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Opal

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A first hand report of the story originally reported in The Montréal Mirror in 1964:

A mother and father decided they needed a break, not having much alone time in the almost a year since their young son, Toby, was born. They wanted to have a night out, dinner, maybe a movie, and the honeymoon suite at a local hotel to possibly give Toby a little brother or sister. They called their most trusted babysitter, who unfortunately was already engaged for the evening. But she did refer a good friend of hers, Opal, who she swore could be trusted. They spoke with the new babysitter and agreed to have her arrive no later than 6:30 so the parents could get an early start.

As the parents got ready to paint the town red, Toby lay on the floor, gnawing on his teething ring in the den off to the back of the house. At shortly after 6:20 the father walked past the open doorway and saw an elderly woman sitting in the rocking chair facing the child, her back to the doorway. The father was slightly startled as his wife hadn’t mentioned the sitter had arrived. He spoke to her as he straightened his tie in the mirror on wall opposite the doorway.

“Oh my, I’m sorry I didn’t hear you come in. We appreciate you coming on such short notice. My wife put some a chicken in the oven for you. The numbers for the restaurant and hotel are on the counter if you need to reach us. We will be home around 9 tomorrow morning. Goodbye Toby, I love you.”

He hurried down the hallway as his wife was coming down the stairs, meeting her at the bottom his wife asked “What were you saying dear”

“Oh nothing, I was just giving the sitter instructions, now we should hurry so we can make our reservation on time.” he replied grabbing his coat as he unlocked the front door.

They went to the car and were in such a rush they didn’t notice the car pull into the drive way not 15 seconds after they pulled out. They proceeded to have the best night out they could remember. The wife become somewhat concerned shortly after arriving at the hotel when she called home and no one answered. The husband calmed her as he pulled her into bed, kissing her neck.

“Don’t worry dear, she’s an older lady and it’s almost 10, she must have gone to bed after putting Toby down.”

The next morning after a nice breakfast they arrived home to find a note on the door. It read:

“I arrived at 6:30 as agreed but no one was home.
If you had made other plans I would have appreciated
if someone had called me.
Opal”

The husband gave his wife a confused look as she put a hand to her mouth and her face turned white. She threw open the front door calling out for her son. There was no reply, in fact there was no sound at all in the house, just the smell of some burned meat. She ran up the stairs as her husband raced to the back of the house the find the kitchen filled with smoke. He turned off the stove and used pot holders to grab the smoldering pan of charred meat and drop it in the sink. His wife came into the kitchen crying into her hands

“He’s not here! Toby’s gone! She took him!”

The husband then took her in his arms as she cried. It was then that he noticed blood on the lid of the trash can. A pit formed in his stomach as he left his wife and opened the trash can. He exhaled as he realized that it was only the chicken his wife had made. It was then that his eyes shot wide open as his wife let out a fresh scream of horror. As he turned toward her, he caught sight of the melted remains of the teething ring on the bottom of the open oven.

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