Mr. Mckutchin was known as the creepy man all the kids in the neighborhood knew to be afraid of for reasons unbeknownst to them. Nobody ever saw him coming or going from his great big house that was across the street and a just touch down the road from Erin’s home. But, sometimes people, scary and furtive people, his ilk, would occasionally visit Mr. Mckutchin at night. They would pull their vehicles into the long, poorly light driveway that led up to eerie dwelling. Then, the cars would disappear into the house’s garage as if being swallowed up whole. Erin never saw anybody living there, not even so much as a landscaper occasionally tending to the brush and bramble choked front yard.
But she did clearly notice the ‘No Trespassing!’ sign that’d been nailed to an old oak tree at the edge of the property that let everyone know they weren’t welcome on Mr. Mckutchin’s land. Every once in a while, late at night, when Erin would look out her bedroom’s window to stare at the old, capacious house looming in the shadowy darkness. Darkness, created by looming foliage and shadows birthed by wisps of moonlight. She couldn’t help but think of the place as a fortress or maybe even a prison that held its victims consisting of kidnapped, scared-to-death and crying children locked away deep within the belly of the house’s basement.
The mere sight of the dwelling ominously perched across the street would frighten Erin so much that she would pull down the window shade hoping to block out of her mind the image of the house so she could go to sleep. The other kids in the neighborhood would also tell her stories about Mr. Mckutchin. They would say that he was a cannibal. That at night he would set out to kidnap children from other nearby towns. (Such towns, of course, nobody had ever heard of.) Then, after snatching up the kids he’d lock them away in his dungeon where he would force feed them, making them fat and supple. His end goal eventually being the slaughter them and then consuming their flesh, like a real life witch from Hansel and Gretel.
Other kids would like to tell stories that he was a Nazi war criminal still hiding out from the prosecution of his horrible crimes, and that he had mutilated and altered his face to hide his identity. They had told Erin that, even though it’s been many decades since the end of the war, Mr. Mckutchin just still can’t let go his enjoyment of the evil things he did during the combat. And, if you listen carefully at night, you can hear the cries of anguish and torment coming from the people he tortures in his house. His killing spree still living on in the form of his psychotic delusions and sick fantasies that he takes out on unsuspecting victims that he convinces to show up at his house.
When Erin and her father arrived at Party Town, Erin was feeling well again and in better spirits, and the sight of so many costumes’ to choose from had her feeling dizzy with excitement. “I’m gonna be a ballerina. No, I’m gonna be a fairy. No, I’m gon—” “Why don’tcha be something scary?” asked her father. “You’re always supposed to dress as something scary on Halloween.” “No! I don’t want to be something scary. I wanna… I wanna… I wanna be a princess.” “Okay, honey. Let’s see what they have in princess costumes for my little princess.” Erin settled on a bluish purple gown with matching gloves and a tiara.
She thought she looked just like Cinderella if only Cinderella had dark brown hair instead of blonde. “I love it, I love it,” she cheered aloud. “Can I get it, Daddy? Please!” “Of course you can sweetheart.” her father told her. Three days had passed since picking up the costume and Erin was counting the days down to Halloween on her calendar. “Just two more to go.” she told herself as she put an “X” through the 29th with a big red magic marker. As Erin sat in her room she had heard her father come home from work that day in a huff and then go right to the refrigerator to grab a beer. Erin knew not to bother her daddy whenever he came home from work and, at once, started out on drinking.
She knew what his drinking would ultimately lead to. And, right on cue, a short while later Erin’s father came looking for her up in her room. “Honey, Erin, are you in here, honey?” he said, leaning his head through the door. Erin didn’t say anything at first as she hid under her bed hoping he would just go away. “Erin,” he called out. “Where are you, sweetheart.” Knowing that he would eventually find her and more than likely be made when he did because he had to go looking for her. Erin decided that it would be best if she just came out from underneath the bed and see what it was her daddy wanted. “I’m here, daddy. I’m under here.” she called out.
Grabbing the edge of the coverlet and flipping it up atop the bed. Erin’s father looked underneath the mattress and box spring to see his little girl entwined between some old shoe boxes and a couple of stuffed animals. “What are you doin’ down there, honey?” he asked her in a calm fatherly tone. “Come on out and see me. I’ve missed you. Daddy’s had a long, tough day at work, and I could use a hug and a kiss from my little angel.” Erin came crawling out from underneath the bed even though she didn’t want to, and her father then sat down atop of it, picking her up and placing her on his knee. “You weren’t hiding from me, were you?” he asked with a sad look on his face. “No, daddy,” Erin said.
She lied. “Tell me about your day at school, sweetheart. Did everything go okay today?” “Yeah, I guess so.” Erin said with a sigh. “That doesn’t sound like everything’s alright. Tell daddy what happened.” Erin paused for a moment not sure if she wanted to tell her father about the boy at school who had put gum in her hair today, and how the teacher, Mrs. Fallon had to cut it out with a pair of scissors. She just wanted to just tell her father that she wasn’t feeling right and that she wanted to go to bed early tonight.
In the end, though, she did end up telling her father about the boy and the gum. As she told her father all about the evil thing that Adam Schultz had done to her today in class, all because she wouldn’t agree with him that Regular Show was better than Sponge Bob, Erin’s father began sliding his hand up between her legs. “Daddy, stop,” she said, breaking away from her story. “I told you I don’t like that!” she whined. “It’s okay, Erin.” her daddy told her as he firmly but gently forced her legs back open. “Just keep telling daddy your story.”