It was just a scratch, he remembered.
Harry was messing around with him again, hiding his teddy bear that Nana had given him for his sixth birthday. She hated it because she lost hers in the park when she was playing. John hated her for taking Mr. Huggles, so he confronted her but ended up getting a scratch on his arm from Harry’s nails. Mom was telling how awful Harry has been to John, and how she should never ever do that again to her little baby brother. John knew the tears that Harry had on her cheeks where fake. She always did that. Pretend that she was sorry and would never do it again; it always did.
John was looking for Mr. Huggles. He was looking desperately around the house; he needed him because it always made John feel safe, especially when he needed to sleep. But it was hopeless. The bear must have been buried or something, because it was nowhere to be found.
That was when John heard a small cracking sound. He was in Harry’s room, finishing checking under her bead. The sound was very small, but John heard it coming from outside the room. He stands up from the place where he was crouching down and stared at the room. He didn’t know why he thought there was something about that sound; the house where the Watson lived was old and has always made small sounds like the wind hitting the window, the wooden door and other things such as the sound of someone moving around the house. It is amazing how the small footsteps of Harry and John could produce noises big enough that will make the windows clatter.
John though it was Harry coming back to her room after the lecture her mother gave her, but that thought was quickly dismissed when he heard Harry’s voice of protest from the back yard. It was different, this sound he heard. It was different in the sense of, wrongness.
He wasn’t supposed look at the door, because he knew it was wrong. He knew he shouldn’t have noticed this “sound” he heard.
John didn’t know what the feeling he was getting from the source of the sound; but it was far from the warm, safe and bright existence of his family and home. The door was not fully shut; there was a small space that had a dim light from the corridor which linked to his room and his parent’s room.
There was only silence.
Nothing was moving and just then he noticed that there were no birds singing; they always sung beautifully when they stopped on the tree in the back yard.
It was then when John saw the slender long fingers slowly hold the side of the door. The hand was set on the very high place and slowly curled the fingers to hold the frame; it pushed the door open with a heavy motion. John knew what he should have felt the moment he saw a hand; a ghostly white hand on the highest point of the door that certainly belonged to someone taller than his parents. But he was more curious to what the thing behind the door. The door opened fully, making the creaking sound of the old wood that it was made out of.
It was a man who was standing there. A man dressed in a black suit.
He had the longest arms John had ever seen, and also very tall. Taller than his mother who could reach the cookie jar. Taller than Mr. Hank the neighbour fireman. Taller than his father who went into the army and return a hero.
He was tall enough that he had to slightly crouch so he doesn’t hit his head on the sealing. That was however, not what made John’s little blue eye go wide.
The pale tall man had no face. It was blank.
John should have felt fear; the boy knows that much.
The man slowly cocked his head. It looked like he was studying John somehow.
John wondered whether the man could see even though he didn’t have any eyes. For some reason, John did the same and cocked his head.
The man didn’t move for what it seemed to be a long while. He then slowly cocked his head to the other side, which John repeated the action.
There was silence in the room.
John forgot the fact that he didn’t hear anything at all; not even the sound of the wind hitting the window or the sound of his mother talking to Harry, or Harry running around the house.
There was just silence.
But John was so fascinated by the man in front of him that he forgot the world. It was amazing to see something so out of ordinary, something that seems out of place from the world. John smiled at the man who was still studying (or it seemed as if studying) him. The man, after a minute, slightly raised his long arms and ghosted his long fingers all around John’s face. John didn’t move or flinch. The fingers where longer than it looked when it pushed open the door. The fingers then stopped on John’s little lips, slightly touching it with the man’s fingertip. John didn’t know what made him smile, but it was for sure not the fear he was supposed to feel. The man cocked his head slowly again, and this time John decided not to mirror him.
“Hi, I’m John”
He said it in a whisper, still feeling the slight touch of the man’s fingertips on his lips. The man didn’t reply but John didn’t expect anything; after all, he didn’t have a mouth. John just smiled more when the man removed his hand slowly.
“I was looking for Mr. Huggles. Have you seen him by any chance? Harry says I’m too old for Teddy Bears, but Mr. Huggles is really important to me. I still like to have him next to me when I sleep”
John whispered to the tall man as if he was telling him his secret. The man stood there for a moment, and suddenly there was something dropping behind John.
A little startled, John turned around to see what it was there; it was Mr. Huggles. He quickly went to pick it up; it was a little strange since he had been searching the room for a while and it was definitely not there when he last checked. But for some reason, John knew that this tall man has managed to find it for him. Somehow. John turned around to the tall man who was still looking at John; he cocked his head to the other side again. John feeling happy that he was able to find Mr. Huggles, smiled at the tall man.
“You found him! Thank you”
The man gave a slight movement of his head, something that looked like a nod. John sat down on the bed, and looked at the man with excitement.
“So, are you here to see mom? Are you a friend of hers? Or are you here to see Da?”
The man didn’t react to the question John have asked, but instead moved slightly towards him and touched Mr. Huggles with his long fingers. Happy that he finally got Mr. Huggles, John picked it up from his lap and showed it to the man.
“This is Mr. Huggles. My Nana got it for me when I was six for my birthday present. He knows all my secrets and we play doctor together when Harry doesn’t want to play with me”
With that, John stretched his arm to hand over the bear, and the man hold it in his hands. It seems that the man was examining the bear with his non-existing eyes.
“He is very kind you know! He likes to eat snacks with me and sometimes we watch a movie on the telly together. He is my best mate and I think he would like you too.”
John smiled at the man who was still looking at the bear. John cocked his head and beamed.
“Would you like to be our friend?”
The man slowly looked down at the innocent child, who was excited with his own idea.
“I would call you Mr.T because you're really tall! You can call me John but I don’t know if you can speak”
John looked at the tall man who had not given any reaction to John what so ever. John opened his mouth to ask the man- Mr.T- if he would like to stay for dinner, but it was cut off by the sudden movement of his hand that stopped John to say anything. The tall man has brought his long fingers near the scratch that Harry has given him. It was red, but not bleeding. John looked at it and frowned.
“Harry was playing mean. When I asked her where she put Mr. Huggles, she said she didn’t know. I knew she had it somewhere, and when I asked she scratched me”
John quickly turned to see the source of the sound; there was a red splatter on the window. What could it possibly be? Did Harry through a tomato? No, she wouldn’t do that to her own window.
John approached the red thing on the window, and soon discovered there was a feather stuck to the goo. It was blood.
He realized that a bird have hit the window, and died. This never happened before and he was very scared to think that a bird died just by hitting the head. He turned to the man, but there was an empty room.
He went to the corridor to look around if the man has left the room, but there was no one.
Confused, John decided to go down stairs and tell his mother that there is blood on Harry’s window.
But there was a scream; when he went down stairs, Harry was holding Twiggy. Her pet canary that now had a broken neck and not breathing.