man, portrait, old

(This took place in late 2016.)

It was a dark, December evening; winter break from school. My, then, girlfriend, Liz, and I were cuddled up on the couch watching Christmas movies on Netflix with my two young nephews (5yrs and 10 months at the time).

My mother was at work and my girlfriend’s mom was running errands. My little sister was at an after school center across the street from our house.

The movie, I think was Elf, was still playing. I was getting really bored with it and got up to get a drink. Before I could enter their refrigerator, the doorbell ring. I walked into the living room and looked through the peephole on the front door.

I see a man, about mid-50s, African-American, and dressed in a dark brown winter coat. I asked who it was. “It’s Vince from down the street. Can I come in?” I opened the door, luckily, our screen door was locked so he couldn’t get in. “My mom isn’t here. What do you need?” I asked as politely as I could. “Your mom wanted me to clean the gutters. She promised to pay me. Can I come in?” I shook my head.

Why would my mom want a man to clean the gutters when she has me?  More so, why would she want him to do it at a time like this? It looks like it’s past 9 when in reality, it was around 5:30pm. “My mom isn’t home. She’ll be back later,” I said. The man groaned lightly in irritation. “Well, can you call her?”

“Sorry, my phone is dead,” I lied. He nodded without another word and  turned to, I assume leave. I closed the door and sat back down. Not two minutes later, another knock was on the door. I went to look through the peephole and was unable to see anybody. “Who is it?” I called out. “It’s me,” my little sister said. The program must’ve been over.

I opened the door and almost jumped out of my skin. The man was right behind my sister. I quickly unlocked the screen door and hurried my sister in. He tried to get in, but I shut and locked both doors. I asked her if she was okay. “Yeah, but that man keeps asking where mom is.” I felt my stomach drop.

Why is this guy so persistent? It can’t be so much money if my mom has to buy us necessities.

My sister started to call my mom to tell her, but then the lights shut off. It made us all let out a surprised noise. Also freaked us out more than before. Her phone then died as soon as she pressed the call button. Weird, since her battery wasn’t even close to dying.

Not long after, the movie was over and my oldest nephew was asleep. I was trying to get the baby boy to sleep when my girlfriend’s mom came through the door.

She looked weirded out. “Ma, what’s wrong?” Liz asked. “That  man tried to get in the car with me.”  Hearing that, my heart nearly stopped. I gave my nephew to my girlfriend and looked out the window. He was standing by our mailbox, waiting.

He was looking dead at me. At this point, I bet you’re guessing I called the police? No, I didn’t, I just stared at him. This next part haunts my nightmares today. He gave me a wide, open-mouth grin and widened his eyes.

I never told my girlfriend this, because I didn’t want to scare her.

My breathing was heavy at this point. He then turned around slowly and  walked down the street. I never heard from him again. To most, that doesn’t seem scary at all.

I bet if a man you never seen knocks on your door and tries to come in asking countless times for your mother on a freezing December night, you’ll be scared shitless.

I told my mom about the man when she got home and she looked at me crazy.

“I don’t know a Vince from around here.”

Story By:

Ali J

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