“My son was attacked and bitten by a rat when he was small,” Tybalt Grimolochin explained to the two teachers dressed as witches. “He still fears them.”
“My Dad killed it,” squeaked up Joe, nervously holding his father’s hand, “but the others got away.”
“Rats are nasty, aren’t they?” cackled his kindergarten teacher, Elvira Madden, as she kept in character. “Perhaps we can find a treat in our cauldron to help make you feel better?”
Her friend and fellow pretend-witch, Dorothy James, started their lorum ipsum inspired chant while Elvira stirred in the cauldron with her ladle, making sure she got one of the ‘prizes’ nestled in the bottom into the ladle’s bowl. Joe politely accepted his chocolate frog and added it to his bag along with the jelly snakes and other treats he’d collected so far then went to the next room of the ‘house’ clutching his father’s hand.
It was dark by the time the teachers were able to leave and Elvira was glad to be out of her makeup. She said goodbye to Dorothy as they climbed into their cars and then turned right onto the road while Dorothy turned left. Instead of going home though she almost immediately turned into the club car park commonly used by parents visiting the school. Sitting in the middle of the car park, completely alone except for a child in a lion costume and a tall man, was a small sedan.
She pulled up beside them and said, “Is there a problem? Can I help?”
Tybalt Grimolochin smiled at her but he looked worried. “We got back to the car and found that someone’s slashed our tires and sealed all the movable panels with what looks like silicone sealant. I’ve called the NRMA and a taxi but neither has turned up.”
Elvira frowned. “That’s not a prank, is it? Look,” she unlocked her car, “you two get in and I’ll drive you home. It’s a good thing I saw you or who knows how long you might have been here.”
“Thank you.” Tybalt ushered his son into the back seat and climbed in beside him, doing up both their seat belts. Elvira locked the doors again and moved off. Tybalt went on, “We’re up in Ferndale. If you take us up Dog Trap Road to the three way corner, I’ll give you directions from there.”
“Okay,” and Elvira turned out of the car park in her original direction.
Behind them, in the beautification plantings surrounding the car park, red eyes glowed in the dark.