Instructions for the Babysitter

I've only been babysitting for about six months now. It was an easy way to make money and it didn't require me to have any real, applicable skills. It was slow going at first but a couple of months ago I hit the jackpot after a young couple from the rich part of my town asked me to look after their two kids one Friday night. They paid me two hundred freaking dollars to look after their extremely well-behaved children for three hours in a house five times the size of mine. It was awesome.

The young couple must have also thought that I had done a good job because word spread quickly around the rich neighborhood about the nice, young lady who was willing to look over your children so you could go out for a night of drinking and fun. And when I say that this neighborhood is one of the richest in our state, I am not exaggerating. Most of the people living there are young couples who have come from a long line of wealthy families.

Sometimes, I'll babysit for a few hours and make a couple hundred bucks. Other times, the parents want me to stay the night while they go off and get a hotel room so that they could be away from their kids for a change. That is where I make the big bucks.

A couple of days ago, a husband and wife had texted me asking if I could stay the night at their mansion and watch their seven-year-old little girl for them. I happily agreed...

If only I knew what I was in for.

When the day finally came, I drove my beat-up Jeep Wrangler to the edge of the rich neighborhood and made my way up this private driveway that I had never noticed before because the entrance was hidden back amongst the trees that surround the entire north side of town. I drove up this steep, winding driveway for what seemed like ten minutes before I finally saw the house come into view.

Out of all the houses I've babysat at this was hands-down the most gorgeous one I've ever seen. It was a huge Victorian-style mansion that was covered in dark-brown bricks, making it blend perfectly into the woods surrounding it.

I got out of my car and made my way up to the front porch where I knocked on this gigantic, wooden door. A few seconds later, a beautiful woman in her mid-thirties answered and introduced herself as Mrs. Collins. She called her husband down and shortly after, an extremely handsome man also in his thirties came walking down the grand stairway holding an adorable little girl in his arms.

The couple seemed very anxious to leave and even though they were both gorgeous people, I could tell that underneath all of their beauty they were both extremely tired and haggard from having to keep up with their seven-year-old. They were obviously very excited about having an entire night to themselves and couldn't wait to get out of there as fast as they could.

Before Mr. and Mrs. Collins left, however, Mrs. Collins handed me several pieces of paper and told me that she had written down a couple of instructions for me to follow throughout the night. She stressed to me how important it was to follow her instructions and I assured her that I'd give them a look. I waved to the pretty young couple as they made their way down the driveway in their expensive Mercedes and then closed the door behind me.

I gave the instructions a quick once-over before folding the papers and stuffing them into my back pocket. "I'll look at them later," I told myself. How stupid I was to do that.

Mr. and Mrs. Collins' daughter, Samantha, was a very nice young girl who warmed up to me almost immediately, and we had spent the next few hours playing games and watching TV. After we finished our fifth episode of Teen Titans Go, I noticed that it was getting late and asked Samantha what her bedtime was. She shrugged, not really giving me an answer, which is when I remember Mrs. Collins' instructions.

I pulled out the folded pieces of paper and scanned through them very quickly until I saw the words "Samantha needs to be in bed... before 8:00 p.m." I checked the time to find that it was almost 7:45.

"Well, it looks like your bedtime is right now," I said and lifted Samantha up off the couch so I could get her ready. She brushed her teeth and I tucked her into her California king-sized mattress. I told her goodnight and was leaving her room when she said something that stopped me in my tracks.

"Don't forget to lock my door before you leave," she said.

I stopped walking and turned back around toward her, confused.

"What do you mean, don't forget to lock your door?" I asked. "Why would I need to lock your door? What if you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night?"

She looked at me innocently and shrugged her shoulders again. "I don't know, but Mommy always locks my door before I go to sleep. She says she does it to protect me and herself. I don't remember what happens after I fall asleep, but Mommy says that I always try to leave my room at night which is a bad thing."

I looked at her dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say.

"Mommy told me that she would leave instructions for you to follow and locking my door is one of them," she said.

"O- Okay, Samantha, I'll lock your door. Good- Goodnight, sweetheart," I stammered. She gave me a big smile and rolled over in her bed. I closed her door and noticed that there was a latch drilled into the doorframe that would allow someone to lock it from the outside. I closed the latch and then walked back downstairs so I could read the rest of Mrs. Collins' "instructions".

When I had first seen the pieces of paper, I was under the impression that they were just instructions that told me what shows Samantha is not allowed to watch, or how to operate the surround sound. After I started reading them though, I realized that I was wrong. I was completely and utterly wrong.

Hello Annie,

I'm so glad that you agreed to stay the night and babysit Samantha for us. She is such an angel, and I am sure that the both of you will get along very well. I know that our house might seem old and scary but don't worry because nothing bad will happen to you as long as you follow some simple instructions.

  1. Firstly, Samantha needs to be in bed in her room with the door locked before 8:00 p.m. Do not open up her bedroom door after 8:00 p.m. I repeat, DO NOT open Samantha's bedroom door after 8:00 p.m. She will try to convince you to open the door in many different ways. She will cry, scream, and threaten you until you give in, but DO NOT listen to her. She can't hurt you as long as the door is closed.
  2. Between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., make sure you remain in the living room with the lights turned on. Around this time of night, you may hear scratching and growling coming from Samantha's room, or from other parts of the house. These noises are nothing to worry about as long as you stay in the living room. Watch some TV to pass the time, we have a lot of movies to choose from ;)
  3. After 9:30, do not venture into any dark areas of the house. I would recommend that you turn on as many lights as you can before 9:30 so that you don't accidentally trap yourself. You might begin to see things hiding in the dark areas of the house from time to time, and sometimes they will even try to talk to you. Just ignore them and they'll eventually ignore you as well. You might also happen to see a pair of yellow cat-eyes looking at you through the darkness every once in a while. DO NOT stare at them for more than thirty seconds.
  4. At around 10:00 pm, it might begin to sound like there are several people walking around in the basement downstairs. Do not worry because as long as you stay out of the basement they cannot get to you. I know it sounds unlikely, but around this time you will begin to feel an overwhelming urge to walk down into the basement. If this happens, go into the kitchen and drink a cold glass of milk, this usually helps. The urge will most likely pass after about ten minutes, but if the urge is still there after ten minutes and you don't think that you will be able to stop yourself from walking into the basement then call either me or Mr. Collins and we'll tell you what to do.
  5. When 10:30 comes around, you will begin to hear something running back and forth in the hallway upstairs. Stay on the first floor of the house during this time. Don't worry about Samantha, as long as you locked her door beforehand he won't be able to get to her. If you start to hear him making his way down the stairs, then lock yourself in the first-floor bathroom with the lights on. He will knock on the bathroom door repeatedly and will try impersonating someone close to you like your mom or your dad in order to trick you into opening the bathroom door for him (he is really good at it). No matter what he says to you and no matter who he sounds like, DO NOT open the door. He should go away after five minutes. Check under the door to make sure that he is no longer there before you open it.
  6. Now, this next part is very important. You will be sleeping in our guest room upstairs for the night. Before you go to bed, make sure that you leave a plate outside your bedroom door with a piece of raw steak on it (you can find the raw steak in our refrigerator), and leave a glass of milk next to the plate as well. On a piece of paper, write the words "parcant mihi" in red ink and leave it on the plate with the raw meat. (Also, at some point during the night, you might wake up and notice that there is something standing in the corner of your room, please refrain from looking at the figure as much as you can. I'd recommend wearing earbuds so that you won't hear it muttering to itself.)

And that's about it. There are also a few other general rules that you should follow throughout the night just to make sure that nothing bad happens.

  • Rule 1: If the house phone rings at any point during the night, don't answer it no matter how long or how loud it might ring. Mr. Collins and I will call your cell phone if we need to talk with you.
  • Rule 2: If you feel something tap you on the shoulder at any point during the night, don't turn around, and wait at least thirty seconds before moving again.
  • Rule 3: Don't eat meat after 8:00. They might see it as a threat and will most likely attack you.

Thanks again, Annie. If you have any trouble or questions, feel free to call me or my husband at any point during the night. If you do call us and a man with a very deep voice answers the phone hang up immediately and try calling us again.

P.S. Throughout the night, you might hear a dog whimpering from somewhere off inside the house. We don't have a dog so don't go looking for it.

I hadn't realized what I had gotten myself into. It is currently 8:31 p.m. as I am writing this, and the growling noises just started. It sounds like they're coming from every room in the fucking house. I thought that Samantha's screams from a couple minutes ago were going to be the worst part, but now I can hear her muffled growls from upstairs and I can assure you that this is worse. This is so much worse.