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Who Let This Man Be a Babysitter

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Ted Spankoffski doesn’t like children. So why is he babysitting his annoying younger brother, his coworker’s daughter, and two kids he has no connection to at all?

Alice, Tim, Hannah, and Pete sat on a beat-up gray couch, in a small beige house. There seems to be a thin layer of filmy grime all over the kitchen, Where Ted is rummaging through the refrigerator, trying to find chocolate milk, or apple juice, or something the kids can drink.

Minutes go by of complete silence when Alice Woodward stands up and walks to the fridge.

“Mr. Spankoffski, with all due respect, what the fuck are you looking for?”

Ted is frightened by the girl and bangs his head on the top of the fridge.

“Alice! Um, looking for something for you guys to eat or drink. That’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what your dad said at least.”

“I don’t care what my dad thinks. We could just run to Beanies. I’ll pay.”

“Yeah sure. But I’m paying.”

The kids and Ted pile into his 2007 Volvo xc90, and drive a few short miles to the coffee shop.

When they walk in, Ted looks around at his surroundings. The coffee shop was rather empty, and he saw a very short woman, with a scowl on her face. The group walked up to her at the counter.

“Welcome to Beanies. What do you want?” The woman said, straightening out her apron.

“Um,” Ted looked over to the group, where the kids stared back blankly, and Alice chimed in.
“A large iced honey green tea, 3 kids hot cocoas, and whatever he wants.” “A-um, large chai iced tea please.”

“Make that a large hot cocoa. Blood sugar. Low. I need the cocoa now.” Pete pushes his way to the front of the group and reaches over to grab a large cup. The barista smacks his hand away.

The woman starts to furiously write on all 5 cups, sliding them over to the espresso maker. Ted considers not tipping but felt the moment would cheer up the annoyed group of teens. She drops four quarters in; and as soon as the coins hit the bottom of the jar, the woman drops her sharpie.

“The FUCK dude? Can’t you see I’m working?” Ugh.” The woman walks around to the crude sound system set up by the door and hits play.

What may be the least enthusiastic rendition of a song was then warbled through the coffee shop for two minutes of agony. Ted glances over at the suffering adolescents, Tim and Hannah instead playing cards, small chats are occasionally exchanged. Alice is furiously texting, and Pete-

Ted finally registers that Pete isn’t at the table anymore. He vividly remembers sitting down with all the kids at the table. Shit.

“He left.” Alice doesn’t even look up from her phone as she says it. “About five seconds into the song he got up to go hang out with a kid from school. He could be all the way uptown by now. Bill will be pissed if you lose a kid within an hour. You’ll never babysit again.”

Alice clicks her phone off and stands up heading for the door.

“Alice. Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”

“Deb is outside, and I’d rather die than be here for Grace’s bible group. I’m outta here. Good luck explaining two missing kids. Also- don’t tell Bill. He will think I’m smoking pot and I really don’t want to deal with that. Have fun.” She pats Ted’s shoulder and flings the door open.

Ted defeatedly sits back at the table and rests his head down.

“Blue blood. Singing. Paul. Apotheosis.”

Ted lifts his head to see a now upset Hannah setting down her hand of cards. “Kid, what the fuck did you just say?”

“Blue blood. Singing. Paul. Apotheosis.”

Ted’s puzzled look just intensifies after hearing each word clearly. “Kid- what are you on about?”

This time it’s Tim who answers. “Yeah. She does that. It’s weird- everything she says always ends up making sense in the end. I don’t really get it, but this one sounds either really good or really bad. I don’t know who Paul is though.”

Ted’s blood runs cold. “I do. He’s my buddy from work. Kid- why are you talking about Paul?”

Hannah is about to answer when a brick is thrown through the window of the coffee shop. A woman drenched in blue goo walks through the broken pane and looks past the counter at what appears to be two more blue women.

“Kids. Run. Get to the car.” The two kids exchange a look and cleverly run their way through a hectic crown of mania.

“You.” Ted points to the moody woman from before. “Come with me.” The woman immediately looks skeptical, but her coworker grabs the guts out of a quiet businessman and the woman is running with Ted.