Simon Says

Mom took me to the park today. We were on our way home from the book store when I saw the playground from the road. I asked mom as I hopped up and down in excitement. She glanced at the park and then back at me. Ultimately shrugging, she just nodded and mumbled about reading her new book on the bench.

I played at the playground for a few hours with my new friends. There was Bobby, Brandon, Caroline, Sarah and Nigel. Sarah and Nigel were brother and sister and Bobby was Brandon and Caroline’s little brother. Bobby was very little so we tried to help him up to the monkey bars but after a few attempts we all agreed that it was just too dangerous.

Brandon and Caroline tried to scare Nigel when he came down the slide by throwing Bobby’s baby blanket over the end of the enclosed slide which made it almost completely dark. Nigel started trying to climb back up the other way but he kept sliding down. He finally gave up and curled into a ball while trying to quiet the whimpers building up inside of him. They were holding the blanket lightly around the exit to the slide while Sarah began to sing in a low tone:

“Simon says come to the park,
Simon says play after dark.
Simon says to close your eyes,
While he pulls out your insides.”

Nigel wails began to build as she sang and when she was done he screamed loudly. He was terrified over a simple song. I couldn’t understand it. Either way, I wasn’t a big fan of bullying so I ran over and was just about to start yelling about how awful what they were doing was to me when they giggled and lifted the blanket. Nigel flew out of the slide like toast popping out of a toaster but he was still crying loudly. I ran over to where he sat in the mulch as he caught his breath.

“Nigel, don’t let them get to you, it’s just a simple song, right?”

He turned to me but I couldn’t figure out if he was going to scream in anger at me or wail loudly but instead his eyes widened and his jaw tensed. After a few moments he relaxed and smiled.

Brandon and the others joined us sitting Indian style in the circle.

“You should go home soon. It’s starting to get dark,” Nigel said and Caroline nodded in agreement.

“Simon will be coming soon.”

A wave of anxiety shot through me.

“Simon?” I asked and Brandon nodded.

“As in the one from the song?” I asked as my voice began to tremble.

Nigel grabbed my hand, “Yeah, he’s scary. He comes every night to the park to eat kids who stay out to late.”

I look over to my mom who smiled and waved at me. Her warm smile made me think that there could never be such an evil existing in our world.

“Then, why aren’t you guys leaving?” I asked. I hoped they would say something stupid so I would feel better.

“Our parents wouldn’t believe us,” Sarah said and I sighed. If I told my mom that story I know she wouldn’t believe me either.

“You know, you do really need to get going,” Nigel said as he pointed to the sun that was sinking behind the trees.

A shiver ran down my spine as I though about what this Simon could look like. I shook my head, trying to shake the image from my mind.

I walked over to my mom and told her that I was ready to go home.

“Samantha, is everything okay?” She asked me but, “Yes, I’m just hungry,” was all I replied.

On the way home though, I started to feel silly. They really got me good.

“ Mom, while we were at the park, the other kids told me a spooky story about a man named Simon.”

“Wow, kids sure have a wild imagination these days,” she said as she grasped my hand.

Come to think of it, I don’t even remember seeing their parents. They were probably just setting up to scare me good.

“So, he isn’t real, right?”

“Who isn’t?” She asks confusing me a bit.

“Simon,” I answer.

“Oh honey, I thought you were joking. Who told you the story?”

“The kids at the park.”

Why does mom look so worried?

“Honey, what kids at the park? It was just you and me!”