Dusk was settling over the lake. Fireflies blinked on and off over the meadow, and the houses across the water were aglow with orange light.
It was almost eight. My mother was supposed to have arrived with my cousins over two hours ago, but I hadn't heard from her since noon. As I waited, all sorts of horrific accidents flashed in my mind, making me sick with worry. And yet-- some part of me felt relieved that she hadn't come.
Just a few more hours to myself, I thought. The last free night before the arrival of my fledging sociopathic cousins. Then I winced, practically hearing my mother's voice admonishing me for being a drama queen. Okay, so they weren't sociopaths, just complete jerks, which was worse in a way because at least sociopaths had a clinical excuse while my cousins had none.
I stared down from the porch at the indigo lake. That's when I saw the boy coming from the woods.
He was my age, or maybe a few years older. His lips moved slightly as though he were talking to himself.
I waited for him to say something, a simple 'hi' to acknowledge he was walking through someone's yard, but he didn't. Instead, he stared at me in this intense, disturbing way, as if he were waiting for me to do something crazy. Rather ironic, since he was the one acting strange. Then, as he got closer to the house he altered his path and came up the porch.