolly-lolly-loll lollipop. Buh-dun-dun-dun," he hums.  The song seemed to have floated into his head along with the wind, clinging onto the end of it like a remora on a shark. He sings the song lightly some more as he wanders around to the back of the house trying to find an aperture into the house. He needs a family.

In the back yard he sees the moon again. A full moon, full of life yet giving none. He thinks about this. The moon is bright and its light comes from the sun. The sun makes the moon what it is. He will do the same. He will be the sun and the family will be the moon. He will make them what they are: his family.

A single tree sits in the far right corner of the backyard and cradles a tree house. The tree house is not big, but it is not small. A ladder made of boards of multicolored wood climbs the tree. A bird calls out to the sky. The call is absorbed into the bright void.

The tree house is in a tall tree. The tree looms over him, but it is not threatening. The window of the tree house is situated across from a window on the second floor. Perfect view spot.

The yard becomes a dance hall as he, seemingly drunk, dances silently across the dance floor, enticing the non-existent women of the night.

He's happy. He's giddy. He can't possibly keep his excitement contained. But he must. He must because if he is discovered he most certainly will not be able to come back to this house and he wants this house. He wants its family.

The inside of the treehouse catches his eye. It's pitch black in there. Darker than the projected black of the night. However he feels a presence inside. He feels eyes watching him. He doesn't know if there is actually someone or something in there or if it's just the emanating feeling from the darkness that one naturally feels whether or not they care to admit it.

He approaches the tree house, the grass bowing beneath his weight as if bowing towards their master, this  tree. He grips a blue plank of wood about three feet from the bottom, the second rung and stands there. He is afraid but excited, anxious yet intrigued. He climbs into the dark tree house. The room is dark. A spot of blue-white light splashed along the wall opposite the window. Coloring books were stacked neatly in the corner to the left of the doorway, a box of crayons next to it.

He decided it would be here that he would wait. There was at least one child here, that he was able to discern, and surely, with tomorrow being Friday, they'd have school. With the child, or children, out of the way, he'd have no trouble dealing the the parents, and then, he would have a family.

A strange man lies in wait, in the tree house with the multicolored plank ladder, in the backyard of the white house with the purple shutters, at the beginning or end of Maple Drive, whose houses are cradled in the claws of shadow trees bathed in moon light, light that gives no life itself but allows for life to exist. He waits for his family.

Written by supersatan25
Content is available under CC BY-SA